PSLE - is it really that tough?

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PSLE - is it really that tough?

Postby prancingpony » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:48 pm

My son will be taking his PSLE this year. Like most parents I guess, I buy past years assessment papers for him to practise. And I also purchase those books that have past PSLE questions from 2004 - 2008. I find that some of the assessment papers set by some schools seems to be more difficult than the PSLE books itself. My question is, is the PSLE really that hard that parents can't help but go overboard sometimes to make sure their child "covers" all questions possible that may appear in the examination papers? Is it absolutely necessary to expose them to such questions for them to do well?
Please advise, parents who have gone through this!

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Postby daisyt » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:23 am

Hi prancingpony, my girl was in Ai Tong, took her PSLE last year. Her feedback on actual PSLE papers was

For Maths, yes, almost the same difficulties compare with the papers they have practised set by the school.
For Science, yes too.
For English and Chinese - PSLE papers were easier

I think it also depends on individual's strength and weakness.

I personally feel it is good exposure for tough and tricky questions and learn the technique of how to solve them. Usually there are sure to have 1 or 2 tricky questions for Maths.

Usually many rumours around on which subject would be the difficult ones. The kids say, every year its different. Last year, Science was difficult and languages were easy, so this year, it might be languages. Then they would saying, because this is the first year calculators are allowed for Maths, so Maths would be difficult too. Its just rumours floating around ... don't take my words too seriously... :D :D :idea:

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Postby prancingpony » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:43 am

dear daisyt, thank you so much for your feedback. I understand the need to be exposed to tricky and difficult questions, but it's just that when he does a practise paper that is just too hard, he gets disheartened. I do my reasoning with him but I do feel sorry for the kids to the kind of pressure they are facing in their educational life.

And yes, with the use of calculator for the first time this year, it's anybody's guess whether the maths papers will be hard or easy!

sigh.....i don't know who's eagerly waiting for the last day of PSLE. me or him! :| :|

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Postby kiasiparent » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:49 am

Maths - must aim 100%. Best is to send your child for problem solving heuristic classes to get to know various techniques to solve questions. After that, practice more and send for more revision. If your child is gifted in maths, best is send to maths olympiad classes.

Science - must aim more than 90%.

English and Second Language like Chinese i am not sure but aim to get as high marks as possible.

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Postby daisyt » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:52 am

hi prancingpony, dishearted, yes, my girl did enountered too. Her Maths was weak and she was still practising even like two days before the Math PSLE. One question she could not figure out and so did I. She asked her friends and they could not too and she began to panic. All I could do was to comfort her "don't worry, if its so difficult, I don't think it would appear in PSLE". I don't know if I was doing the right thing but I just want her to calm down. And my husband kept telling her "don't worry, no matter which school you go to, we are fine". Then she answered "But its not fine to me !"

The stress and pressure level increases as PSLE is nearer. Sometimes, its not the stress parents are giving to them. Its the stress from the school enviroment, from the classmates and teachers. Just to share with you, on the first day of P6, the form teacher already asked them to set a target school they wanted to go to. She named a school and the teacher said "No, this is not acceptable, think of another school." :idea:

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Postby csc » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:54 am

My son's feedback for PSLE last year.

English - paper 2 was easy as compared to top school exam papers.

Math - his whole class thinks it's 'chicken' again compared to top school exam papers. He has done 'similar' questions before.

Science - ok -ok, some questions are not typical but can do lah.

Chinese - very easy (again compared with top school exam papers)

Credits have to be given to the his teachers who piled tons of practice papers on the students since July till PSLE. They have been drilled for the PSLE and thankfully, rewarded for their effort.

Personally, I prefer a moderately difficult paper for the subjects my child is good in and an easy paper for the one she is not strong at.

A moderately difficult paper can actually sift out the excellent ones from the average ones who may also do well for an easy paper.

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Postby MdmKS » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:35 pm

Someone was telling me easy paper is harder to get A* since more people can do well.

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Postby chengsmummy » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:10 pm

Based on my daughter's last year PSLE experience, I would say that the PSLE papers were easier than her school's prelim test papers. Her actual PSLE result is much better than her prelim result.

I too agree that exposure for tough and tricky questions and learn the technique of how to solve them. One suggestion, you might introduce algebra to your son, in case he can't apply modeling method for some tricky questions. Although some school disallow using algebra, but it's ok for PSLE.

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Postby rocklee » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:24 pm

Sorry, can i side track a bit. Why so many pp want to get their children to take higher chinese? Does it add extra points to the PSLE score? If not, what is the advantage?

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Postby daisyt » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:28 pm

Same as chengsmummy, my girl PSLE result is better than prelim.

rocklee, yes it does add (from 1 to 3), provided the Tscore is 250 and above (I hope I remember the scores corectly) and the child is applying a SAP school.

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