The PSLE Science Prelim is over. If you achieved your target, congratulations! If your performance fell short of your expectations, don’t worry. You can still take steps to improve upon your performance. By all means take a breather but remember to keep the momentum going.

We want to talk today about the MCQ section which some students take for granted.

 

Why is the MCQ Section so important?

  1. The MCQ section accounts for a sizeable portion of the marks. It is safe to say that poor performance in the MCQ section will probably deny you the A or the A* that you are aiming for. This is because the MCQ section accounts for 56 marks.
  2. Also, each question is worth 2 marks so when you get 4 questions wrong you have already lost 8 marks. That’s a lot of marks to lose!

Students also tend to have the false perception that it is easy to score in the MCQ section as all the possible answers are already given and they don’t have to worry about phrasing the answer properly. This is not true for two reasons

  1. If the question is constructed well, all options may seem possible on first reading of the question. You can only get the answer right with careful reading of the question and application of the related concepts. Even if you know the concept but read the question too quickly or if you miss out important words, chances are you will make a careless mistake.
  2. There is no partial mark in the MCQ section unlike in the Open-Ended section. If you get the answer wrong, you lose 2 marks straight away.

mcq issues

FIGURE 1

So how can you prepare to do well in the MCQ Section?

Should you do as many MCQ questions as you can before PSLE?

Of course, practice always helps but try these steps before you start your ‘MCQ frenzy’ 😊

  • A good place to start would be to look at your prelim paper. Analyse your mistakes and ask yourself why you got the answers wrong. Figure 1 above shows you some of the reasons why students who lose marks in this section.
  • It might also be useful to look at your Science file or other papers or assessment books that you have done and see if you can spot any trends in the kind of mistakes you are making.

Once you have done that, you can go on to do more practice especially for the topics / question types that you tend to be weaker at (you should have some idea about this after analyzing your mistakes).

Remember to try and complete the MCQ section within 30 minutes so you can get a more realistic picture of how you might perform during the exam. And of course, no peeking at the answers before you’re done!

 

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