Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is the first major examination for students studying in Singapore. More often than not, PSLE strikes fear in parents and students alike. It marks the beginning of their academic learning journey and also an assessment of a student’s 6 years of compulsory primary education in Singapore. This examination tests students’ learning aptitude of different subjects such as Maths, Mother tongue, English and Science subjects and it is a bridge into transitioning to Secondary school well. Out of all the subjects, this article will discuss the strategies and tips for revising the PSLE Maths subject. Over the years, we have come across a few PSLE Maths problem sums being featured on online platforms that even some adults are not able to solve! As such, PSLE Maths exams have been labelled as too challenging for 12 years olds. In this article, I will share with you a few tried and tested strategies for revising for the PSLE Maths examination.
Examination Format of PSLE Maths Paper
The examination will be taken on the same day with a break between the 2 papers. There will be two written papers comprising three booklets. Paper 1 will be split into booklet A and booklet B, with booklet A being multiple-choice question and booklet B short-answer, both to be completed within one hour. Paper 2 which is 1.5 h long will consist of 5 short-answer questions and 12 structured questions.
Tips to prepare for PSLE exam
Plan a Revision Timetable
Having a revision timetable will greatly help to reduce parents’ and students’ anxiety since it shows that ample time is allocated each week for each subject’s revision. It is important for parents to get their child to be involved in the planning and goal setting as this will allow the child to be more independent in their learning as well. Communicate with your child on the amount of time to spend on the various subjects and remember to allocate play and rest time to ensure a healthy balance.
Though it is heavily emphasized in school, many students underestimate the importance of goal setting. Goal setting allows you to gain clarity on the kind of results you want and motivates you to work harder to achieve that outcome. For example, a good goal setting for maths would include the targeted score for each preliminary examination leading up to PSLE, the targeted grade for PSLE and a checklist of topics to complete before a certain date. Regular tracking and updating of the checklist will greatly ensure efficiency of goal setting.
Start Early and Prepare Ahead
Starting early is one of the best pieces of advice to heed. Starting early gives you the advantage to figure out areas of weaknesses in Maths and having the ability to get help as soon as possible. As PSLE is a test of topics that are covered in both Primary 5 and 6, it is useful to start revising through the materials as the knowledge will translate to long term memory after repetitive rounds of revision. Preparing ahead also avoids stress and burn out which most students will face. In turn, this enables the students to feel more confident and ready to ace the PSLE Maths examination questions.
Important To Ensure Regular Practice
When it comes to Maths, it is a known fact that practice is the key to success. Oftentimes, teachers would encourage their students to keep practicing as practice makes perfect. This will allow them to build momentum as they do consistent revision. Daily practice would increase student’s familiarity with numbers and math concepts thereby building their confidence and quelling their fear towards Maths. Regular practice would help to increase accuracy and shorten the time to solve problem sums, helping with time management in the long run.
Resources for Practice
Past years exam paper: There are mainly two types of past years exam papers you can work on. The first would be PSLE Maths papers, which you can easily download from Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board’s (SEAB) website. It will definitely give you a good gauge of the difficulty level and expose you to conditions similar to the real examination. The second past year exam paper would be schools’ preliminary examinations. These additional papers would allow you to be aware of what kinds of questions other schools are giving their students in order to prepare for PSLE. These can be obtained online or through vendors that will help to print these papers.
Work On Time Management
Talking about time management, it is something that a lot of students struggle with. Some students are unable to reach the end of the paper and this is a pity as there might be potential questions that they are able to score well in. Their poor time management often stems from spending a large amount of time on the earlier questions, leaving very little or no time for the last few questions.
The best solution to this problem would be to have multiple mock exams at home and ensuring that not more than one minute can be spent on each question for paper 1, leaving ample time for practice and to work on skipped questions.
Don’t Make the Same Mistakes
In order to do well, you not only have to do sufficient practice but also you need to review your mistakes and steer away from committing the same mistakes again. The latter is pivotal to ensure that you are able to minimise marks lost in the actual examination. Some of the common mistakes would include leaving out the units, not reducing the fractions, careless calculation mistakes and accidentally leaving out questions. These will all be hefty costs which you will not want to incur in the exam. Hence, time management would also help as the remaining time is used for checking for such mistakes!
Take Care Of Your Well-Being
The last tip would be by far one of the most crucial pieces of advice. Treat your body right as you will be the one sitting for the PSLE Maths Exam! Avoid doing any last minute revision as it will further add to your nerves and make you overthink. Staying calm and having a positive mind will reduce errors and enhance your accuracy. Sleeping early before the night of the exam will give you a fresh mind the next day and energy to sit through the exam.
Exercising regularly after a day’s work would also greatly help to increase productivity and reduce chances for burnouts. Going out for fresh air would be beneficial for the brain and mind! Remember a fresh mind and healthy body will help greatly!