The Preliminary oral testing is underway for many of my students. Aside from weekly testing in class, one of the things that I like to do is compile lists of themes that my students were tested on for each examination. We work on these lists two weeks before the examinations as a way of preparation.

These lists serve as a basis to monitor the trend of themes for the year and the types of pictures given. The lists are also an avenue for students to think of ways to respond to certain questions asked. By doing all of this for my students, I hope that they are adequately prepared for the upcoming PSLE oral and that they feel confident to handle any surprises that may come their way.

In the same way, I hope that this list can help other students in Singapore sitting for their Prelim examinations soon. Remember when using the list to :

Plan out your answers using the technique taught to you by your teacher or tutor. We use the TREES approach which is used by certain schools like MGS and Henry Park but use whatever your school has taught you. All techniques follow the same rules. Give responses, elaborate on them, give personal experiences and express opinions.

Pei Hwa

Theme: Teacher’s Day

Picture: A Teacher’s Day mug with 50 % off

Q1 : Would you buy this mug for your teacher? Why or why not?

Q2 : What do you give your teachers for Teacher’s Day?

Q3 : Do you like to receive gifts?

Pei Hwa Day 2

Theme: Recycling

Picture: Poster of a recycling day event

Q1 : Would you attend the advertised event? Why or why not?

Q2: How does your family practice the 3Rs at home?

Q3 : How can you encourage your classmates to practise the 3Rs at home

ACSJ

Theme: Volunteering

Picture: Volunteer for the elderly – Help the elderly clean their houses

Q1 : Would you volunteer? Why or why not?

Q2 : How do you help with household chores at home?

Q3 : Do you think that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the neighbourhood clean?

Unity Primary & Ai Tong

Theme : Career

Picture : A poster about career talks

Q1 : Would you like to participate in this talk? Why or why not?

Q2 : Do you enjoy talks? Why or why not?

Q3 : What is your dream career?

Henry Park

Theme : Volunteering (same as ACSJ)

Q1 : Would you volunteer for this programme?

Q2 : Do you do chores at home?

Q3 : How do you think that we can encourage children to volunteer?

Pei Tong

Theme: Transportation

Picture : A poster about off-peak free bus rides until 7am

Q1 : Would you want to take the free bus rides or pay at the full price?

Q2 : Give one suggestion to improve the public transport

Q3 : Do you prefer to take the bus or MRT?

Tao Nan

Theme : Sports

Picture : An upcoming sports event

Q1 : Would you be interested to take part in this event?

Q2 : Would medals and trophies encourage you to participate in such an event?

Q3 : Do you like indoor or outdoor activities?

Catholic High/ Frontier Pri / Jurong Pri

Theme : Outdoors

Picture : A poster about signing up for a canoeing trip

Q1 : Would you like to participate in this canoeing trip? Why or why not?

Q2 : Do you enjoy going outdoors?

Q3 : If you had the chance to learn a new skill, what skill would you like to learn?

Tanjong Katong Primary

Theme : Being ill

Picture : A poster about going to a clinic when you are sick

Q1 : Would you visit this clinic? Why or why not?

Q2 : Tell me about a time that you were ill.

Q3 : How does your school promote being healthy?

Geylang Methodist

Theme & Picture (same as Pei Tong)

Q1 : Would you like to be like the girl in the picture?

Q2 : Do you take the public transport?

Payar Lebar Methodist

Theme & Picture (same as ACSJ)

Q1 : Would you volunteer?

Q2 : What chores do you do at home?

Q3 : What is the most challenging chore to you?

Saint Andrews Junior

Theme : Sports

Picture: A poster about a basketball tournament

Q1 : Would you like to enter this competition?

Q2 : Tell me about a time you participated in a competition?

Q3 : Do you have a healthy lifestyle?

Fairfield Methodist / Greenridge Pri

Theme : Being ill

Picture : A poster about a free clinic at a community club

Q1 : Would you visit the free clinic?

Q2 : Should people be charged for medicine?

Q3 : Tell me about a visit to the doctor

Nanyang Primary (same theme & picture as Pei Tong)

Q1 : Would you take the bus before 7am?

Q2 : How would you encourage others to take the public transport?

Q3 : How do you come to school?

Q4: What rules do you think that everyone should follow while taking the public transport

St Anthony’s Primary (same theme & picture as Catholic High)

Q1 : Would you like to attend this course?

