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Master PSLE Math: 6 Tips to Solve Common PSLE Math Questions

The boy diligently answered the challenging PSLE math questions with precision and focus.

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a crucial test for all sixth-grade pupils. It is a comprehensive exam that assesses a student's understanding in four key subject areas: English, Mathematics, Science, and Mother Tongue.

We created a guide here that focuses on the top six PSLE Math problems that students struggle with the most. We'll give your child helpful tips and strategies to overcome these challenges. This guide will help your child feel more prepared and confident which will definitely increase your child’s chances of doing well in the PSLE exam!

How to Answer These Commonly Tested PSLE Math Questions

a group of students taking PSLE math exam

1. Whole Numbers

One common type of hard PSLE Math questions is whole numbers. These types of problems usually require students to perform basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Here’s an example question on the Order of Operations:

What is the value of 24 + (19 – 3) ÷ 4 – 13 × 2?


Solution to whole number PSLE math question


To solve this question effectively, it's important to remember these tips in the Order of Operations questions:

  • Brackets: Perform all operations inside brackets first.

  • Multiplication and Division: Carry out all multiplication and division operations from left to right.

  • Addition and Subtraction: Carry out all addition and subtraction operations from left to right.

  • Write out the expressions and circle or underline the operations in the order they should be done.

  • After you've done the steps, check your work again to make sure you've solved the expression correctly.

2. Fractions

Students are often asked to convert between fractions and decimals or mixed numbers and improper fractions on the PSLE Exam. To be able to answer these types of PSLE questions, pupils must have a solid understanding of fractions and their properties.

Take, for example, this question:

Helen and Ivan had 15 metres of ribbon. They cut the ribbon into as many equal pieces as possible. Each piece of ribbon was 4/5m long. How much of the ribbon was left after that?


Solution to a problem about fraction

One common mistake that students make when solving a fraction is to think that the remainder is the answer. However, this is incorrect! To find the actual amount left, students need to multiply the remainder fraction by the length of each ribbon.


  • Take the total length of the ribbon and divide it by the length of each component.

  • To figure out how much is left, students must multiply the fraction left over by the length of each ribbon.

  • Always leave fractions in their simplest form when possible.

the boy is answering common Math questions in PSLE

3. Patterns

Pattern questions in the PSLE exam may take different forms, such as identifying the next number, repeating patterns within a sequence of numbers, or completing a pattern of shapes.

Here is an example of a question asking how to add up a set of numbers that keeps repeating in a pattern:

a question about patterns


a solution to a question about Patterns


  • Identify the core pattern. The core pattern is the smallest part of the pattern that repeats.

  • In this question, the pattern repeats for every 5 numbers.

Finding repeating patterns and figuring out the basic repeating part with smart thinking can make solving pattern questions in the PSLE Math exam easy for your child!

4. Geometry

Geometry is included in the PSLE exam to help students develop their spatial reasoning, problem-solving, and analytical skills. It will also help your child understand the relationship between shapes and the real world, which is important in fields like architecture and engineering.

One example of a geometry question is the 8-point Compass question, which requires students to determine the direction indicated by a fraction.

a question on Geometry question


Solution to a Geometry question


  • Tell your child not to be confused when he sees the fraction.

  • Remind him that there are eight points on a compass. Hence, express the fraction as having a denominator of 8. The numerator is the number of times they have to turn to reach the desired direction.

5. Grouping Concept

Grouping questions involve dividing a set of objects or numbers into smaller groups based on certain criteria, such as equal or unequal groups or groups with a certain number of objects.

One example of a grouping question is to divide a certain number of pens and books into equal groups, such as the one below.

a question about grouping concept


solution to PSLE grouping concept


  • Make the number of pens and books equal so that they can group the pens and books.

  • To group them, students should find the lowest common multiple of the two numbers. In this case, 6 is the lowest common multiple of 3 and 2.

6. Data Analysis

Data analysis questions require students to interpret data presented in tables, graphs, and charts.

Take, for example, this problem:

a question in PSLE data analysis topic


solution to PSLE data analysis question

Common Mistake:

It's important for students to be careful when solving data analysis questions and avoid common mistakes, such as forgetting to add the cost of the last remaining gram (that is less than 250g in the example above) when calculating the total cost. With more practice and attention to detail, data analysis questions can be solved with ease!

2 boys answer hard PSLE math questions

Students at AGrader Learning Centre can practise a range of challenging exam questions that are commonly tested in exams. Students acquire exposure to exam answering techniques, such as the examples offered in this article, with the help of our experienced educators. This equips your child to be exam ready.

If you want to help your child excel in learning how to solve PSLE Maths questions, consider enrolling them in AGrader’s Primary Math programme. Our classes are designed to help students develop their Math skills, gain confidence, and excel in the exam.

Don't wait! Sign up today and give your child the skills they need to succeed.



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