In this article, I will be sharing the must-know time management tips needed to score for PSLE math paper 2 – the Problem Sums Section.
Has your child been struggling to improve his or her results in the problem sums section? The truth is that students can improve their results simply by managing their time well and forming habits that allow them to be quicker in problem-solving.
In other words, they do NOT have to study harder just to do better! Applying the right strategies based on the structure of the examination is critical. They need this to get the most out of all their hard work for PSLE Math Paper 2.
Of course, improving in their knowledge and skill is important to see better results but that alone is insufficient to get the best result.
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Time Management Strategy Overview
- The structure and time limits for PSLE Math Paper 2
- How much time to spend doing each question
- What to do at the start of the paper
- What to do when a student gets stuck in a question
- Habits to adopt to improve speed and accuracy
Strategy 1: Being Familiar With the Structure and Time Limits for PSLE Math Paper 2
This may surprise you, but most students I meet do not know how much time they have. They also don’t know the number of marks each PSLE Math Paper 2 question carries.
Moreover, it is critical to know these things well before sitting for the exam to properly prepare for it. You need to ask your child to make sure that they know these well.
Here’s the structure for PSLE Math Paper 2 Problem Sums Section:
||Number of Questions
|It’s a total of 55 Marks in 90 minutes.
Strategy 2: How Much Time To Spend on Each Question
Keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate. Your child should be trained to handle these questions within the time limit. They also need to develop a sense of how much time to spend on each question.
|Time Allowance for Problem Sums – PSLE Math Paper 2
||About 1.5 minutes including checking time
|Marks Per Question
||Total of 10 – 15 minutes
During practice, make sure that they complete the questions within the time limit. You may use the marks given to help you child develop a sense of timing. As a side note, I encourage you to use a simple timer when practising with your kid.
So, what’s the first thing that your child needs to do at the start of the exam? Is it to quickly start answering the first question? The short answer is NO! Before attempting the questions, it is important to take a quick look at all the questions to know what to expect.
Strategy 3: What To Do at the Start of PSLE Math Paper 2
Look through all the pages quickly in about 5 minutes before attempting to start solving questions! They also need to highlight all the keywords quickly.
Why? Many students make the mistake of spending too much time on the first question they have trouble with. They spend too much time trying to provide a perfect answer. As a result, they “sacrifice” the time that was meant for the last few high-mark questions.
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So, at the end of the paper, they end up rushing through those questions. If they do this, they usually end up answering poorly.
Why do they do that? It’s because they think the last few questions (high-mark questions) are going to be too difficult.
Because of this, the average student spends more time on the earlier questions to perfect them.
Moreover, they believe that doing this helps them get more marks. Unfortunately, this is often untrue. Additionally, they tend to find that out only when they are almost out of time. That’s too late!
In truth, these are high-mark questions that they would have solved if they had spent a fair amount of time doing it! What a waste! Meanwhile, what should a student do when he comes to a question that he finds difficult?
Strategy 4: What To Do When the Problem Sum Is Too Difficult
It’s too difficult if you can’t start after 1 minute. If they failed to start after that minute, the next minute barely makes a difference.
However, returning to it later will often bring a fresh perspective and solution. Highlight the question clearly and return to it at the end of the paper. Afterwards, move on to the next question immediately.
Strategy 5: Habits To Adopt To Develop Speed and Accuracy in Solving Questions
Habits To Adopt To Develop Speed & Accuracy for Problem Sums
- Always use a calculator even if you think your mental calculation is good. This is especially critical in exams as stress can cause mistakes and early calculation mistakes can cost the whole question!
- Focus on completion, NOT perfection. Finish everything you can. THEN, polish and check!
- Do not try to write perfectly if it slows you down. It’s very important to be legible but you get no additional marks for beautiful handwriting. Instead, focus on getting marks for correct answers.
For more details on these strategies, you can also check these tips for PSLE Math Paper 1.
This article was submitted by Benjamin Low, the founder of Trinity Learning Centre.
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