Modern world revolves primarily around science, there is no doubt about that. Science and technology have always been immensely important, however today they constitute an enormous part of our everyday lives.
So, making sure that your child is well-versed in the language of science and understands scientific concepts and principles will definitely lay a strong foundation for their future success.
Successfully passing The Primary School Leaving Examination’s (PSLE) Science Paper will be the corner stone of that future success. Primary school science may not sound that intimidating at first glance, but it is definitely not to be taken lightly.
If a child doesn’t grasp basic scientific facts they will have trouble understanding more complex notions. The science tutors explain that the majority of primary school students may be able to tackle around 40 % of the questions in the PSLE science paper.
However, knowing how to apply learned concepts and principles to new situations is what enables a child get the coveted A. You can follow the tips given below in order to help your child score the highest mark at this vital exam.
1. Roll up your sleeves and get in there.
Learning exclusively from books can seem tedious when it comes to any subject, but it is especially true of science.
Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way!
Not at all!
Unfortunately, schools are under time constraint to cover the entire school curriculum until the end of term, so they usually do not have the time to perform engaging experiments.
But there is nothing that prevents you from throwing on a lab coat and a pair of goggles on yourself and your child and learning about the world around us by carrying out some fun and educational science experiements at home. You can also use e-learning resources online to promote self-guided learning.
This will not only help your child internalize the knowledge presented in the textbooks, but it will also help you bond with your little one and create some precious memories.
2. Don’t be impatient and read the questions thoroughly.
Children are notoriously impatient in every activity they do and exams are no exception.
PSLE science paper questions are often quite long in order to provide accurate information. However, some children may zone out and choose not to read the question as thoroughly as it is recommended and jump to conclusions after catching a glimpse of a few familiar terms.
Needless to say this will increase the number of the mistakes they make. The devil is in the detail.
So, when doing practice tests make sure that your child reads all of the questions carefully from the beginning to the end, even if they seem confident what they are about.
3. Look out for the keywords!
Help your child understand how to identify keywords in any given question. There are some obvious ones like “explain” or “compare” that tell your child exactly what is required of them.
Other keywords may be specific scientific terms that they were taught during the term. Special attention should be paid to words such as “always”, “never”, “some”, “not” etc. as they may change the meaning of the question radically.
Initially, during practice, it is a good idea to tell your child to underline the keywords in the questions. After a while their brain learns to distinguish them as they read so it will no longer be necessary.
4. Different questions require different types of answers.
The PSLE paper consists of two parts. First part contains multiple-choice questions and accounts for 56 marks. Second part consists of open-ended questions and takes up 44 marks. These two types of questions each demand a different approach.
If questions are given in the imperative, and contain verbs such as “state”, “name” or “list” they require simple recall answers.
You don’t need to write at length when dealing with these questions. Just write down the names of objects, people etc. the examiners are looking for and move on, save the time.
In the questions of open-ended variety it is important to answer fully and to show how you arrived at that specific conclusion.
5. Using scientific language will help you score more points.
Even if your child knows the correct answer to the question, not being able to use the scientific style of writing and vocabulary may cost them a few points.
Learning how to write things in a scientific manner is especially important in the booklet B which contains open-ended questions. A child must be able to recall the names of various processes and phenomena that they had learnt from the book.
As well as this, they should be able to demonstrate that they understand the “cause and effect” relationships which exist between various phenomena. Simply regurgitating dry facts will be of little use in this part of the exam.
6. Applying familiar concepts to new situations.
Never before seen pictures and diagrams are to be expected at the exam.
They will be similar to those already studied but not 100 % the same. By asking the child to identify specific characteristics of the object examiners test how well the child has grasped basic scientific principles that cause those characteristics.
The only way your child can successfully overcome this part of the test is if they truly understand the underlying principles. Merely memorizing facts will not help you here.
7. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Practice makes perfect. It really does. If you are aiming for that A, then you better print some past year exam papers from other schools and get to work as early as possible. And remember, having a motivated child is a battle half-won, so make sure to practice positive reinforcement.
In conclusion, by following these tips you will increase your child’s chances of successfully passing and scoring high marks in the PSLE science paper.
Although, if you still have some doubts, or if you’d rather have a professional handle this important aspect of your child’s education, feel free to hire a private science tutor.
One way or the other ensure that your children are knowledgeable in the field of science from an early age. They will thank you later.