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Posted on : 2011-04-08 

Part 1
As the examinations draw near, parents and pupils would understandably be nervous. For those who are having difficulty in Science or wonder how to improve in the subject, here are some tips to achieve your ideal grade in the subject.

Good Study Habits

Adopting good study habits will motivate you in learning Science. Pay attention in class and revise what you had learnt in school at home. Submit your homework on time and practise more questions on your own during your free time. Always clarify any doubts immediately with your teacher. Practise questions that are more challenging so that you can learn more than what is required. Be curious. Always inquire how things work around us.
Learning Science can be interesting and amazing if you can understand the different concepts behind it.

Examination Preparation

Examination preparation should start as early as possible. It is important to familarise yourself with the examination format so that you know what is expected.  Practise past year papers to familarise yourself with the examination format and the trend of the questions asked during the examination. Memorise important keywords and facts that are useful in the various topics and are commonly used in answers. Make mindmaps or revision cards to help you memorise the words.

Examination Techniques

There are two types of questions in the PSLE Science examination. They are multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions.

Read all the instructions carefully before attempting the questions. Attempt those questions that you have confidence in answering first. Remember not to leave any questions unanswered, especially for the multiple-choice questions. Check all your answers to minimise spelling errors. Write legibly and neatly so that you will not be penalised for untidy handwriting. Be concise in answering the questions; know which keywords are required for the answer. Do not panic if you cannot answer some questions. Attempt them again after you have finished those questions you can answer.

Time allocation for each question is important. Do not spend too much time on multiple-choice questions as open-ended questions usually require more time for thinking and answering. Take note of the marks allocated for each open-ended question too. Do not spend too much time on questions that are worth only a few marks.

MCQ Questions
  • To tackle multiple-choice questions, first, identify those factual questions that require you to recall the facts you have learnt. These questions are straightforward and you can usually answer them immediately without looking at the other options.

Which of the following is notfound in an animal cell?

(1) Nucleus

(2) Cell wall

(3) Cytoplasm

(4) Cell membrane

The answer is (2). This type of question requires you to recall the learnt facts learnt and should be answered quickly.

  • Questions that have more than one answer can be tackled by using elimination.
Which of the following processes made up the water cycle?

I.                   Radiation

II.                Collection

III.              Evaporation

IV.              Precipitation

V.                Condensation

(1) I, III and IV only

(2) II, III and V only

(3) II, III, IV and V only

(4) I, II, III, IV and V
Radiation is a process of transferring heat and it has nothing to do with the water cycle.
Hence, by understanding that option I is not the correct answer, we can eliminate (1) and (4). The difference between (2) and (3) is the additional option of precipitation. Precipitation includes rainfall, which is part of the water cycle. Hence, the answer is (3).
By doing elimination, we do not have to study each option thoroughly and this reduces a lot of time in answering the question.
Written by: Tan Chiang Heng
Click here to go to Part 2 and get to know more examination techniques to achieve your ideal grade for PSLE Science.

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