Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) Mathematics can be challenging at times, seeing those brain-wrecking questions posted online and how many people (even adults!) could not solve them. Well, don’t worry so much! We have some tips for you here to excel in your PSLE Mathematics Papers 1 and 2!

The components of the PSLE Mathematics are seen in the image below, taken from SEAB’s PSLE Mathematics Syllabus.

After seeing the different components tested, here are some tips we have to do well for them!

##### Understand how you fare in Mathematics

By getting an understanding of how much you understand about whatever you have learnt, it will be easier for you to plan which chapters should have a higher priority when you are studying them. Give those chapters that you are the weakest in a higher priority; while a lower priority to those chapters you are the strongest in.

With these priorities set in place, you can now plan a study timetable and set more time on those chapters with higher priority. This will allow you to make sure that you have ample time to go through and practise all of the chapters that will be tested for your PSLE.

##### Regular practise and memorise formulas

Mathematics is a subject that requires a lot of practise. The questions can come in different forms but they will still be testing the same concepts, and simply reading the questions and answers alone will not help you score well. Additionally, by memorising your formulas, it will help you do your papers more efficiently and solve complex questions.

Hence, practising questions given by your teachers or in assessment books will allow you to be exposed to the different forms of questions and help you to be able to pinpoint the types of formulas that might be needed during the exam.

##### Time management

Time management is really important in completing Mathematics papers. Some Mathematics questions can be straightforward but tedious to do and they might require time to do them. Some questions may need time for you to read and understand, before applying the correct strategy to solve the problems.

Hence, it will be good for you to time yourself while doing your papers and make sure that you have enough time to attempt all the questions and check your paper.

##### Using the ‘Elimination method’ for Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs)

PSLE Mathematics Paper 1 Section A consists of Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs). When you are in doubt and are unable to get any of the options that are shown, you can use the elimination method to derive the correct answer.

Some questions are testing you on your common sense, for example, “What is the length of a bed?” The choices given are, ‘20 cm’, ‘2 m’, ‘2 km’, and ‘0.2 m’. In this case, you can eliminate those answers that do not make sense. It is absurd for a bed to be 20 cm long, as it's the length of your ruler, and it also cannot be 2 km long as that is roughly the distance that you will be running in your National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) run. Also, knowing that 0.2 m is the same as 20 cm, it is eliminated too. Hence, leaving you with ‘2 m’ as the final answer!

So, this example shows you that the elimination method can be useful for your MCQs in your paper 1.

##### Knowing your common mistakes

Knowing the common mistakes you make can help you prevent yourself from making them again in the future! It is a good habit to go through the papers that you had done and marked. Going through them can give you an idea about which topic you are weak in and learn from your mistakes. This will help to reduce the chances of you repeating the same mistakes in your tests and exams.

##### Learn strategies to solve word problems

Word problems might look complicated and too tedious to do, but we can cut the information down into bite-sized chunks and use strategies to help you solve the questions in the simplest way in the shortest time.

Here is a method that is practised in Curious Mindz:

1. Read and understand the word problem.

2. Apply the K-C-F method.

K - Key Information: clues/information given in the question;

C - Concept: knowledge learned during the lessons;

F - Final Outcome: answer the question accordingly.

3. Check your answers.

Learning different strategies to solve word problems can help you solve questions much more effectively, allowing you to have more time for checking your papers and viewing the question from another angle when you are stuck doing them.

Hope these tips can help you ACE your Mathematics papers! All the best!

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