The Primary School Leaving Examinations (or PSLE) is a huge academic milestone which paves the way for your child’s future education. Here are some tips on how you can prepare him/her effectively for it.
- Prepare effectively
Quantity (or the number of hours one studies) isn’t everything; it is just as important to study smart as it is to study hard, and the earlier this is taught to your child, the better. Young minds are most receptive when they are generally positive, so it is up to you to make learning fun for them so that they understand and retain information better.
- Understand your child’s learning style
If he is more of a visual learner, helping him synthesise information visually would be a more effective method of studying than making him memorise information for hours. Take some time (this might take months, or years, so start early!) to understand what approach best suits him so that you can guide him in the most efficient way possible. It would also be useful to talk to your child’s teachers.
- Come up with a study timetable together
This activity should be done together, and with your child leading the discussion. While it’s tempting to create a timetable for him (and faster too), he needs to learn to take ownership of his learning and studying.
- Start early
Parents usually start preparing for PSLE only at the end of Primary 5, or at the beginning of Primary 6, but it is good for your child to have a strong foundation from Primary 3 or 4. Monitor his learning closely by discussing with teachers, and to intervene early should your child require additional support.
- Revise together
Get him to “teach” you what he has learnt. Teaching someone else can help him cement the information he has just learnt as trying to explain things to someone else forces him to visualise, and then verbalise the information. If he is unable to explain something, continue to encourage him instead of scolding him. You could also help him pick out his weak points and areas he needs to focus on.
“A good learner will always do well in exams, but someone who excels at “cramming” for exams is usually not prepared to do very much else in life.” – Brian Caswell, Dean of Research and Programme Development at MindChamps
- Talk to your child
While it is important to keep up to date with his academic progress, it is especially important to ask how he’s feeling to know how he’s coping emotionally and psychologically. He needs to know that he can rely on you for emotional support.
- Celebrate milestones
Validating his efforts when he reaches certain milestones would encourage him to continue striving to succeed. It is important to focus on the journey, and not only the final destination. Go out for ice cream, or cook his favorite food. You could even have a cheat day and bring him out for an outing.
- Be kind
Doing well in little class tests or homework does not mean that he would ace every exam. Think back on your own schooling days when you did not do as well as you expected. If the same thing happens to your child, remember that he needs your encouragement more than your scoldings. Carry out mock exams in the home to get your child accustomed to exam conditions.
What are some of the PSLE prep tips you’ve tried? Share it with us below!