Difference Between PSLE Foundation Math & Standard Math

Group of students and a teacher are standing in the classroom with pencil holders and pens placed in front of them

Basic mathematics is vital for measuring, calculating, analysing, and interpreting statistics. Learning the subject of maths is a fundamental aspect of every educational system to prepare the student for a productive future. Let us now see how candidates are tested to determine their understanding of concepts through PSLE foundation math and standard math with an effective examination pattern. This article describes how the foundation math PSLE paper assesses students and ranks them.

All About Foundation Maths Concept & How it is Assessed

The PSLE foundation math paper is used to evaluate the students with respect to the objectives of the primary foundation maths syllabus. The test aims to analyse the pupil’s understanding of the concepts and skills in maths at the end of primary education. Like the standard PSLE maths syllabus, foundation maths also teaches students about the basic concepts of maths that we use in our everyday lives. The seven significant topics covered across measurements, geometry, numbers, statistics, and algebra in a standard PSLE foundation math examinations are:

  • Fractions
  • Whole numbers
  • Data analysis
  • Decimals
  • Measurement
  • Geometry
  • Percentage

The assessment objectives are mentioned here. Students must be able to:

  1. Recall the maths concepts, formulae, rules, and facts by performing straightforward calculations.
  2. Interpret information by understanding and applying mathematical skills across various simple contexts.
  3. Reason out and make inferences with simple circumstances.

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Examination Format of PSLE Foundation Math

PSLE foundation maths examines the candidates by using two papers. Students have to appear for both the papers with an hour’s break in between on the same day.

  1. Paper 1 contains two booklets, booklet A and booklet B. Calculators are not allowed while writing paper 1. Booklet A contains multiple-choice questions with 10 questions with one mark each and 10 questions with 2 marks each. Booklet B has 10 short-answer questions, each for two marks. The total duration of both the booklets is one hour.
  2. Paper 2 contains one booklet, and students can use calculators while appearing for the examination. The paper includes 10 short-answer questions with 2 marks each and 6 long-answer questions with 3 or 4 marks each. A student is given a total time of one hour for paper 2.

Thus, the PSLE math paper contains three booklets with 46 questions with a total of 90 marks and a duration of two hours.

Also Read : How to Help Your Child Tackle Difficult PSLE Math Questions

All About Standard Math Concept & How it is Assessed

PSLE maths makes use of several maths concepts to make students analyse complicated problems, think with logic and solve issues appropriately. The syllabus for standard maths is rigid but also helps with the mental development of a candidate. It focuses on teaching students to grow their skills, attitudes, and metacognition in various day-to-day life processes and functions. The standard maths uses statistics, geometry, numeric and algebraic concepts. The exam paper requires intensive preparation with an approach based on the primary maths syllabus. Another important aspect is that the PSLE maths syllabus teaches students the basic concepts and helps them prepare for secondary school mathematics and physics and use the acquired skills in their daily lives. There are nine topics under the standard PSLE maths examinations, namely,

  • Percentage
  • Data analysis
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Geometry
  • Measurement
  • Whole numbers
  • Ratio
  • Speed

An elementary school girl student writing the answer to the geometrical problem with white chalk on a blackboard

Examination format of PSLE Standard Math Examination

PSLE maths contains two separate written papers slightly different from the PSLE foundation maths examination. Paper 1 contains two parts, namely booklet A and B. Paper 1 has multiple choice and short answer type questions, whereas paper 2 contains short-answer and long-answer type questions. Both the papers are scheduled on the same day with an hour’s duration between them.

  1. Paper 1 tests the mathematical concepts without the usage of calculators. Booklet A is for 20 marks with 15 multiple-choice questions. Out of the MCQs, it contains 5 two marks questions and 10 one-mark questions. All these questions assess the basic concepts and skills of maths. Multiple choice questions are easy to score as the answers are present in the question itself. Booklet B is for 25 marks and contains 15 short-answer questions with 10 two-mark questions and 5 one-mark questions. These questions demand the solving methods to be worked on the sides of the sheet, and the students must mention the answers in units.
  2. Paper 2 contains 17 questions, out of which 5 are short-answer questions and 12 long-answer questions. The short answers are two marks each, whereas the long answers are either 3 or 5 marks each. There are word problems that cover a variety of difficulty levels and are mostly indirect. The sums usually require math heuristics to solve, and students are allowed to use calculators here. The entire questions, when added, make a total of 55 marks, and the examination’s duration is 90 minutes. Like in paper 1, for every question, the candidate must work out the calculations and the methods used to solve them clearly in the provided space. It is a crucial requirement as examiners grade the solving methods also while correcting the papers. The students must state their final answers in the allotted space towards the end of every answer column. Similar to paper 1, students also have to write units in this paper for all the answers.

Difference Between PSLE Foundation Math & Standard Maths

The major difference between the PSLE foundation maths and standard PSLE maths are:

  1. PSLE foundation maths has reduced requirements for mastering maths and understanding its concept along with problem-solving skills.
  2. Foundation and standard PSLE maths have two papers, but foundation math concepts are not very difficult and have a lesser scope.
  3. Students can focus their resources and time on building a strong foundation in maths, and the syllabus prepares them well for facing complex maths in their higher levels of education.

The Bottom-line
Most people think that PSLE Mathematics is one of the difficult and important PSLE subjects in an educational curriculum. However, you should understand that it is easy to score in PSLE maths with hard work and practice. Patience is the key to mastering PSLE mathematics, and in order to score maximum in this subject, one needs to have complete knowledge of the concepts with repeated practice. Studysmart, based in Singapore, helps you prepare well for the PSLE foundation math paper by providing adequate practice through mock tests. Try our PSLE online learning app today!

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