Primary School Higher Chinese Tuition Singapore

Learning Objective


According to the MOE, Higher Chinese is an additional optional subject catered for students with a higher aptitude and interest in the Chinese language. In order to help raise their overall Chinese standards as well as cultural knowledge, students taking the subject are therefore exposed to more Chinese vocabulary as well as more challenging questions which require higher level of critical thinking skills. Students are thus required to know 20-30% more words compared to the standard Chinese Language subject as per the List of Higher Chinese Characters set by MOE:

  • Primary 1 – 2, students are required to recognise, read and know the meaning of 600 – 650 Chinese words and able to write between 400 – 450 Chinese words.
  • Primary 3 – 4, students are required to recognise, read and know the meaning of 1,200 – 1,300 Chinese words and able to write between 950 – 1,000 Chinese words.
  • Primary 5 – 6, students are required to recognise, read and know the meaning of 1,800 – 1,900 Chinese words and able to write between 1,400 – 1,500 Chinese words.

There is also a higher emphasis on composition and comprehension skills for the Higher Chinese examinations at the Primary School level. It is therefore important to focus on challenging students and developing their critical thinking skills in order to excel in their composition as well as in the language application and comprehension section of the examination. Note that there are no separate listening or oral papers for Higher Chinese as these components will already be tested at their standard Chinese examinations.


Teaching Methods

Bilingual Teaching

With predominantly English speaking families in Singapore, the use of English to teach and explain difficult to understand Chinese vocabulary and content to students have proven effective for many students.

Building on Vocabulary and Idioms

Central to the effective learning of the Chinese language is to a strong focus on building on the recognition and understanding of Chinese vocabulary and idioms. In fact, students are required to be able to read up to 1,900 Chinese words and write up to 1,500 different Chinese words by Primary 6.

Holistic Learning

Learning of the Chinese language should be meaningful by developing the interest of the language through incorporation of cultural elements into the lesson and promoting the use of the language effectively and efficiently in daily life.

Developing Key Examination Skills

Developing Language Application, Composition Writing, Oral and Listening Comprehension skills as well as Critical thinking skills to tackle the more challenging examination questions. Familiarisation of the examination paper format through mock exam practises to reduce examination anxiety and focus the mind on answering the examination questions.

When is Higher Chinese Language Offered?

All Primary Schools in Singapore offer their students the opportunity to take the Higher Chinese subject. However, Special-Assistance Plan (SAP) schools may offer Higher Chinese from P1 while most other Primary Schools offer Higher Chinese from P4 onwards to students who have scored at least a 70% grade for their standard Chinese Language subject.

Why should my Child take Higher Chinese Language?



  • Posting advantage - For those students applying to enter into the SAP schools. From 2021, under the new Achievement Level (AL) scoring system introduced by MOE, students will have a posting advantage if they have done well but, in event that students vying for limited vacancies in an SAP school, the student with a better Higher Chinese grade will have priority in the tie-breaker phase. Note that the posting advantage takes place before any tie-breaker.
  • Ease of Transiting into Secondary Higher Chinese Language -  Students taking Higher Chinese in the Primary School will have understood the rigour of taking the subject and have developed a good foundation of a huge arsenal of Chinese vocabulary.
  • Exemption in Junior College -  With a “Pass” in Higher Chinese during the O Levels in Secondary School, students will be exempted from taking the subject in Junior College. This thus allows students more time to concentrate on their core subjects in Junior College.


  • Time Consuming - Taking an additional subject is ultimately spending more precious time for the subject which could have otherwise been used more efficiently on mastering and improving on other core subjects.
  • Kill the Interest - Higher Chinese is not meant for all students as it requires a higher level of knowledge and critical thinking. It may therefore be demoralising for students who may not have the aptitude for the language and consequently destroying their interest in the language altogether.
  • No Bonus Points - Unlike the previous T-score scoring system for PSLE, under the new AL scoring system, students will no longer receive bonus points for Higher Chinese and thus no real advantage in application to non-SAP Secondary School.

In conclusion, whether to take Higher Chinese as an additional subject in Primary School ultimately depends on the student’s interest and ability to manage the subject.

Get in touch!

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to find out more about the classes offered!