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Strategies and Resources to Prepare your Child for PSLE 

Strategies and Resources to Prepare your Child for PSLE

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a significant milestone in the educational journey of Singaporean students. As a parent, it’s natural to feel concerned about your child’s performance in this crucial exam. 

PSLE is an end-of-year national examination administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE), and is the culmination of all that has been learnt in the six years of primary school. It is distinct, however, from the usual end-of-year examinations a student’s primary school will give. In particular, the school will administer its own final year examination, and these are known as the preliminary examinations or prelims, as a lead-up to the PSLE itself.

PSLE Format

Before diving into preparation strategies, it’s essential to understand the PSLE format. The exam consists of four subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, and Mother Tongue. 

Exam components for 

  • English and Mother Tongue: oral, listening comprehension, and written formats.
  • Mathematics and Science: oral and written formats.

They are designed to evaluate students’ mastery of the subject matter, as well as their critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Scoring System

The PSLE in Singapore now employs the AL Scoring System. Under this system, each PSLE subject is assessed using eight distinct bands, termed “Achievement Levels (ALs)”. Students receive an AL score ranging from 1 to 8 for each subject (1 being the highest), with each AL corresponding to a specific range of marks. 

‍Visit the MOE website to learn more about the PSLE Score Calculator. 

Preparation Strategies

To ensure your child is well-prepared and confident, it is essential to adopt effective preparation strategies that cater to their individual needs and learning pace. Below are four ways that can help guide your child towards success in the PSLE.

  1. Identify your child’s weak areas and concepts understanding in each subject with current test papers.
  • Students who score below 50 typically struggle with understanding key concepts. 
  • Those who score between 51 and 75 generally comprehend the concepts well but struggle with open-ended questions. 
  • Students who score between 76 and 89 often struggle to provide specific answers. For example, different types of question keywords like “state,” “describe,” or “explain” require distinct approaches to answering the question effectively.

To address these challenges, focus on thoroughly understanding the concepts in the topics where students have shown weaknesses. Your child should engage in extensive practice with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) until they can consistently score over 40 marks in Booklet A, which consists of 28 MCQs and a total of 56 marks.

Additionally, for students who struggle to identify clues in questions and often select incorrect data, a helpful strategy is to highlight keywords within the questions to narrow down the necessary information for accurate answers.

  1. Have a revision plan for different subjects with breaks in between. Parents can assist by providing a framework for revision:
  • Set goals and priorities: Encourage your child to decide what they want to revise and set specific goals on the topics they want to cover.
  • Organise materials: Gather study materials and categorise them by topic or difficulty level.
  • Plan for breaks and family time: Ensure time for exercise, family bonding, and rest to maintain a healthy balance between studying and relaxing.

To maximise revision time, consider covering two topics or subjects in a day instead of dedicating an entire day to a single subject or topic. It is more effective for your child to vary their subjects of study throughout the day and keep their study sessions short

  1. Tackling different subjects: English, Chinese, Maths, Science. 

The holidays or weekends are a great time for students to clear up any confusion they have. They can use the extra time to organise their notes by topic and use memory aids to help them remember information. 

Another good habit to start is keeping a journal for each subject. This journal should include common mistakes, tricky questions, or challenging topics for quick reference. For instance, students can re-attempt mistakes noted in their journals. 

Here are more tips on how students can revise for each subject: 

  • English: Read storybooks, newspapers, or articles to improve vocabulary and comprehension skills. Students can pick a theme from these materials and list words or phrases related to it.

To improve composition writing, they can compile a list of common themes – for example: Memorable Holiday, Act of Kindness, Helping a Friend in Need, Surprise Event, Favorite Hobby – and practice writing short essays or brainstorming ideas for them.

For grammar or synthesis and transformation, they should review past exams and worksheets to extract commonly tested rules. Creating their own notes helps students better grasp the content as it actively reviews what they have learnt.

  • Chinese Language: Go through the textbook glossary, mark unfamiliar words, and spend time improving vocabulary. Students who struggle with word recognition should read passages from the textbook daily for context understanding.

Parents can create opportunities for their children to practise speaking Chinese at home with relatives or friends who are fluent in the language. Watching television programmes together can also provide more exposure to the language, helping children understand and learn it better.

  • Maths: Help your children focus on understanding the key concepts and principles behind problems, rather than just completing many past exam papers. With a solid grasp of concepts, learning becomes meaningful, and practice reinforces understanding.

If a child is stuck on a concept or question, address it immediately rather than postponing it, as they might forget about the question. Use the textbook or worksheets to fill any gaps in understanding. Focus on specific concepts that need more practice.

For complex Maths problems, try this approach:

  1. Understand the problem (underline key information or break it into smaller parts)
  2. Select a strategy (like the model method, working backwards, or finding patterns)
  3. Solve the problem
  4. Check the answer using another method
  • Science: Start with topical revision for one to three hours a week, then move on to past years’ papers to gain exposure to a range of questions. Spend more time revising topics that teachers spend less time on and less time on quickly covered topics.

PSLE Science syllabus is based on themes. To understand the relationships between themes, students can make mind maps or write summaries. Active consolidation of concepts helps them become more familiar with the content. If mind maps don’t work for a topic, students can create flashcards and have parents or siblings help test them.

  1. Regular timed-practice sessions for final revision using past exam papers is another effective strategy to excel in the PSLE. 

Through this approach, students can become more familiar with the exam format and improve their time management skills. It allows them to understand the types of questions that are typically asked and learn how to allocate their time effectively during the exam.

Sgtestpaper is a good resource for this preparation, offering downloadable exam papers from top schools and interactive tests specifically designed for PSLE students. Practice using these resources can make a significant difference in their performance.

Recommended Resources

  1. The Ministry of Education (MOE) provides various study materials for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). These materials are approved for use in schools and are designed to support students in their PSLE preparation. 

The MOE-approved textbook list includes materials for subjects such as English Language, Mother Tongue Languages (MTL), Mathematics, Science, Art, Music, Physical Education, Social Studies, and Character and Citizenship Education. These materials are regularly updated and are available for download from the MOE website.

  1. Student Care/ Tuition Centre like in:genius by NASCANS offers PSLE preparation courses, which are designed to cater to students’ individual needs. in:genius equips students with proficiency in English, Chinese, Mathematics and Science, allowing them to ace their exams.
  2. There are several mobile apps that offer PSLE preparation resources, including practice questions, interactive lessons, and adaptive learning features. Some examples are:
  • StudySmart PSLE Online App (Available for English Language, Maths, Science)
  • PSLE 2023 Smart App (Available for English Language, Maths, Science, Chinese and Higher Chinese)


Preparing for the PSLE requires a combination of effective strategies and the right resources. By understanding the exam format, identifying your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and seeking professional help when needed, you can help your child stay on track and achieve their best results. 

Additionally, utilising recommended resources such as study materials, online learning platforms, tuition centres, and mobile apps can provide your child with the support they need to succeed.

Dedicated teachers at in:genius by NASCANS are here to support you and your child navigate the PSLE journey successfully and set the students up for future academic success.

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