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What is EST?

Elective paper at the upper secondary

school level (form 4 / 5).The EST subject
lays the foundation in the use of English in
the fields of science and technology not
only for present but also for further studies
tertiary level.
The subject is designed to help students
develop an ability to grasp basic concepts
and ideas in science and to all kinds of
scientific and technical discourse.
The areas covered:
 General science, biology, chemistry,
physics, mathematics, environmental
studies, education and various
 Various topics have been prescribed in the
syllabus and they are:
 Nature and Environment
 Technology and Communication
 Man and Living Organisms
 The Universe
 Nutrition/Food/Health
 Matter and Mass
 Natural Resources and Industrial Processes
Lear nin g Ou tcomes

 The syllabus is organised into 3 domains:

 Obtaining information
 Processing information
 Presenting information
Obtaining Information
 Students will learn to understand and
extract relevant information by reading
and listening to different types of texts.
Processing Information
 Students must learn to extract
relevant information from texts and
apply them accordingly by answering
various types of questions.
 To facilitate understanding and
processing information obtained, the
application of study skills and
thinking skills are emphasised.
Presenting Information

Tests students’ ability in presenting

information in the written and spoken
form. By the end of the year, students
should be able to write essays such
as reports, explainations and

 Apart from the 3 domains, reinforcement

of grammar, enrichment of vocabulary
and educational emphases are also
incorporated into the syllabus.
 The grammar items and vocabulary are
those that aid in the understanding and
application of scientific or semi-technical
Grammar items emphasised are:

Compound nouns
Roots of words and their formation using
prefixes and suffixes
Passive construction
Conditional forms
Logical connectors
Sequence connectors
Relative clauses
 Thinking skills
 Learning How to Learn skills
 ICT skills
 Values Education and Citizenship
 Multiple Intelligences
 Knowledge Aquisition
 Preparation for the Real World
• Enable students to solve problems,
analyse information, make decisions
and express themselves accurately
and creatively in simple language.
These skills include library skills, study
skills, information gathering and
processing skills to enable students to
access sources of information more
efficiently and help them to become
independent life-long learners.
 Include the use of multimedia
resources such as TV documentaries
and the Internet as well as the use of
computer-related activities such as e-
mail, networking and interacting with
electronic couseware.
 They enable the students to develop
positive and informed values and
attitudes towards themselves and
 Seek to educate students on
providing accurate information and
avoiding bias.
 Train students to be environmentally
aware and to use scientific
knowledge to serve the country.
These skills, such as the use of
logico-spatial intelligence in the
interpretation of diagrams and
graphs, enable students to be well-
rounded in science and technology.
 Other disciplines such as geography,
mathematics, environment studies and
consumerism have been incorporated to
help students gain more knowledge on
matters related to science and technology.
• Equips students to face life better
when they leave school by exposing
them to real-life situations in the
• Prepare students to meet the
challenges of academia and the
world of work or to keep up with the
developments in the field of science
and technology.
 The EST programme does not set out
to teach science per se, but to make
content about science in English
familiar to students. Passages are
generally based on the application of
science in a wide range of fields as
these help to sustain the interest of
the reader. Stiff science textbook is
best dealt with in the science
In this respect:
• Students are encourage to read more, so
that, they learn to recognise and pick up
words and phrases that are common in
science texts.
• A lot of science texts are written for the
layman and the local newspapers are a good
source of these materials.
• Many of these texts simplify the language
and use less jargon.
 The best method to test reading
comprehension is to use short texts.
 With short texts, the skills to be tested can
be manipulated, i.e. examiners can decide
if they want to test the ability to extract
definitions or main ideas or general
principles, or supporting arguments.
 For the purposes of finding out candidates’
ability to organise information, longer
texts are necessary.
 Armed with this knowledge,
students can train themselves by
reading and understanding longer
texts (about 300 or more words)
before getting into the test mode.

 The test comprises two papers and

candidates have to sit for both papers.
Examination format
Components / Description Marks Time

Paper 1 Subjective and 50 1 hour 15 minute

Objective type

Section A (guided Part 1 – 1 question: 10 Suggested time: 30

response) linear to non- linear minutes
Part 2 – 1 question:
linear to non- linear 10

Section B (open Non- linear to 30 Suggested time: 45

response) linear. Writing task minutes
of 200-250 words
1 question
Examination format
Components / Description Marks Time
Paper 2 Objective: 30 1 hour
multiple- choices

Section A 25 questions – 25 Suggested time:

short text and 40 minutes
graphic type

Section B Rational cloze – 5 5 Suggested time:

questions 20 minutes
Paper 1: 1 hour 15 mins
• Section A
• Part 1 – text – information transfer – linear
to non-linear
• Question – to complete a table
• Tips:
 Read the text carefully
 Understand the overall content
 Read the questions – determine what the
questions want you to do
 Identify the points to answer the questions
Paper 1
Part 2 – info transfer from text to flow chart
 Read text carefully
 Understand the overall content
 Identify main idea
 Identify supporting details
 Look out for key words in the text to
complete the graphic organizer
Paper 1: part 1 &2

 For both parts, candidates are required

to master the skill of inferring the
information given and present them in
graphic organiser
 The answer must be short and precise.
Students tend to write long sentences
such as copying straight from the text
(lifting). (refer SPM2007 sample)
Section B: 1 Question – 30 marks
(Open Response)
 Writing task of 200 - 250 words.
 Covers the areas in the syllabus
which is presenting information
 Report, article, summary,
 Suggested time – 45 minutes.
EXAM TIPS: P 1, Section B
 (i) Read the situation given carefully.
 (ii) Read the content points given.
 (iii) Understand the tasks at hand, i.e.
whether you are required to write an
article, a report or give a speech.
 (iv) When you are asked to promote or
choose one out of two or more options
given, emphasis must be given for the
reasons of your choice.
 (v) Determine the correct format for your
 Examples of question for EST Paper 1
 Please refer handouts given
 SPM 2007
Smart Tips
 The trick is don’t be hasty in
choosing your answer. Make sure
your answer is according to what the
question wants you to do.
 Being test savvy and test wise is a
good strategy.
 Attempting past-year questions and
model test papers is an ideal