Random thoughts, reflections and dreams

Surviving the PSLE- (Part 3B) The English Exam

English Paper 2 is the paper in the English exam which has the biggest weightage at 47.5%. Therefore if one does badly in this particular paper there is a high chance that the overall grade for English would go down by one to two levels. IE : Dropping from an A to a C.

What I have observed from my students weaknesses that majority of them are weak in these sections – Vocabulary , Editing , Synthesis and Transformation, Comprehension Cloze and Comprehension Open Ended. These are the sections which most find hard to score.

Reasons for these Weakness

  1. Not reading wide enough.( Exposure to different genres)
  2. Not enough practice doing specimen papers/ assessment books.
  3. Unwillingness to use proper English in daily speech
  4. Using too much broken English/ Singlish
  5. Poor in Spelling and or Phonics

Are there ways to improve one’s grade?

The short answer is “Yes”. There are certain “clues” which a student can be taught to pick up while doing the various components. Here are some tips which I give my students on how they can improve their grades.

1.Highlight words which you do not understand and look up the meaning in the dictionary.

2. Read the questions first before the main text for the Visual Text Comprehension and Comprehension Open Ended components. This will give the student a clearer idea on which part to pay a closer attention to while reading through the passage.

3. Look for contextual clues to what should be filled in the blank for cloze passages by reading the surrounding words or sentances. This will give you a rough idea of what may be needed.

4. If possible read the questions/ text out aloud during practice as it will help you internalize the questions and understand them better. This works well for auditory learners.

5. Play with Colors. I recommend using different color highlighters to mark out the answers within the Comprehension Text passage within the Comprehension Open ended.

6. Check through your work thoroughly. For the Vocabulary Cloze passage where the student is expected to fill in the blank with the Alphabet relating to the answer I get students to write the actual answers below the line. This will assist them in checking if their answer chosen is suitable for the blank when they re-read what they have done without needing to match up the Alphabet with the answer.

It all boils down to consistent practice and diligence to be able to excel in one’s academic achievement. As they say one needs to put in the effort to see the fruits of ones labour.

I will not be touching on PSLE Maths or Chinese as I do not personally teach those two subjects. In subsequent posts I’ll be addressing the following concerns
– Electronic gadget usage (amoung tweens/ teenagers)
– Emotional guidance for a teenager.

Posts in the series

Introduction Post
-Surviving the PSLE (Part 1) – Streaming
Surviving the PSLE (Part 2) – The Science Exam
Surviving the PSLE (Part 3A) – The English Exam
-Surviving the PSLE (Part 3B) The English Exam
Surviving the PSLE (Part 4)- The Mobile Phone
Surviving the PSLE (Part 5) -Emotional Guidance for Tweens

Mid Year Reflections 2018

Do your best and GOD will do the rest


The exams are over and the kids are now having their month long holidays. It had been madness for me personally as I had a mammoth assignment to completed . It has been finally  submitted and I cleared that module. Yeah!! I have another 2 elective modules left and can’t wait to complete the course so that I can start on the new one that I have scheduled.

All the kids  have their results back and  there is certainly room for improvement and many components to work on as highlighted by the various teachers during the PTM. This year as usual it is me going for the sessions alone. It doesn’t bug me that much now that I’ve stop putting expectations on a  non-existent father of the kids. It was his choice to not participate in the upbringing of the kids and therefore we have cease pinning any hope on one who will only guarantee you a heartache and broken promise. It is an utter waste of effort to associate with deadwood who will only inflict back all the various forms of domestic abuse – financial, emotional and mental on the kids.  No doubt my parenting journey would be easier if there was a willing and participate partner but there has been no regrets for me moving on from a destructive person to save myself and the kids.

For the past six months it has been extremely quiet here on the blog as compared to how it was last year. With Doggie boy in Primary six this year I have to put in more effort in monitoring his work and coaching him. I’ve only have 3 months left to prepare him for the PSLE and it will be full steam ahead now that the June holidays are here. I really hope to be able to improve his competency in all 4 subjects so that he be able to get better grades. Will work extremely close with him in his revision.

Tiger girl is more independent this year being in Primary two. She is able to travel independently  by public transport and settle her own meals. She has been doing excellent work in school and getting along well with her peers.

Monkey boy has also matured now that he is in Secondary 2. He is more able to schedule his own time to focus on his studies and has managed to pull up his grades for most subjects. However he has yet to perform up to his true potential and I really feel that he can still be stretched further. Being a teenager he has been going through both physical and emotional changes which has let him to be quite rebellious.

The truth!!

The truth!!

What occurred during the past six months only reconfirmed my believe in the above proclamation.  It is not easy to be a parent and a GOOD one to boost. There is the need for a lot of dedication and self- discipline to put the child’s needs above your own personal pleasure and selfish wants.  No doubt it is important to exercise  self care but if it is at the determent of your child one better start to reflect of their said actions.

It is a real pity that more and more people are unwilling to commit fully to the upbringing of a child. As a result the poor child suffers from bad/ absent parenting as the ” so called parent” is too busy chasing after the latest fads, brands,  focusing on satisfying their needs for vanity, material positions or lust. Indulging in sexual immorality and various other unwanted social ills and addictions just for some instant satisfaction which only will cause massive tears within the fabrics of the parent-child relationship.

As a result of their  continual insanity and disillusion thinking  they rip apart the trust that the child/children used to have for them and remove any shred of possibility of having a normal parent/ grandparent-child relationship. I find this extremely very unfair to the child who SHOULD be given a proper relationship with the whole family.

My personal opinion  is if one is so unwilling to be a proper parent/ grandparent he should be totally removed from the child’s life as not to give the innocent bad example and tramatize the kids further with his deliberate choice not to carry out his parental duties. The most appropriate action he should do would be to provide financially for the kids especially if he is more than capable to.  Unfortunately such abusers do not even want the kids to live a decent life by providing adequate monthly maintenance so that the children can enjoy their childhood.

Opting to be out of the picture these utterly wicked individuals  and their flying monkeys have no right to claim any support from the kids once they enter their twilight years and become frail and helpless. There will be no opportunity for any guilt tripping and gas-lighting to occur with my kids as they have already seen through their true colors and will not be hoodwinked anymore by the vampire  and witch clans.  No doubt I would like them to have proper/ real relationships and also a “complete” family (as based on society’s standards) it is not something which is a must for now.

My Definition of a “complete” family is one where all individuals who choose to be part of the family love and trust each other  and will do their best to keep each other grounded. There is unity  with GOD as our central pillar of strength. Having spending more time doing various bible studies this year my understanding of the WORD has certainly deepened and it has been with his grace that we were able to tie through all the turbulence which we had this 2018.

Challenges have been a plenty however I take it all in my stride as I march forward putting my best foot first. With GOD as my protector and guide I am sure I’ll be able to survive all obstacles that I will/may face.