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PSLE Math Format Explained Simply


Knowing the PSLE Math format well is important to get a good score for the exam.

Today, let’s break down the PSLE Math exam paper and look at the PSLE Math Paper format in parts to better understand what is required and prepare for PSLE 2023.

The first thing that you’ll need to know is that the PSLE Math paper is divided into 2 main components – Math Paper 1 and Math Paper 2.

PSLE Math Paper 1 – What to expect

Paper 1 of the PSLE Math Exam paper consists of Booklet A and Booklet B.

Booklet A is made up of simple multiple choice questions (MCQ) while Booklet B has questions that require short answers.

Since the Math questions in this section are rather straight forward and do not involve complex calculations, no calculators are allowed.

As long as you have a strong foundation in Math, it is relatively simple to do sufficiently well in this portion of the paper.

Sample MCQ from Paper 1

Find the sum of the common factors of 4 and 6.

(1) 3
(2) 5
(3) 8
(4) 12

Sample Short Answer Question from Paper 1

Tom is 9 years old and his father is 43 years old. How many years’ time will Tom’s father be 3 times as old as him?

How many marks are there for Maths Paper 1?

The questions found in Paper 1 are usually worth around 1 or 2 marks and the marks add up to a total of 45 marks.

Regardless of whether you are looking to pass PSLE Math or to score well, doing well in this part of the paper will certainly ensure a boost in your overall score for the entire Math exam.

Question type



Booklet A

10 MCQs
5 MCQs

Booklet B

5 Short-answer questions
10 Short-answer questions



How much time do I have for PSLE Math Paper 1?

The duration for the PSLE Math Paper 1 is 1 hour.

Most of the time, students do not have much problems dealing with the questions in Paper 1 unless their foundation is not strong. What determines how well you do for PSLE Math is your performance in Paper 2.

PSLE Math Paper 2 – What to expect

Paper 2 of the PSLE Math Exam paper starts with 5 short answer questions, followed by 12 long answer questions.

The questions consist of problem sums (word problems) that cover a variety of difficulty levels. They are usually more indirect and require you to make use of Math heuristics to solve. Calculators are allowed for this section.

Many students struggle with these problem sums due to the longer, more complex problems involved. This is especially so if you haven’t built a strong foundation in Math.

Sample short answer question from Paper 2

George spent 30% of his allowance on a packet of snacks and the remainder of his allowance on a cup. He spent $1.60 more on the cup than on the packet of snacks. How much money did he have at first?

Sample problem sum from Paper 2

Mr Kuto packed and sold some cheese tarts in big boxes of 8 and small boxes of 5.

In the beginning, there were twice as many small boxes of cheese tarts as big boxes. He sold half the number of small boxes and some big boxes. He had 320 cheese tarts left in all these boxes.

The number of cheese tarts left in the small boxes was three times the number of cheese tarts left in the big boxes. Find the total number of big and small boxes Mr Kuto used to pack all the cheese tarts.

How many marks are there for Maths Paper 2?

The first 5 questions found in Paper 2 are worth 2 marks each while the rest of the problem sums has a mark range of 3 to 5. These questions add up to a total of 55 marks.

Question type



5 short-answer questions
12 long-answer questions



As you can see, this paper has a slightly heavier weightage as compared to Paper 1. How much you score for this section can decide if you can pass the PSLE paper or secure your AL1.

How much time do I have for PSLE Math Paper 2?

The duration for the PSLE Math Paper 2 is 1 hour 30 minutes.

In a nutshell

Now that you have a better knowledge of the format of the paper, we hope that you’ll be able to strategize the way you prepare for your Math PSLE paper and score well in PSLE.