A Complete Guide to Primary School & PSLE Science
The Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) marks the end of a student’s 6-year journey in Primary School. Students are tested on the content learnt over the years to advance to the next phase of their educational journey in Singapore. As curriculums and grading systems have changed with time, seeing as this will be one first national exam students have to face, anxiety and concerns may arise. No matter your child’s proficiency in Science, MindFlex has compiled a comprehensive guide to the PSLE Science syllabus, with helpful information and resources to assist you and your child in achieving this milestone together!
1. An Overview to PSLE Science
Science in its entirety offers students more significant insights into the world’s breakthroughs and nurtures their curiosity through implementing learning through application. This is especially essential in building the foundation needed to understand everyday technological and scientific discoveries. Although Primary Science may not appear to be a daunting subject initially, it should not be underestimated.
The Primary Science syllabus seeks more than to teach them simple scientific concepts. It aims to equip students with scientific literacy for the future, with 21st-century competencies. Students must be prepared to utilise scientific knowledge to identify questions and draw evidence-based conclusions to comprehend and make decisions about the natural world and changes brought about by human activities. The PSLE Science coursework and tests will assist students in becoming educated, rational, and reasoned thinkers in the future. However, cultivating these skills does not happen in a day. With ample time and practice, it will create the building blocks for your child to ace his/her PSLE Science exam.
At MindFlex, we have a pool of dedicated tutors with a great deal of experience preparing students for PSLE Science. Reap the benefits and request for a PSLE Science Tutor with MindFlex today!
2. Objectives of PSLE Science
PSLE Science assesses a student’s comprehension, reasoning, and application of scientific information and concepts learnt. The examination also aims to guarantee that all Primary 6 students have adequately met several learning objectives set out by MOE. These include:
- Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of scientific facts, concepts and principles
- Applying scientific knowledge and ideas to new situations
- Evaluate information (including pictorial, tabular, and graphical data) and explore using one or more of the process skills taught
3.1.Booklet A (Multiple-choice Questions)
In this booklet, students will need to answer a total of 28 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) with four options given to them, choosing the correct answer among them. Each question carries 2 marks, totalling 56 marks.
3.1.1. Challenges Faced in PSLE Science Booklet A
Multiple-choice questions may seem easy to score, which is usually the case. However, to fully assess whether a student has fully grasped the topic, some questions can be very tricky and misleading. The options given for specific questions may be very closely related, with minor differences to them. Instead of making the answer very obvious, the PSLE Science MCQ options have evolved to include lengthier and tougher options. It requires students to analyse the question further to choose the correct answer.
As a result, these types of questions are ones that cause many students to lose marks. However, that is not to say that your child should lose confidence. Just be sure to keep an eye out for these ‘tricks’!
3.1.2. How To Score Well for PSLE Maths Paper 1
Since Booklet A carries the most marks among the two booklets, students should aim to score 50 marks and above if they want to achieve an “A” grade for PSLE Science. Students need to be mindful and reduce the number of careless mistakes they make for this section. One of the ways they can reduce this would be using the elimination method when unsure of the options.
Look through the options given and eliminate those that are false or do not answer the question at all. This systematic approach will increase their chances of picking the correct answer and minimise their confusion.
3.2. Booklet B (Open-ended Questions)
Booklet B consists of 12-13 open-ended questions worth either 2, 3, 4, or 5 points each. Students will need to answer a series of application-based questions that test their understanding of the various topics covered in the Science syllabus.
3.2.1. Challenges Faced in PSLE Science Booklet B
Compared to Booklet A, this section does not carry as high a weightage, but it is crucial to note that scoring well for Booklet A alone does not guarantee that your child gets an above-average mark for PSLE Science. Many students face difficulties when it comes to this section due to its higher-order application-based questions. As a result, this section truly tests students’ level of understanding of the subject.
3.2.2. How To Score Well for PSLE Science Booklet B
To fully maximise the chances of scoring the most marks for each question, students should explain clearly and thoroughly the key concepts tested. It is important to note that after identifying the concept, students should further elaborate, applying the theory to the specific scenario given in the question. Although it may be cleverly crafted to look like one straightforward question, some may require more than one answer. If students are not careful, they can miss out on this and lose unnecessary marks as a result. Hence, always make sure to dissect the question carefully!
Moreover, the key scientific language used plays a crucial role when tackling PSLE Science questions as this is one area that PSLE markers look for when awarding marks. From experience, our PSLE Science tutors have realised that students tend to lose marks due to the lack of appropriate wordings in their answers. As such, not only is it essential that students have a good grasp of the various topics and concepts, remember to write scientifically, using the related keywords as well! Quantity does not equal quality, and it holds true in this case. Although this section’s weightage is less than Booklet A’s, it is crucial that students thoroughly analyse their answers.