Q2 : What outdoor activities do you take part in?

Q3: Do you like work in teams?

ACS Primary

Theme : Study habits

Picture : Poster on good study habits

Q1 : Do you agree with the study habits in this poster?

Q2 : What kind of encouragement do you get from family and friends to have good study habits

Q3 : Do you think that having good study habits is important?

De La Salle (same theme & picture as Pei Tong)

Q1 : Would you participate in this promotion?

Q2: What are some ways to be thrifty?

Q3 : How would you encourage a friend to be thrifty?


One of the themes that I worked on during the June holiday Oral workshop was the theme of off-peak bus rides. Unlike the themes of sports and volunteering, I felt that it was an unusual theme and the questions do require the student to reflect. Fortunately, my student managed the oral theme confidently and aced her SA1 Oral.

Please find below the model for this oral theme. I have re-created the poster and modified the questions. We wish all P6 students all the best for their Preliminary oral exams!

Oral theme – Off-peak bus rides

Oral transportation

Would you prefer to travel before 6.30am and pay a lower fare or pay a full price fare and travel later?

Thought

I will travel before 6.30 am and take advantage of the discount.

Reason 1 & Example

I usually take the MRT at around 6.45 am so that I can arrive at school by 7.10 am. I like being punctual for school and sometimes I prefer to arrive much earlier before the bell rings. So, tapping in before 6.30 am is not a problem for me.

Reason 2 & Example

Paying almost nothing for my fare to school is a great way to save money. My usual fare is 58 cents so with this offer, I only pay 8 cents every trip. This means that I save 50 cents every day and that will be $2.50 per week in savings and I can save $10 a month. My parents will be happy! I can also contribute that money to my savings as I have been saving up for a PS4.

Experience

A few years ago, there was a similar off-peak offer and my parents took advantage of the lower fare. They had to wake up earlier than usual but they said that it was good to start their day earlier. The MRT was less crowded and they liked starting work earlier as the office was quiet.

Opinion

In my opinion, this is a great way to help others reduce travel cost. Right now due to inflation, the cost of living has risen quite drastically. It is also beneficial for students who take the MRT to school, to leave slightly earlier and arrive to school on time. In conclusion, I will take up the offer and tap in before 6.30am

Do you think that Singapore’s public transportation is good?

Thought

Yes and no.

Reason 1 & Example

 The transportation companies are continuing to add on more buses and trains so that they are less crowded during peak periods. I think it is good that they are trying to improve their services.

The transportation services are clean and new, unlike in some countries where there is litter all over the trains and buses. Also, our public transportation systems are safe. I have heard that in some parts of the world it is dangerous to be on trains or buses at night.

Reason 2

However, there have been a number of bus accidents in recent years, some which have caused the lives of passengers and even the driver himself.

Experience

There was one in 2017. the Joo Koon accident where people were injured.

There have also been a number of MRT breakdowns. The most recent one caused a 3 and a half hour disruption for commuters. I can’t imagine being stuck on the train or a platform for such a long time!

It can also be stressful for students or adults going to school or work if their MRT isn’t working properly. In 2017 PSLE students on their way to school for their PSLE Oral examination were late due to an MRT breakdown. I can’t imagine being in such a situation just before a PSLE examination! I am a very nervous person and such a situation would make me feel even more nervous! I’ll be like a cat on a hot tin roof!

Opinion

In my opinion, while we may have a clean and safe public transportation service, the maintenance and safety of the vehicles need to improve, especially during peak period.

Do you think that Singaporeans are polite on public transportation?

Thought

No, I don’t think that they are.

Experience

Recently I was on the MRT and it was crowded and all the Priority seats were taken up by teenagers or young adults. An old lady boarded the train and no one gave up her seat to her! She looked so old and frail and the other commuters ignored her. My mother and I were standing up at that time or we would have given up our seats. I was shocked by the behaviour of some commuters. Thankfully, a man got off at the next station and the elderly lady sat down quickly.

Opinion

I think that while Singaporeans can be considerate and kind, they need to remember to be especially so on public transportation. The elderly use public transport often and many are frail. If the younger generation does not be considerate towards them, someone may fall and get injured. They are also slower than us on public transportation so we need to be more patient if they are walking in front of us.

In conclusion, I don’t think that Singaporeans are polite on public transportation.


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Updated on December 7, 2021