Vocabulary components in the PSLE English Language Paper 2
A Overview of the vocabulary components
There are 4 sections in the PSLE English Language Paper 2 where students are tested on their vocabulary knowledge.
1 Vocabulary MCQs (Sentence level)
- 5 MCQs
Students will be tested on their:
- ability to choose the most appropriate word to use based on a given context. Sometimes, the given options are synonymous but only one is correct for a particular context. The given options could also begin with the same letter(s) or have the same ending.
- knowledge of phrasal verbs (e.g. let down, let out, let off, let up)
Try these questions:
1) The teacher was ________ and did not punish the boy too harshly.
2) A broken-down truck was blocking the road and the traffic had to be ________.
3) Anna plunged her hot, tired feet into the ________ cool water.
Answers: 1 (4), 2 (4), 3 (2)
2 Vocabulary MCQs (Text level)
- 5 MCQs
- Students are given a short passage with 5 underlined words or phrases. They are required to select the word closest in meaning to each underlined word or phrase.
This section can be rather challenging. For example, in Q5 below, “inaccurate” information may be misleading or unimportant, but these words don’t mean “inaccurate”. Information that is “false” is completely untrue but information that is “inaccurate” is not correct. Hence, the answer is “wrong”.
3 Comprehension cloze
- Students are given a passage with 15 blanks. They are required to fill in each blank with a suitable word.
The ability to use contextual clues and having an extensive vocabulary help students do well in this section. For example, in blank 5 below, contextual clues and the words “with the … of” tell you that “intention” is needed to complete the fixed phrase “with the intention of”.
4 Comprehension open-ended
- Some of the questions in this section are vocabulary related. They test students’ understanding of a word or phrase as it is used in the passage.
Possible question types:
- Which three-word phrase from lines … tells us that …?
- Which two of the following words best describe how [the character] felt?
- What does the word … tell us about …?
- Why did [the character] use the word …?
To practise the vocabulary components in the PSLE English Language Paper 2, see:
B) Tips on how to improve your vocabulary
- Read extensively. Choose different types of texts e.g. storybooks, newspapers, magazines etc.
- Use the dictionary! This may sound tedious but it helps students learn the correct meaning and usage of words.
- Record new words learnt in a notebook. Revise these words and learn their spelling (helps in Composition Writing and Editing too).