Are Careless Mistakes Avoidable in PSLE Science?
There's no denying that PSLE Science is a tough exam. With two booklets to handle (Booklets A and B) and Open-Ended and Multiple-Choice questions (MCQs) to complete, the PSLE exam paper for Science is quite a gauntlet.
There is constant pressure to write all the MCQs correctly because this section comprises 56% of the entire paper, with each question carrying two marks. Hence, there is no room for careless mistakes of any sort.
The problem, unfortunately, is that sometimes, even the most well-prepared students tend to make silly mistakes that cost them valuable marks. How can you help your child avoid this negligence in PSLE Science? Let's analyse what PSLE experts suggest.
The Best Ways to Minimise Silly Mistakes in PSLE Science Exam
1. Recall and jot down
Carelessness is often a result of confusion. Since the Science syllabus is vast, your child is bound to confuse the topics as their PSLE revision intensifies. Hence, the first step to minimising carelessness is to recall which topic the question belongs to and recall the concepts that fit the question.
A systematic recollection of facts will help in arriving at an accurate answer. For example, if the question comes with a diagram illustrating blood flow to some organs in the body, you can start by:
- Identifying the important body parts.
- Identify parts that carry oxygenated blood.
- Identify parts that carry de-oxygenated blood.
- Use short forms for long names.
- Write each step instead of memorising it.
Writing the concepts will help you accurately recall them in memory when you are pressed for time, which is an inevitable challenge with 28 MCQs.
2. Look for keywords
A keyword usually guides you to the right answer to multiple choice questions. The keywords must be highlighted to be easily identified, so you know what to look for when selecting an answer.
Here are two classic examples to identify keywords or variables in the questions:
1. Choose the statement which is not true.
2. Considering the experiment above, which statement(s) is/are true?"?
Booklet A contains questions like the ones above. Highlighting "not true" or "true" will remind you to mark the options and lower the chances of making careless errors. Also, note the phrase "based on the experiment above." It is just as important, as you can only choose options based on the results recorded from the experiment. Even if it appears correct based on your understanding of the concepts, you cannot select any option that cannot be concluded from the experiment.
3. Eliminate wrong options
PSLE Science is notoriously famous for its tricky MCQs. It may leave you wondering which option to pick because two or three of them may seem similar. The trick to dealing with such complex questions is to pick the option closest to the given concept and eliminate the ones that are incorrect.
This is a simple but effective strategy that gives you the advantage of:
- Narrowing down the possible correct answers.
- Increasing your chance of picking the accurate answer by at least 25%.
- Saving the mental energy of using short-term memory to recollect information and then pick the right answer.
- Confirming the final answer instead of wasting time rechecking facts or redoing the question.
4. Make note of "True or False."
Careless answers are most likely to occur when students are asked to identify true or false facts. The most common mistake students make in identifying a true statement is when the question asks them to identify the false one and vice versa.
Primary students can overcome this carelessness by:
- Putting a "✓" over words like "true" and "correct."
- Marking an "X" over words like "untrue", "incorrect", "false" and "not true".
5. Re-read and recheck
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to re-read the answers written in Section B, especially those with 2 and 4 marks. Often, in the PSLE exam paper, students make the mistake of carelessly phrasing words or sentences. Instead of writing "gain heat", they may write "lose heat, "conductor" instead of "insulator", or "vein" instead of "nerve."
Call it anxiety or mental fatigue, these slip-ups will drastically affect the final score. Hence, it is crucial to train students to re-read the final answers when doing PSLE practice papers to implement the same in the real exam.
Conceptual Knowledge: A Must-Have for PSLE Science
Never encourage your child to memorize and recall without understanding the concepts during PSLE preparation for Science. Rote learning serves no purpose because PSLE Science tests your child's conceptual understanding.
Consistent revision and guidance are indispensable to help Primary students overcome silly mistakes in PSLE Science. You may also reinforce their PSLE revision with StudySmart, Singapore, our AI-powered platform that helps to personalize and optimize your child's PSLE preparation.