Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min video of two boys playing table tennis. 

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:

“Do you think training has taken the fun out of playing table tennis for the two boys? Why or why not?”

Suggested Approach

Candidates should take a clear stand and explain why they feel that training is important or it is unnecessary and kills joy. 

Some candidates can share their own experience of how they stopped playing sports because it became demanding, lamenting how the enjoyment is gone as the pressure to compete is too overwhelming.


Others may assert that enjoyment is about the happiness derived from pursuing your potential and your passion. It’s about getting better at the sport and how training helps one to get there.  Anyone who runs marathons knows that distance running is not always pleasurable, but it can bring great joy. 

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 your own personal observations / examples.

The planned response is around two mins long. (2 PEEL paragraphs)

Spoken Interaction (Sports)

  1. Do you think it is beneficial to play competitive sports?

Suggested Approach:

Candidates can start with giving personal accounts or observations of peers, siblings who play sports and how it benefited them in terms of character building, fostering teamwork and more. For those who play soccer, candidates can share how they joined a competitive soccer team in their school (playing in NSG if applicable and how as training for NSG is demanding, they learn to organise time better).


Candidates can explain how their participation in sports contributed to various positive changes in their life such as building tenacity, fostering a better sense of teamwork and learning to collaborate with others. Success in competitive sports is often determined by factors like skill, strategy, teamwork, physical fitness, and mental strength.

Candidates can point out how while the goal is to win, competitive sports also emphasise fair play, respect for opponents, and the development of valuable life skills such as discipline, perseverance, and leadership.

Other candidates who are of the opposing view can cite how factors like

  • Competitive sports can sometimes be toxic or overly aggressive competitive sports culture which may foster unhealthy rivalries and diminish the positive aspects of sportsmanship. Candidates can give example of their experiences in their CCA to substantiate)
  • Balancing intense training and competition with academic or professional commitments can be highly exhausting both mentally and physically. To commit to training hours required by competitive sports can be challenging and may adversely affect other aspects their lives.
  • Risk of Injuries: Competitive sports often involve physical contact and high-intensity activities, increasing the risk of injuries, particularly in contact sports.

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) We place too much emphasis on academic achievements compared to sporting talents. What are your views?

Suggested Approach:  

To compete in a highly competitive global landscape, a country facing scarcity in natural resources like Singapore will be more inclined to prioritize academic excellence to ensure their population are well-prepared for the challenges of the future.


Candidates should consider the different stakeholders (individual basis, societal and governmental basis). Candidates can share how they experience first hand how academics are often prioritised over sports (e.g. emphasis on STEM).

At the same time, they can point out how they are witnessing gradual changes which are in place reinvigorate sports participation such as the announcement by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong last year that $20 million will be committed to a plan to ramp up and cater to the increasing demand for sport.

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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

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