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Zero to Hero P6 Science guide
October 7, 2019
There can be many reasons why students desperately need help with P6 Science, like negligence, poor mastery of English, disinterest, poor memory, or lack of understanding in concepts. There are two things that you need in order to improve, courage and diligence. The courage to ask your teachers questions and the diligence to revise everyday. And of course, you need your trusty Ten Year Series.
This is a guide for P6 Science learners who need to improve ASAP before the dreaded PSLE. This is also a message to both parents and students that you should not give up just yet, and you should start studying efficiently. This guide is released based on my insights from my P6 Science Improve classes over my years of tutoring.
1) Reading your textbook and taking notes. This comes as no surprise to parents and students, as lack of reading directly results in less than optimal grades. But just plain reading will not get you anyway, the student's brain is unable to process large chunks of text at the same time. Sit down quietly, highlight the important keywords, and write it down as your notes. How do I know which words are keywords? They can be found in your TYS answer key, as they are bolded. Do this basic level of work, and be amazed at how much more you can recall.
2) Focus on questions you are good at doing in section B. Everyone has their pet topic, as well as their weakest topic. Your time should be assigned to doing questions you are very comfortable with. Actively avoid those questions you know will require a lot of effort or thinking on your part, but make a mental note to come back to them later. It is much more efficient to solve structured questions which you find simple, or easy to recall first, as it saves you time, and boosts confidence. For the tough questions, if you are in dire straits, identify the topic, and start guessing by inserting the most relevant keywords from those topics. You will find that this technique allows you to squeeze more marks out of Section B even when it is your weakest paper.
3) MCQ is the key. MCQ or Section A is your fastest way to go from zero to hero, to show a drastic improvement in your grades. MCQ form the bulk of your grades in PSLE Science, 56/100 marks. Attempt ALL THE MCQs OF AT LEAST 4-10YEARS OF YOUR PSLE(if you are taking it in 2020, do questions from 2010 - 2019). This is not a trick. Attempt all the questions, for each question that you make a mistake, clarify with a teacher and make sure you fully understand that question. Repeat and repeat, drill yourself in MCQ daily. It is much faster to improve in MCQ which are worth 2 marks each, as compared to remembering a whole chunk of text for structured questions, which are worth 2 marks as well. There is no use in focusing on structured questions all day if you are already not doing well for Science. Your best bet is focusing on the MCQ and improving it until at least 40/56 before you start on structured questions.
4) Finding a good environment with a trusted mentor. If your home situation is noisy (e.g. younger siblings or home renovation) find somewhere quiet like a library. Have a trusted mentor, be it a teacher, one of your parents, or even hiring a tutor to watch over your progress. Be disciplined, and leave all playthings aside. Good luck with your exams.
I hope this guide provides parents with enough insight so they can understand and assist their child. For parents who are interested in signing up for my Science classes, you are always welcome to drop me a text.
Mr Y.S. Pang, B.Eng(hons) National University of Singapore, former IP and SAP student, Full time tutor and partner at Concept Learning and Singapore Learner