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Everything You Need to Know About PSLE Science

April 29, 2022
StudySmart Team
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A student's six-year journey in primary school comes to an end with the primary school leaving examinations called the PSLE. Students are assessed on what they have learnt over the years to determine whether they are eligible to advance to the next phase in their educational journey. Thus, the primary school leaving examination is a great challenge for both students and parents. It tests the student's academic aptitude along with their levels of resilience and how they manage stress. Though there are various subjects, PSLE Science is one of the complex and difficult subjects. The students are assessed based on their creativity and knowledge of theoretical elements.

The PSLE science examination makes students investigate the concepts they have acquired from their subject to determine the outcomes in various scenarios. A few find this approach fascinating, whereas some complain about the complexity of the course. The PSLE Science course assists students to become rational, reasoned thinkers and highly educated in the future. But you should understand that cultivating all the above skills does not happen overnight. In this article, let us discuss all the information which will help a child perform well in their Science PSLE examination.

A Brief Summary of PSLE Science Assessment Objectives

Understanding the objectives of the PSLE Science assessments is the most important step in trying to excel in PSLE Science. The syllabus teaches the scientific concepts and prepares the students to equip themselves for life by showcasing how science impacts our daily activities and the environment in which we survive. The PSLE Science syllabus makes students learn and appreciate the difference between various topics and themes and integrate the scientific ideas.

To be more precise, PSLE Science focuses on:

    1. Making students understand the scientific concepts, principles, and facts and effectively apply them to real-life situations.
    2. Helping students interpret the information they have acquired in various forms through graphs, charts and images.
    3. Allowing children to explore several hypotheses to express their findings.
    4. Preparing students to utilise the scientific knowledge by identifying the question, drawing evidence-based conclusions to comprehend, and making a decision about the changes brought about in the real world by human beings.

Looking forward to taking PSLE exams to finish your child's primary education? Choose the right PSLE online learning app for your students to feel comfortable during exam preparation. StudySmart's AI based self-learning techniques enable students to acquire deep knowledge in: PSLE English, PSLE Maths, PSLE Science.

Challenges Faced in PSLE Science Exam

PSLE Science has multiple choice questions in Booklet A, which is tough and has evolved to be lengthier. Many students lose their marks as a result of this, and so students have to be more mindful to reduce the number of errors they commit. When it comes to open-ended questions, students face difficulties because they are higher-order application-based questions. This section tests the true understanding of the student of the subject. In order to maximize the chance of scoring better, students must clearly explain the key concepts.

Dates & Timing of PSLE Science Examination

On October 4th,

  • PSLE Standard Science takes place between 8:15 to 10:00.
  • PSLE Foundation Science takes place between 8:15 to 9:30.

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PSLE Science Syllabus & Exam Format

PSLE Science Syllabus

The PSLE Science covers five main topics, namely:

  • Diversity
  • Systems
  • Cycles
  • Interactions
  • Energy

The topics encompass the core concept of life and physical sciences but have no clear boundaries between the themes. The syllabus content cannot be visualised as segregated blocks of knowledge as various topics are common amongst the themes. Let us see the topics covered in PSLE Science in detail with regards to life science and physical science.

  1. Diversity – Diversity of materials and living things.
  2. Systems – Plants and their parts, plant transport system, the circulatory system, air and the respiratory system, the unit of life and electrical systems.
  3. Cycles – Life cycles of plants, reproduction in plants, matter, water and changes of state.
  4. Interactions – Man's impact on the environment, living together, magnets and their characteristics and forces.
  5. Energy – Energy in food, light and shadow, heat and temperature, forms and uses of energy.

PSLE Science Exam Format

Beyond the syllabus, students need to familiarise themselves with the PSLE exam format to prepare well in advance. The PSLE Science has a mix of open-ended questions and multiple-choice questions to test the science syllabus's understanding, knowledge, and application. Students will have two different components, namely Booklet A and Booklet B. The total duration of the exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes for 100 marks used to calculate achievement levels score.

