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Do You Know About These 3 PSLE Math Changes?

Posted by Denise Lee on August 04, 2017

You may have heard about changes being made to the PSLE Math paper. While some changes related to specific types of math workings and topics, not all schools have a common consensus. However, it is still important for you, as a parent, to know about the changes that will definitely be taking place in the 2018 Math PSLE.  If your child is in Primary 5 this year, he or she will be the first batch affected by these changes.

Read about 3 key changes that affect your Primary 5 child for the 2018 PSLE.

1. Changes In Format

There are three main areas to note with regard to the 2018 PSLE Math paper format.

Changes in the duration of each paper


Paper 1  50 min

, Paper 2  1h 40 min


 Paper 1  60 min 

, Paper 2  1h 30 min

Changes to weightage of each paper

2017 Paper 1  40%, Paper 2 — 60%
2018  Paper 1  45%, Paper 2 — 55%

Changes to the mark allocation for specific sections

2017 Paper 1, Booklet B, Short Answer Questions:
10 questions X 1m, 5 questions X 2m
Paper 2, Long Answer Questions:
13 questions for a total of 50 marks
2018 Paper 1, Booklet B, Short Answer Questions:
5 questions X 1m, 10 questions X 2m
Paper 2, Long Answer Questions:
12 questions for a total of 45 marks

For a complete list of changes to the 2018 PSLE Math Paper Format, click here.

2. A Focus on Applied Learning

From 2018, your child's PSLE Math paper will have a greater emphasis on applied learning. Schools are increasingly exploring areas to help students appreciate how the curriculum can be relevant to their lives and to the world around them.

At The Learning Lab, Primary 5 students do attempt questions related to real-life applied learning. See the given example below:

Faith deposited $14 000 into a bank account which yields an annual interest of 2% at the beginning of 2017.
If Faith did not withdraw or deposit any money, how much did she have in the bank account at the end of 2017?

(1)  $280    
(2)  $13 720
(3)  $14 280
(4)  $16 800                                 

Read More: How To Nurture Your Child's Love of Learning

3. The Logic-based Question

In addition to questions on various topics, your child will also be tasked to answer a logic-based question in paper 1. This question type requires your child to apply mathematical knowledge as well as reasoning skills in order to derive the answer.

Can you solve an example of a TLL logic-based question given below?

A class of students took part in a quiz.
The average score of the class was 70 marks.
The average score of the boys was 80 marks.
Place a tick in the correct column in the table below to indicate whether the statements are either true, false or not possible to tell, based on the information given above.




Not possible to tell

All the boys scored over 75 marks.




All the boys had lower scores than all the girls.




The average score of the girls is lower than 70.






The highest scorer in class was a boy.




Primary 5 Mathematics At The Learning Lab

Your primary 5 child will tackle topics and questions of greater sophistication than those seen in Primary 3 and 4. In terms of methods of application, he or she will also be trained for speed and precision in deriving accurate answers. At this level, the prepation for PSLE begins let us help your child by providing him or her with the right guidance and support.

Key Highlights of Primary 5 Mathematics

Your child will
- apply unitary method to form multiple equations involving units and parts
- get accustomed to using a calculator in solving questions for Paper 2
- be taught metacognitive skills and examination techniques, including error analysis, time management and checking of errors
- be guided on how to handle the abovementioned key changes to the PSLE Math paper in 2018

Find Out More About Our Primary 5 Math Programme

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If you have any enquiries about our programmes, please email us at ENROLLMENT@THELEARNINGLAB.COM.SG or call us at 6733 8711 and we will be happy to assist you.

Topics: primary 5, math, PSLE