Saturday, December 11

mathsHeuristics Centre Holiday Break

The centre will be closed from 13th Dec 2010 to 3rd Jan 2011 for our annual short break. Do email us at and we will get back to you a.s.a.p. Thank you for the wonderful 2010 and have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 8

ST Forum: Why all that drilling may not count for much

Why all that drilling may not count for much

I REFER to the letter by Mr Wong Tuck Yin on Tuesday ("Express stream entry rate"). He said that despite the extensive exam preparations, the 63.5 per cent rate for Express stream entry was low and therefore it must be because the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) was too difficult.
He failed to consider the possibility that the preparation method was flawed. Intensive worksheet practice only helps students to be exposed to different types of exam questions, but it does not teach them how to tackle a question that they have never encountered before.
Based on our study of exam performance of Primary 6 pupils for science and maths, study skills, conceptual understanding and question practice are heavily emphasised in the preparation for exams. Yet one very essential skill set is usually left out - a thinking framework for answering exam questions. Pupils need a thinking framework to approach questions in a systematic manner that will lead them to the right answer expressed correctly on paper. Without such a framework, practice does not necessarily make perfect.
When pupils are explicitly taught a thinking framework to tackle maths and science questions, they experience a marked improvement in their ability to answer different types of questions without the need for drilling. It's no surprise that their grades also improve dramatically.
It is time for parents to stop and think of a different way to prepare their children for PSLE.
Sunny Tan
Principle Trainer, Author
Maths Heuristics Pte Ltd