CHANGES TO THE PSLE MATHS PAPER

 

1. Duration of paper

Paper 1

  • Increased from 50 mins to 1 h
  • Attainable score increased from 40 marks to 45 marks

Paper 2

  • Decreased from 1h 40 min to 1 h 30 min

Pupils are not allowed to use calculators for Paper 1 so speed and strong mental computation skills are important. As a time management guide, pupils should spend roughly 90 seconds on every mark that a question is worth. For example, for a 1-mark MCQ, pupils will need to read the question, formulate a solution, work out the answer, and shade the Optical Answer Sheet all within 90 seconds!

 

2. Focus on logical reasoning

Let’s look at the following question.

The average of 3 different 2-digit numbers is 21. Of the 3 numbers, find the largest possible number.

Step 1: Total of the numbers → 21 x 3  =  63

What to do next? The logical reasoning must come in here.

  • Think:

If I want one of the numbers to be the largest possible number, the other 2 numbers must be as small as possible.

  • Consideration:

They are all different 2-digit numbers.

  • Conclusion:

The other 2 numbers will have to be 10 and 11.

Step 2: 63 – 10 – 11  =  42 (Ans)

 

3. Focus on applied learning

There is greater emphasis on application of mathematics in the real world. The following is the 2017 PSLE maths question which generated a lot of buzz last year:

Jess needs 200 pieces of ribbons, each of length 110 cm, to decorate a room for a party.

Ribbon is sold in rolls of 25 m each.

What is the least number of rolls of ribbon that Jess needs to buy?

 

Solution 1:

Total length of ribbon needed → 200 x 110  =  22 000 cm

1 roll → 25 m  =  2500 cm

Number of rolls → 22 000 ÷ 2500  =  8.8

8 + 1  =  9 (Ans)

 

Solution 2:

Number of pieces of ribbon she can cut from each roll

→ 2500 ÷ 110  =  22 (remainder 80 cm)

Number of rolls → 200 ÷ 22  =  9 (remainder 2)

9 + 1  =  10 (Ans)

 

Which solution is correct? Solution 2 is correct. The logic is that each roll of ribbon cut will result in a remainder of 80 cm. Jess will not be able to use these remaining pieces.

 

For those parents who attended the workshop, we hope you found the session useful, especially learning about the 3 types of Remainder Concept methods. Incidentally, the 2017 PSLE Maths paper tested 2 types of Remainder Concept questions – Type 1 and Type 2.

For an example of each of the 3 types of Remainder Concept questions, click the image below.