For those of you parents out there who live in Singapore, where I used to live for the past 12 years, and have a child attending Primary School, you might know something called PSLE. Yes, PSLE, or Primary School Leaving Examination is a series of examinations your child has to take that would determine his (or her) Secondary School. Since the competitions to get into good schools are fierce, many parents and students alike treat it very seriously.
I know that the exam results might mean your child’s future just by what is printed in the sheet itself. It may be terrifying, and even I was a little nervous when getting the results all the way from New Zealand since my parents have expectations! Although we knew that we would be moving to NZ a long time before the actual exam dates, my parents still wanted me to prepare early and get good results. So, thanks to my hard work and perseverance, I got a sweet, sweet 255. (By the way, I was exempted from mother tongue, making it harder for students like me to get high 250s and 260s as we have no mother tongue!) I have to say that this report card is even scarier than classified FBI documents!
So if you want your child to pass the exams with flying colours, here are a few useful tips.
1. Start studying months before the actual exams take place.
Since PSLE is a test usually about everything from P1 all the way to P6, I suggest that you should ask your child to start training for whatever PSLE is going to throw at him early, especially if he is struggling. Whether it is Science Concepts or Math Problems, you need to make him both smart and fast as some of the tests not only require brains, but also speed! The recommended time to start training your child’s brain is in the P5 December Holidays. That was when I started my brain refresher since that was my mom’s planned schedule! Even a struggling mind would eventually become fit thanks to months of practice!
As the months go by, you would start to see weaknesses in your child’s work, enabling you to act against them early by focusing on them until they are fixed so that during his actual paper, he would have no problem answering questions he previously had no idea about!
2. Give your child some play time.
You know what they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Well, take it to heart. Of course, you don’t want to see your child suffering through sheets of exam papers! You should give him some play time at least once a day. You don’t want your child to feel sad while studying as that would reduce his morale to fight for good exam results. And indirectly, it might be your fault!
3. Reduce the use of Digital Gadgets.
Well this might be a little hard, but still necessary! The digital age has given your child many new stuff to use, like the smartphone or a computer. Well, unlike playing downstairs with friends or exercising with family, these devices would usually have a bad effect on his concentration. Not only do they make him distracted, but they might affect his mood!
So weeks before the PSLE period begins, I declined from playing computer games and reduced the use of my phone which in the end had a good effect throughout the exam period! Although your child might feel a sense of withdrawal, (I didn’t) he would eventually get over it.
4. Stop studying during the exam week itself!
It won’t only make you stressed, but the fact that you don’t know an answer to a particular question would only reduce your morale!
5. If you don’t know something, just ask!
If your child has any burning question that are related to curriculum, make sure your child has no fear of just asking his teachers! I mean, what are the consequences of asking a question? Well, the worst that could happen is that your child happened to be not listening to the teacher, and the teacher would tell him the answer back and tell him to listen next time round, that’s all!
Lastly, take it like a normal exam!
Well, this is the most difficult to fulfil! By taking the exam as per normal, as if this is just another normal assessment, your child would have not be thinking about what his or her future might be after the exam and won’t be very scared of what would happen if he fails. You might think I’m nuts for this but by having that mindset, your child would be focusing more on getting the questions right as the fear for failing and going to a bad school had been suppressed.
So there you have it, these are all my tips for making your child do well in the PSLE! !