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Singapore PSLE Chinese Oral Exam Introduction

What is the PSLE Chinese Oral Exam?

The Singapore PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) Chinese Oral Examination makes up 25% of the PSLE Chinese Examination score (100%). There are two parts of the Oral Exam: Passage reading and Conversation.

How is the PSLE Oral Examination conducted?

Since 2017, the Singapore PSLE Mother Tongue Examinations use an E-oral exam format.

Before stepping into the examination room, students are given 10 minutes to read the passage and prepare for their conversation, which is based on a 1-minute video, at a preparation station with a laptop. During those 10 minutes, students may pause, fast-forward, or rewind the video.

After 10 minutes, students will then proceed to the examination room. They will read the passage to the examiners first and then watch the video from start to finish once again before doing the conversation portion.

1. Passage reading

Examiners give scores based on “accuracy” and “fluency”. Chinese characters used in the passage are all from Singapore Primary School textbooks.

2. Conversation

Examiners ask questions based on the video topic and the video itself, and students express their views and opinions accordingly. Examiners give scores based on the content. pronunciation, grammar, and fluency.

What questions will the examiners ask (during the conversation)?

To secure a high mark on the oral exam, students need to know what types of questions the examiners would like to ask. With this in the mind, students will be able to use their 10-min preparation time more effectively and then have better conversations with the examiners later.

Type 1: Video-related questions

Most of the time, the examiners ask questions regarding the video first. They would like to know how much of the video you understoond,  including what happened in the video and what you think about it.

For example:

Tell me about an event related to “being friendly” that you saw in the video.

Do you think the boy in the video is doing the right thing, why?

For this type of question, students could use the 5W1H(What, When, Where, Who, Why, How)technique to help them plan what they are going to say.










Type 2: Personal experience

The examiners also ask students to talk about relevant personal experiences. It’s better if the experience that the student shares is not the same as what was shown in the video. Other than sharing a story, students need to make some comments including what they learned from that experience.

For example:

Have you ever been friendly to someone?

Have you ever encountered someone being very friendly to you?

For this type of question, students can also use the 5W1H technic to help them plan what they are going to say.










Type 3: Suggestions

Sometimes, the examiners are interested in knowing how you could further expand on the topic/theme of the video by talking about society (school / family / community).

For example:

Is there anything that parents/the school can do to encourage their kids/students to show friendliness to others?

Based on previous exams, examiners ask students to give suggestions from the school’s perspective more often.












Other tips:

Many students find it difficult to provide rich content while doing their conversations. Using the “ACT” technique might help you:

Know more about the E-oral examination, look at SEAB 1 and SEAB 2. For more professional one-on-one training on Chinese language, you can contact Ipandamandarin for more information. 

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