If we compare the graduation competence standard (SKL) 2010 and 2011, there are two vital differences.  The first one is on the listening 2011 Final National Examination (FNE) for English the coverage is not as wide as the previous year. This year the coverage of the test material mere include the expression of (1) disbelief, (2) satisfaction/dissatisfaction, (3) asking for point of view or opinion, (4) promise and (5) hope. Those are given in conversation and monolog. The indicator of the questions given are: (1) get the general idea, (2) get the specific information from the oral text, (3) get the detail information from the spoken text, (4) respond to a question or statement, and (5) decide the picture match with conversation (dialogue) and monolog. Listening questions are presented in 15 item tests.

In the listening part, the competence asked from the students mostly related to comprehend the spoken texts. It needs regular and continuing practice to make students comprehend any spoken texts. As the source to first speaker of English is not easy to access, so the presence of recorded voice of native speaker is vital to English language learning. Be prepared to all possibilities that may occur in FNE. For example, even though Narrative is nowhere to found in the SKL, but it may pop up the test paper as part of the final test. Listening still has narrative of its content. Comprehending narrative in the oral form is not an easy task for students.

The second differences are on reading part. The coverage of test is (1) message, (2) announcement, (3) advertisement/ brochure, (4) news item, (5) recount, (6) explanation, (7) analytical/ hortatory exposition, (8) discussion, (9) review. The new material that included this year is review. Letter is not included this year. That material coverage is quite difficult. Take message, announcement, and advertisement, all of which are not presented in school provided textbook.

The item test is given in 2 packages of test. But rumors said that there are 5 packages prepared by the government. Those 5 packages may have the same questions but the position of number is changed, or the texts and questions are totally different.

The students need to be trained to get familiar with the texts and questions type in the coming test. The test consists of 15 questions for listening part and 35 questions for reading part. Listening takes about 30 minutes and 80 minutes is time available for reading since the time to do all the test is 120 minutes.

According to Opan Sofwan (2011), there are strategies that can be applied by students when dialog in listening given:

  1. Predict. Students use the time to predict what the answer about. Let the introduction and directions pass. It is very common that the choices are from the similar type.
  2. Focus on the phrase or words that students can understand, then they associate that words/phrase with one of the choices.
  3. A phrase or word that repeated many times in the dialog, tend to be the answer.
  4. If there is number mentioned. It has a great possible that the number is the answer or being asked. The number usually asked is fraction.

Picture: do not focus on the direction (make the students know and understand direction beforehand)

  1. Take the attention to the pictures. Focus on detail. If there is ‘writing’, the writing “pharmacy” will help to answer.
  2. Imagine the setting that relate to the picture. Focus on what activity shown, how many people there are, what thing lay there.
  3. Focus on the dialogue/ monolog and what the questions are.
  4. Focus on the picture again, before deciding to answer.


  1. Concentrate on the “wh-question”.  Focus on time, location, method of transportation, reason, person, wt.
  2. Focus on wh-questions that is used in the question, try to associate with one of the choices provided.
  3. Focus on expression/ language function/ expression in the questions. Associate it with one of the choices available.


  1. Predict the questions. Students had the answers in the paper. They can predict what question is going to be asked.
  2. Concentrate on the monolog and question based on the prediction.
  3. Focus on every word/ phrase that students can catch, associate it with one of the choices.
  4. Word/phrase repeated many times lead to answer.
  5. Number lead to answer.

Part 1. The direction never changes. Teach the students to know and understand the direction of every part. Don’t let the students waste their time to listen the thing they had already known. It is better for the students to use the time to predict and try to associate the spoken text and the choices they had.

For example

  1. Look at this:
    1. Buying stamps
    2. Sending letters
    3. Running out of stamps
    4. Going to the post office
    5. Sticking stamps on the envelopes.

Predict: it talks about the post office or sending letter. Focus on the first speaker said. It is very common the information presented deductively, meaning the main point is given in the beginning of the spoken/written text.

Man:                     Have you sent the letter?

