Saturday, August 20, 2011

Notes for English Preliminary Examinations 2011

- Scrutinize the graphic... explore all options available.
- Think through before writing down the answers.
- Some answers can be quite close. You really have to READ carefully.


- He saw Yvonne steal the money yesterday. (After a verb in past tense, the next verb should be in present tense.)

- Use of articles: Listen to the sounds. Words that sound like "YOU", silent "h" in "hour", "w" in "one" etc should not be used with "an". He went to A unique restaurant for lunch .

- Use of "If" (conditionals): For events that's unlikely to happen, use "If I WERE the king of the world, I would not have examinations!" For events that's like to happen, use "If I AM well enough, I will go to the party."

- Either Henry or his friends WANT to have ice-cream for dessert.
Neither of the classes WANTS to go to the zoo.
Neither Ben nor his sisters WANT to have ice-cream for dessert.

- Question tags: Larry does eat his lunch regularly, DOESN'T he?
Nancy admitted her mistakes, didn't she?

- Indefinite Pronouns: Everyone IS proud of THEIR achievements.
Each student has their strengths and weaknesses.
All students are to gather their belongings now.

- Each other (only 2 people) / One another (more than 2 people)
- Among - use for more than 2 people. Between - only 2 people

- Use of modals: present tense after modals. You must submit your assignment today.
Can you not rub it in?

- Anthony's cousins, together with Antony, enter for the drawing competition.  (dependent on "Cousins")/ Ethan, as well as his sister, loves reading. (dependent on "Ethan")

- The class decide that they will go for their recess at 10a.m.
- The class decides to have recess at 10a.m.

Had he known better, he would not have committed such mistakes.
Should you believe him, you would have been taken for a ride.
Not sooner had he found out the truth than he faced punishment.
However difficult it may be, I will hang on there.
Not only is Ken smart, he is ALSO hardworking.

- British verbs: travel --> travelling  tranquil --> tranquilling  compel --> compelling


- Exclamation marks --> used when words like "exclaimed", "roared", "shouted" etc.
- I wonder what I had done to offend you.
- Tom asked, "Why are you here?"
- "You should be here," he reasoned, "the students were waiting for you."
- "You should be here," he reasoned. "The students were waiting for you."

- study all commonly misspelled words
- look for clues in sentences. (highlight them!)


- read the ENTIRE passage first... look for contextual clues. (Highlight clues!)
- A word may have 2 or more meanings. Therefore contextual clues are important.

- one higher order question
- read carefully. Highlight tenses!

- read once first
- insert possible answers
- READ again after inserting the answers. Check that structurally it sounds right.
- Look for clues like whether the answer should be in PAST TENSE OR PRESENT TENSE / PLURAL OR SINGULAR


- Determine tense of passage
- Check whether it is plural or singular
- for spelling, check the phonetics
- study your spelling list of COMMONLY MISSPELLED WORDS

- Determine tense of the passage
- Read ONCE or TWICE beforehand
- Highlight clues
- Use pencil to fill in the blanks
- Read again to check if it sounds right
- Write answers in pen

- Do not miss out words / letters when transforming. E.g. examinations vs examination
- Must have full stops.
- Relative pronouns: Who, whose, which, whom, where etc... either 2 COMMAS or NO COMMAS
- Do not change the tense of the question unless it's meant for reported speech. Identify reported speech through inverted commas

- look for clues in the passage
- determine tense of passage. Information text should be in present tense.
-highlight tense of questions
- Mixture of tense: Do you think the author had made the right choice? I think the author DID not make the right choice...
- Remember your FULL STOPS
- Remember your closed inverted commas when answering questions like "Which phrase/ sentence/ word etc..."
-For yes/no questions: Answer as "No, I do not think so "... not "No."
-Do not make spelling errors for words that appear in the passage.


- Check that you have SIX ticks. Ask yourself, did the way you write answer all 6 questions.
- Write using conjunctions. There can be up to 2 points in a sentence. Do not answer comprehension style.
- Please conclude. Like "I look forward to your favourable reply.", "I cannot wait to see you.", "Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.", "I hope this information will help you in your investigations."
- Remember your year and date. (Spell the month in full)
- Remember format required for emails, letters (formal and informal), notes/messages, diary/journal, report etc.

- Use "Mother", "Father" etc. Not "mum", "dad" etc.
- spell seven year-old. Spell eleven children
- Bloodcurdling is one word
- Note punctuation errors, especially in dialogues.
- Plan your story. Make sure the sequencing of events is logical.

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