Difficult PSLE Math Questions

Difficult PSLE Math Questions

It is an open secret that the PSLE Mathematics Paper for each year will have one or two questions that is challenging. Indeed, this is the norm across most examination questions. This is done to differentiate the top students from the mediocre ones. Usually, these questions requires the child to have a very analytical and critical mind. The questions can also stretch the student’s ability, making them standout against their peers. While these difficult PSLE Math questions can be tricky, they are not that tough after all. All your child needs is a few practices here and there, and they will be able to attempt the questions with ease.

Difficult PSLE Math Questions

How do you categorize questions into the difficult zone? In all essence, most of the questions in PSLE Mathematics paper are pretty straightforward. However, there might be some questions that requires deeper thinking. For example, in 2015, there was an uproar over the difficulty of a PSLE Math Question. For the PSLE Math 2015 question, students are asked to estimate the weight of 8 1-dollar coins in Singapore. After the PSLE Math Paper, some students, who are not exposed to such questions, came out tearing. Some parents complained the answer could not be derived as the weight of the individual coin wasn’t given.

However, the purpose of setting this difficult PSLE math question is to test the students’ understanding of estimation. In for example, it will be unrealistic to claim that the coins weigh anything more than 1kg. However, students are unable to answer this non-routine question simply because they are not exposed to these type of question. This are what we call the non-routine type of question. Non-routine type of questions requires deeper thinking. Apart from that, students are forced to be creative with their thinking. While schools expose the students to experiential learning, not all of them fully understand the need to learn this, nor do they appreciate the beauty of experiential learning.

Nonetheless, is there a good list of difficult or challenging PSLE Math Questions? What are some of the examples of difficult PSLE math questions? We have an example for you.

Difficult PSLE Math Questions

This is an example of a PSLE style mathematics question that baffles many students. In our article Typical Algebra Questions For PSLE Mathematics Paper 2, we have written some steps that your child can follow. In for example, the child should list down the factual information that contain quantities. Of course, the child might not be able to differentiate between what is factual and what is not. This will require initial guidance from the parent or teacher.

For the example given, it can be challenging for the student to identify the factual statements. For such questions, we will recommend that the student list the information into two parts: 1st half of journey and 2nd half of journey. Here is how it should look like

1st Half
Time Taken: 5 minutes
Speed: 108 km/h

2nd Half
Speed: 16km/h

Once this is done, the child should list down what the question is demanding for as well as the condition needed. The question is asking for the time taken to complete the whole journey, and the condition is that the answer should be in minutes, rounded off to 1 decimal place.

In solving this question, we can make use of the math model method. This is how the model will look like.

Difficult PSLE Math Questions

Once the model have been drawn, it will be pretty straightforward for the student. Since the question requires the total amount of time needed, and we do not have the time taken for the 2nd half of the journey, we will need to find the time first. However, your child might be confused on where to start.

This is a common problem for question relating to speed. In all honesty, all the student got to remember is that Distance, Speed and Time often come together. Whenever the child encounters such a question, we would encourage them to unravel the missing quantity. In for example, for the first part of the journey, we have Time and Speed. With these two quantities, we will be able to find the Distance.

For the second part of the journey, we only have Speed. However, since the 1st and 2nd part of the journey are of the same distance, we will have the distance for the 2nd part of the Journey too. Once we have these two values, we will be able to find the time taken for the 2nd part of the journey.

Here is the worked solution.

Difficult PSLE Math Questions

Conclusion

In solving difficult PSLE math questions, do not be flustered. Just remember that even the most challenging math question can be broken down into simple steps.

  1. List down factual information, what the question is asking for as well as any conditions needed.
  2. Separate into before and after situations, if the situation deems necessary
  3. Determine the correlation between the quantity. For example, Distance, Speed and Time comes together often

With these three steps, your child will be able to solve the difficult PSLE math questions.

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