AEIS (Admissions Exercise for International Students) is an exam that not many aware about and hence there is lots of confusions surrounding this. Students seek for the best tuition agency in Singapore in order to train for important exams like this.
Before preparing for the examination itself, parents and students need to learn what the examination is about and how to apply for it. AEIS Singapore is an admission exercise for international students trying to enter into Singapore mainstream primary or secondary schools. This is specifically for primary 2-5 or secondary 1-3.
All international students (non-Singaporean citizen and non-Singapore Permanent Resident) who do not already have a place in a mainstream school will have to take this test. Then they would be able to get admission into local schools. The main advantage of local schools is that the fees are many times smaller as compared to private schools. The teachers in local schools are also well-trained at the National Institute of Education (NIE) in Singapore.
Students will have to register during a 2-month time period from July to August. Then they will be able to enrol for the test in September/October. Students who miss this test can take the supplementary test conducted around February or March. The exercise consists of an English examination and a Mathematics examination.
Before studying for an examination, it is important to gauge how difficult it will be. If unsure, it will be helpful for students to discuss with their home tutors about this as well. Unfortunately, past examination papers and questions for the AEIS are not disclosed to the public. This makes it difficult to predict the difficulty of the paper. And it hence even more difficult to prepare for the examination.
However, the examinations follow the syllabus of Singapore’s education system. So, the difficulty and content of the paper can be roughly guessed by researching the syllabus of the level the student is trying to apply for.
For example, the syllabus for primary school English has a few main focuses.
- Firstly, it requires students to be able to listen to and read a wide array of literary and informational text. Reading them with a deep understanding and appreciation is important.
- Secondly, speaking and writing in standard English which is grammatically accurate is important. Fluency and appropriate use of vocabulary are also important. Writing must be appropriate, depending on the purpose, audience and context
- Thirdly, the use of standard English grammar and vocabulary appropriately.
- Lastly to use English with impact, effect and affect.
Similarly, the Mathematics syllabus also has a few main focuses.
- It aims to enable students to acquire mathematical concepts and skills for everyday use and continuous learning. It also aims to develop thinking, reasoning and application skills through a mathematical approach to problem-solving. Students are also encouraged to build confidence and foster interest in Mathematics.
- It contains topics such as algebra, measurement, geometry and statistics. The secondary school syllabus generally has the same aims but the individual topics are much more advanced. The format of the test also depends on which level the student is applying for.
For primary 2 and 3, the test will contain,
- 34 MCQs on comprehension
- comprehension cloze
The math test consists of 29 MCQs and 17 SAQs. For primary 4 and 5, the English test will consist of,
- Comprehension cloze
The math test consists of 30 MCQs, 8 SAQs and 6 OEQs. The secondary school tests have a similar format to the primary 4 and 5 tests.
The main problem that many international students face is the English examination. Students who have English as their first language are proficient enough in the language to be able to pass the examination. However, this is not the case for students who do not speak English as their first language.
This is not the end of the world. If the student learns well in groups, parents can choose to enrol them in tuition centres. Learning in a group is generally more advantageous. This way, students will be able to practice speaking the language with peers of their age group.
However, if the student prefers one-on-one tuition, parents can hire home tutors to help him or her learn. But this is generally not enough practice to be able to perform well in the AEIS. Parents need to create an English-speaking environment for their child. They must encourage their child to speak in English, watch English movies and shows, play games and other activities that can help them get better.
One of the fastest and most effective ways to get better at English is by reading a lot of books and parents need to cultivate this habit in their child. At the same time, it is important not to assume that if the student speaks English, then he or she will do well on the AEIS test. It is still important to prepare and read up on the syllabus and even enrol in tuition classes if necessary.
CHALLENGES OF MATHEMATICS
Even though students may be better at other subjects such as the humanities, Physics or Chemistry, the AEIS only tests on their understanding of Mathematics. Thus, students need to focus on learning the concepts and skills required. They also need to improve on their logical reasoning.
Students can also choose to enrol in tuition centres or hire home tutors depending on their preference. Studying in a group has an added benefit for English as they will be able to practice speaking the language to their peers. But there is no such advantage for Mathematics.
Although there are no past year papers or questions for the AEIS, students can choose to practice by doing questions in past year papers for primary/secondary school. The questions on the AEIS are likely to be similar. Becoming familiar with the past year questions of mainstream schools will help to increase the chances of doing well. It is important for students who are good at mathematics to also prepare by practising past year papers as it can help them learn new methods and solve questions faster.
Some students also make the mistake of studying only for the level in which they are enrolling. If a student is applying for Primary 5, they must know all the content taught from Primary 1 to 5 as it is assumed that all students will know this content in local schools. Even if students can pass the AEIS test, they may suffer later on if they do not know the content of the previous levels.
A STRESSFUL EXAM
The AEIS can be very stressful for students and parents who simply want a better education for their child. Thus, it is important to take necessary actions that can limit this stress as much as possible. One such way is by making sure that everything is prepared in terms of logistics and documents.
- Parents need to ensure that their child is eligible for the examination based on their age.
- Parents need to ensure that they upload the necessary supporting documents within the deadline. The supporting documents include the child’s birth certificate and passport.
- After the application is processed, parents will receive the entry proof, child’s details, index number, timetable, the test venue and specific instructions for the students. Parents need to understand all these instructions and ensure that their child has the necessary documents on the test date itself.
- Missing such documents will create unnecessary stress and result in a huge waste of effort if the document is not found.
- Students and parents should ensure they have all the necessary stationery and must ensure that they function well.
- Parents should aim to bring their child to the test venue at least 15 to 30 minutes before the reporting time stated on their entry proof.
Once all this preparation is complete, the big day will arrive. It will be normal to feel nervous and stressed before entering the exam venue and even during the examination. Parents should try their best to keep their child in a calm state of mind.
Some parents make the mistake of constantly reminding their child about the importance of the test. This stress will only make them perform worse. However, once the student enters the examination venue, it is all up to them as they do not have the moral support of their parents anymore.
One piece of advice that students should follow is to breathe. Taking slow and deep breaths is a lot more powerful than what most students think. It can help them feel calm just after a few breaths. For the examination itself, students need to keep in mind how much time they have left and manage their time as well as possible.
The test will not be easy and it is normal to feel a lot of time pressure but worrying about time will only make the stress even worse. If students are stuck on a question, skipping it and coming back to it later is better. This is much more effective than worrying about it and wasting time on it.
Students need to include timed practice during their preparation so that they will be used to the feeling of time pressure and being forced to skip questions that they would have done easily without the stress. Although easier said than done, students need to constantly tell themselves to be calm and believe that the hard work that they had put in will pay off.