Primary Science

PSLE Exam MCQ common mistakes

Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes Made during Primary Science PSLE Exam Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

Over the years, the focus of the Singapore primary science exams has shifted from knowledge-based questions to application-based questions.

Memorisation of the facts is no longer sufficient for students to score well in exams.

With the introduction of the new PSLE Science syllabus in 2014, there is more emphasis on skills and processes involving the application of scientific knowledge in everyday life.

Assessment Objectives

As evident from the table below, the weighting of application of knowledge is slightly higher than that on knowledge with understanding. This means the questions posed in the PSLE Science paper are geared more towards higher-order thinking skills rather than simply recalling knowledge and grasping concepts.

Assessment Objectives Standard Science
I   Knowledge with understanding 40%
II  Application of knowledge & Processing skills 60%

Table: Assessment Objectives of PSLE Science

What are the common 3 mistakes made at MCQ during PSLE Science Exam?

Section A (MCQ)

Let us look at some examples below:

Let’s summarise the common mistakes made in Section A (MCQ)

  1. Not reading the questions carefully.

Most Science questions are long and contains many words. Many students do not have the stamina to read these long questions carefully, often skipping the key information or key question terms. They skim through the question and assume they are testing a certain concept. Most times, these questions contain important clues to the answer. Hence students should learn to slow down and read each question carefully.

2. A poor foundation in Science knowledge and concepts

Having a strong foundation in Science knowledge and concepts is important to scoring well in Science. Usually the options are very similar and represent common misconceptions. Without sufficient knowledge, a student would be easily confused by the options, and makes the wrong choice.

3. Not linking the data/information of a graph/chart/diagram to the question

Many students have poor graph analysis skills or do not annotate their understanding. As they read the lengthy questions, they have forgot about the information presented in the graph and fail to link to the question. Some students, in their haste to answer the questions, they simply ignore the graph/chart/diagram. Application of the data presented in a graph to answer a question well is a higher-order skill that students must master in order to score well in exams

I hope this article will help your child to understand common mistakes made in MCQ. Identifying one’s mistakes is the cornerstone for future improvement. Once your child can identify his or her weaknesses, then we can proceed with helping your child to minimise such mistakes and improve their PSLE Science results.

Happy Learning,
Teacher Jo

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Read our next article on the Common 5 mistakes made in PSLE Science Open-Ended Questions.