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Ways to Overcome PSLE Mathematics Mistakes

An elementary school girl student writing the answer to the geometrical problem with white chalk on a blackboard

PSLE Maths is a challenging subject that most students fear because of the complexity involved in the concepts. Have you heard your child complaining that they would have done the exam much better if they had avoided the common mistakes? Yes! It is frustrating for children and parents when mistakes kill the PSLE scores. In the article below, let us discuss a few common mistakes of upper primary level students in PSLS maths.

How to Avoid Miscalculations & Careless Mistakes in PSLE Maths

Carelessness and miscalculations happen in PSLE math when students transfer the answers inaccurately, skip steps, forget to write units, or key in the wrong numbers on calculators. Such minor mistakes will lead to a huge loss of marks in PSLE Maths examinations.

Ways to Overcome Careless Mistakes:

Students can prevent committing the above-mentioned mistakes by:

  • Double-checking the answer: essential while taking up the PSLE Maths examinations. It is highly recommended that students ensure that the answers tally.
  • Refraining from transferring all the answers in one go.
  • Reading carefully. This is essential.
  • Determining whether the questions are specific to any measurement unit. While rechecking, it is crucial to determine whether the right variable is used for calculation and whether the answer sounds logical.
  • Not performing mental calculations.
  • Minimizing errors is possible when students do not skip steps while solving the problem.
  • Writing everything elaborately so they find it easy to recheck.

Disadvantages of Working With Shortcuts & Without Illustrations in PSLE Maths Exam

Shortcuts will help students save time while writing the PSLE Maths exam, but it does not always work right. Unless students have tested and tried the shortcut strategies while revising, they should not attempt to use any new shortcut methods in the exam. Most of the time, when students use shortcuts, examiners do not award them with full marks. Particularly when the answer is wrong, the examiner will not be able to give method marks as the solution will not have any steps involved.

Teachers encourage students to use modelling concepts while training them for the PSLE Maths examination because visual aids help them easily understand and solve the problem. Here students use illustrations or models to solve various mathematical problems. One of the common mistakes that students commit is not using the illustrations, thinking they are saving time. In a few scenarios, students draw a model that is badly labelled. When labelled improperly, examiners find it hard to understand what the student is trying to express. If the student does not draw a model, examiners have difficulty awarding marks. Both the above mistakes lead to a loss of marks.

Ways to Overcome Common Errors:

Students must learn to solve questions by using conventional methods without using shortcuts in the PSLE Maths examination. They should write all the workings until they arrive at the final answer. Doing so prevents students from losing method marks. If the final answer is wrong and examiners find the working clear, students will be given 'error carried forward' marks.

Drawing neat and labelled illustrations expresses the student's understanding. Therefore, students must learn to use illustrations while working out PSLE Maths problems in the classroom. Practice is the key and by learning to use illustrations for all problems, students get an advantage over others to score high.

Impact of Misunderstanding the Question & Not Knowing Essential Formulae

Students misunderstand the questions when they either misread or read the question too fast. This leads to applying wrong concepts while solving mathematical problems. Students must know that the PSLE Maths questions are tricky as they test the students' understanding of math concepts. So, students must be able to identify the tricky factors in the questions and then solve them accordingly. They must read the problems carefully and reread them when it is not clear.

Students tend to neglect volume and area formulas from the PSLE Maths syllabus as they are the most difficult. When they fail to memorize the formulas, they apply them wrong. Besides area and volume, the other topics where the formulas are misused include:

  • Speed
  • Number patterns
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Polygons
  • Angles

Ways to Overcome Misunderstandings & Improper Formula Usage:

A few of the effective ways to overcome the above-mentioned mistakes committed by students are elaborated on here.

A young boy has a math exercise on the whiteboard with a blank answer, thinking about it.

Misunderstanding can be prevented when students learn to read a question at least twice when they are unclear about it. You have to teach your child to read the problems line by line. They must underline or highlight the important facts and determine what the question expects them to do. When students work on a long problem in the PSLE Maths exam, they must go back to the question in between to recall the objective of the problem. By doing so, students will stay on track with the mathematical solving methods without getting deviated anywhere.

Students must regularly practice and memorize the formulas. Once they are thorough with the formulas, they have to self-analyse whether they can perform all the topics in PSLE Maths without referring to the books. You can cross-check whether they are aware of the formulas by asking them to solve previous years' question papers. To make things easy for your child, take a small piece of paper and write all the important formulas. Encourage them to read it everyday before bed so they do not forget them.

The Takeaway

By now, you would have understood the common mistakes committed by students in PSLE Maths. You can use the techniques mentioned above and help your child score better in their examination effortlessly. Studysmart is the best app for PSLE exam preparation for students of Singapore, powered by Artificial Intelligence. We foster self-directed learning and offer a customized learning program so that students understand the concepts of numbers effectively.

Check our GMB website for the latest updates and news regarding Study Smart Learning Platform.

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