How we would approach the composition from the PSLE 2023 paper!

Using our in-house ABC Method, we break down the title and pictures for you, and give our take on some possible storylines.

PSLE 2023

Write a composition about A Change for the Better. Your composition should be based on one or more of these pictures.
*based on student recollection of the paper


Picture A. A man running or exercising


Picture B. A messy room


Picture C. A computer

Key points for success:

Planning with the ABC Method

1. Analyse Title and Pictures

๐ŸŽฏ What are the keywords?

A โ†’ Only ONE change

Change โ†’ something that became different (concept of before and after)

for the Better โ†’ a positive outcome for the main character

NOTE: Because the story should end on a positive note, the original situation before the change should therefore be negative.

PRO TIP We recommend that complication in storylines be resolved within 24hours to ensure that it remains relevant and is not needlessly draggy. In this composition, that means the change happens in the story and focuses on the need for change, how the first step towards change was made and the outcome of the change.

๐Ÿ˜Š What are the emotions linked to the title?

Realistically, a significant change cannot be done in a snap of a finger. Nonetheless, the experience of attempting or handling a transition can be positive, negative, or even be fraught with mixed feelings! Ultimately, it should end with a positive outcome accompanied by feelings like pride and satisfaction.

๐Ÿ‘€ How do we analyse the pictures?


Picture Type: Person + Activity
WHERE were you, and WHY were you there? WHAT did you want to change?


Picture Type: Location
WHAT did you want to change, and WHY? WHAT did you do?


Picture Type: Object
WHAT can a computer be used for? WHERE were you? WHAT did you want to change, and WHY? WHAT did you do?

2. Brainstorm Plot Possibilities


Picture A. Months of sedentary studying for PSLE left me longing for change. A glimpse of a photo, showing my past self as a runner, sparked the transformation. That evening, I donned my dusty running shoes and hit the park. Initially, it was tough. My lungs burned, and my legs ached. However, I pushed through the pain. Running became more than exercise; it cleared my mind. At night, I felt renewed energy and sharper focus for my studies.

Picture B. My cluttered room had always been my haven, and I also had the habit of snacking on my bed. It did not matter because I still knew where everything was anyway. During an afternoon nap, startled from my sleep by a tickling sensation on my face. On instinct, I flicked at it. I was suddenly awake when I realised that I had felt multiple legs. I leapt up and discovered a huge cockroach on my bedside table, waving its long antennas at me. Panicking, I screamed for help and was reprimanded for the state of my room. As if possessed, I donned gloves and armed myself with soapy water, and packed my room. I was determined to make a change for the better.

Picture C. Parents were away for the weekend and I was responsible for feeding Max, my dog, and giving him his daily medication. With no one to restrict my time on my computer, I played for hours. I had forgotten to give Max, his medication and he fell very ill. At the vet, it pained me to see that Max was so weak and in pain. I faced a wake-up call. Exhausted from late-night gaming, I felt like a hollow shell, living only in the virtual world, neglecting my other important tasks. I resolved to kick the gaming addiction to make a change for the better.

3. Create an Interesting Character

The characterโ€™s personality must be relevant to the storyline.

Take the sample storyline for Picture B for instance, a relevant character trait can be messy and undisciplined, which would make the change or cleaning even more challenging.

Find out more about our ABC DEF Composition Writing Methodology here!