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What You Need To Know About PSLE Maths

What You Need To Know About PSLE Maths

It’s no secret that Maths is one of the subjects Primary School students struggle most with, right up to the moment where the PSLE is imminent. However, the truth is that with the right attitude and willingness to put in the time and effort required, any student can score well. Doing well in PSLE Maths is important for many reasons: besides pulling up students’ overall aggregate and ensuring they can get into the secondary school of their choice, it also helps in building up a strong foundation to take on Maths at the secondary level.

If your child has always struggled with Maths or is finding it a bit more challenging now that they are in Upper Primary, it’s never too late to engage Maths tuition for them. Achieving a good PSLE aggregate is all about doing well in all subjects, and there’s no shame in seeking out the assistance your child needs to reach their full potential!


Understanding Why PSLE Maths is Important

What is the subject your child complains most about or struggles most in? For many parents, regardless of the gender and age of their child, the answer is Maths. You may even dread helping your child out with homework or revision after a long day of work. One reason why Maths is so tough for students is because there are many steps involved. Not only do students need to be able to grasp the necessary concepts, they will have to apply them to solve problems and reach the right answer from there.

If students are already struggling with Maths in Lower Primary, this is something that needs to be addressed ahead of taking on the PSLE. A strong foundation is important when it comes to understanding more complex concepts that will be introduced in Upper Primary and subsequently, in secondary school and beyond. Cramming everything at the last minute is unlikely to work here, as with any other subject. Consistent practice is the only thing that will work, and students need to possess the drive to improve their grades. As your child’s grades improve, so will their confidence.

Tuition is one option to consider if your child requires additional help with PSLE Maths they cannot get in school. As teachers are often run off their feet attending to the queries of many students, engaging a tutor is the best way to ensure that your child is able to get more individualised attention.


Do You Know the Objectives of PSLE Maths?

maths revision

Mastering PSLE Maths is not just about doing well in the final examinations, but about acquiring skills that will serve students well in the real world. This will also help them build a strong foundation for secondary school as more complex topics are introduced. By the end of Primary 6 students should be able to meet these three main objectives as highlighted by MOE:

  • Possess an understanding of mathematical concepts and be able to apply them to different contexts
  • Carry out straightforward calculations, algebraic procedures and computations
  • Successfully make inferences and select the right strategies for problem solving

How is the PSLE Maths Exam Formatted?

Students are required to complete two papers under the PSLE Maths exam, with a total of 2 hours 30 minutes given. Read on for some more information on both papers:

- Paper 1: MCQ & Short Answer Questions – 1 hour, 45 marks

Booklet A (MCQs): Students need to answer a total of 15 questions in Booklet A, choosing the correct answer out of four possible options. This can be challenging as some of the options can be misleading, leaving students to choose between the two most likely options.

Booklet B (Short-Answer Questions): Each question in Booklet B is worth either 1 or 2 marks, and students will need to arrive at their own answers. If students make a careless mistake while arriving at the final answer, they can still be awarded 1 mark out of the 2 if they are able to show the correct working.

- Paper 2: Structured & Long Answer Questions – 1 hour 30 minutes, 55 marks

There are a total of 17 questions in Paper 2. All of them are problem sums and they carry a different weightage. Compared to the questions in Paper 1, students will need to do a bit more work to arrive at the correct answer, as these problems tend to be phrased more indirectly and require some inference skills on the student’s part. Students can use an approved calculator for Paper 2.

As a parent, you may want to make sure that your child has an extra calculator on hand during the actual exam, or at least some spare batteries they can quickly put in.


What Are Some Common Challenges Students Face in PSLE Maths?

There are a number of different reasons students struggle with PSLE Maths. From the tendency to make careless mistakes to a weak understanding of specific topics, it’s all too easy to lose points here and there, which can quickly start to add up.

Let’s take a closer look at the common challenges students can face in PSLE Maths:

  • Poor time management: Some students may possess all the skills and knowledge needed to answer questions correctly but lack the time management skills to finish the paper on time. This can be because students spend too long dwelling on one question that’s not worth a lot of marks or simply don’t know how to allocate their time wisely.
  • Feelings of anxiety: Understandably, most students find Paper 2 more challenging than Paper 1. This can result in feeling of anxiety even before starting to answer the questions. If students get stumped by one question, they may cause them to become overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and affect how they complete the rest of the paper. This can also lead to a lack of confidence.
  • Being afraid to ask questions and clarify doubts: To master any subject, students need to be comfortable with asking questions when they are in doubt. However, many students can find themselves afraid to do so in class, especially in front of their peers. Here is where it can be helpful to seek out PSLE tuition, where students can learn in a non-judgmental environment and feel comfortable clarifying any doubts they have.
  • Weak foundational understanding: If your child is finding it hard to cope with Maths at Upper Primary level, this can be because they have a weak foundational understanding of the topics taught in Lower Primary. No matter how much the concepts are drilled into them, they will not be able to get it if they don’t first grasp the simpler concepts that underpin them. The only way for students to improve their grades in this case is to build up their foundation from scratch.

Do any of these problems sound familiar to you and your child? If so, the best time to start is now. Instead of waiting till the last minute, get your child started on revision early to maximise their chances of scoring a good grade in PSLE!


