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Welcome! My name is Daniel Lim Jhao Jian. Here is where I share my experience, knowledge and ideas. You are welcome to leave comments and follow my blog. You are free to copy anything from this blog. Please recommend this blog to your friends.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

SPM 华文 作答技巧 / Tips for SPM Bahasa Cina

My SPM was in year 2012. I did not take Chinese during my SPM because it was too difficult and I was worried that it would affect my overall SPM results if I do not get an A for Chinese. However, I felt that as a Chinese I have the responsibility to take Chinese in SPM. Therefore, I sat for SPM again in year 2013 as a private candidate and took only Chinese. I got A- for Chinese in SPM 2013. Do you want to know how to score in SPM Chinese? Here, I am posting the tips for SPM Chinese. These tips are intended for Form 4 and Form 5 students this year who are taking SPM 2017 or SPM 2018.

Tips for other SPM subjects can be found here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2013/06/complete-tips-for-spm-examination-first.html


Notice:
Chinese is quite difficult to score in SPM. It is especially difficult to get an A+. No one in my school got A+ in SPM 2010 and SPM 2013. I also got only A- for Chinese. In SPM 2011, only 2 students in my school got A+, and in SPM 2012, only 4 students in my school got A+. The minimum marks to get A+ for SPM Chinese is usually high (around 90). If you are aiming to get A+ or A for Chinese, make sure you are fully prepared.


There are 2 papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. For Paper 1, there are 2 sections. Section A is Practical Writing (应用文) and section B is Continuous Writing (作文). For Paper 2, there are 3 sections. Section A is Modern Text Comprehension (现代文理解), section B is Classical Text Comprehension (文言文理解) and section C is Idioms (名句精华).

1. Practical Writing (应用文): 
- It will test you on formal letters (公函), reports (通告) and notice (启示). Make sure you know and remember the formats of all the three types of essay very well. Refer to revision books for the formats. Report of meeting (会议记录) will not be tested and you can just ignore it.
- Refer to the model questions and answers in revision books. Memorise the sentences that are commonly used. Use them when writing your essay. For most questions, the way of answering is similar, you just need to make some suitable changes. Get to know the important details (such as the time, date, venue, objective, invitation) that have to be included in your essay and don't forget to write them in your essay.
- In the exam, there will be 2 questions. Choose the one that you are more confident. Do not answer both. If you do so, only the first one will be marked and the second will be ignored. Read the question carefully and understand what it wants you to write. Then, start writing your essay. Make sure that the format is correct for the essay you are writing. Use formal languages in your essay. Avoid using informal languages and avoid making grammatical errors and writing words wrongly. If you don't know how to write a word, try replacing it with others words with same meaning and don't write the hanyu pinyin. Refer to the question frequently when answering to avoid writing out of topic.
- After you have finished writing, recheck your essay for mistakes and count the number of words. Correct the mistakes if there are any. The maximum word limit is 120 words. The words are counted from the salutation (称呼) until the name (署名). You can write up to 124 words without any marks deducted. You are advised to write your essay between 116 and 124 words. If your essay is longer than 124 words, try cutting off the unnecessary words and phrases. If it still exceeds 124 words, cut off the less important details.

Conversation of text (改写) will not be tested in the exam and you can ignore it.
(Note: 改写 and 翻译 are different.)

2. Continuous Writing (作文):
- There are 5 questions and you have to choose 1 only. It will test you on a few types of essay, which is factual (说明文), argumentative (议论文), narrative (记叙文), descriptive (描写文), sentimental (抒情文) and others. Get to know the types of essay that you are better in and focus more on them. But, don't ignore the other types of essays, you should prepare for them as well. Refer to model questions and answers in revision books. Memorise some good sentences, openings and closings and use them in the exam.
- During the exam, go through all the 5 questions. Choose the one that you are most confident in. Read the question carefully and understand what it wants you to write.You can list out some important points for your essay first but don't waste too much time on this. Then, start writing your essay.
- If you are writing factual/argumentative essay you should have 6 paragraphs, which contains 1 opening, 4 main bodies and 1 closing. It is not advisable to write 5 or more main bodies because there is not enough time, you may make more mistakes and no extra marks will be given. Give strong points and elaborate clearly on each point. Give suitable examples. Every part of your essay should be relevant to the topic. Use formal languages.
- For descriptive/sentimental/narrative essay, your essay should also have 6 paragraphs or more, depending on the essay you are writing. Your description should be very clear and detailed. You should describe as if you are in the story or incident. Your essay should be interesting.
- For general topics that do not state what you have to write (such as 珍惜生命), you are free to write it as factual or descriptive essay, but it must be relevant to the topic. If you write a story using the topic given, be very careful. Make sure you address the topic in every paragraph of your story.
- When writing the essay, avoid making any grammatical errors and avoid writing a word wrongly. If you don't know how to write a word, try replacing it with others words you know and don't write the hanyu pinyin. The structure of sentences should be varied. Refer to the question frequently when writing to avoid writing out of topic.
- After you have finished writing, recheck your essay for mistakes. Correct the mistakes if there are any. The minimum word limit is 400 words. Your essay must be more than 400 words. You are advised to write your essay between 600 and 1000 words. 