Woman:               o, sorry I haven’t, I run out the stamps

Man:                     Why didn’t you buy some?

Woman:               I’m sorry, I forgot.

What is the dialog about?

Look at this:    A.  Get back  B.   Go to bed   C.  Have a rest    D.   Get some water      E.   Go to the doctor.

Predict: some activities when one is sick.  (Listen: phrase ‘go to the doctor’ is repeated many times. The answer must have ‘go to the doctor’s ‘phrase)

Woman:               Paul you have temperature

The words before responding should be catch by student. For example ‘is that a promise?’

Sofwan (2011) continues that for Reading section can apply these strategies:

  1. Get the general idea of the text. General description of text. Focus on the first sentence of the text. Get to know the question first: what is the text about? / The text is mainly about/ the text tells us about../ What does the text tells us about.. (gambaran umum isi bacaan)

Clues :           (1) see the title

(2) see first line of first paragraph

(3) make combination of first lines of all paragraphs

Look at this example. Focus our attention on the first sentence.

To: Susi

From: Paul


I should arrive in Jogjakarta this afternoon. I will be staying at the Hotel Ambarukmo. Please arrange a dinner meeting for me and Mr. Sute at Gadri Resto, it is very close to the hotel, so I can just walk over. Also, please email me the Petersen’s report. I’d like to look it over before to see Mr. Sute.


Paul Newman.

What is the message about?

  1. Paul’s arrival
  2. The Petersen’s report
  3. Paul’s order to Susi
  4. Susi’s ‘what to do list’
  5. Mr. Sute’s appointment

83-year old woman fined for crossing road too slowly

SYDNEY: An 83-year old Australian woman who was fined for crossing the road too slowly has had the ticket torn up following community outrage, reports said on Friday.

Pensioner Pat Gallen, who uses a walking stick to get around , was fined 30 dollars (US$23) for failing to cross a road in her hometown of Malanda in far north Queensland in the most direct route. The Daily Telegraph reported.

‘She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” her friend Fay ….

Focus on the title. The choice that close to the title, may the answer of that question.

What is the topic of the text?

  1. Police and the ticket
  2. Fining an old woman
  3. Failing to cross a road
  4. Marceba District Inspector
  5. A protest to a policeman
  1. Specific information
  2. Explicit/ Implicit Detailed Information

Any questions uses “wh-questions’ asked about specific information (Except what is the text about?)


Find/ scan information in the text that:

–          Answer the questions word used

–          Best completing the sentence

–          Match the statement intended

If the question uses ‘why’… find reason like: because, for, as. The answer is not in the first paragraph but in the supporting sentences. Scan and follow the sentences, we can find the answer there.

Urgently required:

… downtown law firm seeks administration assistant with 3-5 years’ experience working in a law office. Must be proficient in the use of Word processing and database programs and be familiar with common legal documents. Must have good telephone manner and a pleasant appearance. Working knowledge of Spanish is a plus.

What kind of position is advertised?

  1. Lawyer
  2. General Manager
  3. Computer programmer
  4. Administrative assistant
  5. Director of Human resources
  1. Main idea of paragraph

Instruction: What is the main idea of paragraph?

The main idea of paragraph …. (3/4/5) is

Paragraph…. Mainly tells us about

– see the title

–          Focus on the first sentence +end

  1. Vocabulary: meaning, reference

The underlined word is close in meaning to…

The word… means …

The word it/ they in the sentence refers to …

They words…. Refers to .. (look at the sentence before the word)


Guess the meaning of word based on:

–          The whole meaning of the particular sentence

–          The meaning of the sentence before and after the particular sentence

–          Conjunctions used before or after the word


Sofwan, Opan (2011). Analisis Standar Kompetensi Lulusan: Kisi-Kisi Ujian Nasional Bahasa Inggris SMA Tahun Pelajaran 2010/2011. Seminar sehari yang diselenggarkan oleh MGMP Bahasa Inggris tanggal 25/01/2011.

Permendiknas no 46 tahun 2010 tentang Standar Kompetensi Lulusan

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