PSLE Math Getting More Difficult? Our FAQs May Help

Submitted by Advertiser KiasuParent

Worried about Challenging ‘Math Olympiad Style’ Questions appearing more frequently in the Math Paper for Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE)?

In recent years, the difficulty of the PSLE Math papers has been widely discussed amongst parents and the media. While some of the questions in the past PSLE Math papers are indeed non-routine and very creative, they are still well within the scope and syllabus set by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions that can help parents and children better prepare for such questions.

What should students do if they face difficulty solving or answering a question?

Students might be surprised by some of the unconventional and demanding questions that they encounter in their PSLE Math papers. However, they should stay  calm and be confident of their own mathematical abilities and problem-solving skills.

Most importantly, never leave any question blank! As long as systematic and relevant workings have been provided to show that an attempt has been made to the best of their abilities, the MOE markers will award method marks where appropriate.

Is it fair to include challenging questions to distinguish the bright students from the average, or should an exam paper have questions that all students can tackle?

The PSLE Math exam is designed to have a good mix of fundamental, average and challenging questions, within the limits of the Primary Math syllabus. This is to ensure that students are thoroughly tested on how well they can apply the knowledge and concepts they have learnt in school.

Different students have different strengths in various areas of PSLE Math.

Therefore, it would be amiss to say that only the bright students can solve the more demanding questions. Such questions exist for all students to test their mettle.

There were students who emerged from the PSLE Math Exams in tears or visibly upset. How can parents help their children deal with such setbacks?

As parents, it would be prudent to remind your child that taking exams is a part of their education journey.

While grades reflect their understanding of the subject matter, they do not define your child’s value or individuality. Exam results can never truly quantify your child’s innate talents, character, and values.

Help your child understand that there will always be situations that are beyond our control, and it is far more important to learn how to respond to such setbacks appropriately.


How can students adequately prepare for challenging ‘Math Olympiad Style’ Questions which are appearing more frequently in the Math Paper for PSLE?

Students looking for a challenge can consider NickleBee Tutors’ “Advanced PSLE Math Masterclass”, perfect for those looking to undertake the study of PSLE Math at a higher level and sharpen their ability to solve challenging and non-routine ‘Olympiad-style’ math questions.

The Advanced PSLE Math Masterclass is NickleBee Tutors’ most popular flagship programme, with 93% of their Advanced Math students scoring AL1 in PSLE Math 2022!

In addition to the core P5 & P6 PSLE Math MOE curriculum, students in the Masterclass will also explore introductory GEP Math & Olympiad Math components such as

  • Investigative Math
  • Non-Routine Questions
  • Higher-Order Thinking Skills
  • Creative Problem-Solving Techniques
  • Advanced Heuristic Tools

The course is taught by Mr Zhou and is a 12-month programme commencing from the 1st week of October in each year and will run until the PSLE Math Paper of the following year.

Find out more about NickleBee Tutors’ Advanced PSLE Math Masterclass here:


NickleBee Tutors is rated the #1 Math Centre for Primary Math Tuition, and we have been featured in The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, The New Paper, Capital 958FM and Channel 8 for our comments on issues ranging from GEP Math tuition to Math Olympiad questions.

Visit to find out how hundreds of our students across different primary schools have improved in their academic results for the PSLE Math Exams and Math Olympiad Competitions. 

Mon 14/08/2023