Essential Tips to Master English Editing

Essential Tips to Master English Editing (feat. NEW PSLE 2025 CHANGES)

Hi, everyone! I am Teacher Wen Hee and welcome to my first post for Lil’ but Mighty! Struggling to obtain the desired scores for Editing in Paper 2? Fear not, I am here to share with you some essential tips to master English Editing. These tips can help you to tackle those tricky questions and make the process a breeze for you! This post has been written with both the current 2024 PSLE candidates and 2025 PSLE candidates in mind. Although I will be sharing about the changes, the tips that follow will benefit all students who need to tackle the editing section.

Changes in Editing

Traditionally, the Editing section includes 12 questions, designed to test a student’s ability to spot and correct spelling and grammar errors. However, with the changes in the 2025 PSLE syllabus, this section will now feature only 10 questions.

For those who are interested to find out more about how the PSLE 2025 examination format is different from the current one, be sure to check out an earlier post by our director who has tracked the various changes for the different components.

In most schools, this change in the Editing section is gradually being put in place for the P5 students, since they will be the first batch to sit for the new examination format. The table below summarises how the change affects the different groups of upper primary students:

2024
2025
P6
P5
P5 and P6

12 Questions – (12 marks)

  • 6 Grammar
  • 6 Spelling

10 Questions – (10 marks)

  • 5 Grammar
  • 5 Spelling

10 Questions – (10 marks)

  • 5 Grammar
  • 5 Spelling

No change – follows 2024 format

Follows new 2025 format

Follows new 2025 format

Note: From 2025, 2 marks will be taken from Editing and given to Oral (Paper 4)

The reduction of questions from 12 to 10 marks a significant shift towards a more thoughtful and thorough assessment of students’ language skills. As such, to help our young ones excel in this area, here is a compilation of essential tips to guide you through the editing process.

1. Develop a Systematic Approach

Having a structured approach to Editing can make the process more manageable and thorough. This can be done in various ways:

  • Read the Passage Multiple Times: Start by reading the passage once to get a general sense of its content and flow. On the second reading, focus on identifying specific types of errors, i.e. you can start determining whether the error is grammar or spelling. *Remember there should be an equal number of grammar and spelling errors. To ensure that you have the correct number of errors, you can jot down ‘G’ or ‘Sp’ beside each error, which you can easily count when you check your work.
  • Break It Down: Divide the passage into smaller sections or sentences. This makes it easier to spot errors without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Check One Thing at a Time: On your first pass, you might focus solely on spelling mistakes. On the second pass, you can review grammar and sentence structure. This methodical approach ensures that you are not overwhelmed and miss out on any errors.
  • Read Aloud: Reading the passage aloud softly can help you catch errors that you might miss when reading silently. It also helps you hear the rhythm and flow of the text, making awkward phrasings or mistakes more apparent.

 

Once you have identified the relevant errors, we can proceed to the next set of tips to help you tackle grammar and spelling mistakes respectively.

2. Sharpen Your Grammar Skills

A strong foundation in grammar is crucial for spotting errors and making the necessary corrections. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Subject-Verb Agreement: Ensure that the subject and verb in each sentence agree in number. For example, “He runs” is correct, while “He run” is not. (Singular vs Plural)
  • Tenses: Pay close attention to verb tenses, making sure they are consistent throughout the passage. If the text is in the past tense, all actions should be described in the past tense unless there is a clear reason to switch.
  • Pronouns: Check that pronouns agree with their antecedents in number and gender. For instance, “The pupils must bring its books” should be “The pupils must bring their books.” since the antecedent ‘the pupils’ is plural.
  • Articles: Articles (“a,” “an,” “the”) can be tricky. Ensure they are used correctly and that countable and uncountable nouns are paired with the appropriate articles. For example, “a pair of thongs, an elephant, some of the furniture.”

 

3. Enhance Your Vocabulary and Spelling

A robust vocabulary and excellent spelling skills are vital for identifying and correcting mistakes effectively. These are some things you can do or need to take note of:

  • Break Words into Syllables: Breaking a word into smaller parts (syllables) can make it easier to spell. For example: rekugnishion —> re/kug/ni/shion —> recognition. This will also help you to ensure that the corrected word has the same number of syllables as the error!
  • Spelling Patterns: Learn and practise common spelling patterns and rules. For example, understanding when to double consonants such as “running” or the ‘i before e except after c’ rule can be very helpful for “believe” and “receive”.
  • Synonyms and Antonyms: Expanding your vocabulary by learning synonyms and antonyms can also aid in spotting incorrect word choices.
  • Read Widely: With more exposure through various media, be it a book, a video with subtitles, the more one chances upon or encounters a word, the more likely one will remember its spelling.

 

Last but not least, remember to practise! By doing practice exercises over time, you will surely develop a more intuitive sense of the errors.

Mastering Editing in your exams requires practice, patience, and a strategic approach. By developing a systematic approach, sharpening your grammar skills, and enhancing your vocabulary and spelling, you can improve your editing abilities significantly. Remember, consistent practice is key. The more you work on these skills, the more confident and proficient you’ll become. Good luck!

 

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Mr Wen Hee

Teacher Wen Hee is a seasoned teacher who always strives to come out with innovative methods to keep his students engaged whilst having fun in class. He strongly believes that learning is a continuous process and hopes to impart this important life skill to his students.

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