How to score in PSLE English Composition Paper 1?

The Art of Composition Writing in MOE SEAB PSLE Primary English Syllabus Paper 1

The MOE SEAB PSLE Primary English Syllabus holds a key focus on the art of composition writing, aiming to prepare students to confidently express their thoughts, ideas, and experiences in written form. This critical aspect of the syllabus is not only essential for achieving academic success but is also a fundamental life skill that helps students articulate their perspectives and navigate the world around them.

  • What is continuous writing in the context of the MOE SEAB PSLE Primary English Syllabus?
    • Continuous writing is the component of English Paper 1 where students are required to write a composition of at least 150 words on a given topic in continuous prose.
  • How is continuous writing different from situational writing in the MOE syllabus?
    • While situational writing requires students to write a functional piece like a letter or report for a specific situation, continuous writing leans towards creative and interpretative expression, often in the form of a narrative or exposition.
  • Why is continuous writing important in the MOE syllabus?
    • Continuous writing is crucial as it helps students express their thoughts, ideas, and experiences in written form. It contributes to academic success, enhances language proficiency, develops creativity, and fosters critical thinking.
  • What types of topics can be expected in the continuous writing section?
    • Students are typically given three pictures related to a topic, each offering a different angle of interpretation. They can choose to write based on one or more pictures or even derive their unique interpretation of the topic.
  • How can students improve their continuous writing skills?
    • Students can enhance their continuous writing skills by regularly practicing writing, reading widely to expand vocabulary and understanding of different writing styles, learning about the structure of different text types, and developing creativity in expressing ideas.
  • How is creativity involved in continuous writing?
    • Creativity plays a key role in continuous writing, as students are encouraged to think outside the box and present unique interpretations of given topics. Creative thinking also aids in making compositions more vivid and impactful.
  • What is the real-world relevance of continuous writing skills?
    • The ability to express oneself effectively in writing is crucial in many real-world situations, including writing personal letters, emails, reports, and presentations. The skills developed also promote cultural understanding and empathy.
  • What kind of language is expected in continuous writing?
    • The MOE syllabus emphasizes correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation, alongside the use of a variety of vocabulary appropriately and with clarity and precision.
  • What is the marking scheme for continuous writing?
    • The continuous writing component carries a weightage of 40 marks, assessing students on their ability to suit purpose, audience and context, use appropriate register and tone, generate and organize ideas coherently, and use correct language mechanics.
  • What resources are available for students to practice continuous writing?
    • Practice can come from textbooks, supplementary books, and school assignments. Online resources and tuition centers also provide additional materials for practice.
  • How can parents support their child in improving continuous writing skills?
    • Parents can support by encouraging regular reading and writing practice, discussing different topics to stimulate thinking, and providing constructive feedback on their child’s writing.
  • How can a student effectively manage time during the continuous writing section?
    • Time management is crucial. Students should allocate time for brainstorming, writing, and revising. It’s also important to ensure that the composition does not exceed the word limit significantly to avoid spending excessive time.
  • How important is planning before writing the composition?
    • Planning before writing is essential as it helps students organise their ideas, create a logical flow in their writing, and ensure that they cover all aspects of the topic.
  • What should be the focus while revising the composition?
    • While revising, students should check for grammatical and spelling errors, ensure ideas are logically presented, and the language used is appropriate and engaging.
  • How can students ensure their writing is engaging and impactful?
    • To make writing engaging, students can use descriptive language, create interesting characters or scenarios, present unique viewpoints, and use various literary devices.
  • What are some common mistakes to avoid in continuous writing?
    • Common mistakes include going off-topic, poor grammar and spelling, lack of coherence and organization in ideas, and inappropriate or overly complex language use.
  • How does continuous writing in PSLE prepare students for secondary school?
    • The skills honed in continuous writing, such as creative thinking, effective expression of ideas, and language proficiency, prepare students for more complex writing tasks in secondary school.
  • Can students use dialogue in their continuous writing composition?
    • Yes, students can use dialogue in their composition to make the narrative more engaging and realistic, but it should be used appropriately and not excessively.
  • Should students focus on writing more or writing quality content?
    • While the composition should meet the word count requirement, quality takes precedence over quantity. It’s more important to write a well-structured, coherent, and engaging piece than to write a longer piece with poor quality.
  • How does continuous writing contribute to overall English grade in PSLE?
    • Continuous writing contributes significantly to the overall English grade as it carries a weightage of 40 marks in English Paper 1, which constitutes a substantial portion of the total English grade.
  • What is the most challenging part of continuous writing and how to overcome it?
    • The most challenging part can vary among students. For some, it may be generating ideas, while for others, it may be language proficiency or time management. Regular practice, learning from feedback, and developing effective strategies can help overcome these challenges.
