Overview of ‘O’ Level English Components (Applicable to 2023)

Hello everyone! Welcome to your O Level Toolkit! For those of you fresh out of primary school, you may be wondering what you can expect of O Level English. So today, let us take a look at an overview of ‘O’ Level English Components (Applicable to 2023 Syllabus).

Well, fret no longer! Below, you can find an overview of all the O Level English components you will encounter. An in-depth coverage of each of the different components can also be found in the other parts of your O Level Toolkit, so do take the time to explore our resources yourself!

To begin, let’s take a look at an overview of the O Level English components tested across the FOUR papers secondary students will need to sit for.

If you are curious about any of these components and wish to explore them in greater depth, follow the links within the table, which will take you to their corresponding chapters in our handy O Level Toolkit! 🙂

Paper 1: Writing

Marks: 70
Weightage: 35%
Duration: 1 hr 50 minsblog-olevels-1


(Click here to learn how to approach Secondary School Editing!)


(Want to find out more about the types of Situational Writing? Click here!)


(Curious about the different types of essays you may be asked to write for Continuous Writing? Click here!)

Paper 2: Comprehension

Marks: 50
Weightage: 35%
Duration: 1 hr 50 minsblog-olevels-4

(Wondering how the Visual Text Comprehension in secondary school is like? Stay tuned for a future blog update!)blog-olevels-5

(Curious about the kinds of questions that you can be asked in a Narrative Comprehension in secondary school? Find out here!)


(As the Non-Narrative Comprehension is not something you encounter in primary school, read an example passage here and check out the kinds of questions you can encounter!)

Paper 3: Listening

Marks: 30
Weightage: 10%
Duration: About 30 mins


(If you are curious and wish to test your listening skills through an example of one such listening task, consider downloading our O Level Toolkit here!)


Paper 4: Oral Communication

Marks: 30
Weightage: 20%
Duration: About 20 mins (includes 10 mins of prep time)blog-olevels-8

(Example Planned Response and Spoken Interaction tasks plus model responses are available for you to try out on our O Level Toolkit. Why not download it here?)

And there you have it! An overview of the various O Level components you will need to tackle at Secondary 4. Do consider exploring your very own O Level Toolkit here to get a better grasp of how to approach each of these components!

Lil' but Mighty Secondary School Schedule

How Your Child Will Benefit From Our Secondary English Tuition

  1. Become purposeful and structured in approaching O-Level English components (precision in adhering to the question requirements, application of strategies to break down questions)
  2. Use English in a grammatical and appropriate manner to convey meaning and achieve impact in various contexts
  3. Improvement by the next exam (typically 10-20 more marks)
  4. Develop confidence and a love for English and its intricacies
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Ms Geraldine

In her free time, Ms Geraldine enjoys writing her own prose and poetry, online gaming with friends, as well as critically analysing movies by penning down reviews. A die-hard fan of Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as an avid consumer of Netflix shows, she draws on such material in her process of lesson planning and curriculum design, with the goal of boosting student engagement and interest.

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