How to Optimise on Last Minute Preparation for PSLE Science

Group of students standing before the classroom blackboard are posing happily after successfully completing their PSLE exams. Hand gesture of victory shows that students have performed their exams well.

Your Primary 6 child may have devoted days, weeks and months to master PSLE Science questions and answers. However, as the D-Day approaches, they experience a rush of anxiety and apprehension. Tension runs high as they do some last-minute preparations to face the PSLE Science, the toughest of all annual exams held in Singapore.

Want to optimise your child’s last-minute preparations and make it worth the effort? This blog has all the tips and hacks your child needs to refine their last-minute Science revision.

Attributes Assessed in PSLE Science Exam

Before we head into the core topic of discussion, we must know what examiners look for in a Primary 6 student’s Science answer paper. It is well-known that students require conceptual understanding to tackle even the most common PSLE Science questions. The questions are designed to assess the following academic attributes in children:

  • Problem-solving, decision-making, and investigative skills.
  • Proficiency in using scientific apparatus.
  • Inference, prediction and analytical skills.
  • Observational skills.
  • Regard for the environment, plants, and animals.
  • Proficiency in using data to validate or invalidate experimental observations.

5 Ways to Tackle PSLE Science Questions

Now that you know what is expected from your child’s performance in the exam, it is time to get down to brass tacks. Here are some effective ways to refine your child’s PSLE Science answering technique.

1. Master the concepts

Let’s face one fact: PSLE Science covers only four out of the six years of Primary education. Besides, it has one of the most complex and diverse content, perhaps the biggest challenge for Primary 6 students. The only way to master this subject is to prioritise conceptual understanding instead of rote learning.

2. Get familiar with the PSLE exam format

Are you and your child familiar with the exam format for Science? Here’s a quick glance at the question paper format, which lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. Students must divide the time judiciously to attempt two booklets, A and B.

Booklet A has 28 Multiple Choice Questions or MCQs. Each question carries 2 marks, which totals 56 marks for Booklet A.

Booklet B has 12-13 Open-Ended Questions (OEQ), with each question carrying 2 or 5 marks, totalling a score of 44.

3. Use the right answering techniques

Booklet B has complex Science questions, so understanding the context is one of the best ways to tackle them. Furthermore, the marking procedure for PSLE Science booklet B is pretty detailed and explicit, so the system is more intangible and rigid. In this scenario, your child’s English command will help them understand the question and deliver the right answer.

4. Divide and conquer

Train your child to divide the time wisely for each question. Encourage mock exams to get the hang of writing faster instead of stressing themselves out without adequate time to finish the paper. Another important tip is understanding how much to write as per the allocated marks.
A portrait of little kids doing last minute preparation for the PSLE science exam sitting in their classroom. The kids are writing and practicing the science concepts in their notebook.
5. Check and recheck your answers

In the MCQ-based booklet A, students often lose marks due to incorrect shading of the Optical Answer Sheet (OAS) answers. To avoid this, it is wise to finish the exam at least ten minutes before the scheduled time. Students can use these ten minutes to recheck their answers and rectify any omissions, spelling mistakes, and other discrepancies.

Also Read : The 7-Step Guide to PSLE Situational Writing

Tips to Deal With Difficult PSLE Science Questions in Booklets A & B

Here are some quick and effective tips to help you with Multiple Choice and Open-Ended Questions.

To answer Multiple Choice Questions, your child should:

  • Read every question carefully before attempting them.
  • Deal with the easy questions first and then attempt the trickier ones.
  • Recheck the paper to ensure they have not omitted any questions.
  • Attempt all questions to ensure they do not lose marks on unattempted queries.
  • Check if they have shaded the most appropriate answer.

To handle Open-Ended Questions (which is the more challenging part), they should:

  • Focus on the keyword in the question and give direct answers.
  • Read all the parts of the question before attempting the answer.
  • State the different properties of both objects for questions regarding comparisons.
  • Give brief and direct answers to one-mark questions.
  • Give detailed answers for two marks questions.
  • Break down the answer to accommodate the space provided for the answer of 3 marks questions. This will allow the examiner to award marks for each sentence and keyword.
  • Attempt all questions because partial marks may be awarded if students mention the correct keyword and concepts.

Simple Guidelines to Follow on the Exam Day

It is natural for your child to feel anxious and jittery on exam day. However, it is unnecessary. Keeping calm on the day of the exam will minimise errors and improve recollection. Moreover, approaching the questions with an open mind will help prevent mistakes.

Also, ensure your child sleeps on time the night before the exam. Last-minute cramming will not help, and lack of sleep may affect their focus during the test. Another important tip is ensuring they have a light but fulfilling breakfast before leaving for school. Avoid experimenting with new food on exam day. You do not want your child to end up with an upset stomach and jeopardise their planning and preparation.

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