Top Strategies for Doing Well in PSLE Maths

maths calculator

Even if your child is struggling with Primary School Maths now, there’s no reason they can’t score a good grade in PSLE Maths if they are willing to put in the time and effort to pull up their grades. Of course, there are some best strategies your child can adopt to ensure that they are studying smart, not just studying hard.

A good way of doing this is to sit down with your child and plan out a revision schedule that will work best for them. This timetable should not only include revision time for Maths, but all the other subjects as well, from English and Mother Tongue to Science. Your child can afford to dedicate less time to revision for their stronger subjects, with the extra time being spent on areas of weakness. You may also want to consider the most convenient day and time to fit in tuition classes if your child requires them.

Below are some top tips and tricks to implement into your child’s revision schedule to help them study smart:

  • Learn from commonly made mistakes: Every student will have their own strengths and areas of weakness. Once students are able to identify which topic(s) they struggle the most with, it helps to spend more time trying to work out the concepts and doing practice questions in this area. After all, practice makes perfect, and students can always work with a private tutor to go through their mistakes one by one.
  • Avoid leaving questions unanswered: It’s not uncommon for students to be stumped by one particularly difficult question out of the whole paper. There may even be a few they find not challenging. When that’s the case, the best thing your child can do is not to panic and remember that they should try their best not to leave the question unanswered. Even if all they are able to do is the first step or a few steps, this can still earn them valuable method marks instead of scoring an absolute zero.
  • Make sure all steps are written down clearly: On the other hand, there may be some questions that students are able to arrive at the answer at almost immediately. With some questions, it’s important to remember not to be overconfident. Students will still have to make sure that they have written all the steps down clearly to be awarded the full marks. Even if they manage to arrive at the correct answer but have missed out on a few important steps along the way, marks can still be deducted!
  • Score as many marks as possible in Paper 1: Students who struggle with Paper 2 will need to work smart and maximise the number of points they can score in Paper 1, which is relatively easier. One method for doing so is to use the elimination method. As long as students can rule out two answers right away, they have a 50% chance of getting the question right. Of course, this may not always work, and students are advised not to spend too long on one question if they cannot figure out the answer.
  • Pay attention to questions that carry more marks: It’s natural for students to start from the beginning when doing practice papers. This means starting with Paper 1 before moving on to Paper 2. While this can help students gain confidence by answering the easier questions first, it’s important not to fall into a habit of skipping the longer, more difficult questions. These questions carry more marks, and students will need to put in more practice if they are to be confident of answering them correctly in the PSLE Maths paper.

Helping your child reach their full potential so they can score well in PSLE is definitely possible. However, one thing you have to remember is the importance of starting early. Trying to cram the entire syllabus into a few short weeks or months is not likely to work, and can even have the opposite effect of causing your child to feel burnt out and unable to focus.


Will PSLE Maths Tuition Really Help?

maths class

Have you tried every trick in the book and found that your child is still not showing much improvement in their grade? Have you bought every assessment book and tapped on every learning resource there is out there, with the exception of engaging tuition for your child? If so, it’s time to consider just how PSLE Maths tuition can help your child.

Consider some of these compelling reasons to engage a tutor below:

  • Allow your child to learn in the best way for their needs: In school, all students are provided with the same materials and learning resources. If your child happens to have a different learning style than the one their teacher uses, it may be tough for them to understand what’s being taught in class. A tutor can adapt his or her teaching style to meet the needs of your child, ensuring that they understand everything before moving on.
  • Give your child an edge over their peers: Private tutors and tuition centres can provide students with additional revision materials that come in really useful. Sometimes, these are specialised notes prepared by the tutors themselves, which cannot be purchased anywhere else. As a result, you will find that your child has access to learning materials that their classmates don’t have, giving them an edge!
  • Provide your child with the attention they cannot get in school: As dedicated as your child’s teacher may be, there’s no denying that they may not be able to give your child the attention they need in school. This is due to large class sizes and the need to prioritise the overall learning pace of the class over that of any individual student. If your child is falling behind his or her classmates, there can be a tough race to play catch up without any additional help. A tutor can work at your child’s pace to cover the topics they have fallen behind in and bring them up to speed.

With so many good reasons to consider Maths tuition for your child, the right time to get started is now. You can find out more information about tuition rates here and start thinking about the requirements you have when it comes to a Maths tutor for your child!


Let Tutor City Match You with A Qualified and Experienced PSLE Maths Tutor

Understandably, you will want a qualified and experienced tutor who can meet all your child’s learning needs and help them improve their grades. With so many tutors out there today, it can be tough narrowing down the options and making sure you are getting your money’s worth. Here is where you can consider requesting a tutor from us at Tutor City. Simply fill in a form letting us know your preferences, and you can expect to hear back within 24 hours with a list of recommended tutors. The best part is that you don’t have to commit to multiple sessions until you are sure any tutor you choose is the best fit for your child.

Even if online tuition is the most convenient option for your child is online tuition, all you need to do is let us know and we can get matched with a tutor who offers that. Allow your child to learn from the comfort of home and enjoy full flexibility around busy schedules while reaping the same benefits from in-person tuition!

At the end of the day, doing well in PSLE is all about having the right attitude and being willing to invest the time needed to improve. You can maximise your child’s chances of getting into their dream secondary school by getting them started early and ensuring that they have a strong foundation to take on PSLE Maths!

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.