Primary six students sitting for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) at the end of year six in our local schools usually find this final year daunting and extremely stressful. With the demanding nature of this crucial exam and the high-stakes that hinges on the results of this one exam, students face a lot of pressure from school teachers, tutors and parents who inadvertently add to the tension of the year, in spite of their good intentions to help their batch of primary school graduates.
Having survived the PSLE year with my son and achieved a positive and successful outcome for both of us, I felt qualified to share on this topic. Surviving the PSLE year is not just about acquiring academic excellence, there are other variables at stake. Variables such as the relationship between parent and child, the resilience of your child to withstand the pressures of the final exam as well as the physical and emotional health of both parent and child.
Check out my PSLE Survival Series to find out how to persevere and emerge victorious at the end of the year. Here are my three takeaways from my PSLE year.
ONE, PSLE year IS an academic year. Primary six students are really put through a ring of fire in their studies. They have to understand the academic concepts, practice repeatedly and answer their exam questions with accuracy and proficiency. Public holidays become precious time for parents to revise or coach their PSLE students. These moments are even more crucial for parents who work full-time.
P6 students generally DESIRE to do well, but many struggle with their subjects and learning techniques. As much as we (parents) fuss over their learning abilities, we must remember to remain their pillars of support and offer our love and encouragement (especially when they don’t do well).
Second, PSLE is a test of your mental fortitude. As stressful as it is for the kids, there is equal pressure placed on the parents. For one, parents have to learn to hide their worries over their kids’ unsuccessful academic attempts so as NOT to add further pressure or make them feel worse than they already do. Trust me when I say it is not easy.
Don’t be surprised by breakdowns and tantrums from both sides of the fence. The kids will breakdown over the amount of work they have to do for school, tuition and self-practice. Anything (a word or look) or nothing could trigger a tantrum from these pre-teens. I blame the hormones coursing through their bodies.
Moms and dads breakdown too. They are baffled by their kids’ hormone-triggered tantrums and frustrated by the kids insistent refusal to cooperate in their studies. Trust me, your sanity will be tested.
Third, everyone has an opinion about PSLE. From the scores to the preparation to the applications of methods. If you are a first-time PSLE parent, it is easy to get swept away by the flood of information (sometimes mis-information) on the web. The trick here is to find your centre. YOU know best what your child’s strengths are and how to reinforce his/her weakness. YOU know best whether your child requires tuition or not. YOU know best how to motivate your child. Read to empower yourself and your child AND absolutely stay away from forums that adversely worries you.
If I have not mention it before, THIS is a tough year for both parents and child. Aside from worrying and managing their study plans, parents often have to double up as driver (to tuition classes), tutor, motivation coach, counsellor, clown (to help the kids relax), chef and health inspector.You and your spouse also need to be on the same page when your child is preparing for PSLE. Any discord between mom and dad can greatly affect the student.
There you have it. My three takeaways. In addition, I have prepared a list of resources to survive PSLE year. Let me know what you think…
- PSLE – The Big Year
- Direct School Admission (DSA)
- Direct School Admission (DSA) – Is it as sweet as it sounds?
- Tips & Guidelines To Secure DSA
- DSA Interview Questions
- Stay healthy during PSLE year. – Help your child stay fit mentally, physically and emotionally
- Preparation Work for PSLE (by subjects)
- How Learning (Styles) Can Boost Your Kids’ Grades
- Learning Techniques That Sticks – memory, mindmaps, practice, revision
- The Learning Environment
- Students’ Guide to Setting SMART goals
- Mindset For Academic Success
- Students’ Guide to Managing Time
- Student’s Guide to Managing Stress
- Post Exam Fun for PSLE students
- How To Handle PSLE Results
- Choosing a Secondary School
- Transition to Secondary School
Till our next post, love yourself, love one another. Live strong and stay free.