PSLE Preparation: What Does It Involve?
Singapore's Primary 6 students face their future when sitting for the PSLE exams. This examination is designed to set the student on the right path for their future. The exam results will usually determine what course and school the student will be admitted to.
With the revision of PSLE's scoring system, the emphasis has been taken away from grades and it now adopts a more holistic approach to help the child decide their future. Parents have a pivotal role in helping their children develop the right perspective about the PSLE. The goal is to reduce stress and focus on proven ways to maximize performance during the exam.
Effective PSLE Revision Strategy for Maximum Benefit
In the following sections, let's look at how you can work with your child to create a stress-free, simple, yet effective plan to tackle PSLE Revision.
1. Help your child discover and understand themselves
Many life events will help you and your child discover the personality hidden in them. The PSLE is such an event. It's a great time to determine your child's strengths and weaknesses and create a study plan that is suited to them. Every child has a different way of learning. A lot of research has gone into understanding the learning styles and patterns in students. As parents, you can help your children discover what constitutes the perfect learning environment and strategy for study.
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An effective assessment will help you find out what areas are difficult and whether there are knowledge gaps that need to be filled. The study plan should address these knowledge gaps and areas of difficulty or incomplete understanding. Clearly, these steps should start well before exam time. Ensure that students are not stressed for time during their prep process.
You can combine this study plan with a strategy suited to the child's learning style. Through experimentation, you can discover which learning your child leans towards: auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or reading/writing. Parents can be active participants in each learning style. Auditory learners absorb the information they hear. They respond well to reading aloud and spoken instructions.
Similarly, visual learners respond to things that are visually represented. Charts, diagrams, flowcharts or models could be fun ways to help visual learners process information. Read-n-write learners may like to see written text on learning boards or placards . Finally, kinesthetic learners are experiential folks who learn by doing. They could enjoy verbal iteration and practical experimentation of the things they learn. It is often found that kids may like various combinations of these learning styles. It'll be an adventure to determine the best learning strategy for your child.
2. Draw up an effective study plan together
An effective study plan is goal-oriented and enables a child to see their progress. Time-bound goals will enable them to cover the material effectively and build their confidence. For the most effective learning where PSLE is concerned, your child should have a time-bound PSLE study plan.
The best place to start is with subject knowledge. Broad topics in each subject can be broken down into subheadings and smaller topics. Question papers from previous year's exams need to find a place in the study plan for each subject. It is good to have a mock assessment in the study plan at regular intervals.
Encouragement and practical help will be valuable resources you can give your child throughout this period.
3. Set a practical revision rhythm
A PSLE revision timetable is the most effective strategy to strengthen topic recall. Encourage your child to revise new topics the following day and to follow up in regular intervals of a few days, weekly, and so on. Setting this rhythm will help them tackle more concepts as they get introduced throughout the year. This way, they will not encounter an overwhelming load at the end of the year. These strategies have the added advantage of inculcating great learning habits and time-management skills in the child.
4. Prioritize adequate rest and breaks
Rest is an essential part of effective studying. A study plan that does not allow for periodic breaks and effective rest periods will not be productive.
Since the period of study before a PSLE is stressful and tiring, rest and recreation become all the more essential. The first step to effective rest for children is to schedule a strict sleeping time every night, ensuring that they are getting the sleep they need. A student who does not sleep enough will be distracted and unproductive during the study period. The brain needs a certain amount of sleep to perform its cognitive functions of learning, recall, and focus.
It is also important to teach the importance of proper breaks during a stressful period. Children and adults alike benefit from periods of exercise in contact with nature. Letting children interact with their peers in a non-academic environment is a great way to unwind and work on their social skills. Having family time in the park with games and picnics is also a good way to unwind and strengthen family bonds. Encourage your child to adopt a healthy lifestyle to be able to perform their best wherever they go.
5. Help your child develop the right perspective of PSLE
Help your child determine what they hope to achieve in the future. Developing long-term goals will help them work towards something definite and keep their interests engaged. By determining things they enjoy, their strengths and weaknesses, and what they would like their future school to give them, you can choose the right schools for secondary and high-school learning and colleges to aim for through the PSLE. Football or basketball enthusiasts may want these sports added to their CCA in secondary school. So you can target the child's study plan to aim for what these schools require for admission.
6. Motivate and appreciate your child
Children are vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed, under-motivated, or incapable when they face difficult life events. As parents, you can become a great source of strength and encouragement to your children to keep them focused on their strengths and work on their weaknesses positively. Make sure your child knows that they can come to you with anything that bothers or confuses them. An open relationship that keeps the child confident in the parents' support will build them up and give them a sense of security.
Use words of encouragement and inspiration often, and praise achievements. Setbacks and failures need to be put into perspective and worked on effectively with the right encouragement and motivation. In this way, you will be giving your child a wholesome learning experience.
PSLE Prep - A Great Learning Opportunity
The learning journey for the PSLE needs to be enjoyable and effective. As parents, you have a great responsibility to be cheerleaders, motivators, and encouragement banks for your children. The whole process can be a lifetime learning opportunity where many essential skills can be inculcated in the child.