  1. Booklet A has 28 multiple-choice questions, with each carrying two marks. These questions have four options. The total marks for this session is 56 with 56% weightage.
  2. Booklet B contains 12 to 13 open-ended questions, each carrying 2 to 5 marks, up to 44 marks. It is a mix of short and long answers with 44% weightage.

Thus, a total of 100 marks has to be completed within 1 hour and 45 minutes.

PSLE Foundation Science Syllabus

PSLE Foundation Science is slightly different from Standard PSLE Science. PSLE Foundation Science has a lowered difficulty level with a reduced syllabus. Thus, it helps students spend more time building a strong foundation in science with adequate resources. PSLE Foundation Science helps prepare the child to learn science at a higher level in the future. The topics covered in PSLE Foundation Science with regards to life science and physical science are:

  1. Diversity – Diversity of materials and living things.
  2. Systems – Plants and their parts, plant transport system, the circulatory system, air and the respiratory system and electrical systems.
  3. Cycles – Life cycles of plants, reproduction in plants, matter, water and changes of state.
  4. Interactions – Man's impact on the environment, living together, and forces.
  5. Energy – Energy in food and forms and uses of energy.

PSLE Foundation Science Exam Format

The PSLE Foundation Science has a total mark of 70 and a duration of 1 hour and 15 minutes. The PSLE Foundation Science tests candidates only through a single examination paper, but it has three components. They are:

  1. Booklet A contains 18 multiple-choice questions, which have three options. Each MCQ carries 2 marks, thereby summing up to 36 marks. This section has 51.4% weightage.
  2. Booklet B has two parts, of which the first part is structured, and the next one is open-ended. There are 6 to 7 structured questions which carry 2 to 3 marks and thus contribute to 14 marks with 20% weightage. The structured questions may be 'matching' or 'fill in the blanks' kind of questions. There are 5 to 6 open-ended questions which carry 2 to 4 marks. Open-ended questions sum up to 20 marks with a weightage of 28.6%.

Thus, a total of 70 marks have to be completed within a duration of 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Also Read : PSLE Science: A Closer Look into the Syllabus & Exam Format

Strategies to Take PSLE Science Examination

We have discussed certain strategies below to maximise the chance of getting correct answers and scoring better in the PSLE Science Examination. They are:

Familiarise With the PSLE Science Questions

As the Science questions are constructed with the primary science syllabus, students must be aware that the themes and concepts are generally integrated into the questions. Students have to take steps to be conversant with the common topics to easily grasp the underlying science concepts. Most importantly, practicing the previous year's question papers helps them gain more confidence as they get used to the approach.

Read the Question Thoroughly

Students must have a good understanding of the question to answer them right. Therefore, teaching students to comprehend every small detail in the question is essential.

Identify Key Concepts

It is important to identify the key concepts to score high. In order to ensure that the student does not write content deviating from the topic, they must be taught to underline or highlight the keywords in the question. Students should be encouraged first to answer the questions they are confident in and take time to answer the remaining.

Time Management

Time-managing skills allow students to re-check their answers, spotting careless mistakes and thus preventing unnecessary loss of marks. As the PSLE Science paper contains multiple-choice questions which require shading the right answer, it is essential to always re-check whether they are correctly shaded.


Learning the syllabus and covering all the topics is only half the work while preparing for an examination. Revising is the key to grasping the concepts and themes efficiently. Thus, students must have daily or weekly revisions of all they have learned to perform well and score high in the exams.

Understanding & Learning by Doing

It is highly recommended to indulge in hands-on activities while imbibing theoretical knowledge. When the learnt concepts are practically performed as science experiments, they positively impact the studies.

The Takeaway
Children have a natural tendency to learn new things constantly, and science tops the list as it is filled with facts and thoughts. Science serves as the knowledge bank for various inquiries, and when it comes to examinations, it has its fair share of challenges, as discussed above. Therefore, you must understand that PSLE Science is not a walk in the park. You have to take time to test yourself after memorising various science facts and formulae.Students in Singapore can opt for AI-powered StudySmart app to walk through their PSLE Science educational journey with confidence and get high scores in the examination.

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