By Tan Yi Min and Lim Yik Shuan
After SPM, the students have to turn over a new leaf and pursue their tertiary education or join the workforce immediately. As SPM is vital, candidates need to put on their thinking cap and crack their brain hard to answer the questions. A workshop is the stepping stone to help pave the way for candidates to answer examination questions easily. Candidates could get useful tips and techniques to answer examination questions during workshops. A workshop is beneficial for the SPM candidates to get flying colours in their examination.
The CEFR SPM Paper 1 Workshop was organised by the Centre for Languages in HCUC to help the candidates tackle the questions in SPM English Paper 1. The workshop was held on 23 September at 2p.m. through Zoom. Mr. Wong Siong Ning who has 6 years of experience as an SPM English 1119 examiner conducted the workshop.
There are five sections in English Paper 1. The sections include short text, cloze text, longer text, gapped text and information transfer. These sections test the candidates in grammar and vocabulary. Moreover, the ability to read and understand comprehension is also being tested. Besides, 80% of the test paper will come in the form of multiple choice questions as it could test general knowledge, critical thinking and the ability to recall the knowledge related to the textbook. There are some themes in the textbook which may emerge in the examination such as family issues, social issues, animals, charity and crime. Therefore, candidates should master answering multiple choice questions to score well.
The Cornell note-taking method which was also taught by Mr Wong is a new reading strategy and can be practised by students when they are doing revision. This method can address students’ learning needs by identifying keywords and main ideas from the reading text, recalling facts and main ideas as well as dissecting the main ideas and supporting details while reading. Students can practise this method step-by-step such as answering WH questions from the text. Once WH questions are answered, students will be able to answer the questions given, even the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions, easily. However, students are just encouraged to apply this method when doing revision as it takes a longer time to finish it. As is commonly said, practice makes perfect, once students are used to it, they will be able to find the correct answers using the Cornell Notes method.
The workshop then proceeded to the part where a representative from HCUC, Mr Quanren, introduced the programmes offered by HCUC. This was followed by a Q & A session where students can ask any question based on the workshop or the programmes offered by HCUC with Mr Wong and Mr Quanren being there to clear their doubts.
“Only one person can help yourself, that is, you”, a quote by Krishna Bhanuse. No matter how much Mr Wong has taught the technique to help the students to answer the questions, the students still have to bone up on the English test and make sure to practise on their own.