  • What are some ways to help my child excel in continuous writing?
    • Encourage your child to read a variety of texts to improve their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Introduce them to model compositions to expose them to different writing styles and structures.
  • How important is grammar and sentence structure in continuous writing?
    • Grammar and sentence structure are critical in continuous writing. Proper usage ensures clarity of message and contributes significantly to the overall quality of the composition.
  • Can my child memorize model compositions to perform better in the exam?
    • Memorizing compositions is not advised as it stifles creativity and originality. Moreover, the exam requires students to write about a given topic, which may not match the memorized composition.
  • How can my child ensure their composition is on point?
    • Staying on point is key in continuous writing. Encourage your child to understand the given topic thoroughly and plan their composition around it to avoid straying off-topic.
  • What is the role of punctuation in continuous writing?
    • Correct punctuation is essential as it adds clarity to the text. Using punctuation marks correctly can also contribute to the overall score of the composition.
  • What are some common mistakes students make in continuous writing?
    • Some common mistakes include going off-topic, poor grammar and punctuation, lack of coherence, and inappropriate language use. These can be avoided through practice and careful proofreading.
  • How can I help my child prepare for the continuous writing section of the exam?
    • Regular practice, feedback, and revision are essential. Use resources like test papers and composition guides, and consider enrolling your child in additional tutoring if necessary.
  • Are there any tools or techniques that can help my child in continuous writing?
    • Mind maps and sketches can be useful for planning compositions. Techniques like using acronyms to remember steps can also be helpful.
  • How should my child begin their composition?
    • An engaging and relevant introduction is important. It sets the tone for the rest of the composition and catches the examiner’s attention.
  • What’s the importance of a good conclusion in continuous writing?
    • A good conclusion wraps up the composition effectively and leaves a lasting impression on the reader. It should resonate with the content of the composition and provide a satisfactory ending.
  • How can my child improve their story flow in continuous writing?
    • Practice is key to improving story flow. Reading extensively can also help students understand how different texts are structured for effective flow.
  • Can my child include a moral or life lesson in their composition?
    • Including a moral or life lesson can add depth to the composition and make it more engaging. However, it should be relevant to the story and not forced.
  • What resources can I use to help my child prepare for the continuous writing exam?
    • There are many resources available online and in bookstores. These include model compositions, exam papers, online courses, and books from established authors.
  • How can AI-driven solutions assist my child in preparing for the continuous writing exam?
    • AI-driven solutions can provide personalized learning experiences, identify areas of weakness, and offer targeted practice and feedback to improve performance.
  • Are there any tips specific to the PSLE English Composition exam?
    • Understanding the specific requirements of the PSLE English Composition exam is crucial. This includes understanding the marking scheme, time allocation, and word count requirements.
  • How can I prevent my child from making composition errors before the PSLE?
    • Regular practice, feedback, and revision are key to minimizing errors. Encourage your child to proofread their work for grammar, punctuation, spelling errors, and to ensure their composition stays on-topic.
  • What are some secret tips for writing a high-scoring English composition?
    • There are no secret tips, but some strategies include planning before writing, using a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures, and ensuring the story has a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  • What role does a moral or life lesson play in a composition?
    • A moral or life lesson can add depth to the composition and make it more engaging. However, it should be relevant to the story and not forced.
  • How important is it to create a story flow in continuous writing?
    • Creating a story flow is crucial as it ensures the composition is coherent and engaging. It involves logically linking ideas and events, and using appropriate transitions.
  • What mistakes should be avoided in PSLE English Composition?
    • Common mistakes to avoid include going off-topic, poor grammar and punctuation, lack of coherence, inappropriate language use, and failing to meet the word count requirement.
  • How can additional tutoring support my child in PSLE English Composition?
    • Additional tutoring can provide personalized guidance, feedback, and practice, helping students hone their writing skills and address their specific challenges.
  • What role do exam techniques play in PSLE English Composition?
    • Exam techniques, such as time management, planning before writing, and proofreading, can greatly enhance the quality of the composition and the overall exam performance.
  • What are some effective answering techniques in continuous writing?
    • Effective techniques include understanding the question thoroughly, planning the composition, using a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures, and ensuring coherence and cohesion in writing.
  • What is the best way to revise for PSLE English Composition?
    • Regular practice, reviewing model compositions, feedback from teachers or tutors, and understanding the marking scheme are all effective ways to revise for PSLE English Composition.
  • How can parents help their children in PSLE English Composition?
    • Parents can provide resources, create a conducive learning environment, encourage regular practice, offer constructive feedback, and support their children emotionally in their PSLE preparation journey.

