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

April 29, 2022
StudySmart Team
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PSLE Science: The Syllabus & its Objectives

Science: it is more than just a name for a subject taught in school and college. Science is an integral part of life. It is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. There's no other subject that offers better insights into the world around us. For students, it is one of the main subjects that implements learning through application.

Primary Science in Singapore is one of the four prime subjects students learn. If your child has just entered the Primary school stage in Singapore, you ought to know this: Initially, Primary Science may not seem like a daunting subject. But its complexity should never be underestimated.

PSLE Science is a complete package. It tests your child's conceptual understanding, reasoning, scientific concepts and knowledge application. Besides, the current PSLE syllabus is more demanding than ever.

Comprising Life Science and Physical Science categories, the PSLE Science syllabus covers the following five topics:

1. Cycles- Reproduction and the life cycle of plants, Matter, Water, and the Changes of State.

2. Diversity- the diversity of living things and the diversity of materials.

3. Systems-

  • Plants and their parts
  • The unit of life, air, and the respiratory system
  • Plant transport system
  • Circulatory system
  • Electrical systems

4. Interactions

  • Magnets and their characteristics
  • Forces
  • Man's Impact on the Environment
  • Living Together

5. Energy

  • Light and Shadow
  • Heat and Temperature
  • Energy in Food or Photosynthesis
  • Forms and Uses of Energy

To achieve success in PSLE exams, your child needs in-depth knowledge and intense practice. Using StudySmart's PSLE module, students can learn the PSLE syllabus, practice exam strategies, and attempt challenging questions. You can also browse our apps here: PSLE English, PSLE Maths, PSLE Science.

Objectives of PSLE Science

The PSLE Science syllabus is set by Singapore's Ministry of Education (MoE). The PSLE Science exam is conducted every academic year for Primary 6 students. The prime aim of the exam is to guarantee that all Primary 6 students have adequately met the learning objectives set by the MoE.

This includes:

  • Conceptual knowledge with understanding

Sound demonstration of scientific knowledge and conceptual facts, concepts and principles.

  • Application of knowledge and skills

Students should be able to apply scientific concepts, principles, and facts to everyday life situations. They should be able to use tabular columns, drawings, pictures, etc., to interpret information using any one or more of the following process skills:

  • Communicating
  • Evaluating
  • Analysing
  • Predicting
  • Inferring
  • Generating
  • possibilities
  • Formulating
  • hypothesis

Scoring well in the PSLE Science exam is a must if you want your child to gain a good overall score. PSLE experts say that it is imperative to understand the exam format and align the learning strategies accordingly. Below is a detailed explanation of the PSLE Science exam format and what it entails.

Also Read : How to Ace PSLE Science – Tips to Help Your Child Succeed

Under the Microscope: PSLE Science Examination Format

The PSLE Science exam has one written paper with two booklets, Booklets A and B.

Booklet A- ( Multiple choice questions or MCQs)

Score value: 56 marks

Number of MCQs- 28
Mark value- 2 marks for each question
Each MCQ has four options.

Since every question in this section carries a lot of weightage, your child needs to attempt all the questions to boost their score. An easy way to attempt these questions is to:

*Read the question thoroughly
Identify the key concepts
Analyse the given options
Eliminate the wrong options

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Challenges to be Expected in Booklet A

Generally, Multiple Choice Questions seem easy to score. However, the experts who set these question papers are extremely brilliant. They are well-versed with the tactics to tweak these questions and make them tricky. So, even if your child's revision is perfect, they may find themselves nonplussed and stuck with the answer options.

Of late, PSLE Science MCQ answer options have evolved to include lengthier and tougher options. Therefore, conceptual understanding with in-depth analysis is a must to score well in Booklet A. And, of course, with consistent revision, your child will develop the knack for identifying these tricky answers and finding the right ones.
Let's now move on to Booklet B, which has Open-ended Questions.

Score value: 44 marks
Number of questions- 12 to 14 open-ended questions
Mark value: 2 to 5 marks per question

Booklet B requires a mix of short and long answers that can be determined by the mark allocation for various answers. Your child will also need to do the following to score well in Booklet B:

  • Use scientific keywords
  • Give scientific reasoning in the answers
  • Provide correct scientific terms
  • Provide complete and accurate answers

Challenges to be expected in Booklet B

One of the main difficulties that Primary 6 students face with Booklet B is the high-order application-based questions. Students need a sound conceptual understanding of the subject to ace this section. Guesswork and shallow answers will not help them obtain the ideal marks that will guarantee an above-average score for PSLE Science.

The following table will help you understand the score value of each Booklet in the PSLE Science exam.


Apart from PSLE Standard Science, PSLE Foundation Science is also as important, although it has a lower difficulty level and a reduced syllabus.

Exam Format for PSLE Foundation Science

Total score: 70 marks
Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Like the Standard Science syllabus, the Foundation Science syllabus comprises five main themes with relevant topics. Here's a detailed account of what to expect with Foundation Science.


Unlike the Standard Science exam format, the Foundation Science format has only one exam paper with three components.


It also has two booklets: Booklets A and B.
Paper duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Booklet A (Multiple Choice Questions)

Number of questions- 18
Number of options per question- 3
Mark value- 2 marks per question

Booklet B consists of two parts.

Part 1 has 6-7 structured questions like "Fill in the blanks" and "Match the following."
Part 2 has 5-6 open ended questions with 2-4 marks.

Students must answer all the questions in both booklets.

PSLE Foundation Science Word List

The PSLE Foundation Science exam paper mainly focuses on your child's understanding of scientific concepts. However, a word list is also provided during the exam to make it easy for students to showcase their subject knowledge without being challenged by their weaknesses in English. The list is not exhaustive and fairly easy for all students to use.

Study PSLE Science with StudySmart

Learning PSLE science can be quite a challenge, given the depth of the syllabus and the demanding exam format. However, with StudySmart at your child's disposal, nothing is impossible. To know how our AI-powered PSLE learning app can help your child, please call our team. Give your child the StudySmart advantage!

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