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Chinese oral preparation

The PSLE Chinese oral exam makes up 25% of your Chinese exam paper. What can you do to turn this huge weightage to your advantage? Learn how to score well in this PSLE Chinese oral guide for Primary 5 and 6!

What’s new in the PSLE Chinese oral exam (New format!)

First, let’s learn what to expect for the PSLE Chinese oral examination.

Instead of being tested on picture description 看图说话 like what you saw in Primary 3 and 4, you are now tested on e-oral.

So the entire exam consists of 2 parts – the Reading Aloud section (worth 20 marks) and the Video Conversation section (worth 30 marks).

Does this mean that the new PSLE Chinese oral exam is easier?

Well, this depends on your Chinese proficiency and how well exposed you generally are to the language.

Most Primary 5 and 6 students are quite used to the Reading Aloud section, so that part is ok. However, some might find the e-oral video conversation part more challenging.

The Video Conversation section requires you to watch a video and answer a minimum of 3 related questions. Since the questions tend to be more open-ended, you need to have a wide range of vocabulary to be able to express your thoughts freely in Chinese. This is where the challenge lies for most primary school kids in Singapore.

How can you study for your PSLE Chinese oral then?

Since the videos that you’ll watch during the exams usually have a theme, I’d suggest you to familiarize yourself with common themes ahead of time so that you have the relevant vocabulary in Chinese.

Here are some oral conversation topics that you can use for your Primary 5 or PSLE oral practice:

1) Being helpful – helping the needy, elderly etc.
2) How you help out at home – doing housework, helping your siblings etc.
3) Keeping the environment clean
4) Living a healthy lifestyle – exercise, healthy eating etc.
5) Your hobbies
6) Road safety
7) Your favourite place, food, activity etc.

If you need some ideas on what to say, check out these sample answers. Don’t forget to practise saying them in your own words so that it’ll be more natural for you.

With practice, I’m sure your Chinese oral will improve by PSLE =).

What to expect during PSLE Chinese oral

If you haven’t gone through a similar exam like this yet, let’s help you be mentally prepared. Here’s what’s going to happen:

On the day of your Chinese e-oral exam, you’ll have 10 minutes to prepare for both the reading aloud component and the video conversation component.

After entering the examination room, you will have one more chance to read the passage and watch the video before the real oral exam starts.

The exam starts with you reading the given Chinese oral passage. This will be followed by the video conversation section where you will answer 3 questions that’s related to the video that you’ve seen.

The first question will be directly related to what you’ve seen in the video

The next question will be related to your thoughts that is somehow related to the theme in the video

The last question will require you to share an experience that extends beyond the theme of the video

Depending on your answers, your examiners will then ask you another one or two more guiding questions during the exam. Don’t panic when that happens. Conversations are meant to be interactive anyway.

For the full details of the PSLE Oral Chinese exam, check out this SEAB guide.


Besides oral, you might want to learn how to improve your composition and comprehension skills while you are studying for your PSLE Chinese exam.

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