4. PSLE Science Tips and Resources
Science is a knowledge-based subject that recently requires very little computation, imagination or language skills. Your child need not be the best writer, but they still can surely score for the PSLE Science examination nonetheless. MindFlex has complied a list of tips and resources that would benefit your child to gain greater mastery of Primary Science.
4.1. PSLE Science Tips
1. Be familiar with the PSLE Science questions
Since PSLE Science questions are constructed based on the Primary Science syllabus in mind, significant concepts and themes are commonly integrated into the questions. Being conversant with these common topics might help your child better grasp the underlying Science concept more easily. More often than not, PSLE Science papers bear some semblance to past year questions and the ways they measure students’ conceptual knowledge.
Thus, knowing the important topics in the PSLE Science syllabus is a valuable technique for assisting your child in “spotting” likely questions to do well for this booklet. If they have an idea of the questions that will come out, this will reduce uncertainty and increase preparedness for this section of the PSLE Science examination.
Furthermore, being exposed to different types of questions can be beneficial to gain more robust conceptual knowledge. When more complex questions come out during the PSLE Science exam, students will be more confident in answering those questions. As such, getting your child to practice past-year PSLE Science Papers, in addition to practice papers from their school, is an excellent approach to get a feeling of what PSLE Science questions are like. If your child is unsure of specific questions, they can seek the help of their teachers and Science tutors if necessary.
2. Read the question!
As briefly mentioned above, dissecting the question can be an excellent habit to pick up for your child to ace their PSLE Science examination. More often than not, due to the lengthy nature of the PSLE Science questions, students tend to lose their attention when reading the question. Such questions include the necessary information and clues that will provide and help students come to the correct answer; it is no wonder that they can be wordy. As a result, when students ‘zone out’ or skim through while reading the question, it leads to them losing important information. Furthermore, it is common for students to draw judgments about what the question asks based on only a few essential keywords, leading to inaccurate analysis.
Hence, make sure your child does not fall into these traps by reminding them of the necessity of comprehending every small element inside the question, regardless of how long or time consuming reading the question may be. Your child can start picking up this habit through constant highlighting or underlining the keywords in the question. This is particularly useful when aiming to score high marks as it makes sure that your child does not write out of topic.
3. Time Management
Time Management has been a tried and tested tip that has benefitted many students for their PSLE Science examination. This tip can be applied to all subjects but is particularly useful for Science as students are only given 1 hour 45 mins to complete the entire paper, worth 100 marks in total. Thus, students need to ensure that they have sufficient time to comfortably complete the whole paper, with spare time to check their work at the end. While Open-ended questions undoubtedly require more time to complete, MCQs which look easy can be time-consuming as well. Students can aim to finish Booklet A within 35-40mins, leaving the rest of the time to complete Booklet B and the last 10mins for checking.
A pro-tip that students can be mindful of is not to dwell on one question for too long. Leave it for a bit and come back to it with a clear head after answering some other questions. However, students must remember to revisit the question and never leave it blank. Attempting the question, albeit unsure, allows students to score a couple of marks potentially. Some marks are better than none at all!
Efficient time management allows students to have time left at the end to re-check their work, enabling them to spot careless mistakes that can prevent unnecessary loss of marks. Since students need to input their MCQ answers by shading the Optical Answer Sheet (OAS), it is vital that they check their answers are correctly shaded.
Completing the Primary Science syllabus is just half work done. To fully grasp the themes and concepts learnt, they should have daily/weekly revisions of what they have learnt in school. As PSLE Science is not something students can get away with last-minute studying, they must have a strong foundation. If your child cannot grasp the fundamental scientific theories taught, they will have a problem learning more sophisticated concepts. Therefore, it is never too early to start preparing, and students can implement constant revision to ease the anxiety they face during the actual examination.
Every student has an efficient way of revising for exams, with each individual having a unique way of studying. As such, do not merely follow blindly what others are doing. Some students, particularly those studying for the PSLE Science paper, may choose to do the theory first, followed by the more application based. However, if your child feels more at ease answering the practical questions first, go ahead and do so.
Just make sure to revise in a way with the end goal in mind, achieving the desired PSLE result. Hence, the best revision tip is to work together with your child to find out their best revision method and stick to that!
You can also click here to find out more on the most effective study tricks and tips that we have gathered from our top PSLE Science Tutors for your child to ace his/her PSLE Science examination.
4.2. PSLE Science Resources
We have produced a list of our top 6 resources to help with your child’s PSLE Science preparation.
