## Wednesday, October 22, 2008

### Singapore Math 6: AAARGGGGHHHH!!!!!!

There's a hot quiz show in the US called "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?".

Well, in this version called "Are you smarter than a P4 student?", I fail miserably! Monica posted these two questions, from a Pri4 assessment book, and I tried for hours and still can't solve it. What's wrong with me???? It's like there's this mental block stopping me from seeing it; I bet you when I see the solution, I'm gonna whack my head and ask "why the heck couldn't I see that, it's so bloody simple" while mouthing all kinds of expletives directed at myself. ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!! STRESSSSSSS!!!! I tell you if I'm in Singapore's education system, I'd probably be mental by now. How do you guys do it? Errrr, maybe some of you guys are already mental, you just don't know it...hehehehehehe....

Oh Mon, in case you didn't see my comment, please don't provide the solution first. Pretend I'm just a kid and I don't know how to do it, how would you prod me in the right direction? How would your 3 tips for models apply in these questions?

*************************
1) Jack and Ali are given a certain number of maths problems to solve. If Jack solves 3 problems and Ali solves 1 problem every minute, Jack will have 12 problems unsolved when Ali has finished solving all his problems. If Jack solves 1 problem and Ali solves 2 problems every minute, Jack will have 42 problems unsolved when Ali has finished solving all his problems.
a) How many problems were given to Ali?
b) To finish solving the problems at the same time as Ali, how many problems must Jack solve every minute if Ali solves 4 problems every minute?

So Brian got back at 7am today, had a bath and wanted to use the computer to play his school's online math programme, First in Math. I said Hold on! Hold on!, do this first. So he did and got the answers. I don't understand the second part of the work though, how he got 16.

2)There are 500 male and 200 female employees in Company A. There are 400 male and 600 female employees in Company B. Some employees are transferred from Company A to Company B. After the transfer, the number of male employees is the same as the number of female employees in Company B and the number of male employees is twice the number of female employees in Company A. How many female employees were transferred from Company A to Company B?

Brian got this right but by guess-and-check!

monlim said...

Ok, tip no.1 - when drawing models with transference, you may need 2 models or sometimes you draw on top of the same model. But whatever it is, the 2 must use the same unit of measurement so they can be compared. (that was one of my 3 assumptions).

monlim said...

Tip no.2 (esp for Q1) - sometimes we can't wrap our head around the question because there seems to be so many different variables, making the problem seem more complex than it actually is. Find the constant that that is valid for both before & after models.

PS Lesley-Anne said this tip didn't help her!

monlim said...

Tip no.3 - in some cases, it may be easier to draw the after model first and work backwards. (Not true in these 2 problems but this is just a general tip for transferrence problems).

Ok, that's all I'm giving for tonight! Hope they help! Maybe you'll have a brainwave in the middle of the night :)

Lilian said...

"PS Lesley-Anne said this tip didn't help her!"

LOL! Lesley-Anne, you just had to jump in with that huh?

No brainwave will come lah, my brain going on strike! I haven't worked it so hard since I left school...

monlim said...

She always says my tips don't help her! Very early on, the ones that really helped her turn the corner for models were: make every unknown part equal and find the value of one part. With those 2, she suddenly got the hang of it.

Show the sums to your brainy Brian, he'll probably solve them in a few mins, though not using models :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lil,

I think it is jet-lag lah. Get enough sleep than work on it yourself, before finding out from others how it's done.

On Monday when I was pooped with lack of sleep, I couldn't come up with some models too.

So I think sleep affects that certain part of the brain that's needed to solve 'models'. It's not a 'mechanical' type of problem solving where you just fit the numbers into the formula. It requires you to picture the situation in your brain and come up with a pictorial representation. Kinda 'creative'! Maybe it's more right-brain involved than purely left-brain.

Like the guy who discovered the structure of the benzene ring. Apparently he slept on it and dreamed of 6 monkeys dancing around holding hands. Voila! Solved liao..

YY.

Lilian said...

Hmm, Brian touches down in Singapore with Eddie 530am tomorrow morning. By the time they get to us, it'll be maybe 630am. Okay, I'll show him these at 635am then hee hee...

If he says, "Mummy, in case you've forgotten, I am on my school break now?..." (he talks like this a lot these days, so annoying)...I'll say, "Tell that to someone who cares." *evil mum strikes again!!*

Lilian said...

I've posted Brian's solution. He did manage to solve both questions, though I don't quite understand his working; and he did Q2 by guess-and-check.

ruack said...

Evil genius!!!

Wha, you must have had a tough time giving birth to him; his brain must have been so big..

