Singapore Primary Math Explained sc-math

PSLE Mathematics Examination Format

Updated: 14 February, 2009

Objectives of PSLE math examination

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is the final examination for primary school students in Singapore. The PSLE Math Paper assesses the pupils':

  • Knowledge - the ability to recall specific mathematical facts, concepts, rules and formulae, and to perform straightforward computations.Eg. What is
    of 50?

  • Comprehension - the ability to interpret data and use mathematical concepts, rules or formulae and to solve routine or familiar mathematical problemsEg. Peter gave
    of his sweets to Jane and
    of the remainder to Mary. What fraction of his sweets has he left?

  • Application & Analytical Skill - the ability to analyse data and/or apply mathematical concepts, rules or formulae in a complex situation, and to solve unfamiliar problems.Eg. Peter, Jane and Mary shared some sweets. Peter took half of what Jane and Mary took. Jane took
    of the sweets. What fraction of the sweets did Peter take? If Mary had 10 sweets less than Peter, how many sweets did Peter, Jane and Mary have altogether?

Math examination format

The PSLE math examination consists of two written papers. The duration for Paper 1 is 50 minutes. Calculators are NOT allowed in Paper 1. The duration for Paper 2 is 1 hour 40 minutes. Calculators are allowed in Paper 2.

PaperBookletTypeQuestionsMarks per questionWeighting
(1h 40min)
Structured /
long answer
Total  (2h 30min)48-100%

Candidates will sit for both papers on the same day with a break between the two papers.

Question type

Multiple-choice question - Candidates have to select the correct answer to the question from a list of four options.

Short-answer question - Students have to write their answer to the question in the space provided.

Structured / Long-answer question - Besides writing their answers, students must also show their working steps clearly.

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