Tag Archives: psle mathematics

Exam Preparation Tips for PSLE

examstress

You don't have to end up like this. Be prepared!

With the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) drawing near and other major examinations like O’ Levels and A’ Levels not too far away, have you planned on how to tackle the examinations effectively and strategy for the different papers?

Well, fret not as this week we will be sharing some examination preparation tips with everyone involved in clearing this major hurdle of every student in Singapore. I’m sure you have heard of the renowned quote- “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, so what does it actually mean when coming to preparing for PSLE especially when a Primary 6 student is still at a tender age of 12 to know it by themselves?

It is very important to understand that examinations is like a “game”. In fact, it is a “game” with rules. Indeed examinations are a test of one’s knowledge in various subjects, but doing well in examinations does require some wit and strategies. We will share some of these examination tips that will aid in the preparation.

Different types of questions are set by the examiner to test on various qualities and academic ability of a student. They range generally from Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ), Short Answer Questions (SAQ) and Essay type. Each require different skill sets and strategies to score well in them which you will find out more below.

Examination strategies and tips

Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ)

  • Study and understand general ideas well
  • Memorise key terms, theories and related concepts for quick recall to questions at a limited amount of time
  • MCQs are really good to prepare and practise using Past Year Papers. Get them, practise and check the answers!
  • Allocate enough time for each question. You should already know the Time(min)/Question when you are entering the examination hall.

Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

  • Classify various concepts and ideas
  • Use mindmaps to link inter-related concepts if required
  • Write summary sheets while paying attention to writing out key terms and corresponding explanations
  • Again practise, practise and practise! Check the answers and do corrections by writing it out.

Essay

  • Creativity for compositions and analytical skills for comprehension questions requires different strategies. For compositions, start planning the outline of the essay before quickly putting it down on paper to get you rolling. For comprehension questions, prepare well by practising often, underline or highlight key phrases for clarity.

Tips and tricks

  • Bring a wristwatch and put it in front of you on the table to remind you of the time. Ensure that the time is the same as the hall’s one before examinations commence.
  • Allocate your time well such that you already know how much time to spend on each section. This will prevent being overly stubborn and losing precious marks trying to solve tricky questions in front and ending up having no time to complete easy ones at the back.
  • If need to, we would advise bringing 2 calculators for the exam in case one gets faulty or run out of batteries.
  • If in any doubt of your paper or print quality, do raise your hand and ask!
  • Always check that you completed all questions till the last page!

The list we have provided above is by no means exhaustive. There are many other ways that a student can adopt to suit his/her learning style and cognitive abilities. Many of which including the above mentioned ones are adeptly shared with students by our ConsultAtutor Personal Home Tutors as the study setting and personal guidance rendered to the student over an extended period of time encourages so.

Start by asking your child or student whether he is clear about the examination formats for the different subjects and apply appropriate strategies as required to achieve the goal set. As the saying goes, “Prepare well and half the battle is already won!”

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How do you prepare your child well for PSLE Maths?

If your child is in Primary 6 this year and is going to take the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) in just a few months time, you should have heard of how past years’ PSLE Mathematics paper have been so challenging and mind-boggling  for students. 

With the introduction of the calculator and algebra into the Primary 6 Mathematics syllabus in recent years, the PSLE Mathematics standard has been raised considerably compared to 10 years ago. Not only do students have to pick up another skill to use the calculator wisely and appropriately(you will be surprised how some students use their calculators), they have to learn not to lose focus on their fundamental arithmetic skills while tackling the famous PSLE Problem Sums. 

So in the midst of remedial lessons in school, preliminary examinations and of course tutorials, how do you prepare your child well for PSLE Maths? 

Firstly, we would recommend setting a clearly-defined goal or grade to achieve. Set a realistic goal and always aim high. If you ask your child what grade does he or she wants and you get the answer “I dunno..” instead of “I’m working hard to get an A!” You probably should start thinking about fixing this first. 

Secondly, in general students at different level of proficiency will require different approaches. Hence the strategies a personal home tutor, or you as a parent could map out for your child’s progress in Maths would be according to the goal and current proficiency level. Spot weaknesses that emanate from repeated mistakes, identifying level of understanding of topics and analyse scoring trends according to sections in the practice exam papers or preliminary examinations is key to formulate a winning strategy for your child’s academic progress. 

If your child has set a goal to achieve an A* and is consistently scoring 80 marks and above in school examinations, you can target to let your child focus more on challenging non-routine problems sums while at the same time ensure that the foundation sums in the front sections of the paper still maintain a high score and preferably, be bold and aim for full marks.    

For a goal to achieve an A or B, it is important that the fundamentals is strong and good. Work on the concepts and the important links between topics like Fractions and Decimals, Fractions and Ratio, Fractions and Percentage (they are very very closely related topics) More practice on basic mental sums or arithmetic calculations is important too but only allocate a small portion of time on this. Finally, move on to focus more on the problem sums solving methods (with examples first) once a good depth of knowledge is attained on the relevant topics. Remember, mathematics to a certain extent is about practice, practice and practice! 

Depending on the learning pace of each child, which is different, you or the tutor should adjust and suit the learning progress accordingly.  

Thirdly, inculcate good examination practices if your child still has not know or practice any yet. Plan the time for each section or even each question well and allocate enough time for checking such that your child can answer you how much time he is going to spend for example, a Section A MCQ. 

To make a point, we would actually recommend that the preparation as stated above starts at least 1.5 years before the PSLE. Some of the strategies as stated above are not limited to Maths alone and are in fact also employed for students in ConsultAtutor’s One to One Tutoring Program. As time is a luxury at this moment for those taking PSLE this year, even more hard work and personal attention would have to be put in. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain! 

You wouldn't want this to happen! =)

You wouldn't want this to happen! =)

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