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Techniques to Help Your Child Ace PSLE Science Examination

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PSLE is a primary school leaving examination conducted for students in Singapore, which usually happens at the closing of the sixth year. As many students find the PSLE difficult, many measures are taken to help them improve their scores. The PSLE Science subject covers elementary chemistry, biology and physics and includes topics like interactions, cycles and systems.

According to a survey, primary school students can handle 40% of the PSLE Science paper effortlessly. As students learn to apply the principles to real-life situations, they master the topics and score better. Children usually have trouble understanding the complex notions of PSLE Science when they cannot grasp the basic concepts and facts. In this article, let us discuss some useful tips and techniques to tackle PSLE Science easily.

Improve PSLE Science Score by Understanding the Curriculum

Here we will briefly summarise the PSLE Science syllabus by describing foundational topics. Students must know what type of questions they will face during the examination. When attempting to answer the questions, students must actively engage instead of skimming through the paper passively. Doing so will help them understand the questions better.

Living & Non-living Things and Diversity

Topics discussed here will include things in the universe, structures, patterns and systems of living and non-living things. The PSLE Science syllabus includes more topics as well, like atoms, cells, molecules, ecosystems, organisms, etc.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the ways to classify various living and non-living things?
  2. What is the importance of diversity?


As cycles are patterns that repeat themselves in nature with time, they may be correlated with anything like seasons, phases of the moon, solar eclipses and natural calamities like earthquakes.

Questions to Consider:

  1. List the causes of cycles.
  2. What are the cycles that are connected to life?


Interactions are caused when two cycles or systems meet to develop a new phenomenon. Examples of interactions are resource consumption, prey-predator relationship, etc.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the illustrations for interactions?
  2. List the consequences in the environment due to human interaction.


A system is a group of entities that work together to perform a function. The types of systems included in PSLE Science are physical, biological, social, and chemical. A system is made up of two parts, namely:

  • Parts which create the system
  • Environmental interactions with those parts of the system

Questions to Consider:

  1. List out a few illustrations for systems
  2. How does the concept of systems apply to human society?


Energy is the driving force behind every movement and change. Energy is classified into kinetic and potential. Kinetic energy cannot be stored and is created during constant motion, like the vibration of atoms. On the other hand, potential energy can be stored and used later. Examples of potential energy include a loaded gun, a wound-up spring and a tank with gasoline.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is the importance of conserving energy?
  2. List a few examples of kinetic and potential energy.

Paper Layout & Mark Allocation Pattern in PSLE Science Examination

The PSLE Science test format is standardised and follows the pattern mentioned below. Let us look at the sections in detail here so that students can understand what to expect.

Booklet A

Booklet A has 56 marks comprising 56% of the entire score. This section in PSLE Science is made of a majority of multiple-choice questions that test the student's understanding of various science topics. Usually, as this section provides answers to the students, most of the children finish it in a short duration. Educators advise their students to move on to Booklet B as soon as possible as it is comparatively more difficult.

Booklet B

Booklet B has 44 marks and contains open-ended questions that are long-format. This section in PSLE Science tests the capability of the student to communicate the learnt concepts through writing. Students struggle here as these questions demand that they use their problem-solving skills. Even though it is only 44% of the total score, this section is very important.

Tips to Ace PSLE Science Paper

There are a few tips and tricks to follow to answer the PSLE Science paper without any struggle. They include:

  • Learning from books will only give theoretical knowledge of the subject. Most schools do not cover the entire syllabus before the term ends. Due to time constraints, they fail to engage in experiments. In such instances, you can carry out fun-filled science experiments at home and educate your child with practical knowledge.
  • Train your child to read the entire question paper patiently from beginning to end. Make them understand that PSLE Science papers are often long. Students tend to grow impatient and zone out before reading the entire question thoroughly. Thus, they often commit mistakes by assuming the questions.
  • Teach your child how to identify keywords. They include words like "compare", "explain", etc., which explain how to answer a question. The next set of keywords include words like "never", "some", "not", "always", etc. Students must pay more attention to these words as they will change the entire meaning of the question. You can tell your child to underline the keywords until their brain gets accustomed to distinguishing them while reading.
  • Students must use scientific vocabulary and style of writing. Doing so will help them score better in the examination. Open-ended questions expect students to recall the various names of phenomena and processes and produce them in their answers.
  • Diagrams and pictures play a significant role in the answers. Examiners analyse how students have grasped the basics of science principles by looking at the way they present the diagrams and pictures on their answer sheets. Thus, mere memorising will not be helpful for students in the long run.
  • Practice makes a person perfect. If you want your child to score high, make them take up as many mock examinations as possible by getting the PSLE Science examination papers from previous years.

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The Takeaway

With the above steps, you will be able to help your child handle PSLE Science papers with ease and score high. Subscribe to the Studysmart app, an online platform for students in Singapore which helps students score high in the PSLE exam. We have highly efficient online tutors who provide question banks for students to prepare better and ace the examination easily.

Have you been keeping up with Study Smart? See how PSLE's learning platform is changing through our GMB website. Click here.

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