6 Simple Tips to Score an A1 for O-level Chinese With
Here are some important strategies that you can take to do better in O-level Chinese and Higher Chinese.
1. Different formats for Chinese or Higher Chinese To do well for Chinese, you have to familiarise yourself with the different structures of the paper and how many marks are in each section so that you can do proper time management - allocate time more effectively for each section so that you don't overcommit on one part and leave out another important section. There are 3 papers you will need to sit for in Chinese or Higher Chinese. Source: https://www.seab.gov.sg/home/examinations/gce-o-level
[ Paper 1 ] -
Essay Writing. 30% of the total score This consists of 2 sections. Section 1 is functional writing (1 personal email, 1 formal email) where you have to choose 1 out of 2 questions. Section 2 is essay writing (narrative/expository/argumentative or situational writing) where you have to choose 1 out of 3 questions. Duration = 2 hours [ Paper 2 ] -
Structured Questions, 35% of the total score This consists of 3 sections. Section 1 is Cloze Passage of 10 MCQs Section 2 is Comprehension 1 of 10 MCQs Section 3 is Comprehension 2 of 10 OEQs Duration = 1 hour 30 mins [ Paper 3 ] -
Oral and Listening Comprehension, 35% of the total score Oral comprise of reading passage read-a-loud (10 mins) and video clip question-and-answer (5-10 mins). Listening comprehension is to listen to 4 passages and answer 10 MCQs. (30 mins)
[ Paper 1 ] -
Essay Writing. 40% of the total score This consists of 2 sections. Section 1 is functional writing (1 personal email, 1 formal email, email responding to blog, forum) where you have to choose 1 out of 2 questions. Section 2 is essay writing (narrative/expository/argumentative/speech or situational writing) where you have to choose 1 out of 3 questions. Duration = 2 hours [ Paper 2 ] -
Structured Questions, 40% of the total score This consists of 4 sections. Section 1 is Cloze Passage 5 MCQs and Editing 5 MCQs Section 2 is Comprehension 1 of 5 MCQs Section 3 is Comprehension 2 of 9 OEQs Section 4 is Summary of Comprehension 2 passage, 1 OEQ Duration = 1 hour 45 mins [ Paper 3 ] -
Oral and Listening Comprehension, 20% of the total score Oral Presentation where the student will watch a video clip (10 mins) and do a presentation (2 mins) Conversation where the student will answer 3-4 OEQs based on the oral presentation and topic (5-10 minutes)
2. Make Your Own Notes Your teacher will provide plenty of revision materials so that you can prepare for the O level Chinese or Higher Chinese examinations. However, these notes that your teachers give you are likely to be huge stacks of papers and it can get rather daunting to organise and sort everything to your liking. You might have a big stack of reading lists, comprehension papers, assessment papers, worksheets, so many students find it hard to get started.
As long as its in your own words, it can get as messy as you want but you will know exactly what they mean and organise in a way you can retrieve it easily later. One more beneﬁt of creating your own notes is the convenience of reference. You can have a quick glance at them just before the exam or when you are sitting in the library waiting for someone, or having a quick meal at the tuckshop.
3. Read A LOT You should spend more time reading every day to build your interest in the language. Reading aloud helps with fluency and and indirectly helps in comprehension / cloze passage in paper 2, as well as your Paper 3 Oral. If you want to memorise model essays, then read aloud the model essays. If you like reading Chinese newspapers or blog posts, read them aloud too. Of course, do it when no one is around! Diana Ser has a lot of useful tips on how to incorporate Chinese into your daily activities, visit her blog at http://www.dianaser.com/
4. Get Help From Others
Upon identifying your weak areas or topics you have to work on, take action. The strategies above can help you prepare for your O-level Chinese / Higher Chinese examination but you will need external help if you still cannot resolve certain pain points. The first person you should seek help from are your Chinese school teachers. This is because your Chinese teachers would know where are your weak areas and how to help you overcome them. Ask them for extra worksheets or remedial lessons after school to help you clarify your doubts. If your teachers are too busy and have no time to help you, then you have to target your friends who are very strong in Chinese. Organise study groups with 2-4 friends who willing to help you. Sometimes, a friend can explain things in ways which you can digest better compared to your teacher. Or they can provide you with materials, online resources, tips from other experts or websites. However, should both options be impossible to organise, get advice from tuition agencies or tuition centres who have good Chinese tutors and can provide materials. It would be better to spend some money now to get a good Chinese tutor to improve your grades at the last minute, cos this could mean the difference between a C grade and a A grade.