The Importance of Good Penmanship
If you’ve ever handed in a test paper or essay to your teacher only to be met with a frown and some comments about how your handwriting looks like chicken scratch, you may be suffering from bad penmanship. Your handwriting likely comprises messy scribbles and unclear letters (“is that an “n” or a “h”?”) which are the bane of every examiner’s existence.
As a student, you may have been nagged to death about the importance of good handwriting and you may be tempted to ignore this entire article. However, there are very good reasons for why you need good handwriting, and we will explore exactly why.
Everyone has a different style of handwriting, and it is difficult to say that one style of handwriting is better than another. However, what constitutes “good” handwriting can be deduced from the function of writing in the first place – we write to communicate our ideas to someone else. Good handwriting will facilitate the effective communication of your ideas to the marker, and bad handwriting will prevent your ideas from being read clearly.
Generally, messy handwriting with unclear letters (letters which look like another letter) will not make things easier for you or the marker to read. As such, this sort of handwriting can be termed “bad” handwriting as it hinders you from reading your work. Good handwriting will allow the reader to be very clear as to what they are reading at the present moment, without the need to decipher the handwriting like they are solving a mystery case.
1. To Simplify Double Checking and Reading Your Essay Again
It is highly important that students learn how to check their work again before submitting the final copy in their exams. Students need to be able to re-read their essays before handing them in, and bad handwriting will make this significantly more difficult. Many students are already hesitant about double checking because they are tempted to submit their first draft, and messy handwriting will amplify this laziness even further. By having neat handwriting, students will not mind re-reading their work before they submit it as their final answer.
2. To Make the Examiner More Likely to Think Favourably About Your Work
Humans are not as unbiased as they may like to think they are. We often rely on first impressions to form judgements and pack the world into neat little boxes because it is how we best deal with chaos. Examiners are also humans are susceptible to biases, and they may form an impression of your essay based on your handwriting. Examiners may think that your essay is not as good if you have messy handwriting, and they are likely to consider your work in a more favourable light if your handwriting is neat and tidy.
3. To Allow the Examiner to Read Your Work and Mark It Easily
Having good handwriting will allow the examiner to read your work and mark it easily. Examiners go through hundreds of exam scripts, and they need to assess each one with the same criteria to ensure that the marking is fair. As such, students need to make their job easier by ensuring that their handwriting is as neat as possible.
Examiners who see neat handwriting will probably feel relieved that they do not need to engage in a deciphering exercise which will take more time, and they can focus on your content and assess it accordingly. Having messy handwriting can be distracting to the examiner, taking their attention away from what matters – the content of your work.
1. Practice Your Handwriting by Tracing Letters
Students who wish to have good handwriting need to go back to the basics. Although some students may find it humiliating to engage in the seemingly childish exercise of practicing writing and tracing letters, this is necessary to write neatly. Besides, students will be more likely to pick up tracing neatly faster as they are already of age! Students should practice writing individual letters and words, and eventually sentences and whole essays.
2. Write Slowly and Carefully
One of the reasons why students may have difficulties writing neatly is because they write way too fast, failing to pay attention to the individual words and letters. Students should write slowly and carefully to have neat handwriting. Although students may think they are disadvantaged because they have to write slowly, an added benefit is that the student can check for spelling and grammar errors while they write slowly as they will not be racing to complete the essay. Doing something slowly doesn’t mean the student loses out – rather, it means that the student has an opportunity to think through what they wish to write.
3. Pay Attention to Details
Another thing students need to do to have good handwriting is to pay attention to details. If the student intends to write a “h”, they must make sure the letter looks like a “h” and not an “n”. Students need to take responsibility and spot letters which look confusing. If the student is confused themselves about what a particular letter looks like, it is likely that others will be confused reading the word as well. It is important for students to write clearly, dotting their “i’s” and crossing their “t’s”.
At WR!TERS@WORK, we are committed to providing the smoothest learning experience for your primary or secondary school child sitting for their English exam. With our carefully curated methods of teaching your child how to write, your child will be able to craft well-written essays in any genre with good grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure.
English tuition and writing courses are instrumental for students not only in school, but to prepare them for their future undertakings as good writing is a universal necessity. Enjoy a smoother learning process with WR!TERS@WORK as we reinforce your child’s language skills and provide them with a strong foundation for academic success. For more exam tips, parents and students can explore our website and watch our YouTube videos.
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1. Is It Possible to Fail PSLE?
It is not possible to fail PSLE. The marks obtained in PSLE are merely used as a placement metric to determine which secondary school your child will enter.
2. How Long Should You Study for PSLE?
Parents should take around a year or two to prepare for PSLE as learning about subjects like English requires a long-term effort, as opposed to short cramming.
3. Is PSLE Compulsory?
PSLE is compulsory for everyone to enter secondary school in Singapore.
4. How To Study for PSLE?
Parents should make a list of everything a child should study for all their PSLE subjects. Engaging a tuition teacher or practicing with workbooks and past year papers may help students tackle the exam format of PSLE and feel more confident taking the exam.
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