Secondary 1 English Singapore: Reflective Learning To Increase Your Score Easily

Table of Contents

The Secondary 1 English subject is made up of several sections with emphasis on different aspects of learning.

I will be attempting to show you the aims of the various sections of your Secondary 1 English paper and how to prepare yourself for your exams.

These are the areas to which you should pay the most attention:

Paper One – Composition

Paper Two – Comprehension Text B, Comprehension Text C and Summary.

If you are able to focus on the aims of these sections, the paper will be a breeze.

I will explain the difficulties of each section and what is expected of you in the exams.

Revision For Secondary 1 English Paper One Composition

This is a substantial paper in Secondary 1 English. Why do I say this? Because it requires you to be both knowledgeable and skilful in your style.

The composition paper in the second one is focused on mainly narrative and reflective topics.


The most difficult hurdle for you will be the word count and the high expectation for content.

In Secondary 1 English, your topics may deal with storytelling but you will need to follow this protocol. Your introduction should give a sufficient background about how you got to that point. Then you will need to build up to a point where the problem becomes explicitly clear. 

You should always aim for a mature revelation bordering on morals or a cathartic experience. Your character should be affected in some way and you should exhibit a more philosophical view.

Your task

You will need to practise writing a reflective/narrative essay that is based on a learning journey as well. There must be a reason why you are telling this story. Bear this in mind and reveal a greater ‘truth’ as the story unfolds.

Please keep away from simplistic plots where a friend was knocked down and you decided to help him. In the end, you realised that it is better to help and hence the true meaning of friendship was learned. Such stories are simplistic. 

They do not reflect a deeper, sophisticated point of learning and there is no real change in the character apart from realising that friendship is important. The action where the friend was knocked down is too simplistic and therefore the change in character will not seem natural.

You have to decide on a plot that is more insightful. Of course, this may seem like a really difficult hurdle to cross at the start but you will find that after 2 or 3 attempts, you will actually understand how to improve in your Secondary 1 English writing style.

Revision For Paper 2 Comprehension Texts B And C

This is the part where you will have to answer questions from 2 texts in Secondary 1 English.

Text B is a narrative passage and you will have to uncover hidden meanings and understand the intention of the author or the main character.

There will be dialogue in such passages and you will have to understand the shift in tone and purpose.

Narrative texts will have questions asking you to analyse what is happening and the rest will focus on vocabulary.

Text C is a descriptive passage and the content will be factual. You will need to understand what the purpose of the text is. Most of these texts will discuss advantages and disadvantages or pros and cons. There will be a comparison based on the main topic. Understand what these two factors are and answer the questions accordingly.

Revision For Summary

The summary question has 15 marks and it is one way for you to get a large chunk of marks if you apply the correct strategies in your Secondary 1 English paper.

The summary question is focused on only one section of Text C. You will need to pick out about 8 points in reference to the summary question and paraphrase them.

The difficulties you may encounter will be in over-selection, under-selection and not paraphrasing at all.

For over-selection, your word count will exceed the limit and you will lose marks. Even if you write within 80 words, you will be penalised for writing more than you are required.

Under-selection means you have not met the question’s requirements.

And if you do not paraphrase, you will be penalised for lifting. Try to paraphrase partly at least.

The main criteria for all these sections in paper 2 is vocabulary. If you are able to understand and infer or paraphrase accurately, your job will be much easier. In fact, I cannot stress the importance of vocabulary enough. Paper One almost completely depends on the choice of suitable words.

Examine the main aims of these sections and apply yourself to it. Once you are able to understand what you are required to do, the rest will fall into place. Good luck!

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