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Tips on PSLE Chinese Reading Comprehension

It is the time of the year when both the P6 students and their parents are stressed out. Yes, PSLE is here! The Chinese Reading Comprehension, unlike MCQ, has no choices. Thus, some students find it difficult to score high marks.

For any reading comprehension, either English language or Chinese language, do the following in sequence:

1. Read the whole passage

Please do not skip this step. Many students want to save time by reading the questions first. Reading the whole passage quickly helps you to get a general idea of what the passage is about. Some answers are from different parts of the passage, thus reading the whole passage first helps you to answer better.

2. Read the questions one-by-one

When you are reading the questions, focus on the keywords:什么 (What),为什么 (Why),怎样 (How), etc.

3. Read the part of the passage that is related to the question

From the keywords in the question, you know (roughly) where the answer is. Try not to “copy and paste” the whole part, especially if the answer is from a conversation.

4. Answer the question and check the answer

Check the marks allocated for the question; if the mark is 4, you know you should write longer than the question with 2 marks.

Note: Some students lose marks by not writing the correct Chinese characters. It is not because the teacher is strict, but because a single stroke makes a different character. A wrong character means a wrong answer, please be extra careful.

Different types of questions

(a) 找出表达下列意思的词语

Some answers are easy to find, for example 不重视 = 忽视. When you see “视” in the passage, you will pay attention to the character and check if 忽视 can replace 不重视.

Note: Not all answers are of two characters only. Some answers may be of one character or four characters as in idioms (成语).

(b) 从哪里可以看出?

For this type of question, read the passage carefully. As mentioned, the answer may be from different parts of the passage. This is a “copy and paste” question, as long as you understand the question, you can get the answer directly from the passage.

(c) Comparison questions

This type of question asks you to compare two things. Frequently, the question asks for 之前 (before) and 之后 (after), but the question can also ask you to compare two things.

(d) 你认为。。。?

This question asks for your opinion. More often than not, it is asking whether you agree or disagree regarding the action taken by someone in the passage, and why do you agree or disagree? Though it is about your opinion, sometimes you can still find hints from the passage. Furthermore, the question relates to moral qualities, such as honesty (诚实), being helpful (乐于助人), etc. Thus, reading moral stories will help you in using the correct descriptive words.

Above is the summary from my personal teaching experience. Students are advised to be prepared for other types of questions in case the format is changed in future. All the best to all the P6 students!


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