Early PSLE Preparation: Pros and Cons, and How to Finish Strong

There is no denying that PSLE is an important milestone in a child’s life in Singapore. Many parents begin worrying, and even preparing their children for it, all the way from primary 3 or primary 4. However, the question now arises – is preparing the children early putting too much pressure on them? Would it be better to prepare them later on? 

It is highly recommended that studying for the PSLE is not left to the last minute. While it is indeed true that some children do thrive on pressure, and can do well with last-minute cramming, it is generally not recommended to do so. Most children would benefit from an earlier start and a well-paced study plan.

The case for early preparation

Parents who begin preparing their children for the PSLE at Primary 3 or 4 have the benefit of time. At this stage, the stakes are not too high yet, and any weaknesses can be observed and rectified earlier. A child who is weak in mathematics, for example, can be sent for tuition, or extra classes.

This tuition can be in the form of group tuition, or individual tuition. Some children may perform better when placed amongst their peers, whilst others may benefit from more personalised attention. Some children perform better when paired with certain tuition centres/tutors. It can take a period of trial and error for the parents to figure out what works for their children, and preparing them earlier allows for that time.

Preparing a child early also allows them to have sufficient time to go through every subject thoroughly, since the PSLE tests students on everything that they have learnt in primary school, and there is thus a lot of ground to cover.

Preparing early also allows for the parents and child to tweak the study and revision plan as they go along, planning for more time to be spent on a weaker subject, for example. Pacing the child’s study can also help parents and children to work gradually towards certain milestones and celebrate those milestones, and in that manner, potentially preventing burnout.

What you should keep in mind if you do decide to start early PSLE preparation

When encouraging your young child to focus on PSLE, parents should be careful that they don't put too much pressure on their children. We need to keep in mind that the whole reason we're encouraging our children to prepare early is so that they don't have to face last-minute pressure. The last thing we want is for our children to face burnout this early in their lives.

What can parents do to ensure that their children don't burn out?

The best thing that parents can do for their children is to help them prepare a revision schedule that factors in time to wind down, relax, and play.

Our kids are already attending school, going to enrichment classes, doing their homework, and more. As parents, we need to factor in their current workload when planning their PSLE study schedule.

If your child is in Primary 3 and 4, you can help them strengthen their fundamentals. Set aside time every weekend to sit with your child, talk to them to identify any topics that they have not understood, and prepare a study schedule around those topics. Doing this is important because having strong fundamentals is the key to getting a high grade in PSLE.

It is never too late to start

However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have not much time to prepare your child for the PSLE, you and your child have to get down to serious business. It is imperative that you have a concrete and fully optimised game plan for your child’s study. You may want to give more study time to certain subjects, so do find a balance that you and your child are comfortable with.

Considering the amount of time you have (months, or weeks), you may wish to focus your attention on your child’s weak spots for revision. Here at Geniebook, we recommend an 80-20 revision. That’s where you focus 80% of the time on your child’s challenging topics. Our GenieSmart worksheets use Artificial Intelligence to identify the topics that need more focus, and it will generate a worksheet for revision! Be realistic about what can be covered by your child, given the time that they have.

Plus, if you’re hitting the school books, and get stuck on a question, you can count on support from GenieAsk to help manoeuvre your way through the questions. With a strong support system, your child will find that revision gets super simple!

Finish well

Whether or not you and your child started preparing earlier or later, it is important to push on and maintain the momentum once started, until the PSLE is over. At any stage of their studies, your child must be well-nourished, well-hydrated, and well-rested in order to be at their best condition during the exams. Once the exams are over, you and your child can have a well-deserved celebration!

If you liked reading this article, read 5 most common PSLE Science mistakes (and how to avoid them) next.


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