PSLE Preparation Beyond Drills

With the milestone national examination barely 6 weeks away, many Primary 6 students islandwide should by now be geared up in their momentum in preparation for the D-day, 27th September. The upcoming prelim examination next week shall serve as a good platform to ascertain a student’s level of readiness yet it being a mock, should not be taken as a yardstick to performance for the PSLE; rather an opportunity to have your child experience the process as well as highlighting the areas that he may require more attention in, help with or further reinforcements. “Take the school term exam as an experience serving as a form of feedback to your learning thus far and identify the areas that you will need more effort in,” a constant reminder that I would offer my children even up till today for my son who will be taking his A-level examination this year. 

pix mock1A month ago, onSponge conducted its annual Mock PSLE Assessment, held at the National Library Board where more than 150 students from the various schools in Singapore participated. On the day of the mock, we had supportive parents boosting their children’s morale giving them the pat of assurance as they bid well-wishes at the entrance to the auditorium – I saw tenderness yet the fostering of the virtue for giving the best regardless of situations, a hallmark of new-age parenting!

pix mock testimonialThe children appeared more nervous but in good cheers. Some took it as an opportunity to take a common assessment with peers of other schools along with the benchmark report that would follow while others took it as a valuable platform to experience the rushed of the adrenaline amongst many seated in a common auditorium. Rachel, one of the top 3 students for this Mock added, “The onSponge Mock Assessment taught me to learn how to manage my time wisely. I will continue to work hard and expose myself to the different types of question, apply the strategies learnt to prepare for the coming PSLE.”

Preparing for PSLE, or for that matter the many more examinations that our children will go through, goes beyond the endless working on practice papers or workbooks. The emotional readiness is as important and a mock taken individually or in a group where the child is timed and conditioned to perform under an examination environment will help to manage some level of expectations during the actual examination. To lessen the pressure and stress which may lead to other undesirable repercussions, following are some other ways which you may play a part to help prepare your child emotionally during this period:

• As the examination draws closer, work on more manageable papers that will help to boost your child’s confidence. It is recommended to start this process about 4 weeks before the exam. Avoid too challenging papers during this timeframe and do not shock your child with a difficult question a day before the exam.

• Take time off to spend some leisure moments with your child as a form of reward for the effort put in during this period. Watch a movie, visit the theme park, do a sporting activity or simply take time to have lunch and relax.

• Always speak words of encouragement and avoid unnecessary conflicts at home during this time as a demonstration of your love and support. Talk about other things happening around or engage in conversations that pertain to your child’s interest to help lighten the atmosphere.

Yes, it is a milestone examination and while our children may not be the beneficiaries to the up-coming announcement on the “tweaks to the PSLE” that follows after the year-long Our Singapore Conversation dialogues, we can be sure that our children will become more resilient and be better prepared for their Secondary years where they will be taking not four but up to as many as nine subject combinations.