Blog General Syllabus Changes Tackling The Changes Of PSLE Science 2017

Tackling The Changes Of PSLE Science 2017

Come 3rd Oct, hundreds of students will sit for the new PSLE Science paper. The changeover to a new PSLE syllabus will not be too hard for your child. In order to make the change easy and smooth, your child needs to be attentive to the main keywords and should be capable of applying concepts. This will put him in the best position to passing the examination.

Amid the ongoing changes being done on the PSLE Science syllabus, your help and support for your child are very essential. This will help your child be well prepared for the various ways he is going to be assessed. This you can do by a planned regular practice of questions and tuition in the Science subject. In addition, bring the scientific study into the day to day life experiences.

One of the most notable problems among students is not writing the keywords provided in the answer guide. This makes it difficult for the students to score marks needed. The other problem is the rigid marking which encourages rote learning instead of learning of the concepts taught. The strict marking by teachers is aimed at ensuring fairness and to serve an administrative purpose since teachers are expected to mark many scripts. Even with the strict marking, your child needs to learn how to phrase his answers properly. You can help your child refine his answering technique to be able to write meaningful answers that are the same in the answer guide.

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Instructional Keywords

Your child is required to be familiar with keywords used in setting the Science questions. Some of these keywords used in science questions include “describe”,” give the reason” and “state”. These type of keywords are mostly used in open-ended questions and they inform students the kind of answers expected.

There are those questions that begin with “which part”, “state” or “Name”, “what” and they normally require short answers made up of a short phrase or one word. Such questions usually are aimed at testing the lower-order possessed by your child to recall facts, therefore, reasons are not needed.

Then there are those questions that start with “Describe”, “Explain”, “How” and “Give a reason” that test the high-order thought skill. These questions require your child to give longer answers. Such questions help display your child’s capability to apply concepts learned in a given situation.

Content Keywords

In addition the use of instructional keywords in science questions, there are content keywords that are to be found in the coursework books. Being able to identify these words will help your child in understanding the content he is reading.

Therefore, highlighting the keywords helps your child learn the keywords by heart. Notably, there are those keywords when used in answering examination questions, enable your child to earn a full mark. For instance, in the Reproduction in plants chapter, keywords that can be used include “ovary”, “germination” and “pollination”. These words are important in the course work book and your child needs to pay them lots of attention.

In the end, it is essential for a student often to answer all open-ended questions. This way, your child will be able to recognize instructional words in a given question, and also make use of content keywords when answering exam questions.

Science Questions In Practice

With the introduction of the new PSLE Science syllabus, there is a big emphasis on the high-order consideration skill. Rote learning will not be of help, therefore, your child needs to be able to apply science concepts in different contexts.

Help your child recognize that Science is more applicable in everyday life than it being an examination subject. Science is all around us and can be found in all aspects of our everyday life. Science is the regular study of the evident phenomena that is in our environment. In asking “How” and “Why “questions, your child will be challenged to explore how things function that we would consider being normal. Get your child to explain you daily situations by use of technical concepts learned in school.

Some examples of such questions for your child may include:

WHY do we eat food?

WHY do hot buns get wetter when stored in a tightly closed box?

HOW do plants take in water?

WHY do potatoes change colour when peeled?

WHERE do the water droplets on the grass in the morning come from?

The application and uses of science are not confined to school work only, it is present in all our day to day experiences as well. When talking to your child, including some Science concepts will help them better prepare for their exams.

Tutor Or Mentor To Help

A reliable tutor and mentor for your child can help him better understand and apply scientific concepts. The one on one attention given to your child can help him grasp science concepts taught in group setting found in classrooms. Your child will also have the chance to ask questions that will help him seek clarification of any science chapter that gives him any challenges.

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With a tutor, your child will also learn how to handle exam questions. Your child will further learn how to give answers using keywords that will contribute to his scoring full marks. The tutor will also give your child the regular practice he needs to get used to the examination environment and typical questions to finding in test papers.


In order to make the change to the new Science PSLE syllabus easy and smooth, your child needs to be attentive to the main keywords as well as be capable of applying concepts. Amid the ongoing changes in the Science syllabus, your help and support for your child are very critical.

One of the most notable problems among students is not writing the keywords provided in the answer guide. The other problem is rote learning instead of learning to understand the concepts taught. In asking your child to explain daily experiences using science concepts, gets your child to grasp the application of science beyond the confines of passing exams.

A reliable tutor and mentor for your child can bring the regular practice that will help your child familiarize himself with typical exam questions. The tutor can also simulate the examination environment to help your child learn to keep calm when in exam situations.

We have more tips to help your child to manage PSLE here: 5 Essential Tips to Overcome Exam Stress and The Secret Formula to Ace Your Exams.

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.