You sure he's not some alien higher-civilization hybrid? [yah, I watched too much X-files :]

See, Brian is quite expert at model method already what..

YY.

Lilian said...

Nolah, he still can't do Q2 with models, so we're waiting for Model Mum Extraodinaire's solution, which she said she'll post today.

He's off to watch Cartoon Network, hardly slept on board too, busy watching movies and playing his Nintendo DS, which I'm banning from the Tokyo trip.

And true to form, while Brian was solving the Math problems, his father couldn't tahan, heart pain, and had to say, "You shuuure not? He's on holiday and still have to do so much work?"...grrrr...

Lilian said...

Oh btw, both my boys were delivered by c-section; Brian cos of meconium stain so emergency caesar (we always tease him that he jiak sai!), and Sean I waited and waited and waited, then bopian had to go c-section too cos Dr didn't allow me to wait till after due date cos of history of meconium stain.

So I never really experienced labour pain. I tell people I prayed so hard for painless delivery that I forgot to emphasise painless NATURAL delivery! hehehe...

ruack said...

Tell your hubby, I got no exams in sight, but am going through PSLE 2008 questions because I'm getting addicted to 'models'!

Monica said it's rather like puzzle solving, so it can be addictive. Well, wouldn't it be nice if our kids get addicted to it, hor..

YY.

Lilian said...

Oh gosh, you are more kilat than me, I haven't looked at those questions yet, they were scaring me. Yeah, Monica is queen of puzzles, no wonder she loves models so much; I'm the type who give up at puzzles pretty quickly.

ruack said...

Orrrhhh, I thought c-section because brain too big cannot come out... Wha, if no meconium stain maybe his IQ 200!! Wait a minute... if you can't solve that problem but he can, and assuming you're 33 and he's 11, that means his IQ is 300, right?

I had a lot of braxton-hick contractions in my pregnancy from about 6-7 months onwards. It was, like, 24/7. Never heard of it like that before! Had to take those pills (salbutamol) to relax the contractions. I sometimes wonder if those contractions killed a few of my boy's brain cells.. heehee..

For me I chickened-out at delivery: first thing I told the nurses on checking in was that I wanted epidural. Well quite early on my anesthetist friend warned me: don't try to be 'hero', if you ask for epidural too late, they cannot do it for you!!

So I only got labor pains for, like, 2 hours. Even then it was a big relief when the epidural started working.

YY.

ruack said...

""I'm the type who give up at puzzles pretty quickly.""

Really? I thought you could solve Rubik's cube easily when you were young. I was so impressed. Can teach or not? Was it instinctive or learnt methods?

YY.

Lilian said...

Oi! Are you saying my IQ is 100??? Okay forgive you since you assume I'm 33 :) I gave birth to Sean when I was 33, so you do the math.

Lilian said...

No definitely not intuitive, my brother showed me I think. Also, you know F-language? My siblings used to talk to each other like that and I could not figure it out for the longest time, very angry. I did it to Brian the other day and he figured it out really quickly. Now we talk like that if we don't want Sean to know something.

I think I like logical games but nothing too abstract. Eg till today, I think my favourite computer game is still MINESWEEPER! My best score for Expert Level was 72 seconds, shiok!

Anonymous said...

Tip No. 2 is equally true for Q2. It isn't as complicated as you think it is. See, they give such nice round numbers...:)

Anonymous said...

""Oi! Are you saying my IQ is 100??? ""

Oh sorry sorry sorry... I not so smart lah, didn't 'work backwards'..

Haven't the faintest what 'F-language' is. Your brother must be one smart guy.

YY.

monlim said...

Sorry sorry for delay, Andre got English exam later today lah, so doing some last minute sweating with him...

Lilian said...

No problem take your time. Real exam more important! Good luck Andre!

monlim said...

Ok posted. http://hedgehogcomms.blogspot.com/2008/10/using-models-to-solve-maths-problems_23.html

Wah, Brian is a genius lah! So how do you groom a genius??

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sorry I hv been lurking in yr blog cos I like to solve Math problems. Not that I am good at it, just like doing it. :p I have made an attempt at your 2 questions. For me, Q1, I used partly "guess and check" to get the answer. For Q2, I drew the model correctly I supposed to derive the answer. Here's where you can see my attempted solutions: http://madabtmath.wordpress.com/

qx

Lilian said...

Siao lah you Monica, genius won't fail Unit 1 of P5 Challenging Math! Okay will check out your solution later, sure to whack my own head...have to run errands now.

Hello qx, welcome to the MadaboutSgMath Mummies' Club! See you again soon.