3. Modern Text Comprehension (现代文理解):
There are 4 questions, 3 are text (文章) and 1 is poem (诗). It will test you on summary (概述文章), comprehension (理解) and grammar (语法).

a) Summary (概述文章):
- Read the question carefully to see what it wants you to summarise on. Note the maximum word limit that you can write in your answer (Usually it is between 110-130). Read through the passage given quickly to have an idea on what it is all about. Then, read it again carefully.
- Underline all the points that are related to the question. Check the points that you have underlined. If there are too few points, look through the passage again for more. If there are too many points, choose only the important points. Do not take the elaborations and examples. An important point should be directly related to the question and is able to answer the question directly and should be chosen. Points that cannot answer the question should not be chosen. The number of points required is not fixed and it depends on the question. Usually the total number of points required is between 12 and 18.
- Then, start writing the answer. Write all the points that you have chosen. You need not use your own words and you can copy directly. However, sometimes you may have to make some changes (such as changing dialogs to text) so the the points are suitable in the answer. Also, try to shorten sentences especially long sentences by replacing long phrases with shorter words and by grouping similar and related words into a single word. Write as many points as possible without exceeding the word limit. Use sequence connectors to link the points but not too many.
- After you have finished writing, count the number of words. You can exceed the maximum word limit by 4 words without any marks deducted. (For example, if the word limit is 120, you can write up to 124 words). If the number of is less than the word limit, add more points. If your summary is exceeds the word limit by 5 or more, try cutting off the unnecessary words, phrases and sequence connectors. If it is still more than that, cut off the less important points.
- Depending on the marking scheme, 1 point may carry 1 or 2 marks. No marks will be deducted for wrong points. Starting from SPM 2011, all the marks are given for content and no marks will be given for grammar, but marks may be deducted for grammatical errors. So, avoid making grammatical errors and writing words wrongly.

b) Comprehension (理解):
- Go through the questions quickly first. Read through the passage/poem given quickly to have an idea on what it is all about. Then, read it again carefully. Think carefully to understand the passage/poem. You can imagine that you  are in the situation/story to help you understand it and understand the feelings of the characters in it. Next, look through the questions.
- For questions based on the passage/poem, you should get the answers from the passage. For text, you can copy directly from the passage if it is possible. Sometimes you may have to make some changes (such as changing dialogs to text) so the the sentences are suitable for the answer. For poem, you should convert it into text and do not copy the sentences directly from the poem.
- However, many questions require that you fully understand the passage and give your answer based on your understanding on the passage/poem. For those questions, it is not possible to obtain the answers directly from the passage/poem and you have to answer using your own words.
- For questions on your own opinion, you have to give your own ideas, based on your understanding on the passage/poem. Your ideas should be logical, suitable and relevant to the question.
- Then, write your answers. When answering the questions, don't be afraid to give your answers. Write down everything that you know and understand about the passage/poem and write down all your ideas and feelings. The marks allocated for a question usually shows the number of points you have to write. 1 point may carry 1 or 2 marks, depending on the marking scheme.
- If the question does not state the number of answers that you have to give, you can write as many answers as you want, but you must be careful. Marks will only be given for correct and acceptable answers. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable but it does not contain wrong facts and is not too far away from the question, no marks will be given and no marks will be deducted. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable and contains wrong facts or is complete out of question, marks may be deducted (wrong cancel right). So, you should give many and long answers, but take care not to write any wrong facts and don't write answers that are completely irrelevant to the question.
- If the question states the number of answers that you have to give, you cannot write extra answers. You have to give short and precise answers. If you give extra answers, those answers will not be marked and marks may be deducted.

c) For Grammar (语法),
- It will test you on type of word (词类), phrase (短语), components of sentences (句子成分), compound sentences (复句), language & style (修辞) and idioms (熟语). Hanyu pinyin (汉语拼音) and others will not be tested. Make sure that you understand all the Grammar components above. Refer to the revision books. Look at the examples given to help you understand better.
- When answering the questions, give the most suitable answer based on your understanding. You must give specific answers. Giving extra answers is not allowed. If you do so and any of your answers is wrong, marks will be deducted (wrong cancel right).

