3 Years of Exams in a Book

By: Colin Goh
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I was talking to a mother some time ago and our conversation revolved around the top schools’ exam papers. We were wondering if the standard of the actual PSLE papers was closer to that of top schools’ exam papers or neighbourhood schools’. We were left guessing without any materials to compare.

Recently, Singapore Exam Assessment Board (SEAB) released the 2012 to 2014 PSLE papers in the form of books. I am sure many parents are thrilled. In fact, the PSLE books were sold out on the first day of release at Popular book stores island-wide. It was sighted that some parents actually bought multiple copies of the books.

There are two sets of the PSLE books - one for Foundation PSLE and the other for Normal PSLE. Foundation PSLE is for the students who are less strong academically and have been identified for this path in P5. Parents, do take note that if your child is taking Normal PSLE papers, there is no need to get the Foundation papers.

The books are published by Educational Publishing Pte Ltd. I was quite disappointed that there were printing errors in the Science and Maths PSLE papers. I guess it could be a rush job before the books were sent for printing. The printing errors were “corrected” by having loose addendum papers in the books (see photos). Parents, do make sure that your book includes these papers when you purchase them.

Parents would be happy to know that the Maths answer sheet comes with step-by-step workings. It is important to note that these workings might not be provided by SEAB; they could be worked out by the publisher. Having said this, there is always more than one way of solving the questions. Hence, do not fret if your child solves the questions using other methods. SEAB does not penalise the child for solving the question using any other methods.

Overall, I applaud SEAB for releasing the books. It is now more transparent to parents and they now know that the PSLE questions are not as tough as they might have though. I doubt that these would stop the parents from being kiasu though. For kids who are already in P6, it is most likely the schools would already have purchased a copy for each of them. It is therefore my opinion that it is not necessary for parents to get them.


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Posted on 14/02/2015

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