How’s your child’s preparation? Or rather, how’s your PSLE preparation? Undeniably, more and more parents have to shoulder the stress that comes along with the exam preparation.

For the past 2 months, the number of emails I got from worried or stressed out parents has gone up. (Now, I’m getting about 1 email from a parent every other day.)

As I listened to them and doing my best to really understand their challenges and frustrations, it really made me felt very worried about how some of the PSLE preparation looks like out there.

In general, an “effective” exam preparation equals to more practice by working on more questions and spending more revision hours.

The outcome? Some of the replies I heard are “My child is still not improving.” , “I have no idea how my child is taught. I just know that she has lots of homework and that’s good.”

How an effective PSLE exam strategy should look like?

There are many effective methods out there. The aim of this post is to share with you what has successfully worked for our previous year’s P6 students (based on the awesome testimonials from our parents and students) and we really hope you can take home some pointers which can help improve your child’s Math grade.

Our focus has always been on developing teaching strategies that are both effective and healthy for our kids.

Being healthy means that our children must find it fun so that the entire learning process is enjoyable and effective.

What do we do to make sure our children have an effective and enjoyable learning experience?

First – Knowing the target, in our goal setting session, we want to understand the grade the child wants to get. It’s important to know what’s your target. With no target, we won’t know what we’re shooting for. For instance, if the child wants to improve from 30 marks to 70 marks, we want to know what his plan is if any.

The common reply is “Practice more.”

Well, there’s always a better way of saying it.
“I am going to practice more BY doing this…and that…and then this…”

The HOW is missing!

To move from 30 marks to 70 marks, the child has to get another 40 marks.
Where will these 40 marks be from?

There are various ways to do it and this is the Second step – Marks breakdown.
For example, it might be 10 marks from Booklet A (Paper 1), 10 marks from Booklet B (Paper 1) and 20 marks from Paper 2.

Even so, what are the type of questions to focus on?
(Most people just gave me a blank look when I asked them this. Or some will tell me “I will read up more on the topic Speed.” or “I will work on more questions on Fractions.”)

Third step – Knowing question type. 20 marks from Paper 2 may consist of 10 marks from routine questions (those questions that need straight forward answers) and 10 marks from non-routine questions (word problems which most children and even adults dislike).

Do note that it’s the concepts that are tested and not the topics. Topics are just classifications of the knowledge that your child has to know for PSLE Math.

(For instance, reading up on Cakes won’t bring a step closer to become a successful baker. What you actually need to read up is on “How to Bake Cakes.”)

Fourth step – Focus on the concept, not topic. You can only solve a question if you understand the concepts (or the way of doing or solving it). Most people just focus on topics and what I heard from parents are “My kid doesn’t understand Fractions.” or “My boy doesn’t understand Ratio.”

A better way of saying it is “My child doesn’t know how to convert fraction to ratio.” (And this includes 1 concept from 2 different topics) or “My girl doesn’t know how to divide fraction.”)

To sum up, here are 3 simple steps you can take now to start working towards a higher Math grade:

1. Know what’s the grade you or your child is aiming for. Do not just say A or B grade.
A grade is from 75 to 90. Are you aiming for 90 marks or 75 marks? Aiming for these two grades require different stratgies. Likewise for B grade, are you aiming for 60 or 74?

2. Identify the wrong questions and these will indicate your child’s areas of focus

3. Continue to work on these questions while developing real understanding of the concepts (not topics)

In the next post, I will be talking about step 2 in details, sharing with you the exact steps you can take.

As usual, if you have any question, do post in the comment box below or you can contact me using our contact form. I look forward to your response. :)