4. Classical Text Comprehension (文言文理解):
There are 2 questions, 1 is Prose (散文) and 1 is Poem (韵文). It will test you on Comprehension (理解) and Translation (翻译).

a) Comprehension (理解):
- Get to know the commonly used traditional words and their meaning and remember them. Go through as many as possible. Refer to revision books.
- During the exam, go through the glossary given and the questions quickly first. Read the passage given carefully. Translate the classical text word-by-word then translate it into modern text. Use the glossary given to help you understand the meaning of some words. If you really don't understand the meaning of a sentence, skip it first and go to the next sentence. As you go through and understand the other sentences, this can help you understand that sentences. Go back to it again after you have gone through the rest of the passage. You can imagine that you  are in the situation/story to help you understand it and understand the feelings of the characters in it. Next, look through the questions.
- For questions based on the passage/poem, you should get the answers from the passage/poem. You copy the answers from the passage/poem if possible, but you must translate it into modern text. Do not copy directly the traditional text from the passage/poem.  Sometimes you may have to make some changes (such as changing dialogs to text) so the the sentences are suitable for the answer.
- However, many questions require that you fully understand the passage and give your answer based on your understanding on the passage/poem. For those questions, it is not possible to obtain the answers directly from the passage/poem and you have to answer using your own words.
- For questions on your own opinion, you have to give your own ideas, based on your understanding on the passage/poem. Your ideas should be logical, suitable and relevant to the question.
- Then, write your answers. When answering the questions, don't be afraid to give your answers. Write down everything that you know and understand about the passage/poem and write down all your ideas and feelings. The marks allocated for a question usually shows the number of points you have to write. 1 point may carry 1 or 2 marks.
- If the question does not state the number of answers that you have to give, you can write as many answers as you want, but you must be careful. Marks will only be given for correct and acceptable answers. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable but it does not contain wrong facts and is not too far away from the question, no marks will be given and no marks will be deducted. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable and contains wrong facts or is complete out of question, marks may be deducted (wrong cancel right). So, you should give many and long answers, but take care not to write any wrong facts and don't write answers that are completely irrelevant to the question.
- If the question states the number of answers that you have to give, you cannot write extra answers. You have to give short and precise answers. If you give extra answers, those answers will not be marked and marks may be deducted.

b) Translation (翻译):
- Get to know the commonly used traditional words and their meaning and remember them. Go through as many as possible. Refer to revision books.
- During the exam, it will ask you to translate sentences or phrases. When translating, replace every traditional word in the sentence or phrase with a modern word of the same meaning. If the traditional word is the same as the modern word, you should convert the word into a phrase. Do not leave any words untranslated. For words that are wrongly translated, marks will not be given and marks will not be deducted.

5. Idioms (名句精华):
- There are a total of 230 Idioms from Remove Class to Form 5. Make sure that you remember and understand every single one. You must know the Meaning (含义), Author (作者) and Source (出处) of all idioms. Refer to revision books. For the meaning, make sure that you understand it and not just memorise. For the Author and Source, you must memorise them. To help you memorise, simply use your imagination and creativity to relate the Author and Source with the Idioms. You can think of anything, whether it is logical or not, as long as it helps you remember the Authors and Source for the idioms.
- In the exam, it will ask you to complete the idiom, explain the meaning of idiom, state the source/author for idiom, write an idiom based on the situation or make a sentence using idiom. When answering, the words you write must be correct.
- When writing the meaning, don't explain word by word. Instead, give the actual meaning of the idiom. The meaning does not have to be exactly the same as in textbook/revision book. It is all right to have slight differences as long as the meaning is still the same.
- When writing an idiom based on the situation, you should understand the situation given then give the most suitable idiom among the 230 based on the meaning of idioms.
- When making sentences using idiom, your sentence must include the idiom and must show that you understand the meaning of idiom and know how to use it correctly. Don't make the sentence too long to avoid making mistakes.


Tips for other SPM subjects can be found here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2013/06/complete-tips-for-spm-examination-first.html

5 comments:

  1. I am a 17 student who is sitting for SPM this year in 2013.
    I just would like to thank you for sharing these pieces of useful and understandable information to your blog.
    My aim in SPM is getting 10 A + and I hope too that Chinese won't be one of the subjects that contributes to the factor of me not getting a string of A+.

    Prior to that, I also think there is no problem when you explain the answering techniques in English, because I think it's more comfortable for me to read English alphabets rather than mind-boggling Chinese characters.

    I agree with you that Chinese is indeed a hard subject to fare in. But, I hope with all these tips you have given, I will be able to do better.

    Once again, thank you. I couldn't be more grateful. =D

    ReplyDelete
  2. i will be sitting for Spm this year.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Can you share your experience on how you perpare for the chinese paper? Do you go for tuition?Well, my school doesnt provide any chinese class, so we have to go for tuition if we want to take the paper.i went tuition last year, but i just quit and im currently studying on my own. Do you think it works?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never attended tuition for SPM Chinese and I studied on my own. I prepared for the examination by revising the reference books and I also did past year questions and the questions in revision books. At last, I got grade A- for Chinese Language in SPM 2013.

      Delete
  3. my chinese are the worst but i hope i can try harder to achieve A in spm2015...

    ReplyDelete
  4. We can sit for chinese SPM as a private candidate??? How to apply it???

    ReplyDelete