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Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min of students in a science lab.

How to tackle the Oral Planned Response Question:

For planned response, students must present a 2-minute response (usually this means two PEEL Paragraphs) to answer the question. You can refer to your written notes. Use 5Ws and 1H when you are brainstorming for answers. Be certain to answer the prompt, identify keywords and present your thoughts confidently. Refer to our earlier post on O’levels 1184 Planned Response Format

Planned Response Question:

“Would you and your friends prefer hands-on-learning as shown in the video?” Why or Why not? 

Suggested Approach

Candidates can briefly share their own experiences on how and why experiential learning is preferred with reasons like less mundane and more engaging. Most can share experiences like how hands-on experience in science labs help them to master content and gain a deeper understanding of the concepts they are learning compared to pure regurgitation of content or being confined in the walls of classrooms. Some may even share how in the scenario of classroom learning, the sound of the teacher’s voice may become a drone after an hour of class, or the words in a passage of text may blur together as eyes become tired. 

Candidates should be able to recount their own ALP experiences in school where they had the opportunity to delve into real-world projects. For instance, (Maker Workshop / Design Thinking Workshop). Some candidates can share their hands-on learning experiences in constructing science-related modules like building a solar toy car or learning coding with Microbits so as to solve a real-world challenge related to “Energy” or “Aging”. 

For well considered responses, candidates should point out while traditional methods of learning have their merits, there is something uniquely captivating and enriching about engaging in hands-on experiences that invigorate their curiosity and ignite their passion for knowledge.  

Note: You should address the examiner’s question directly and focus on building two PEEL paragraphs and relate the video (briefly) to the question. The two points for your answers should not be too similar and it should have personal observations / examples. The planned response is around two mins long. (2 PEEL 1 adjective + explain with evidence)

Spoken Interaction (Studying)

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in groups? 

Suggested Approach: Candidates can start with briefly explaining the pros and cons of studying in a group such as distractions in group setting or how some members in the group can be more dependent on others / contribute less to the group.

Merits could include how group study allows students to collaborate and learn from each other. By discussing concepts and sharing ideas, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Candidates need to share their own experiences such as how they managed to benefit from group studying. For instance, candidates could have struggled with understanding science concepts and decided to form a study group with a few classmates. In their study group, each member took turns explaining specific topics they had researched, and they engaged in lively discussions to ensure everyone understood the concepts thoroughly. 

Important Note: You should use strong vocabulary, provide examples / own personal experience to substantiate your points. Do not get flustered if oral examiners ask you additional questions. 

2) Some say that academic grades are not as important as what you learn in school. What do you think?


Suggested Approach: 

State your stand clearly. Some candidates may lament that in a hyper competitive society that we live in, it is hard to not place emphasis on academic grades (given the pressure society and parents (ourselves) put upon us). Others may also mention how grades open doors, how the civil service for example look at grades first before even extending any opportunities for interviews or scholarship. 

For well considered responses, candidates should acknowledge how some may feel this way but go on to assert their own views. They may point out how the goals of education such as importance of schooling lies in the learning experiences that shape individuals into well-rounded and capable individuals.

For instance, candidates can point out how they learn about character development in schools through camps, CCE lessons and how values such as empathy, resilience, and ethical decision-making are being instilled in school. All these being essential skills they need to thrive in their future careers, much more than just grades. 


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