Common exam titles for Primary 5 composition exam

Primary 5 composition exam poster - common titles for the exam

For the Primary 5 composition exam, the exam format is identical to the PSLE composition examination.

This means pupils have two years of practice with the same format. Although the format is similar, the titles are slightly different as they progress in difficulty level.

To better prepare for the composition exam, it is important to be aware of the differences.

What to expect for Primary 5 mid-year exam

Pupils are expected to write a story which fulfills the basic exam requirements :

A) Fully reflects the title through the chain of events in the story – After a marker reads a story based on the title “A dishonest act”, he fully agrees that the story is entirely based on a dishonest act.

B) Emphasizes the picture in the main event of the story – This is a firm rule that pupils must adhere to. The picture cannot be a passing mention at the beginning or the ending of the story.

Common titles for Primary 5 mid-year exam (SA1)


How to write

Difficulty Level

Unforgettable Incident
  • The keyword is unforgettable – It shows that the incident can be either a pleasant or unpleasant one. 
  • The story must have a main problem which forms the unforgettable incident.  

An achievement

  • The keyword is achievement. It shows that the incident can be either a pleasant or unpleasant one.
  • It must be clearly shown in writing why the main character’s actions were considered an achievement.  
Being considerate
  • The keyword is Being – The story should focus on what the main character did to be considerate.
  • The main character’s considerate actions must be emphasized in one full length paragraph ( 5- 7 lines).  
Being helpful
  • The keyword is Being – The story should focus on what the main character did to be helpful.
  • The main character’s helpful actions must be described in detail.
  • Pupils must extend beyond what they themselves would do and add on to the helpful actions using their logical thought.  
A kind act
  • The keyword is act – The story should focus on creating an act of kindness which is not too simple.
  • To enhance the story lines on good deeds which are commonly written at the lower primary levels , pupils should use an additional complication to create a twist to the main problem.  

What to expect for SA2 composition exam

By the end of the Primary 5, pupils are expected to be fully aware of the basic requirements for the composition exam.

As such, there is a shift towards more challenging titles for the Primary 5 composition exam for SA2. The titles require more thought as the keywords can be quite specific. This means there are restrictions on the storyline and there is very specific content that pupils can and cannot write.

Common titles for Primary 5 end-of-year exam (SA2)


How to write

Difficulty Level

Being thankful
  • The main keyword is thankful which indicates the expression of thankfulness and appreciation. The story must clearly detail why and what the main character was grateful for.
  • Although the main character can show appreciation for many types of actions , it is important to choose an act that has greater meaning.
  • For instance being thankful to a helpful neighbour shows the value of being neighbourly.

An unexpected outcome

  • The keywords are unexpected outcome which means there must be a surprising ending to the story.
  • To write a story which meets the title, pupils will have to include a plot twist to create a significant change in the outcome of the story.
A memorable experience
  • The main keyword is memorable. It shows that the story should be largely pleasant.
  • A problem is still necessary but it must be a small one. However, pupils must make sure that the problem is not so small that it becomes insignificant.
  • The secondary keyword is experience. The main character must play a major role in the story and be present in most of the story.
A dispute
  • The keyword is dispute. This means the story should centre around a disagreement or argument that the main character was involved in.
  • Although pupils can write about any type of disagreement, there should be a greater meaning behind the dispute.
  • There should be a focus on how the dispute was resolved and the lesson that can be learnt.
A misunderstanding
  • The keyword is misunderstanding. It shows that there must be a mistake made in the story.
  • There should be a clear flow of story which shows what led to the misunderstanding and how it was eventually cleared up.

Join us for our upcoming holiday workshop and learn all about the exam considerations for the different types of composition titles.

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