11 May 2024

PSLE: How Getting an AL1 for Oral Exams is Possible

1. Practise Speaking Aloud
One of the best ways to prepare for an oral examination is by practising speaking aloud on a more regular basis. You can practise in front of a mirror or record yourself speaking and listen to it. My O-Level teacher at Writers Studio, Ms Carean, shares that she started speaking aloud whenever she read historical texts, Science notes and creative writing pieces from Readers’ Digest when she was young. Not only did this help her with her confidence, it also allowed her to be corrected by older family members who heard her pronounce certain words wrongly. As a student, this will help you identify any areas where you need improvement. Adopt a progressive mindset.

You can also practise with a friend or family member, and have them give you feedback on your speaking based on the PSLE grading criteria to see areas which require improvement. When you practise, make sure to enunciate and speak clearly. Pronounce each word correctly and use the appropriate stress and intonation. Practise speaking at a moderate pace, and avoid speaking too fast or too slow. This will help ensure that you are easily understood by the examiner. With more clarity in delivery, you can score higher in the exam.

2. Read Widely
Excel in oral examinations by building wider vocabulary to power up your speaking skills. Reading widely can help you achieve this. Reading books, newspapers, and magazines will help you develop a good sense of the language and improve your speaking skills. When you read, make sure to look up any words you do not understand and learn their meanings. This will help you expand your vocabulary and express yourself better. You can also try reading aloud to practise your speaking skills as article-based oral passages are common for PSLE. As an O-Level student, I read voraciously – not only to fulfil my appetite for knowledge but over time, I realise how different I was compared to my peers. I could express myself easily and more precisely.

3. Be Confident
Confidence is key in oral examinations. Even if you make a mistake or are unsure of a word while reading the oral passage, continue reading and do not stop to repeat. Believe in yourself and trust that you have prepared sufficiently for the examination. To build your confidence, practice speaking as much as possible before the examination. Try speaking in front of a group of friends or family members, or record yourself speaking and listen to it. The more you practise, the more confident you will feel. Writers Studio’s specialised Gemini English and Chinese Oral Programme is popular and effective in achieving your goals when it comes to building confidence. We believe that even reticent students can progress in this aspect and emerge as brave presenters!

4. Listen Carefully
In an oral examination, it is important to listen carefully to the instructions given by the examiner, as well as the questions asked. Make sure you fully understand the question before answering. If you are unsure, do not be afraid to ask for clarification, albeit asking the examiner nicely and politely. Listen carefully to the examiner’s intonation and stress when giving instructions, as this can give you clues about what they are looking for in your response. Pay attention to the question and make sure you answer it directly and clearly. Avoid going off on tangents or giving irrelevant information as they may mark you down.

In conclusion, to excel in oral examinations for PSLE, practice speaking aloud, read widely, be confident, listen carefully, and speak clearly and fluently. With these tips, you can improve your speaking skills and perform well in your oral examination. Remember to ask for feedback from your teacher or friends to help you identify areas for improvement. Good luck!

Here at Writers Studio, we’ll help your child score in Primary School and ace PSLE English. We have everything you need to ace your exams. By attending oral practices and classes with a strong focus on skill-based learning with us, our students have become well-versed in tackling key oral exam questions and components. Our materials are tailored to the SEAB syllabus and will ensure that your child does well under the supervision of our teachers.


This article is contributed by Aloysius Chng from Writers Studio School of English, an English tuition centre in Singapore that helps students learn the English language and enhance their knowledge gained from school. Aloysius Chng graduated with distinctions in the PSLE and the O-Levels after studying at Writers Studio. He was enrolled in the Stellar Intergrated English Writing Programme and Stardream O-Levels.