How to Handle Weighted Assessments (WA) in Schools
To avoid overemphasis on academic results, the Singaporean Ministry of Education (MOE) has introduced Weighted Assessments (WA) in a bid to replace the Mid-Year Examinations (MYEs) in Primary 3 and 5, as well as Secondary 1 and 3. The WAs aimed to promote allowing students with adequate time and space to adjust and adapt to a more demanding academic curriculum.
For example, Primary 3 students are introduced to Science for the first time, and Secondary 1 is when a student makes the jump from four subjects to eight or nine subjects. With the introduction of Was, students will hopefully be able to manage their transition more confidently and they will not feel like they need to rush their work to be ready for their exams while they are transitioning.
Despite the abolishment of the MYEs, the WA still play a role in a student’s final grade, as they manifest themselves in many different forms. For the English subject, Weighted Assessments could include a take-home composition or essay, projects, or even oral presentations. This article will provide some tips and tricks to help students score well for their Weighted Assessments.
Knowing what to expect will help the student prepare for Weighted Assessments. As Weighted Assessments take many forms, including but not limited to: speeches, brochures, posters, news articles, blogposts, video or oral presentations, book reviews, or take-home assignments. It is therefore a good idea to ask your peers and teachers from W@W for past examples and ideas. Each type of assignment has different requirements to excel, and finding out the necessary information to help you do the Weighted Assessments is therefore a necessary first step.
One of the advantages of a Weighted Assessment is that the student has more time to think about and plan their content. Time management is an essential skill for any student, and students should not leave their work until the last minute, scrambling to complete it ahead of the looming deadline. When receiving the instructions for their Weighted Assessment, students should allocate enough time in their schedule and be consistent in doing the work bit by bit.
After the assignment is completed, students should edit and proofread their work before submitting it. Proofreading is important not only to ensure that there are no grammatical errors or syntax errors, but also to ensure that the formatting is up to par, especially for image-oriented assignments such as advertisements, video presentations, and newspaper articles.
The body of content for the Weighted Assessment is highly important, as good content will ensure that the student will attain all the necessary marks to score well. Regardless of the type of assignment, scaffolding your content and bolstering it with the necessary elaboration and explanation will ensure that the teacher marking your work will be impressed with it.
Firstly, a good step to bolstering your content is to do research. The student can find some “model answers” whether online, through seniors, or notes from school or W@W. There will definitely be examples the student can draw inspiration from. When reading through a piece of content, the student should pay attention to details and constantly ask themselves what it is that gives the work an impressive quality, whether it is the author’s writing style or their delivery.
Next, the student should try to incorporate (not copy outright) some elements they like from the works they have read and put them into their own work. The student should retain some element of originality, as copying everything is plagiarism and will have severe academic consequences for the student. As such, the student should work on their own draft after deriving inspiration from these other sources. After making this draft, students should check their draft to see whether they have met the formatting requirements and instructions for the assignment.
Here at W@W, our teachers are committed to helping their students in any way they can. Every teacher at W@W will have the relevant experience and expertise to help their students with their Weighted Assessments. However, students should be considerate and come to their teacher for help well in advance and with some groundwork already started. Coming to the teacher with the expectation that they will drop their other commitments to help the student in short notice is rather inconsiderate and the teacher may not want or be able to help you.
It is important to know that teachers are human as well, and they need time and space to read and edit your work, pointing out ways you can improve. Teachers are not here to spoon-feed a student, but to give them constructive feedback so that they can eventually deliver good work without the teacher’s help in future. After all, teachers are only there to help the student during school, after which they are on their own and must learn how to survive and thrive themselves.
There should be more emphasis on proofreading and double checking the work before the final deliverable is submitted. Spelling, grammatical, and sentence structure errors should be caught very early on when doing the first check. The final checks should ensure that the student presents their work neatly and that all elements of the work (such as all the pages) are included in the final version.
At W@W, our aim is to empower our students with all the necessary skills and techniques to excel in their work, along with the confidence to execute their work to the best of their ability. By trying to solve your own problems with additional guidance from your teachers, it will show everyone (including the marker of your work) that you have put effort to improve your critical thinking skills.
Do not be afraid to rewrite and edit your work if you need to, as practice makes perfect, and Rome was not built in a day. Your Weighted Assessments do not have to be a burden and a chore to you, as they can provide a valuable opportunity to grow as a student and improve your skills for the future.
At WR!TERS@WORK, we are committed to providing the smoothest learning experience for your child sitting for their English exams at both primary and secondary school levels. With our carefully curated methods of teaching English for PSLE, O Levels, and A Levels, your child will be able to identify the answers to the questions and present them in a concise manner in no time.
English is a compulsory subject that has direct impact on your chances of advancing to upper secondary. Overall, English tuition and writing courses can help primary school students enjoy a smoother transition between education levels by reinforcing their language skills and providing a strong foundation for academic success.
Engaging in English tuition and writing courses can greatly assist students in smoothly transitioning between education levels. 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 do you structure an English essay?
Firstly, you need a good hook as an introductory paragraph. Next, the body of content follows, which will answer the essay question provided. Lastly, a strong conclusion which “comes down on one side” is needed.
It depends on the essay. For narrative writing, the student can start in media res. For argumentative essays or discursive essays, a thesis statement is needed which outlines the central tenet of your argument.
You should not ramble with run-on sentences in an essay. Furthermore, students should always answer the essay question and not address points which are unrelated. Good grammar and vocabulary, along with robust sentence structure, is a must.
A bad essay will not deal with the subject matter it is being asked for. Moreover, a bad essay will fail to drive home the central point, be it a good plot, or arguments posed on either side based on the essay topic. Moreover, a bad essay will contain many grammatical errors, spelling errors, and will have a limited range of vocabulary.
Planning the essay is the hardest part of the essay. Students need to figure out what content to put in the essay and how it is structured, as well as the examples to bolster their argument.
Firstly, not reading and answering the question is a cardinal mistake made by many students. Students should write the essay which is being asked of them instead of writing the essay they want to write, whether it is based on another model essay they have encountered in the past or a question the student thinks is easier to answer than the real essay question.
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