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PSLE Study Guide

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Welcome! This is a textbook which is meant to cover all subjects of the Primary School Leaving Examination, or PSLE. It is meant to be a reliable and free textbook for students to use, whether for introduction, mastery or revision. It is also meant to assist parents and other adult individuals who teach or take care of primary school children.

There are many resources for the PSLE offline, but those few available online often come at a price. This is a deplorable state of affairs, since reliable PSLE aid is a vital resource and should be free for all children. It is hoped that this book will eventually become a significant resource for students and parents, if not completely replace printed resources.

What is the PSLE?

The PSLE is an end-of-year examination taken by all primary six students nationwide in Singapore before leaving for secondary school. It is generally taken around the age of twelve, although there are exceptions based on pace. It is administered by the Ministry of Education. This nationwide examination tests English and various mother tongue languages such as Chinese, Tamil and Malay, as well as science. Social studies may be taken, but it does not affect aggregate scoring. The PSLE syllabus has various significant differences from other primary school syllabuses around the world.

The PSLE is an end-of-year examination, and is the culmination of all that has been learnt in the six years of primary school. It is distinct, however, from the usual end-of-year examinations a student's primary school will give. In particular, the school will administer its own final year examination, and these are known as the preliminary examinations or prelims, as lead-up to the PSLE itself.

The PSLE is not only an examination: it is also a system and a culture. The format of the examination is often implemented in primary school examinations in some form from primary one. As students progress, the examinations they take will increasingly reflect the format and content of the PSLE. Therefore, the PSLE Study Guide can be used not only to prepare for the actual PSLE itself, but for other examinations taken in the PSLE format, by students of other countries who may be encountering PSLE-type problems or wish to expand the methodology used, or perhaps adults who wish to brush up on what their children are learning!


The PSLE is often unique from other final year examinations around the world because of the presence of streaming in the examination, in addition to the pass or fail element. Most other systems usually have final examinations that simply determine whether the student moves up to the next level or not. While the streaming system has been source of criticism, it is an element that must be dealt with.

The presence of streaming means that within a specific subject there will be several different examinations with different formats, for each specific level.

This book will break down the PSLE by macrotype (cultural or scientific), by subject, then stream. Students are advised not to be restricted by stream should they have the interest to look into the material of other streams.


Scoring for the PSLE is not absolute. The individual's initial absolute score is taken, then compared against his peers, and adjusted based on the performance of other students. This results in an aggregate score. The PSLE aggregate score helps to determine whether a student will be accepted into a desired secondary school.