The annual debate continues

Every year, millions of students and parents worry about tough or confusing PSLE questions — especially for the math paper, and this year was no different.

Math is never involved

These tough math questions are difficult to solve and aren’t math related at all.

Let’s take a look at a previous PSLE question which went viral not too long ago.



Casual followers of news will notice this question’s obvious similarity to the Cheryl’s birthday question that stumped half of Singapore in late 2014. But it was also allegedly a PSLE question in 2013.

Where’s the math involved again?

It caused brain cramps not only to the PSLE but basically to every humane person. The question went so viral that even the MOE had to clarify that it wasn’t a math question.

Anyways, let’s take a look at the recent talk of the town — this year’s ‘tough’ PSLE question.

What is the likely weight of 8 $1 coins?

(A) 6g

(B) 60g

(C) 600g

(D) 6kg 

Yup. This is a PSLE question.

Salty Parents

That question in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) mathematics paper on Friday (2 Oct) upset a number of people, including parents.

Calling the question “misleading” and asking if PSLE was a Mathematics exams or a logic test — parents even went to the extent of bringing the matter up to MOE via social media to defend their kiddos.

That escalated rather quickly.



A Logical Giveaway Question

Unlike the usual non-routine IQ questions posed to the PSLE kids, this question is more of a logical elimination question.


Let’s take a look at the options and use the elimination some of the improbable answers.

Option A, 6g, is too light while option D, 6kg, is simply too heavy.

That leaves us with options B and C.

The answer cannot be option C (600g) as that would mean that 8 $1 coins would weigh more than half a kilogram — which is rather unlikely.

That’s about the same weight as 600ml of water.

600ml of water in your wallet? No way.

Which logically leaves us with Option B – 60g




Get over it

While it might be easier for us older people to be able to tell the answer in just a glance, not all kids have the same ability to do so. They still are learning.

So to those parents out there who are still upset over this question, get over it.

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According to the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB), the multiple choice questions are worth either one or two marks.

It’s not the end of the world people.

Life goes on.

Not always about the books

This year’s PSLE question has surely thought us one thing —  to always weigh your coins it’s not always about the content in the textbooks.

While textbook content is important, kids should also be made to utilize the logical side of their brains rather than simply regurgitating whatever they have learnt via plain memory and practice.

While practice is important, understanding what you truly understand is more important.

When one understands what they learn, that is when they are truly learning.

Remember that kids, and all the best for the results! Whatever the result, you have all given your best.

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With reference to The Straits Times