Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) is a major examination that every standard 6 students in primary school must take to graduate. It is equivalent to a Primary School Leaving Exam and is conducted nationwide every year under the supervision of the Ministry of Education (MOE)

Starting from 2016, national school students are required to take six subjects, one extra subject from the previous years. The changes are brought by a particular subject, namely English. Previously, the English subject only had one single paper that students needed to take. However, from 2016, the English paper had been divided into two separate papers, Comprehension and Writing. 

In addition, the latest English UPSR format integrated more questions aligning with High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), where students will be tested on their own thinking and analytical skills instead of just answering a direct question. 

These questions may be a bit tricky to answer but worry not! In this article, we will discuss more on the marking scheme and tips to score these two papers. Also, see the latest format for UPSR English Examination too.

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UPSR Marking Scheme Paper 1- Comprehension

Student studying alone
Reading comprehension requires you to understand the given text. (Source: unsplash)

In this section, we’ll cover the format and marking scheme for Paper 1 Comprehension and Paper 2 Writing. Let’s start by discussing the format for Paper 1 first. This paper has a total mark of 50 marks and the time allocated for the comprehension paper is 1 hour 15 minutes.

Section A- Multiple choice question

In Section A, there are 20 objective type questions that you need to answer in this section and 20 marks to obtain. It is almost self-explanatory for the students that they will receive one mark for each correct answer

Do note that you need to shade your answer in the answer sheet as clearly and neatly as possible. This is very important as your answer won’t be accepted by your teacher if you shade it outside of the circle and overlaps with the other answer choices, even if you got it right. 

As for the reason why, you need to shade it very clearly is because, sometimes the examiner will use an automated marking machine to mark the multiple-choice answer sheets. In a wide scaled examination such as UPSR, the examiners are swamped with thousands of papers to mark. 

Thus, they rely on automated machines to hasten the process of marking the papers. The speed and accuracy of the process is greatly increased; however, students and teachers alike are warned that the machine cannot detect faint and unclear shading on the answer sheets, hence it is wise to take precautions to avoid that by using a dark, graphite pencil.

I recommend using 2B pencils since it has been a standard for examinations since back then.

Section B- Subjective questions

Moving on, the subjective type questions will be marked manually by the teachers or examiners. Here, it is important that your handwriting should be legible enough for the examiner to read. There will be 5 main questions, which is made up of several smaller questions. Each question will provide 1 or 2 marks.

The rule of thumb in knowing how to get the maximum score is to identify the 2 marks question. You need to be cautious as the question will always require more than one condition to be fulfilled to get full marks. 

‘An example of this is in Question 21 of Paper 1-Comprehension. The question asks you to write a suitable response for the given pictures.

Firstly, you need to analyze the picture and figure out an appropriate response to give. But that’s not all. The question provides 2 marks! There must be more than that.

So, in this question, the marking is as follows. 1 mark will be given for an appropriate or correct response to the question. Another mark is only given IF you use the correct punctuation and spelling in your response. So don’t get careless! 

Other questions might also ask you to give a reason for your answer. Read the question carefully whether it’s asking you to list more than one example in your answer or if it requires a more detailed answer. A 2 marks question will always require more than a simple answer! 

There will also be a question which requires Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) in this section. Students will need to use a different strategy when answering these kinds of questions. You will most likely be asked to give your own opinion instead of depending on the text for answers. 

In this case, your answer needs to be relevant to the question while stating your point on the matter. Do not stray from the topic and make sure your sentence structuring is correct. HOTS questions might seem overwhelming at first but if you understand what it’s asking, you won’t have any problem with that question.

Find out where to find the Latest 2021 UPSR English Papers.

UPSR Marking Scheme Paper 2- Writing

Enjoying writing from a young age
Writing can be improved with a lot of practice. (Source: unsplash)

For Paper 2, you will be given 1 hour 15 minutes to answer 3 questions, separated into Section A, Section B and Section C for easier understanding of the format. This paper has a total of 50 marks.

