For those not enrolled in Higher Mother Tongue programmes, the PSLE Science Papers mark the end of the national exams, though they are especially tough hurdles for many students to overcome. With the incorporation of “Creative Questions” and “Theoretical Study” into the syllabus back in 2014, rote memorisation has been rendered useless — an older learning tool that though ineffective, was previously depended upon by many to ace PSLE Science Papers.
However, there are still ways to help your child perform on their PSLE Science Papers. Below, we’ve listed four key areas you should get your child to work on that will help them score well for PSLE Science:
1. Concept Familiarisation
The questions in the PSLE Science Papers are often built around big conceptual themes covered within the PSLE Science syllabus. Though questions from previous years are never repeated, they are likely to be similar in structure, often requiring students to tap on their conceptual knowledge to provide the correct answers to the questions.
Knowing the common, major themes that make up said syllabus is thus crucial to scoring well for PSLE Science. An overview of the primary Science syllabus outlined by MOE is as follows:
- Diversity of living and non-living things (general characteristics and classification)
- Diversity of materials
- Cycles in plants and animals (life cycles and reproduction)
- Cycles in matter and water
- Plant system (plant parts and functions; respiratory and circulatory systems in plants)
- Human system (digestive system; respiratory and circulatory systems in humans)
- Cell system (electrical system)
- Interaction of forces (magnets; frictional force; gravitational force; force in springs)
- Interaction within the environment
- Energy forms and uses (light; heat; photosynthesis; energy conversion)
2. Read Questions Critically
Secondly, questions in the PSLE Science Papers are often lengthy. It is easy for students to lose focus while reading these wordy questions, and lose track of the key points that may be hidden within the text. However, these questions are lengthy for a reason. They are packed with information and prompts that are needed to answer the question correctly; missing out a small detail may in fact cause your child’s entire answer to be incorrect.
Furthermore, tricks and red herrings can also be incorporated into the PSLE Science questions. Make sure your child does not fall victim to these traps, and always practise critical reading when surveying the questions of the PSLE Science Papers.
3. Answer Questions Specifically
Of course, just reading and understanding the PSLE Science questions correctly does not guarantee that your child will provide the correct answers — even if they are extremely familiar with their scientific concepts. In fact, those familiar may even be more susceptible to giving over-generalised answers that regurgitate conceptual knowledge without addressing what is being asked.
Ensure that your child is well-versed in curating their answers to specifically address the questions in the PSLE Science Papers. At the end of the day, it is not so much their scientific knowledge per se but the accurate application of their scientific knowledge that will earn them that A-grade.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Lastly, your child must have sufficient practice if they are to do well for their PSLE Science Papers. Expose them to the ten-year-series and other practice papers and mock tests, such that they can rehearse all the above while also inventing, adopting, refining, and applying exam-answering techniques that work best for them.
By doing previous-year papers, your child will also become acclimatised to what kind of answers examiners are looking for with regards to the different types of questions in the PSLE Science Papers. They will also become more adept at spotting instructional keywords in questions, such as “Name”, “Describe”, “Explain”, and so on. This gives them the advantage of better estimating the format of their required response, along with the depth of analysis that should be present in their answers.
Conquer PSLE Science the Champion Mindset Way
MindChamps’ PSLE — The Champion Mindset Way leverages the Optimal Flow Method™ to equip students with all they need to confidently tackle their PSLE papers.
Empower your child with the mastery of key science concepts and competencies, along with the learned skill of how to apply their content knowledge to questions of varying formats and complexity. Register for MindChamps’ PSLE Science Programme today, or join us in our next webinar to find out more.