Monday, March 1, 2021

PSLE tips and resources Part 2 - Science

PSLE Science gives me a headache when I recall our P6 experience last year.

While Science is a very fun and interesting subject to learn, to score well, it may not be easy. To start, MCQ takes up more than half of the marks of the full paper with each question being allocated 2 marks. This means that any mistakes would be costly as it would be “0”. So, 3 mistakes would place your child in the below 90 range (based on just Booklet A).

I attended some webinars last year; some were paid and some, free. One common advice given by most educators online was to try and score as high as possible for the MCQ section. This is because in Booklet B - it is a free response section so marks can be lost if keywords are not included or the child has not acquired the correct technique of framing his / her answers.

In this post, it would be more of sharing my learnings and perhaps key areas to look out for in addition to resources which we have found useful.

:: Books

Honestly there are many many good books out there in the market so the intention is not to list 20 books but the few that I think are more useful:

1. Science PSLE Revision Guide

This guide is a very popular title as most of my friends have it. It has good notes and detailed notes and explanation and covers all topics. Local parent influencers have also shared comments on it before. You can get a copy here if you prefer online shopping as opposed to visiting physical book stores. 

2. Science Process Skills Series

Interestingly, not many of my friends know of this series. Most are into buying mock papers and this seems to be a tad under the radar. It has a series for P3 & 4 too but for the purpose of this post, I am just sharing the photos for P5 & 6 (Upper Block). 

I like these books very much as they do a few things. 
a. They build process thinking skills through the questions specially designed 
b. They attempt to make Science relevant by challenging the students to think deeper by linking it to real-world context (see right most diagram). 

A few of my friends shared that they bought these from Popular bookstores so if you are keen, you may like to call them prior to check on stock before heading down. 

:: Topics

I am not an oracle (lol) so I cannot predict what topics will be featured but based on the past year papers that the kiddo has done, both upper and lower blocks are covered and are equally important: topics like magnets, electricity, plant and body systems, life cycles are often seen – sometimes in both Booklet A and B.

However, some of the topics the kiddo found trickier were “Heat”, “Changes of States”, “Energy” as well as “Forces”. Thankfully, we were blessed to have found many free resources to reinforce concepts and clear misconceptions.

Here are some to share:

Free "live" webinar:

One resource which I would strong recommend is Science Heuristics FB Live (they were conducting this weekly last year) at 8pm. Mrs Koh (the presenter usually) cuts straight to the point and her sharing is very focused on the right thought process and answering techniques. 

(Print screen is that from Heuristics Science FB Live)

In the video above, she was sharing specifically on keywords. 

They also conduct "live" webinars on different topics too so do hop on over and subscribe / follow and watch with your child weekly. Here's one on conductors of heat

Besides "live" coaching, here is a list of printable resources / online reading which you may find useful. 


Science Shifu has a post on understanding forces illustrated by diagrams which you may find useful.

Pique Lab has many posts on forces and I have to say that their resources and notes were really helpful. They also have a special focus on answering techniques where steps and “templated answers” like these may help children.


(Print screen is that of Pique Lab's website)

Energy Conversion

Science Shifu also has a post on common mistakes made on energy conversion too.

Heat and Changes of States

Infogaphics are a great way to learn and Blue Tree Education created many which I found to be useful for a quick recap / overview. Here, Blue Tree Education created one which is on another common misnomer: boiling versus evaporation.  

Here Pique Lab also has many articles on Heat where it also analyzed exam papers of primary schools and provides suggested solutions (with clear explanations). 

Science Shifu also has other articles on other topics which you can find here.


:: Useful skills

For MCQs, I have to say that many questions are tricky. Children must have very strong conceptual understanding (and a clear head I must say!) to avoid being misled.

Like many children, my kiddo tends to be careless – skims through the questions without reading properly (misses out clues- sighs), forgets key words in her FRQ (double sighs) AND (lo and behold!) missing out on questions (every parent’s nightmare)!

I always remind the kiddo to do these steps denoted by acronym UIC.


1. U – Underline

As your child reads through the questions, it would be good to underline (or circle if she / he prefers that instead) the key information and what the question is asking for.

This slows the child down in skimming through and it points the child to the key information quicker.


2. Ink trails

What are the key words that this question is looking for? For e.g. if it were to be a question on plant and the conditions it needs to make food, it would be good to draw / make notes on the diagrams as your child compares the experiments in the questions (short 2 – 3 words will do, not full sentences).  


3. Cross out

As your child completes the first 2 steps, the next step will be by rule of elimination – so cross out the options that do not apply. This reduces shading mistakes in the answering sheet too.

Heuristics Science also has other videos which are focused on their own answering technique (TCR) and here you can see an example as Mrs Koh shares on SA Revision using this technique for Booklet B (FRQ).

I hope that you find these links and free resources useful in your revision as much as I found them to be last year! This is my second post in this PSLE Tips and Resources series. You find my Post 1 on English here. Do share this post / link with your friends if you have found them useful! :) And, stay tuned to my next post which will be on Chinese. 

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