This blog is managed by Song Hock Chye, author of Improve Your Thinking Skills in Maths (P1-P3 series), which is published and distributed by EPH.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Handling “Section A” Questions for Science

In the post made on 8 Nov 2007, "Why do I keep losing marks for my Science?", we discussed how students can reduce loss of marks in Section B.

In this post, tips on how to minimise loss of marks in Section A will be discussed.

To get an A* for any subject at P5/P6, you will have to have to score above 90% of the maximum mark. To get a Band 1 for any subject at P3/P4, you will have to score at least 85% of the maximum mark. Science is no different.

The good news about science is that 60% (Section A) of your total score is based on Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). The bad news is that this gives students (and parents) the false impression that Science is an “easy subject”.

What needs to be noted is that MCQ works both ways. You score the 2 full marks if you get the answer right, but get zero, if you get it wrong. There is no “partial mark” like 1 mark or half a mark.

This means that if you get 5 MCQs wrong, you will lose 10% of your marks, making it impossible for you to get that A*, no matter how well you did for your Section B.

A common question structure you will find, is like the example below.

Question -

Which of the following statements about water are false?

(A) It has mass
(B) It has a definite shape
(C) It has no definite volume
(D) It can change from one state to another.

(1) A and D only
(2) B and C only
(3) C and D only
(4) A and B only


Firstly, read the question properly. The question asks “Which of the following statements about water are false?” Many students tend to rush when they answer the question. They do not pay attention to the fact that the question is asking which statements in A,B,C,D are false and not which are true.

Secondly, make a list against the statements by placing a tick against the statement that is true, and placing a cross against the statements that are false. This way you will not be confused so easily.


The question asks which of the above are false. By making a list, you have identified that B and C are false. Therefore, the correct choice is (2) – B and C only.

By placing a tick or a cross to identify which statement is true or false, you minimise your chances of making mistakes. This means you will do better for your MCQs in Section A, resulting in higher marks for your overall Science score.

Do not underestimate Section A Science. It may be the key to whether you score an A or an A*.

Remember, 5 MCQs wrong, and that A* will be out of your reach.


Related Article: Why do I keep losing marks for my Science?


Anonymous said...

It is not enough to cross and tick against the answers, CROSS the question as well to remind yourself that you are looking for CROSS answer.

Rachel said...

Crosses and tick is not good enough you may try asking ur self why it is wrong or why it is correct and write beside it to remind yourselves

Jia En said...

What about experimental questions? Eg. Jenny wanted to find out if the presence of light affect the rate of photosynthesis. ... How do you tackle such questions?

Whilce said...

Science MCQ questions can be either sold by the method of elimination or using your own scientific concept.