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Primary 6 Math

The Ultimate Guide for Busy Parents

Welcome to this ultimate Primary 6 Math guide that is written for busy parents!

The last year of your child’s primary school life marks a great milestone in their life as they sit for their Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE). Naturally, you and your child might be feeling excited yet stressed as the exams draw near.

If you want to be better prepared and minimise your potential stress level, read on to understand about what to expect.

What are the Important Exam Dates that I must be aware of?

To help you with that, here’s the 2020 school calendar for Singapore Primary Schools.

Use it to plan your leave for coaching your child or a family bonding trip.

School Term Calendar
School Term Thu 2 Jan to Fri 13 Mar
March Holidays Sat 14 Mar to Sun 22 Mar
School Term Mon 23 Mar to Fri 29 May
June Holidays Sat 30 May to Sun 28 Jun
School Term Mon 29 Jun to Fri 4 Sep
Sept Holidays Sat 5 Sep to Sun 13 Sep
School Term Mon 14 Sep to Fri 20 Nov
Dec Holidays Sat 21 Nov to Tue 31 Dec


What are the topics for P6 PSLE Math?

The topics that are covered in the P6 Maths Syllabus are as follows:

  • Algebra
  • Fraction
  • Percentage
  • Ratio
  • Circles
  • Angles
  • Speed
  • Volume
  • Pie Charts
  • Solid Figures

The topics of Fraction, Percentage, Ratio, Angles, Speed and Volume are built upon what your child has learnt in Primary 5 while the rest of the topics are new.

However, since PSLE is a 2-year course, the PSLE Math exam will also cover other topics that has been learnt in Primary 5 such as Whole Numbers, Area, Decimals and Average.

See the entire Primary 6 Math Syllabus for a detailed breakdown.

Knowing the PSLE Math syllabus is handy when you are picking the right assessment books or learning resources for your child. Besides that, it helps when you are communicating with your child’s Math tutor too!

How does the Primary 6 grading look like? 

The Primary 6 grading system is similar to the grading used in Primary 5.

Here’s a short interpretation of what the letters in your child’s report book mean.

Grade Mark Range How to Interpret It
A* 91 and above Has Strong Understanding of Subject
A 75 – 90 Has Good Understanding of Subject
B 60 – 74 Has Fair Understanding of Subject
C 50 – 59 Has Shaky Foundation
D 35 – 49 Advisable to Re-learn Subject
E 20 – 34 Advisable to Re-learn Subject
U Below 20 Need to Work On Foundation

In addition to the grades, it is also important to take note of the percentile that your child is in. This is a measurement of your child’s performance to their peers and is a much better gauge of how they are faring in school.

One thing to note though, is that the letter that your child obtains at the PSLE level is not determined by the fixed mark range in the table above. That’s because the PSLE uses the T-score to provide a better measurement of each student’s capability.

What is the Primary 6 PSLE exam format like?

The Primary 6 PSLE Math exam format is as follows:

Paper 1
Booklet A 10 MCQ 1 Marks / Question 10%
5 MCQ 2 Marks / Question 10%
Booklet B 5 Short-Answer Questions 1 Marks / Question 5%
10 Short-Answer Questions 2 Marks / Question 20%
Total 45 Marks 45%
Paper 2 (Calculators are allowed)
5 Short-Answer Questions 2 Marks / Question 10%
12 Long-Answer Questions 3-5 Marks / Question 45%
Total 55 Marks 55%
Example of a P6 MCQ in Paper 1 Booklet A:

The amount of money raised during a charity drive was $54 600 when rounded to the nearest hundred dollars. What could be the actual amount raised?

(1) $54 509

(2) $54 540

(3) $54 629

(4) $54 660

Example of a P6 Short-Answer question in Paper 1 Booklet B:

Mrs Lee has some sweets to give to her students. If she gives each student 3 sweets, she will have 15 sweets left. If she gives each student 5 sweets, she will need another 7 sweets. How many sweets does Mrs Lee have?

Example of a P6 Long-Answer question in Paper 2:

Winnie started a savings plan by putting 2 coins in her coin box every day. Each coin was either a 20-cent or 50-cent coin. Her father also put in a $1 coin in the box every 7 days. The total value of the coins after 126 days was $92.40. How many 50-cent coins were there in Winnie’s coin box?

Your child will be sitting for 2 Math Papers in Primary 6 – Paper 1 and Paper 2. The duration for Paper 1 is 1 h and the duration of Paper 2 is 1 h 30 minutes. Hence, the entire Primary 6 Math paper take about 2 h 30 minutes.

If you want a more detailed breakdown, check out this article where we explain the format.

In terms of tools:

Primary 6 students are allowed to use an electronic calculator to help them with problem-solving in Paper 2.

How to help your child with Math at home?

If you are looking for ways to help your child with Math at home, here are some suggestions.

1. Teach them how to Start Problem-solving

The problem sums that your child encounters in P6 can be rather complicated and need some sophisticated ways to solve.

This explains why some children feel lost after reading them, resulting in them not knowing where to start or giving up totally.

A good way to help them will be to teach your child some problem-solving techniques (See some common Math heuristics) to provide them with the tools to guide their thinking. This helps them to work in the right direction and instils the confidence they need in Math to solve problem sums on their own in future.

2. Instill good calculator habits

Using a calculator saves us much time and energy. However, it can also remove our need to think. Therefore, as parents, we need to be mindful about how we teach our children to use calculators.

To help prevent your child from being overly-reliant on calculators, encourage them to do some mental calculation to estimate each answer before picking up the calculator to check their answers. Doing that helps reduces the natural reflex of your child to use the calculator and turns them into more independent thinkers.

3. Help your child build a good foundation by seeing connections

Math is more interesting when your child sees the real-life application of it.

Make use of everyday life to point out how Math is used to help your child relate what they are learning to real life scenarios. This new association not only increases their depth of understanding of each topic but also help them think about how to apply what they have learnt on solving Math questions.

4. Train Good Time Management Skills

We are sure that after a year in Primary 5, you would have realised the importance of time management when it comes to the exams.

We can’t stress the importance of that enough. Many students finish their paper on the dot or leave not enough time for checking when they are attempting their exam. You don’t want that happening to your child during the PSLEs.

Therefore, you will need to train your child to solve questions quickly and accurately. Do this as early as possible and your child will benefit in the long run.

If you need a rough guideline as to how much time should be spent on each type of question, here’s a reference for you.

Paper 1
Booklet A 10 MCQ 1 Min / Question
5 MCQ 2 Min / Question
Booklet B 5 Short-Answer Questions 1 Min / Question
10 Short-Answer Questions 2 Min / Question
Checking: 15 Min
Paper 2
5 Short-Answer Questions 2 Min / Question
12 Long-Answer Questions 5-6 Min / Question
Checking: 15 Min

You can always adjust that according to your child’s comfort level.


During an exam, your child doesn’t have to check the time after every question. You can teach your child to use checkpoints instead. For example, you can teach your child that after doing the 5th MCQ, check that the time is 5 minutes or less, then check again after the last MCQ, and so on and so forth.


Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. We do hope that it has been useful to you. If you do have any other concerns as a P6 parent, let us know in the comments below and see if we can help!

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