12 ways To Prepare For The PSLE
The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) journey is an important educational route that all Singaporean children have to go through. As parents, you must ensure that your children have everything they need to focus on their revision during this crucial period. You also need to help them develop some key strategies and skills to apply for their first major exam.
Here is a list of 12 useful tips on how to help your children prepare for the PSLE:
Know-How to Manage Your Child’s Revision Time
In order to not cram for the exams at the last minute, managing your children’s revision time is a crucial part of the PSLE preparation. Many parents start preparing their children for the PSLE when they reach Primary 4 or P4. Doing this will give the students ample time to focus on their weak areas and turn them into strengths.
Understand PSLE Timetable and Exam Format
Sun Tze’s Art of War states 知己知彼 百战百胜。 While you can identify your children’s weaknesses, you still need to be familiar with the PSLE timetable and format to help your children become well-prepared for their exams.
For example, the English Language Exams come in 3 components: Oral, Listening Comprehension, Paper 1 (Composition) and Paper 2 (Language Use and Comprehension). While many students usually focus on Paper 1 and Paper 2, do not forget that the Oral and Listening Comprehension parts have a weightage of 15% and 10%, respectively. Therefore, it is also important to prepare for them during the revision. Parents can practise with their children at home by conversing in English frequently.
Create a Study Timetable
Creating a study timetable for your children is a good way to balance their time for each subject. Never cram all their subjects together in a short period as the revision will not be effective, and children will easily get saturated. Students can focus better on one subject at a time, and at a steady pace.
For example, the longest time they should spend on a revision for one subject should be no more than 1 hour. You can also insert in their schedule half an hour of exercise or rest in between revisions.
Here is an example of how a half-day revision timetable should look like:
7 am: Breakfast
8 am: Revision for Math
9 am: Break for Outdoor Exercise
9.30 am: Revision for the English Language
10.30 am: Snack Time
11 am: Revision for Science
12 noon: Lunch Time
1 pm: Revision for Mother Tongue Language
Cut Up the Topics
Swallowing big chunks of knowledge while doing revisions may choke your children. To help them, try cutting up the topics into digestible bite-sized information so they can absorb the lessons well.
For example, the Measurement topic in P6 Math covers different subtopics, such as Area and Circumference of a Circle, Area and Perimeter of Composition Figure, and Volume of Cube and Cuboid. Each subtopic is already loaded with different formulas and information. So instead of revising the whole Measurement topic in one go, break it into those 3 portions to be more effective, for example:
1) Area and Circumference of a Circle
2) Area and Perimeter of Composition Figure
3) Volume of Cube and Cuboid
Your children should only move on to the next subtopic when they can solve and answer the problems with confidence and ease.
Instead of revising without an aim or direction, create little milestones for your children. It can be as simple as completing a geometry worksheet without making any careless mistakes or finishing the revisions of 2 chapters of a subject within a day.
Reward your children if they can achieve the milestones that you set for them. Set achievable targets to boost their self-confidence as this exercise is not to pressure them further but to encourage your children to stretch their limits. Each time they conquer the set milestones will boost their confidence and increase their interest in the subject.
Lots of Practise
Do not let your children practise blindly on every subject. Instead, do target practising by identifying your children’s weakest areas and allocating more time to work on them.
You can gradually shift their focus to improve other subjects when you notice a significant improvement in their current work.
Do Mock Exams
Doing mock exams is one of the best ways to allow students to practise techniques that work best for them. Whether it is to tackle the multiple choices section or the comprehension section first, your children can be more comfortable in the actual exam if they learn to develop their own techniques.
Mock exams can also help ease exam anxiety by practising the entire process from being seated to completing the exam papers. If your children are familiar with the routine, it removes the element of surprise and also their nervousness.
Time Your Child
Time is of the essence when it comes to exams. Many teachers will advise students to allocate adequate time for each question. But how do you know how much time is adequate?
Using mock exams, you can help measure the time your children spent to complete each section. From there, you can narrow it down to each question, especially those questions where they often struggle with. Set some milestones to reduce the amount of time they need to complete those questions and reward them if they managed to achieve it.
Allow Your Child to Decide
Empower your children by allowing them to make certain decisions regarding their PSLE preparation. By doing so, you can help to instil a sense of responsibility and ownership towards their studies.
A good example is to involve your children when you create their study timetable. Allow them to choose what they want to do during their break time. However, you can gently nudge them towards healthier choices, such as cycling or painting, than overplaying with their gadgets.
Another example is to ask their opinions on the subjects they have difficulty with. You can discuss with them if they have any ideas on how they can work and improve on their weaknesses and how they want you to support them. By doing this, you can also get them to set their own study goals.
Try Different Revision Methods
Revision does not only correspond to reading textbooks or practising the Ten Years Series. Nowadays, there are plenty of online resources that your children can utilise to understand different topics in-depth. They can also use various apps to study their subjects, for example, playing the Math Quiz, watching science experiments on YouTube, or attending online lessons in TCHER Online.
As parents, you need to motivate your children in their revision by engaging them with different and more active approaches. With that said, revisions do not need to be boring! Let them also have a little fun while learning.
Eat Well, Sleep Well
Primary 6 is a very stressful year as most students will be worried about their PSLE Exams. For your children to function well in school, having proper nutrition and adequate rest are crucial to their development.
Your children should eat a well-balanced diet that consists of brain foods that are high in folate, antioxidants, and vitamins. You should also include superfoods like spinach and kale as these foods are packed with nutrition and health benefits that your children need. Having this type of diet can help your children to stay sharp during their lessons and revisions.
Getting an adequate sleep of at least 8 hours each day is also important to ensure that your children can fully restore their energy. This will also strengthen their memory and help them to think clearly and creatively.
Get Professional Help
We understand that guiding your children to prepare for the PSLE is not an easy task. You may not have plenty of time to sit down with them and go through their assessment books one by one. However, do not worry! There is always another way to help your children, and one of them is to get professional help.
And this is where we can step in! Leave the teaching to us and watch us transform your children’s attitude towards learning.
At TCHER Online, we always aim to stretch and challenge our students beyond the mainstream syllabus. We believe that in doing so, we can help them walk out of the examination hall confidently. Reach out to us today for a free trial class!