So how did our students get above 260 points for PSLE?
PSLE examinations are the first main examination that students experience and that becomes the first make-it-or-break-it hurdle. We can only remember the stresses when we did our own PSLE. It is where students get to their next destination, streaming into their secondary schools. The usual questions on the mind of parents are: how to get their children top marks for the PSLE?
From our experience, we have come up with 5 main points that makes all the difference:
1) Top PSLE marks comes from proper planning
I had a student that scored 285 for PSLE. How did he do it? He started revision at the start of January of his Primary 6 for Math and Science, That was how early he started. Basically, he finished his curriculum for Primary 6 whilst he was in Primary 5. And for a fact, he did Secondary Mathematics Algebra up to Secondary 2 when he was in Primary 6. It was specifically done just so that he studied beyond the PSLE syllabus, the PSLE examinations was easy for him. How was that possible? Because we started planning for his PSLE when he was in Primary 4. We have to remember that PSLE is not a Primary 6 exam. It is a Primary 1-6 exam so PSLE preparation starts at Primary 1, not Primary 6. It is one of the first ideas that we make a point to our parents. It is crucial to start off with the right fundamentals right off the bat and build a programme that students stick to, a studying regime that gets the results.
Did I say regime? Yes. And stick to it. Plan a PSLE curriculum schedule for your child that is reasonable and make full use of their time from Primary 1 to Primary 6. Have their PSLE assessment books lined up, their classes arranged, and schedule all the work into their weekly time table at home. Get as much work done and plan to finish their syllabus at the end of Primary 5. That leaves a good 9 months for your child to revise, making sure that he/she concentrate on the finer details in that period and also to brush up on their languages which is always an evolving work-in-progress. Don’t worry about how much work needs to be done by your child, if you started off with a solid regime right from Primary 1, he/she will be used to the workload and takes it in their stride. One top tip: School homework is never enough for top PSLE grades. Arrange for loads of assessment books to be completed. Don’t forget, PSLE is a 4 subject examinations, so don’t hyper focus on a single subject and neglect the others. Well balanced students gets the top PSLE scores.
Rome was not built in a day, so the same, start small and build up the workload. Small increments creates large differences. And that’s the reason why we say PSLE is a Primary 1 to Primary 6 Examination.
2) Top PSLE marks comes from efficient studying
Efficient studying is basically getting in as much work done with as little time needed. Why so? Because we want to take advantage of the freshest brain available to your child. That is to keep it short and sweet before their mind tires and no amount of work done after that makes any improvemenrs. Once they shut down, its useless shoving any amount of work to them. All work and no play makes Jack/Jane a dull boy/girl. Have their work load well balanced. We would like to keep it that way. Study hard, and play hard. A good balance of both makes your child become a well balanced individual that will be a habit that carries them into their adulthood. A healthy mind requires a fair amount of work and a rather fairer amount of play as reward. It takes the stress off their plates and gives them not just a brain, but a rather healthy body to go around with it.
Efficient studying entails prep work too. Prepare your child to study, just like you would for their school. Get them to organise their workstations and arrange their work for the day before starting their work. Its a regime, remember that. The faster they turn it into a habit, the faster they get off the blocks and study for that day. Have everything ready and get rid of all the distractions. That means no handphones, computers or TV anywhere near them. And get them food and drinks so that the only reason they will leave their totally organised workstation is for a toilet break. Set a schedule for them and off they go. Concentration and a regime makes them turn efficient in their studies. Assessment books and materials that they do should be repeated, because the first time they do a PSLE sum, its when they think, understand, do, and then learn the methods. The second time round is not a repeat, it is actually to concisely organise and memorise their algorithms. The purpose of the second repeat is a step that current students are not doing enough.
3) Top PSLE marks comes from top teachers
That is by far an important point that we try to impress on parents. Software is what makes the difference in an education. The teacher/student contact time is where an education starts. The pen is mightier than the sword. The pen and a paper is the tool of the teacher but it needs a rather capable teacher that works that pen. And it shall always be that way. An excellent education comes from excellent teachers that has that X-factor in teaching and empowers students to achieve their best. We are not only talking about academia here, we are also talking about how students pick up on the finer details that makes them into a prime individual. Nuances that no machine or book can teach are readily dispensed by a top teacher. Top PSLE teachers puts the fuel into the minds of students, and keeps the intellect burning for knowledge. They humbly guide, optimistically prod, and finally reaches a place where the student achieves enlightenment.
4) Top PSLE marks comes from supportive model parents
Kids are sponges, and every parent are prime role models for their children. Assimilation and seeing their parents break walls down fearlessly gives kids the idea of a climate of possibility. Possibility to achieve whatever they put their mind on, or efforts in. They sponge technique, sponge protocol and most importantly, they sponge attitude. When parents are their child’s accessible role models, it is only logical that parents put their best foot forward. Habits are formed during childhood, and its here that they pick up habits like sticking to a regime, or being totally committed and focussed when they attempt their studies. Showing them a shining example will translate to results, and its great that you download a bit of your awesome DNA to them, including those never-say-die attitude that gives them a champions attitude.
5) Top PSLE marks comes from a calm environment
Tranquility in the mind translates into proper execution of PSLE. Do not get students all wound up just before an exam and pick their brains apart just to eek out the last marks. Start early in prep work, refer to point 1). When its the last few weeks to the PSLE, students should be quite firm in their curriculum work and start to unwind, refer to point 2). You would like to have them just nicely revising with the bare minimum of stress. Because a wound/stressed up mind leads to a confused state of mind. Or worse, a mind that does not want to do anything from so much stress. Last minute panicking should be left on the mantel, so keep the whole family happy and tranquil, execute the PSLE with clarity and achieve a highly focussed and calm mind.
And a top tip, as this is something I hear a lot from my students, don’t shout at your kids for not studying the day/week before the exams, its just counter-productive. They prefer to be encouraged, and affirmed that they will do well since so much handwork has been done. And if we have planned properly for their education, high chances that they are already on their way to a great PSLE score. Its the calm before the storm. So keep it calm and things will work out in the end. Scouts promise.