O Level English Syllabus

O Level English Syllabus

Be familiar with the subject requirements

The O Level English Syllabus aims to set a well-built foundation in the writing, comprehension, oral and listening areas. Our tuition simplifies the exam requirements for students and parents so that both parties are ready for the latest scope of studies in schools. Our personal analysis of the syllabus also offers insight to the purpose of certain content knowledge and how students can benefit from learning such content.

Examination Format

Understand the areas of assessment

As a fundamental language in Singapore, English is something that Singapore students are expected to achieve proficiency in. The examinations set often challenges students’ understanding of the language in the writing and spoken aspects. Hence, it is crucial for students to obtain a clear understanding of the examination format beforehand so that they realise efficient ways to grasp the English Subject. The following are four papers that students will undergo along the course of language mastery.

Paper 1 Writing
In the writing section, students are expected to answer four distinctive sub-sections, namely editing, situational writing and continuous writing. This paper holds 35% of the overall grade. Students attempting situational writing must be strong in their structural knowledge of writing formats such as speech, report and formal letter. For continuous writing, students can choose between discursive and argumentative writing, dependable on various factors such as familiarity of content and preferred style of writing.
Paper 2 : Comprehension
The comprehension sector holds an emphasis on the literature of short passages, both narrative and non-narrative and requires students to answer a sequence of short answers, followed by an 80 words summary. Paper 2 also consists of 35% of the total grade. Excelling in this paper will require students to hone the specific skills sets to answer complicated short answer questions. An example of such skill is idea extrapolation where students make complex inferences based on the extracted facts from the passages. On the other hand, students should have an advanced grasp of their vocabulary to build on their word/idea substitution in the summary writing.
Paper 3 : Listening Comprehension
This particular paper, which is 10% of total grade, serves a different approach from the precedent papers as the skillset required is to digest information through audio cues and answer certain questions. Students have to change their methodology of information extraction from the visual sense to the audio sense and learn to master this skill set in order to obtain the A grade. Students will listen to radio news and conversations and note down important messages that captures the idea of the entire monologue or dialogue.
Paper 4: Oral Communication


In the fourth component, students are to communicate clearly to the examiners by processing the information from the given unseen texts, both in visual and written forms, and provide personal opinions to carry out constructive discussions confidently. Given that Paper 4 occupies 20% of the total grade, it is important for students to engage in regular practices by speaking to their peers, tutors or family members. At the initial stage, it is common for students to be lost in thought or fumble along the way as they are not familiar with the process of explaining an idea. Over time, thorough practice will enable students to acquire the fluency to get their message across.

For more information, please refer to the SEAB 2018 O Level English (1128) syllabus.