Teacher dismayed about prior knowledge questions posed by elementary school that is exaggerated "out-of-the-box"

From: Anonymous tutor / teacher

I am a tutor and teacher of Minstry of Education. I have a Pri 6 student this year and I'm upset when I see her Prelims math paper. Schools have a & # 39; tradition & # 39; to make their prelims article much more difficult than newspapers, especially for the mathematics document. I have been practicing top-class schools all year round with the questions from students of several prelims papers from the past year. But when I see the questions in Paper 2 of the Maths article, I am shocked. 50-60% of the questions in Paper 2 are really "out-of-the-box".

The purpose of having tests and exams in schools is to test whether a student has learned the concepts he / she is taught at school. If the schools want to challenge the students & # 39; & # 39; and perhaps want to erode the better pupils, the schools can ask a few challenging questions out of the box. But I think a good rule of thumb is 5-10% of the total questions. This is because it is reasonable to usually test what the students have learned and that they have practiced in schools.

As a teacher who also asks test and exam questions, I want a change in this & # 39; tradition & # 39; propose. First of all, putting such a large percentage of questions out of the box is really detrimental to the average student. They may not do well, even if they had studied hard for the exams. These questions are already a challenge for the smart students who have studied hard and have access to examinations and tuition fees for the past year.

Moreover, these students do the papers under exam conditions, with time pressure and under stress and pressure. This is very demoralizing for the students. Primary school students are actually just children who do not understand life. Some may no longer be able to rely on their self-confidence after such a battle. This is especially the case when there is only about 1 month after the prelims to their PSLE ​​papers. How do they overcome their disappointment to continue to revise their own PSLE ​​with confidence?

Second, some parents scolded hard in Singapore and even stole their children if they did not do well at school. Many parents are not familiar with the syllabus of the school, so they will have a tendency to assess the performance of their children at school based on their school results. If the child is severely punished by his / her parent because it does not perform well in the prelims, how would the child feel, especially next to the fact that he feels disappointed and in the first place loses confidence in himself? The child can feel more demoralized and lose his self-respect. It can be emotionally scars for these primary school students, who are still children.

For schools and MOE it may be a rule of thumb that 5-10% of the questions in test and exam articles are out-of-the-box. This makes it fair for all students, regardless of their skills and preparation for the tests and exams. We must also be sensitive to the emotional well-being of primary school students, because they are still children and can not yet understand many things about life.

For my student, do not be discouraged. Continue to review your PSLE ​​with confidence and take it with you.


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