Four simple steps to enrich your Chinese composition and ace it in PSLE Chinese

Composition makes up about 25% of your PSLE Chinese final score so its a very important component to be good at. But most pupils just read and write and blindly go about understanding it and failed to understand that in composition there are two vital points:-
1, reading is the basis of composition.
2,Vocabulary is the building blocks of composition.
If you do not understand the above then your approach to composition will likely not successful.

3 Tips for passing PSLE Chinese Compo

1, Always used ALL the 8 helping words, use the e-dictionary to find out their meaning!

2, describe the pictures as detailed as possible including the environment, the objects, the people etc.

3, Use primary 5 to 6 words and avoid repeating the same words again.

check comment for link to my vocabulary quick study guide (not free)!

Why vocabulary is king? Because with enough vocabulary you can read any passage and start to understand the authors intent aka your comprehension ability increases. And you can read all the questions correctly and figure out the meaning smoothly thereby enhances all areas of your subject Chinese Language.





Step 1

This step is the most important step as it will build a study habit that will benefit you or your child for life.

(Ok A LOT OF pupils are trying to study till secondary 4 or JC 2 or university and STOP STUDYING For good. And to their surprise after they gone to work, they will realise that Learning is never going to stop!)

So building a studying habit like reading, studying at constant time in short duration is the best way to study anything even after PSLE.

Step 2

The second step to Good compo is to have a list of good phrases for all kinds of emotions and situations. EG


形容心情 / 行为:

着急:急得像热锅上的蚂蚁 / 急得团团转,不知所措







把事情的来龙去脉一五一十地告诉(妈妈)/ 把事情的经过一五一十地告诉(妈妈)。



(一) 如果做错事情被骂,可考虑用以下的段落/句子:


* 可以把()里的人物换成是长辈或父母。

(二) 如帮了人,被夸奖。快乐的心情可考虑用以下的段落/句子:




至于好词, 那就只能熟读课文所有词语尤其小五小六的词语,不能老是开心高兴难过伤心之类的,一点都没有更厉害的词语如喜上眉梢、守株待兔、乐不思蜀等


Step 3

The vivid storytelling template

The key step in Composition Is to tell a story so interesting that your reader loved to listen to them. And this is s skill students need to learn.

(A) Every story has 4 stages: Introduction, Developing, Climax and Ending. Start with this simple 4 stage story writing process is the basic to good composition.

(B) Then at the end add a last paragraph for your feelings and thinking.

(C) Check for misspellings, make sure ZERO misspelling.

Step 4

Step 4 reading good composition and writing practices makes good composition easier to write.

Poiching school Chinese departmental blog got some interesting videos:





Now the meat below:-

How to score in Comprehension in six months?

*provided one has already passed comprehension. If not it would take one to one and a half year.

Step 1: Start by reading the textbook passages aloud a sentence at a time, then a paragraph at a time, then a passage at a time. There should not be any hesitation in reading, and the reading should be fluent and a bit loud.

Word recognition, vocabulary, sentence construction and paragraphing is the key to comprehension so one has to know all these before even understanding the passage.

Step 2: Memorise the storyline of each passage and start by memorising the paragraph then a few paragraph then the whole passage. To test memory, just write out the storyline IN THEIR OWN WORDS.

Comprehension is the understanding of passages aka composition. So a strong foundation in composition is required to improve comprehension. To write the storyline in their own words meant one’s level of understanding of the passage.

Step 3: Read a lot of grade A primary 5/6 compositions and memorise a few of the best. And try to write their own stories.

Reading Storybook and Novel help one gain insight to the way of storytelling helping one understand the hidden meaning behind each line.

Step 4: drill with past year Primary 6 school papers comprehension questions 34 to 40 daily and check with answer sheet what they missed. using this trial and error method one can understand the passage and get some idea what is required of their answers.

Now that is a lot of work so practically not many will complete it. Those who do those work daily will win.

I have a pupil who are super weak in comprehension who score like 22/40 at the beginning of the year. I done with him the 4 steps and in the prelims he got 34/40.

SO If you want to make the reading interesting, you can read the story with them first and add LOTS of dramatic effects to attract their attention.

In conclusion, the method to win comprehension is not easy, there is no short cuts or super easy way to score.

Bonus:How to improve your PSLE Chinese Composition : Avoid the number 2 problem in Composition.

Words + sentence + paragraphs = compositions

so good use of words, good sentence structure and excellence paragraphing makes a good composition. This may not be the only truth now. You have to do 6 steps to write a Good composition.

Step 1: Theme

In picture composition nowadays, you have to look at all the six pictures and form a theme about the 6 pictures,

Step 2 storyline

then link the pictures with a interesting account of the events in the pictures.

No longer you can just take the pictures and write each picture as you think, then put in the opening and ending paragraphs from your clever mind. Opening and ending is not a big gauge of your writing power anymore, you have to form an interesting storyline with good amount of details which is very descriptive and creative.

Step 3 words and idioms, figurative speech and conversations.

Use all the words given and more if possible. use the words and idioms correctly.

Use figurative speech would help make the essay interesting.

Use of conversations are encouraged.

Step 4 Paragraphing

Make sure each paragraph has 1 main storyline, avoid sub storyline, distractions and useless details. You do not need to follow the 1 picture 1 paragraph rule but keep each paragraph for one storyline.

For example

a) he and friend meet on the way home and they want to run in evening.

b) they meet in stadium and put their bag on bench.

c) they went running.

d) another user mistook his bag which is identical.

e) he found out his bag is taken and discover a similar bag.

F) ?????? he waited for a while and the other person came back with his bag. the other people apologized for his mistake.

The theme: an misunderstanding. Its not a theft, nor a missing bag.

Step 5 use all your senses and the 5W1H to write. you can write what you saw, what you heard, what you think, what you said, what you sense, what you felt and more.

Step 6 Do modify those famously known opening and ending or even better create something for yourself only. If that is not possible just do a simple opening with one day.

now for an interesting composition as example.