Writing Tips for the Exams

Academic support for Primary 6 and PSLE

Writing Tips for the Exams

Postby Ed-English » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:07 pm

Hello everyone! My name is Edmund and I will be contributing a series of tips for the writing component across the levels (PSLE, O's and A's). I hope you find them useful! I currently teach at The Looking-Glass: Writing Enrichment Centre. Do click on my profile to find out more :)

PSLE Situational Writing

Here are some tips on how to handle the situational writing component:

1. Quickly look through the pictures/notes given to get a rough idea of the situation at hand.

2. After you have done that, it is time to identify the perspective you are required to write from. (Who are you? A student, a passer-by, a student councillor etc.)

3. Next, identify the party that you are writing to. (Is it the principal? The police?) This is important because the party you are writing to determines the format of the letter (e.g., a formal letter if you are writing to your principal, an informal letter if writing to your friend).

4. Once you have identified the parties and format required, it is time to take note of the information that has to be included. A good habit would be to highlight/underline important information that can be found directly from the visual/written prompt. It is also a good idea to briefly jot down the answers to the information that has to be included. (e.g. date and time, the purpose of the letter)

5. After you have finished your writing, check through to make sure you have included all relevant information.

Common mistakes (excluding grammar, spelling, punctuation):

Students are unable to break down the situation/event in a clear and concise manner, resulting in two or more points being insufficiently developed/lumped together in the same sentence.

Students leave out some of the points.

Students attempt to over describe things a la continuous writing and meander from the point.

Ed-English
YellowBelt
YellowBelt
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:03 pm
Total Likes: 0


Writing Tips for the Exams

Postby Ed-English » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:13 pm

PSLE Continuous Writing

Before I delve into writing tips for continuous writing, there is an issue that I would like to address. (This also has relevance to the debate over the memorising of model compositions as an effective technique.) The continuous writing component at the PSLE level has a specific marking scheme that can be "gamed", so to speak. By delivering the appropriate amount of information and vocabulary at each particular section, the student can expect to score close to the maximum amount of marks available. This is where phrases like "cerulean blue skies" come into play. However it is very revealing that these are memorised phrases when contrasted with the overall writing ability throughout the rest of the composition. For me, I am not so much against the memorising of phrases, rather, I am against students writing in a rigid, "inorganic" manner that leaves no space for their own voices. After all, continuous writing is about telling a story, and the stories that we tell best are stories we own.

Writing Tips:

1. Based on the prompt given, come up with a rough idea of the events in your story (conflict, climax, resolution etc.).

2. Add in detail. Always keep the 6W's in mind (Who, What, When, Where, Why and hoW). Keep asking questions for more detail.

3. Decide upon a perspective that you would like to pursue (First-person perspective, Second-person etc.).

4. Choose where your story opens (flashback, straight into the action, recount, dialogue etc.).

5. Pay attention to your word count, do not leave your writing unbalanced (e.g. spending 3-quarters of the word count on the introduction).

6. Separate your writing into appropriate paragraphs.

7. Check through your writing for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.

Common mistakes:

Disjointed ideas / Gaps in logic: Often, children tend to jump from one idea to the next without sufficiently addressing the initial idea. They tend to assume the reader is able to follow the idea they have in their head.

Last minute additions: This is very obvious when there are carets popping up all over the place. Very often, this leads to faulty sentence structure.

Faulty sentence structure: Related to the above, this often happens when students are confused or unsure of how to present their idea. A good solution is to reduce the complexity of the sentence structure (Two shorter, simpler sentences that are grammatically correct are always better than a long, complex one riddled with errors).

Ed-English
YellowBelt
YellowBelt
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:03 pm
Total Likes: 0


Writing Tips for the Exams

Postby Ed-English » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:17 pm

Reserved

Ed-English
YellowBelt
YellowBelt
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:03 pm
Total Likes: 0


Writing Tips for the Exams

Postby Ed-English » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:17 pm

Reserved

Ed-English
YellowBelt
YellowBelt
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:03 pm
Total Likes: 0


Writing Tips for the Exams

Postby Ed-English » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:17 pm

Reserved

Ed-English
YellowBelt
YellowBelt
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:03 pm
Total Likes: 0



Writing Tips for the Exams

Postby Ed-English » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:17 pm

Reserved

Ed-English
YellowBelt
YellowBelt
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:03 pm
Total Likes: 0



Return to Primary 6 & PSLE