Why Students Need to Prepare Earlier for their Final Examinations (PSLE)


The Primary School Leaving Examination is a common yearly event in Singapore. When the PSLE is approaching, every activity in Singapore revolves around it, from the news to the daily routines of parents and students.

The PSLE is the first significant examination children sit for during their first six years in school, so it’s not unusual for parents to be apprehensive about the preparation and outcomes. Often, parents wonder how to support their children to pass their PSLE, when they should start preparation and how to go about it. 

This article discusses PSLE, why students must prepare early and how parents can support them in advance.

Let’s begin.

What is PSLE?

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a national examination in Singapore administered by the Ministry of education. All students sit for the examination close to the end of their sixth year in primary school before secondary school. PSLE aims to assess students’ proficiency in mathematics, science, English Language, and their native language (Chinese, Tamil or Malay).

When should your child start preparing for PSLE?

One of the questions that top parents’ minds revolve around is when their kids should start preparations for their final examinations in primary school. The answer to this is to start early. While the curriculum may still be introductory in primary one and two, primary three is where the work begins.

So, parents should start building a solid foundation for their kids towards PSLE from primary three. It’s the best time to close knowledge gaps, helping them understand the basics, before proceeding to more challenging topics.

After the school-based tests, the school will recommend a subject combination based on their result in primary four. Then, subject-based training will begin in primary five through primary six, where students will sit for the PSLE examinations based on the subject combination they selected in primary four.

Therefore, to ensure children are well prepared for the PSLE, parents are advised to encourage them to start studying early. The earlier they start, the more likely they will understand every topic before sitting for their final examinations fully.

The perks of starting early

There are several benefits of preparing for the PSLE examinations early. Below are a few reasons to encourage your child to get ready early:

1.    It reduces stress

Starting early means less pressure on kids because there is enough time to study and revise. Also, they won’t have to rush through topics because they’ve taken the time to digest each topic in bits ahead of the exam. As a result, they will be in the perfect mental state to sit for their examinations.

2.    Students can explore different studying techniques

By studying early for PSLE, students can test what studying and revision strategy works best for them. This will enable them to prepare adequately because they can select the most effective method to acquire and retain knowledge.

3.    Students have time to practice exam questions

Starting early allows students to study, revise and try out examination questions before the actual exam. They can test themselves effectively using sample or past questions to gauge their understanding of topics and measure how prepared they are. Consequently, they identify areas of weakness and improve before their final examinations.

How can parents help their kids prepare for their PSLE early?

Often, parents are unsure how to support their kids during PSLE preparations, so they go about it the wrong way, which leads to undue stress for everyone. They overwhelm their children with materials and subject them to lengthy study hours without breaks. While parents have the best intention for doing this, this approach causes more harm than good for kids. It overwhelms them, increasing the difficulty in understanding and retaining concepts.

Therefore, the best way parents can help is to play a complementary role by eliminating unnecessary stress and boosting their kids’ psychological readiness. They can do this by providing a supportive environment for their kids to study, creating a consistent study routine, ensuring kids get enough breaks between study hours and taking adequate rest.

 It also means soothing their fear, nervousness and anxiety about the forthcoming examinations by boosting their confidence and training them on how to control their emotions.

Furthermore, parents can support their kids through targeted practice. This involves avoiding irrelevant materials and focusing on resources and topics that matter. They can collaborate with teachers to discover kids’ areas of weakness and then help them improve at home.

Additionally, parents can provide sample questions for kids to practice ahead of the examinations. This will give students an insight into how the actual tests will be and what they can do to succeed. Also, encouraging kids to revise early will refresh their memory and enable them to retain the knowledge they’ve acquired over time.


The PSLE is a crucial phase every student in Singapore must pass to proceed in their academic pursuit. For this reason, parents must encourage their kids to start their preparations early for success. This article discussed the benefits of starting early and how parents can support their kids through the process.

Why Students Need to Prepare Earlier for their Final Examinations (PSLE)
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