5 Tips to Improve PSLE Comprehension Reading
Many PSLE English students will struggle with reading comprehension. Students need to read the passage, interpret it, and answer a set of questions under a time constraint. Authors of passages are often not straightforward in their writing, and they may use many different literary devices to spruce up their writing.
As such, PSLE English students need to know how to improve their comprehension reading skills. The 5 PSLE Reading Comprehension tips below are carefully curated by WR!TERS@WORK to help every student attain mastery of the English language in no time!
The first thing students should do is to approach the passage and questions to annotate the important points and find out what the questions are asking for. Students can identify the keywords in the question and find the corresponding answers in the passage after reading it through once. That way, the student can focus on answering the questions as they know what to look for.
Students should pay attention to the: (1) characters, (2) action, and (3) events. (1) Identifying the different characters in a story will help students trace their interactions with one another and how their feelings change as the story develops. (2) Keeping track of the action in the story will help the student track the development of the plot. (3) Lastly, the student needs to know the events of a story to comment critically on the climax of the story. In short, feel free to annotate the passage while you are reading. Pen down your thoughts about the passage by interacting with the text.
When writing a passage, the author will “show” and not “tell” the reader that something is happening. As such, the author will state that the character has a particular facial expression, tone of voice, or body language. Students who pick up on this can tell how the character is feeling, which may be crucial to understanding how to answer some comprehension questions later. By knowing how the character feels, students can also critically comment on the events of the passage and how it makes the reader feel upon reading it.
In line with the spirit of “show and not tell”, the author will use many literary devices to convey their meaning, such as similes, metaphors, imagery, and more complex devices such as juxtaposition and irony. To understand these literary devices, students will need to know the context in which a statement is made. Students should read widely and read texts with examples of these literary devices to get a sense of how they are used in passages. These metaphors and other such literary devices often come out as comprehension questions – the question will ask the meaning of a phrase containing a metaphor or a simile.
It is important for students to know how the passage ends, so that they can critically comment on it if the question asks for it. The climax of the story is usually the resolution of the conflict (whether good or bad) that takes place throughout the passage. By identifying how the conflict is resolved and how tension is dissipated, the student can critically comment on the ending. The student should think about whether the ending of the passage is as the student expected, or whether there was a sudden turn of events which changed things.
To know the climax of the story, the student must first trace the points of tension in the story. Where does the tension first develop? How is the tension heightened? How does the tension eventually get resolved? The climax of the story will usually follow the aforementioned series of questions. Sometimes, there may be a twist at the end of the story, which the student should pick up on. How does the twist at the end make the student feel? Knowing what emotions are evoked when reading the passage will help the student think critically about it.
Lastly, a relevant skill for PSLE English Reading Comprehension is to “read between the lines”. Reading between the lines involves understanding the context of a passage. At times, comprehension questions will choose a word from the passage and ask the student what the word means. The word chosen will not always be straightforward and may be a metaphor or a simile for something the author is trying to convey.
To understand the context of the word, the student must read the sentence before and the sentence after the word to find out what the writer is talking about. A helpful tip for students who do not know the meaning of the word the question is asking them for is to find a suitable replacement which is an easier synonym. By replacing the word in question with a word the student knows, they will be more likely to figure out its meaning easily.
Although PSLE Reading Comprehension may be a struggle at first, students need to get adequate practice and be widely read to cope with the demands of interpreting a text and writing answers in a concise manner. The above 5 steps are merely scratching the surface of reading comprehension skills. At WRITERS@WORK, we pride ourselves on helping each child develop the soft skills necessary to become excellent at reading comprehension. With time and effort, we believe that every student will be capable of attaining their desired grades for PSLE English Reading Comprehension!
Making the transition to secondary school after PSLE can be intimidating for some students due to the introduction of new subjects and a completely unfamiliar environment. However, one constant remains: the importance of English Language.
At the secondary school level, English Language is considered the primary language for score calculation. It is a compulsory subject that directly influences students’ prospects of advancing to upper secondary. In fact, advancing from PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) comprehension to the Secondary English Paper 2 requires a shift in approach and skillset because students will be required to tackle 4 different comprehension passages at Secondary levels.
Therefore, time management is crucial in Secondary English Paper 2. Practice completing passages and answering questions within the allotted time frame. Pace yourself and allocate enough time for reading, understanding the passage, and answering each question thoroughly.
Engaging in English tuition and writing courses can greatly assist primary school students in smoothly transitioning to secondary education. These programs reinforce their language skills and establish a solid foundation for academic achievement. For more exam tips, parents and students can explore our website and watch our YouTube videos.
If you are interested in our primary English tuition and secondary English tuition in Singapore, WR!TERS@WORK has expanded to 8 convenient locations. To find the nearest location that suits your needs, please explore our options. If you have any inquiries regarding our range of programs or class schedules, please feel free to contact WR!TERS@WORK.
1. How can I improve my English comprehension for PSLE?
Firstly, good vocabulary is needed by reading widely. Next, look for clues in the context by reading the surrounding sentences. The main idea of the passage should be read, and the reader should get the gist of the entire passage. Lastly, students should read the comprehension questions to see what they are being asked to answer.
2. What are some types of comprehension questions?
There are several types of comprehension questions for PSLE English: factual, inference, sequencing, vocabulary in context, and applied vocabulary.
3. What are common mistakes in PSLE English Reading Comprehension?
Students could not read the question properly, misunderstanding the answers they need to give. Furthermore, students may not get the gist of the comprehension passage and may be at a loss to what the passage means.
4. What activities help with reading comprehension?
Reading widely helps students to answer reading comprehension. Furthermore, asking questions and answering questions will help students learn vocabulary to understand the context of the passage.
5. What are the 5W’s in reading comprehension?
The 5W’s in reading comprehension are: Who, What, When, Why, and Where, and also How.
6. What are the 4C’s for reading comprehension?
The 4C’s are the 4 perspectives of connections, challenges, concepts, and changes.
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