Section A

To put it briefly regarding the format of Paper 2, Section A requires the student to fill in the blanks by referring to the information given, usually in the form of poster, dialogue, notes, or pictures. The question serves to assess the students’ ability to construct sentences using the given words and stimulus.

There are 5 blanks to be filled, each will give you 2 marks with a total of 10 marks for Section A questions alone. The marking scheme in this section is straightforward. A correct answer with NO errors will award you 2 marks for each question. A correct answer with spelling or punctuation error will give you 1 mark and a distorted or unclear answer will not be given any marks.

Section B

In Section B, you may be given an advertisement or table in which you are required to analyze and use the points given in your writings. This is to assess the student’s ability to transfer information accurately from a text into a given framework. There are 2 questions in this section. 

Question B(i) offers a total of 3 marks if you can list down all the correct answers in the empty spaces. 1 mark for each correct answer with NO errors and zero marks if the answer has any spelling or punctuation errors, distorted and unclear meanings. However, it is in Question B (ii) where it gets quite challenging. 

Question B (ii) will require you to write 50-80 words of either an email, a message, greeting card, letters or speech on your decision or choices. Your answer will be read in a whole and be placed in bands according to the quality of the writing with 12 marks being the highest score you can get in this question.

Super Excellent: 11 & 12 marks

Excellent: 8, 9 & 10 marks

Good: 5, 6 & 7 marks

Satisfactory: 3 & 4 marks

Weak: 0, 1 & 2 marks

To discuss more on the criteria of the bands, we will move to Section C since they share a similarity in the marking scheme.

Section C

Section C is where you will be writing 80-100 words story essay of your choice. You are required to write a short essay about the picture(s) using the given words. The examiner will also look at how you will express your ideas creatively while minimizing any grammatical errors. There are 2 questions with different scenarios in this section, however you are only required to answer only 1 question. The total mark for this question is 25 marks and it will also be assessed according to the bands above. 

Super Excellent: 23-25 marks

Excellent: 18-22 marks

Good: 12-17 marks

Satisfactory: 5-11 marks

Weak: 0-4 marks

Get more tips on how to answer UPSR Essay Writing Paper!

How Examiner Marks Your UPSR Paper

teacher checking examination paper
The examiner will judge your writing according to the marking procedure. (Source: unsplash)

As a general rule of thumb, your writing will be judged according to several factors; point relevance, the amount of grammatical errors and proficiency in language. Remember that every spelling or punctuation mistakes you make will cost you your marks while interesting words or expressions could award you bonus points.

Now that we have both Section B(ii) and Section C scoring bands ready, let’s look at the criteria the examiner will look at when marking your essays.

Super Excellent Band = 

  • All ideas written are very relevant and well organized in well plotted paragraphs.
  • Excellent use of language; proficient with hardly any error in grammar and structures.
  • High command of vocabulary and an almost perfect punctuation and spelling.

Excellens Band

  • Most ideas are relevant and well organized in sequenced paragraphs.
  • Excellent use of language; with a few errors in grammar and structures.
  • Correct use of vocabulary with a few errors in punctuation and spelling.

Good Band

  • Some ideas are relevant and organized in paragraph(s).
  • Proficient use of language; with some errors in both grammar and structures.
  • Vocabulary is just sufficient with some errors in spelling and punctuation.

Satisfactory Band

  • Ideas are in paragraph(s).
  • Frequent errors in grammar and structures with just a sufficient use of language.
  • Vocabulary is barely sufficient with frequent errors in spelling and punctuation.

Weak Band

  • Most ideas are in chunks and almost disorganized.
  • Usage of the language is poor with too many multiple errors in grammar and structures.
  • Vocabulary can hardly convey any meaning. Too many spelling and punctuation errors could be found throughout.

Find out more about the examination and ways to study English by reading the Complete Guide to UPSR English.

Read up on more proverbs and expressions to use in your examination while polishing your English proficiency. You can also check out Superprof for all the latest info and tips in getting through your examination.

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Alia

Alia Jamaludin is known as a passionate environmentalist and animal lover. By being both educator and writer, I can reach out my positive thought to almost every being on this planet - I hope so ^^