Final PSLE Maths Exam tips – Word Problems

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As the PSLE examinations draw near, students will be gearing up for the final push towards securing good grades. The Maths Paper 2 PSLE examination has two main partsShort Answer Questions and Structured Questions (word problems).

Maths Paper 2 carries a slightly heavier weightage compared to Paper 1. You will have a total of 90 minutes to complete this paper. This section of the exam involves solving word problems of varying difficulty levels that will require using Math heuristics. You are permitted to use calculators during this exam.

It is not uncommon for students to face difficulty in solving these word problems because the complexity and length of the questions can prove to be a significant hurdle. It is especially true for those who may need a stronger foundation in Maths. Doing well on this paper will determine whether you can pass the PSLE paper or secure your AL1.

Here are some last-minute tips that will help you bag that AL1:

Tip 1 – Read the Question Carefully

To prevent mistakes or misinterpretations, it’s crucial that you comprehend the question fully. Questions can be lengthy and contain information in different formats, such as diagrams or tables

What you can do is to

    1. break down the question into smaller parts,
    2. underline or circle keywords and numbers e.g. “EQUAL”.

Tip 2 – Sketch Diagrams or Use the GRID

When encountering complex problems, grasping the underlying concepts and developing practical solutions can often be challenging. Fortunately, various visual aids can help simplify the process. These aids include bar models, number lines, and geometric drawings.

One such tool that your Elucidation teacher has taught you is the “GRID“.

Keeping your sketches neat and labelling your working clearly is essential. Even if the drawing isn’t to scale, this will help you explain your solution process more effectively.

Tip 3 – Use The Appropriate Technique

To solve a problem, try using techniques like “Working Backwards“, “Guess and Check“, “Constant Difference“, “Equal Concept“, “One Item Unchanged“, or a combination of them. It is crucial to determine which technique works best for the specific problem.

Remember to document each step of the process, as the different parts of the method can often be graded for marks.

Tip 4 – Check and Recheck

It is essential to avoid simple calculation errors or misreading questions because they can lead to losing valuable marks.

Double-check for transfer errors.

Ensure your solution makes sense in the given context by revisiting the question after solving it. If you have enough time, try substituting your answers into the question to verify your solution.

Tip 5 – Reset and Refocus

Suppose you encounter a question that seems too challenging, especially after many unsuccessful attempts. In that case, it is always a good idea to take a break and return to it later.

Doing so allows you to reset and approach the question from a new angle. Gain a fresh perspective and approach the question from a new angle. Don’t be afraid to step away and come back with fresh eyes. It is a helpful and effective strategy that can significantly impact your problem-solving abilities.

Bonus Tip – Recoup and Recover

If you encounter a challenging problem that seems impossible, do not despair.

Instead, try to break it into more manageable components and tackle as many of them as possible, showing your working for each portion.

This approach may enable you to earn a few extra marks, which can ultimately help you achieve AL1, AL2, or even AL3.



Other mini-articles in our PSLE Final Exam Tips miniseries:

The Elucidation Learning advantage

Our Mathematics programs at Elucidation Learning are built around this principle — students are sorted by ability into small classes. This creates an environment that best suits their individual needs.

Qualified teachers deliver the lessons. They are trained, well-versed, and experienced in teaching the curriculum defined by the Ministry of Education.

For a free assessment of your child’s work, make an appointment with Elucidation Learning. You can drop in at one of our centre locations and speak to us.

Alternatively, call us at +65.6464-0323 or Whatsapp us at +65.9738-8529. We can help your child work on their weaknesses this holiday and give them a head-start for the new school year!