Overcoming the Dread of English Comprehension
For many students, the term "Comprehension" in PSLE English often evokes a sense of dread. It's commonly associated with the laborious task of reading long passages and writing detailed answers. However, excelling in English Comprehension is not just for the well-read; it's about strategy and understanding how to approach the questions.
Strategies for Mastering English Comprehension
1. Careful Reading of the Passage
Reading the passage carefully is essential, yet many students overlook this basic step. Here’s a simple method to ensure thorough reading:
Skim the text initially to grasp the overall flow.
Preview the questions to understand what information is needed.
Read actively by clarifying word meanings, questioning the content, and visualizing the scenarios.
2. Effective Annotation
Don't hesitate to annotate the text as you read. Marking the text with question numbers helps you locate answers quickly and cross-check them effectively. This practice aids in pinpointing contextual clues and making necessary inferences.
3. Conciseness Over Length in Answers
Long answers don't necessarily equate to more marks in English Comprehension. Focus on the relevance and conciseness of your response. Each point typically equates to one mark, so include only the necessary information. When addressing open-ended questions, it's crucial to identify and answer exactly what is being asked. Avoid adding redundant details that do not contribute to answering the question directly.
4. Answer Review Checklist – PATS3
Always review your answers before submission. Use the PATS3 checklist:
Punctuation: Correct use of commas, full stops, and other punctuation marks.
Answer: Ensure completeness and conciseness.
Tense: Use the correct tense, matching the question's tense, and maintain consistency.
Spelling: Verify spellings, particularly when copying from the passage.
3rd Person: Write answers in the third person, transforming any "I/you/we" to "he/she/they.
5. Regular Practice
As with any skill, regular practice is key to mastery in the Comprehension Open-Ended section of the PSLE English exam. Expose yourself to a variety of question types and practice consistently to cover all potential areas.
Empowering Students for PSLE English Comprehension
While English Comprehension may initially seem daunting, applying these strategies can make it a more approachable and manageable part of the PSLE English paper. Remember, consistent practice is the pathway to improvement and confidence in comprehension skills. With dedication and the right approach, mastering English comprehension is not just a goal but an achievable reality.