prelims pic

PSLE Prelims is scheduled to be on the first week of August in Missy’s school. With only 5 weeks left after the June holidays, I sat with Missy to plan out a revision schedule. This is how we do it.

Importance To Plan Together

When kids were young, it was easy to plan out a routine schedule and carried it out. But when kids grow up, we need to ensure that we plan out schedule with them so that they are aware, in agreement and committed to stick by the schedule independently.

Knowing the Subjects and Topics to be Tested

This applies to all levels, the knowledge of what are to be tested and ensure the child knows! In Prelims, there is no need to check it out, every topic from P1 to P6 will be tested. I find that only the Science subject has the heaviest revision topics from P3 to P6. Apart from that, Math is built up on basic topics and earlier topics in P1-P4, although important, are not heavily tested and usually appeared in Section A MCQ portion. For Chinese, the vocabulary words may be more skewed towards P5 and P6, not to say that P1-P4 work is insignificant, it is equally important too.

Separate the Subjects into Different Segments and Revision

It is important to break the revision and past year paper practices into clear segments. This is akin to practising piano pieces whereby the problem music phrases require target practices over and over again. Likewise, if we can divide the subjects into segments, we will be doing target practices for each segment to master them one by one. How do we do so?

a) Science

Science has 2 sections to its paper – MCQ and OEQ (Open Ended Question)

Section A MCQ – 56 marks
Section B OEQ – 44 marks

MCQ for Science should not be neglected as it carries a total of 56 marks (28 questions), which is more than half the passing marks! If one were to do well for this section, there will be no question about passing the paper.

If you had followed my post on PSLE Science Workshop by Marshall Cavendish, we have learnt to do target practices by:

– targeting 20 RIGHT Questions in 20 minutes for MCQ Section
– targeting 20 Marks in 20 minutes by choosing any questions that the child is comfortable and good in for OEQ Section. This way of choosing questions to target 20 marks is to be used only during practices and not during examinations unless your child prefers this strategy.

Our Science Revision Materials:

Science Guide Book
Science Journal (Missy’s own Science note-taking)
Top School Science Papers
Science Assessment by topics
School Science Worksheets and File (learn mistakes)

b) Math

Math Paper 1 usually tests on basic Math concepts that may be taught in P1 to P4.
Math Paper 2 consists of short and long “killer questions” that are more focused on P5-P6 topics.
Paper 1 – 40 marks
Paper 2 – 60 marks

It is important to ensure Paper 1 to be practised to near perfection as students tend to lose marks in Paper 2 long questions. We are working towards ensuring Missy gains confidence and knows the topics that tend to come out in Paper 1 well, which can be really basics like decimal place value, arranging fractions from smallest to biggest, rounding off, conversion of units, etc.

There are some standard Math topics that will come out in the long questions, like equivalent fractions, multiple fractions, percentage, ratio, groupings, geometry, volume, etc. We target to master Paper 1 and Paper 2 short questions before we focus much on Paper 2 long questions. It really depends on individual child’s ability on strategising Math revision.

Our Math Revision Materials:

Top School Math Papers
School Worksheets and File (learn mistakes)

c) English

Booklet A – 28 marks (Grammar, Vocabulary, Visual Text Comprehension)
Booklet B – 67 marks (Form Filling, Editing, Comprehension Cloze, Synthesis & Transformation, Comprehension)

It is easier to do target practices for English since all the segments are clearly distinguished from each other. We planned for target practices using Top School Papers to drill the same segment for multiple papers. We also used Synthesis & Transformation assessment book for useful reference. We constantly refer to the English Grammar Guide Book too. How do we tackle the English Paper? Click here and here to read my previous sharing and the guide books we are using.

Our English Revision Materials:

Top School English Papers
School Worksheets and File (learn mistakes)

d) Chinese

For Chinese, our way of revision is to drill 汉字 and give 听写. Missy practises on Top School Papers and revise her textbook passages to remind her of good sentence structures that can be useful for Compositions.

Our Chinese Revision Materials:

Top School Chinese Papers>
School Worksheets and File (learn mistakes)

The Timetable

We considered a few important factors. We marked holidays, days that Missy returns late from school, weekends engagement, how heavy the revision is for that day, etc.

It is also important not to be overly ambitious to complete a fixed number of Papers / Revision Topics and be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E when implementing the timetable!

We decided to break the Top School Papers into Paper 1 and Paper 2 to be completed on different days. The reason is to dilute the heaviness of each Subject across different days to ensure maximum absorbance of knowledge and focus. We usually mix Math and English, Science and English revision on weekdays.

When I come back from work, I will mark the papers that she does for that day and go through each and every question, be it correct or wrong, with her. This is important to capture her freshest memory of the question on the same day, if not, the next day at most. Going through the correct questions give her a chance to clarify uncertain concepts and ask me questions. I can spot her weaknesses and strengths and focus accordingly.

On weekends, we have slightly more time and Missy can do one full paper and time her speed. I leave her alone to revise Chinese and test her on 汉字.

Nearer the Prelims, we dedicate the weekends to study School Worksheets and mistakes. I kept her P3 to P5 Math and Science Worksheets and it is good to go through them and refresh her memory.

On the day before examinations, we usually revise School Worksheets again by selecting the topics that need re-look.

Everyone has his/her style of revision that may be different from ours. Our revision plan is purely calibrated for Missy and may or may not work for your child. Nevertheless, I am happy to share our way of revision and hope you will find something useful to apply on your child’s revision plan. I am also responding to many parents who have been asking how we plan our revision by writing this blog post. I welcome strategies and advice from you so that I can also learn a trick or 2 for preparation for PSLE and for my subsequent kids 🙂

For our journey on PSLE tips and tricks, you may click here to read more 🙂