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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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English O’Levels 1184: How to answer Oral Planned Response Question 


In this new syllabus for GCE O Level English Language Paper 4, students have to present their ideas and opinions fluently and effectively to engage the listener through Planned Response. 10 out of 15 marks are allocated to delivery. Some common questions that students have would be “How then do you structure a planned response so that it can be easily understood?”

Read on for our useful template to structure your planned response or contact us now and we will link you up with one of our MOE (current or ex tutors) for a one-to-one session for oral crash course preparation.

We have a strong team of qualified ex and current MOE teachers who can help you improve your grades. You can also access our LC Videos for Listening Comprehension Specimen Paper (based on 1184) here. 


You can also check out 2023 O’Levels English Oral (Syllabus 1184) Questions below with their recommended approach. 

List of Oral Questions for 2023 English O’levels

Day 1: Character Development / UG

Day 2: Elderly  

Day 3: Greenery / Neighbourhood

Day 4: Haze / Environment


Day 5: Education

Day 6: Technology

Day 7: Sports



How can you get good grades for Planned Response component? Two key points to note. 

  1. Know the Requirements: You will watch a video which shows people watching a lion dance performance (sample question). After watching the video, you will be required to plan a two minutes Planned Response with the given prompt. The prompt will ask you for your opinion on either the recommendations that you have e.g. “What do you think can be done to …?” or your preference about something (a career, an activity) or the “Who do you think is/are watching this / what feelings they have?” Candidates’ main concern should be “Am I answering the question?, organisation, time management and making sure that they are answering the Planned Response with relevant and well considered examples and pronunciation / intonation. 

2) Cherish the preparation time to brainstorm: As you watch the video, think about how you will respond to the following prompt. You can consider using the 5Ws and 1H approach to brainstorm, examine the prompt closely and prepare a 2-mins speech that will answer the prompt. You should not exceed the time. A good guide will be to prepare two PEEL paragraphs that answers the examiner’s question. You will be given paper and need to submit the paper to examiners at end of the 10-mins prep session.

Possible Prompts for this question:
Would attending such an event appeal to you? Why or why not? 

Who do you think are the audience watching this event? What do you think the audience are thinking as they watch such an event? 

These are some of the typical planned response questions during Oral Examinations. On the day of your oral, you will be given ten minutes to view a video. The audio of the video is inconsequential. You should focus on the theme of the video. Candidates are expected to plan and deliver a two-minutes response to the 1 minute video clip and accompanying prompt presented on a computer screen. 



How to approach the planned response question?

Step 1: Brainstorm on possible questions while watching the video. You can consider using 5Ws and 1H method. 

Step 2: Pay attention to the prompt and work your answer around it. You should have two PEEL paragraphs as part of your response, drawing reference to the video when apt. You are expected to use your own personal stories or other facts to support your opinion. 

Step 3: Consider using this template in setting up your PEEL response

Need more help?

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Watch our youtube for O’levels Oral Practice questions and you will soon be on your way to scoring distinctions. Stay tuned and subscribe for more free tips on oral English for PSLE and O’levels. 


Check out the O’levels Oral questions for 2023 Day One here