CHANGES TO THE PSLE MATHS PAPER
1. Duration of paper
- Increased from 50 mins to 1 h
- Attainable score increased from 40 marks to 45 marks
- 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.
If I want one of the numbers to be the largest possible number, the other 2 numbers must be as small as possible.
They are all different 2-digit numbers.
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?
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)
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.