1. Getting Science Concepts Right
This PSLE Science assessment book is constructed in a direct, thorough, and progressive manner to establish and enhance primary science students’ foundation. Concepts are introduced through lesson notes with the aid of diagrams to better visualisation and comprehension. This is subsequently reinforced through ‘lesson practice’, which tests the student’s content retention using bite-sized practices, allowing them to check, support and apply what they have learnt. The assessment book also provides an overview of key concepts and a checklist to track their progress.
Moreover, at the end of each chapter, ‘concept cartoons’ are used, which are drawn to present different viewpoints in hopes to address common misconceptions. An online glossary is also available at the end of the book for ease of revision. Hence, this book’s systematic approach will ensure that your child obtains the necessary conceptual Science knowledge for more effective learning.
2. Apply & Score: Mastering Context-based Questions in Primary Science
If you are looking to expose your child to more Primary Science questions, this assessment book is the way to go. This book focuses on the essential Science process abilities needed to answer contextually relevant questions. The variety of questions helps to introduce students to Science in real-life settings while also building confidence in answering context-based questions as these types of questions are less intimidating to students.
Furthermore, the book’s extensive answer key and marking system also provide students with significant insight into what examiners are searching for, allowing them to do well in their examinations. Do give this assessment book a try!
3. Count Down To PSLE Science
Count Down to PSLE Science gives students extensive and thorough preparation throughout the important week leading up to the PSLE Science examination. In this assessment book, there are 8 mock test papers. Each practice paper in the book gives drill-and-practice on the following topics:
Not only will students be better prepared for their examinations, but they also gain confidence in answering various sorts of questions. Pupils can also use the answer key to learn how multiple-choice questions are answered and anticipated in full-mark solutions to open-ended questions. The questions included are comparable to those seen in recent PSLE papers, including those that need higher-order cognitive abilities. A 30-day schedule is also included to allow for self-paced revision in preparation for the long-anticipated PSLE Science examination.
4. Free PSLE Science Exam Papers
We realise how expensive additional test materials might be. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of free PSLE Science exam papers that you can download online and use for extra practice or review with your child. These papers include ones from prestigious schools, which might help introduce your child to more complex questions and is a more affordable option!
Download the PSLE Science Papers here.
5. PSLE Science Tuition
Another common approach that students tend to take would be enrolling for PSLE Science Tuition. Students who are lagging behind or need additional help in preparing for their PSLE Science often opt to take classes at a nearby tuition centre. Engaging in such classes can assist your child to improve their understanding, answering abilities as well as prepare them for the examination up ahead.
If you’re interested, you can check out our comprehensive list of Science Tuition Centres.
6. MindFlex Science Home Tutors
If you feel that tuition centres are not suitable for your child, have you considered hiring a Home Tutor? In preparation for the PSLE Science examination, these tutors can give your child the undivided attention they need in a comfortable and familiar learning environment.
Here at MindFlex, we have a pool of over 10,000 talented and qualified Science tutors who can tailor their teaching method to suit the student’s individual needs. Coupled with their vast experience teaching a multitude of students, be assured that lessons will effectively quickstart your child’s understanding of the Primary Science syllabus! Request for a MindFlex PSLE Science Tutor today!
Science is a topic rich in thoughts and facts. Children are constantly restless and eager to learn new things, and Science is the ideal topic that can serve as a knowledge bank to answer their inquiries. However, when it comes to examinations, it has its own fair share of challenging questions.
Here at MindFlex, we have a wide selection of Science Tutors available to impart their tips and tricks for your child to ace their PSLE Science examination. If your child is struggling to do well in Science, our tutors can help with this! Tutors ensure that they are well prepared, ensuring that themes are divided according to the student’s comprehension capacity with engaging lessons.
Learning Science can be a fun thing while also allowing them to appreciate the subject better. Academically qualified to teach various students, we are sure that you can find a tutor that is committed to seeing your child excel even throughout Secondary School. Click here to embark on your Science journey today!
Do also check out our comprehensive list of Primary School & PSLE related resources to help you further:
Primary School Tuition in Singapore: 30 Top P1-P6 & PSLE Tuition Options
PSLE Maths – A Complete Guide to Primary School & PSLE Maths
PSLE English Tuition – Components of The Exam & Ways To Score Well
PSLE English – A Complete Guide to Primary School & PSLE English
PSLE Chinese Tuition – Great Tips to Improve in Paper 1, 2 & 3 by Top PSLE Home Tutors
PSLE Home Tutor – Enabling Your Child To Ace PSLE
PSLE Science Tutors – 7 Top PSLE Science Tips from Singapore Tutors