The Continuous Writing section of Paper 1 in the PSLE English Examinations requires students to write a composition based on a visual or situational stimulus. Here’s the format:

  1. Understanding the Question: The question will provide a visual or situational prompt. The visual stimulus is typically a series of pictures depicting a scenario or sequence of events. The situational stimulus presents a certain situation or topic for students to write about. Students must understand the scenario or situation and use it as the basis for their composition.
  2. Planning the Composition: Before beginning to write, students should plan their composition. This involves brainstorming ideas, identifying key points to include, and outlining a structure for the composition. The structure should have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  3. Introduction: The introduction sets the context for the story and introduces the main characters and setting. It should be engaging to draw in the reader.
  4. Body: The body of the composition develops the story. This typically involves one or more events or situations, with descriptions, actions, dialogues, and reflections. The body should be organized in a logical manner, with paragraphs to separate different points or events.
  5. Conclusion: The conclusion wraps up the story and provides a satisfying ending. It may include a resolution to the events or situations, a summary of the main points, or a reflection from the characters.
  6. Language and Style: The composition should be written in clear, grammatically correct English. It should use appropriate vocabulary and sentence structures. A variety of descriptive and expressive language can be used to make the composition more engaging and effective.
  7. Review and Edit: After writing the composition, students should review and edit their work. This involves checking for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, ensuring the composition is coherent and cohesive, and that it stays on-topic.

In terms of length, students are usually required to write about 150 to 200 words, but this can vary depending on the specific guidelines provided in the exam.

The Continuous Writing section of the PSLE English Examinations Paper 1 contributes 40 marks to the total English score. This underscores the importance of students investing adequate time and effort to prepare and excel in this section.

The Importance of Continuous Writing in the MOE Syllabus

Continuous writing forms a significant component of the English Paper 1 in the MOE syllabus, carrying a hefty weightage of 40 marks. It serves as an essential medium through which students can exhibit their proficiency in English language skills – writing coherently and cogently, organising and expressing ideas, using appropriate language, and demonstrating correct grammar and spelling. In addition to these academic skills, continuous writing helps develop creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence, as students learn to write about various topics from different angles of interpretation.

Understanding Continuous Writing

Continuous writing in the MOE syllabus refers to the task of writing a composition of at least 150 words in continuous prose on a given topic. Unlike situational writing, which requires a functional piece (e.g., a letter or report), continuous writing leans towards a more creative and interpretative side of written expression.

Students are usually presented with three pictures related to a topic, each offering a different angle of interpretation. They can choose to write based on one or more of the pictures or even derive their unique interpretation of the topic. This open-ended format encourages students to think outside the box and explore their creative and intellectual boundaries.

Developing Skills for Continuous Writing

The process of mastering continuous writing under the MOE syllabus can be seen as a journey that involves various stages of learning and practice. It includes honing language skills, enhancing vocabulary, understanding the structure of different types of compositions, and developing the ability to generate and organise ideas.

A significant part of this journey involves understanding the use of different text types, such as narratives, recounts, and expositions. Familiarising with these text types allows students to appropriately structure their writing based on the chosen topic. For example, narratives involve storytelling with a clear introduction, development, climax, and resolution, while expositions involve presenting an argument or viewpoint in a logical manner.

Role of Creativity in Continuous Writing

Creativity plays a pivotal role in continuous writing. The MOE syllabus emphasises the importance of originality and imaginative thinking in writing tasks. Creative thinking enables students to develop unique interpretations of given topics and present their ideas in interesting and engaging ways. It also aids in making their compositions more vivid and impactful through the use of descriptive language, metaphors, similes, and other literary devices.

Continuous Writing and Real-world Relevance

The skills developed through continuous writing under the MOE syllabus extend beyond the classroom. The ability to express oneself effectively in writing is crucial in many real-world situations, from writing personal letters and emails to preparing reports and presentations in the workplace.

By encouraging students to explore diverse topics and perspectives, continuous writing tasks also enhance cultural understanding and empathy, promoting open-mindedness and respect for diversity.


Continuous writing is an integral part of the MOE SEAB PSLE Primary English Syllabus, playing a significant role in equipping students with essential language skills and nurturing their creativity and critical thinking. Through a blend of structured learning and creative exploration, students learn to master the art of writing and develop a valuable skill that will benefit them throughout their academic journey and beyond.

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