 ## 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.