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All You Need to Know About Ways to Solve PSLE Maths Problems

June 2, 2022
StudySmart Team
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Math problems require students to apply mathematical concepts to solve them. The word problems are generally found in the Mathematics Paper 2 in a PSLE examination. These problems contain a few sentences describing a situation and expect the students to use their understanding of PSLE Maths concepts and perform calculations. PSLE Math topics train students to use their analytical and logical reasoning skills to arrive at the answer.

Steps Involved in Solving PSLE Maths Problems & Sums

While solving PSLE Math problems, the four basic steps which every student should follow are:

  1. Read the question and understand the problem.
  2. Analyse and determine the proper method to solve the problem.
  3. Identify and apply the appropriate method to the maths sum.
  4. Double-check the answer to make sure that it is correct.

By following the steps mentioned above, students will be able to solve the maths problems and get the right answer effortlessly.

Types of PSLE Maths Questions

The various types of PSLE Maths questions are as follows:

Remainder Concept

A maths problem with the remainder concept mentions the word remainder or a related word like leftover. The remainder concept sums deal with fractions, percentages, or whole numbers. Therefore, the students require a strong understanding of percentages and fractions concepts. The branching method or the model drawing method using part-whole models is the best way to solve maths problems with the remainder concept.

Proportion Concept

The proportion concept is the basis of the majority of the maths problems. The sums usually offer the total quantity of things or the proportion of one thing to another. In a few PSLE Maths sums, different quantities of the two things with values are mentioned. The grouping method is ideal for solving proportion concept math problems.

Simultaneous Concept

The simultaneous concept includes the usage of two similar equations to solve the PSLE Math questions. The technique is taught to students so that they gain an understanding of how to solve the numerical values with unknowns. The usage of two equations helps students solve the sums logically with ease. It also clearly states that two unique equations are mandatory to solve two unknowns and that a single equation is of no help in any mathematical calculation. The model method works great when the maths sum requires the student to compare different quantities of the same items.

Pattern Concept

Pattern concept is an easy concept for a few, whereas it is quite challenging for some. The difficulty level depends on the individual and how good they are at temporal and spatial skills. Math problems with the pattern concept will require students to link what is provided in the puzzle with familiar numbers. However, there are no fixed methods to solve pattern concept math problems, and there is more than one way to arrive at answers.

Difference Concept

The math sums with the difference concept will give students two scenarios and ask them to compare the amounts of two items. Usually, there will be a greater quantity of one item and less quantity of the other. In order to solve the sums with a difference concept, a student can use simple arithmetic, the model method, or the units method.

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Equal Concept

Maths problems with equal concepts compare fractions (sometimes percentages) of items with equal values. This method is easy to identify as these questions usually state that the fraction of one item is a fraction of another item. Equal concept sums are solved by comparing the denominator and making the numerator the same or using the model drawing or comparison model methods.

Repeated Identity Concept

This concept is used for sums having three or more quantities with two or more fractions or ratios. The student is expected to find the repeated or common quantity. The way to approach these sums is by changing the common quantity to its lowest common multiple and rewriting the fractions or ratios. Thus, the first step to this concept is determining the repeated quantity and then solving the sum through the units method.

Internal Transfer Concept

The maths sums, which deal with two things in an event, belong to the internal transfer concept. It is also known as an unchanged total concept. Here the event transfers the quantity of one thing to another, and the quantity changes. However, the total quantity of both things remains constant and unchanged. The student has to convert the ratio units to their lowest common multiple and rewrite them. The model method or units method is the best way to solve the internal transfer concept's sums.

External Transfer Concept

There are three types of external transfer concepts. The student must completely understand the main idea to solve math sums that fall under the external transfer concept. In the first type, called the unchanged quantity, the sums have two things involved in an event. The event changes the quantity of one thing, while the quantity of the other thing remains unchanged. The units method or the Singapore bar model method best solves these problems.


The vector illustration shows a half, third, and quarter pie and proportion circle chart for the fraction concept.

The second type of external transfer concept is called the same difference concept. These are also referred to as the constant difference concept, wherein each item with the same quantity will be subtracted or added to two existing items. In these sums, the difference between the ratios does not change. PSLE Maths usually assess students on their understanding when the sum is about gaining or giving away the same amount. They must be clear that the difference between two quantities does not change here. In these problems, students must rewrite the ratio and convert the difference of ratios to its lowest common multiple. The units or bar model method is ideal when working on these problems.

The third type of external transfer concept is the changed quantity concept. Here, the questions are based on two items whose quantities provided at the beginning and the end of the sum are different. When students use the model method here, they might find it hard to solve the problems easily. Thus, the units and parts method, a simple version of Algebra with two variables, is the best method to solve these sums.

Also Read : Mathematics: How & Why it “Adds” to Your Success

Methods to Solve the Simplest & Hardest PSLE Math Questions

There are a few methods to solve the PSLE Math problems. Let us look at them in detail.

Model Drawing

The model drawing method is the most useful one that is extensively used to solve sums wherein the student has to divide the model into various pieces and hand it to another individual. This method works great with fractions and in a problem containing phrases like "as many as," "less than," or "more than." In order to use this method, the student must ensure that the models are cut into same number of pieces to maintain consistency.

Constant Part, Total & Difference

This method is used in three parts and solves maths problems that contain ratios. The three parts include:

  1. If there is a constant part, one side of the ratio remains unchanged, whereas the other side changes.
  2. In the case of the constant total, an internal transfer happens from one side to another.
  3. When there is a constant difference, the ratios on both sides change with the same amount.


Grouping is a method used when things have to be grouped into sets. In order to get the total number of sets, divide the total quantity of the sets by the quantity in each set.

Storage & Excess

The storage & excess method is used in math problems when an excess of things has to be segregated into smaller groups, and a shortage of things has to be segregated into bigger groups.

Parts & Units

The parts and units method is a version of algebra to solve maths problems where the student is given a ratio. Both the sides of the ratio change with differing amounts when using the parts and units method. Eventually, the student will arrive at a final ratio. The right way to approach it is by treating the ratio given in the beginning as units and the final ratio as parts.

Number X Value

The number x value method is used when the student is expected to group the items into various predetermined sets. The numbers in the ratio have to be multiplied with the represented value to get the total value of the set. The total value is then divided by the value obtained to find the total number of sets.


The supposition method is also known as the guess and check method. It is a precise and fast method. It requires the student to assume and make small changes to achieve the final goal. It is also called the assumption method PSLE.

Work Backwards

As its name suggests, this method is used to solve maths sums when the student is given the final answer but is expected to work backward to determine the original numbers.

The Bottom-line
By teaching your child all the above methods, you can be very sure to improve their PSLE Maths score. Once they master all the solving methods, they will be able to solve the problems effortlessly. Continuous practice is the key to spending less time solving the problems and scoring high. Study Smart Singapore is an app that is the best learning platform built with artificial intelligence providing sufficient question banks and study materials for PSLE Maths. Give it a try and see how your child starts performing well in academics.

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