3 ways to help junior manage PSLE stress

Don’t let your kid get overwhelmed by PSLE pressure! Try these tactics to help him soldier on…


The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is the first of several milestone exams junior will need to tackle. He’ll understandably be a bundle of nerves over having to produce a stellar performance in this watershed test, so here are ways to take some of the heat off all his swotting…

1) Review your kiddo’s revision plans

Don’t cram too many subjects into junior’s PSLE daily revision schedule. Notes Gavin Ng, a director at Gavin’s Tuition, “For [the] PSLE, as a single subject is being tested in a day, it’s wise to plan that he revise only [one] subject a day.”

To motivate him, split the time he’ll spend between revising a chapter and trying practice questions. Ng explains, “This method of reinforcement can channel the information to [his] long-term memory and allow the student to retain the info for longer period.”

How much time he spends on exam revision should be similar to the amount of time he’ll get to complete the paper. For instance, if the science paper is two hours long, Ng says, the PSLE pupil should revise for two hours before taking a break. This way, it will force his brain to “acclimatise” to the duration of the paper and prevent mind-blocks or him from getting distracted.

The night before the exams, instead of burning the midnight oil, end revision early, Ng advises. This will give your offspring’s brain time to rest, so that he won’t be careless or get a case of the jitters during the exam. Nor should he be studying other subjects as this will just put unnecessary stress on the brain!

“The night before the exams, instead of burning the midnight oil, end revision early. This will give your offspring’s brain time to rest."

2) Take breaks and make them count

During study breaks, you should encourage your child to focus his attention on a fun activity that is not too strenuous.

Advises Daniel Koh, psychologist at Insights Mind Centre, “Since studying is [already] stressful and one will feel tired, it’s best to avoid doing excessive physical activity that does not allow the body to rest.”

If junior’s clamouring to do something energetic, urge him to do it at the end of the day instead of during a break. These study-break distractions should achieve the following objectives:

a) Recharge These allow your child to allow the brain to wind down and reboot before the next task. He’ll also feel a sense of fulfilment when he can see the outcome of his efforts!
TRY Baking, gardening, art & craft activities.

b) Relax and laugh Try stuff that will tickle junior’s funny bone, since laughter draws people together and lets parent and child abandon their teacher-student relationships for a while. Koh says, “Laughing together is a good way to connect with each other as everyone is equal.”
TRY Watching TV sitcoms and comedies.

Continue reading to find out what you can do to ease the pressure on junior…