Anonymous said...

I thought you didn't want the solution but just tips and guides...:)

Sure, you don't want to try it out first? like i mentioned earlier, it's really not that complicated. Remember, nice round numbers, in hundreds..hint hint.

MD

Lilian said...

You're mean MD! haha...told you I give up fast. I haven't actually looked at Mon's solution, so we'll see.

No time for Math now lah, Singapore food beckons! Just finished a shiok sour bak chor mee at Funan Centre. So much food, so little time.

Gtg, now trying husband's Punggol Mee Goreng.

Anonymous said...

Aiyah, where got mean? Being "mean" means giving you this infamous age-related question (don't google har; it's in alot of websites) that takes drawing models to a new level - you got to apply Tip No. 3 which is drawing backwards to arrive at the answer.

Here goes:

When Mrs Lee was 40 years old, her son was twice her daughter’s age. Mrs Lee will be twice her son’s age when her daughter is 28 years old. How old will Mrs Lee be when her daughter is 20 years old?

It's actually a 2007 prelim maths question from SCGS but it makes the round in the internet for generating lots of queries from students who didn't know how to answer it.

Have fun (once again)

MD

Lilian said...

You are evil incarnate MD!

Lilian said...

Anonymous said...

Wow..that's fast. Genius you got that. :)

Lilian said...

Unfortunately, he solved it not by model method but by algebra. Trouble is his algebra also all wonky, not step by step, I think only he alone can understand his working lah. He can't even explain to me, but insists he understands how he got the solution. If you can't explain how can you say you understand?? Dunnolah...

Anonymous said...

But that's how geniuses' minds work. Do you want the link to show the model method?

MD

Lilian said...

monlim said...

So how, your mee goreng and bak chor mee? Must be shiok after many moons of Moscow! Give your mind a break, go on holiday lah... Kenneth took a look at my blog and said "aiyah, maths models again?? write something else lah" DOH!!!!

Lilian said...

Wah shiok lah. Just back from Adam Road, had nasi lemak and satay so full now!! Ta pao-ed charkueyteow and chyetowkuey for supper.

Tell Kenneth, what the customer wants, the customer gets lah. WE WANT MONICA'S MATH!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the welcome! :)

Did the mom/ds/dd age sum using backwards method like the employee transfer, i.e. assume the value of units and work out the ratios. Model method is really not straight-fwd, takes quite alot of practice and experience to see pattern in numbers. Thank goodness this is only 1-2 questions in a real exam.

qx

Lilian said...

That question is directed at MD I guess? Cos I couldn't do it and my boy did it using his version of algebra.

1-2 questions? Really? I assumed there were a lot of thinking questions in PSLE.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the English. I meant I did the question by MD and here's the solution:

There may be a few questions having to solve with model diagrams in a real exam but challenging ones like this would probably be limited. The objective is mainly to allow the smarter kids to differentiate themselves in PSLE as kids are getting very exam-smart these days with more readily available resources.

The most difficult year for PSLE Math I have read so far is 2007(most complaints I suppose :) ) There were 3 widely-touted as challenging questions in this particular PSLE exam and the year the highest PSLE score was achieved. However, with the introduction of calculators, you may be right that there may be more of such questions in future. Gosh..you have just reminded me the bar is raised higher and higher..

In any case, your kid is bright to know algebra(higher order skill) and can solve these challenges using it. And the good news is MOE accepts solution of any methods as long as they are mathematically logical.

qx
PS: I don't know why I have to post my comments twice before it can be processed...

Lilian said...

Sorry qx, it wasn't your english, it was me going all cross-eyed from jetlag, didn't read your comment properly.

Wow I love the way you presented your answer, looks better than a real assessment book. Hope to see more from you. I'll link to your blog okay?

Yeah I have to comment twice too many times today, something wrong with blogger.

Oh, the thing I'm worried about is that my boy's working may be deemed unacceptable. That's why I prefer him to learn models properly. He keeps skipping steps, no one will understand his train of thought.

Ooops, so maybe what they say about pendulum swinging is true. 2007 paper very tough, 2008 easy, so 2009? Yikes! :)

monlim said...

Wah, I'm hungry for chye tao kueh now...

Don't scare me about 2009 PSLE leh... I'm going to have sleepless nights with Lesley-Anne!!! You sure Brian coming back for PSLE? Anyway, I'm pretty sure he'll be more than ok.

Lilian said...

Lesley-Anne will be fine no matter how the pendulum swings, so no need to lose sleep. I understand St Hilda's prep is top-notched.

I hope he won't have to, but we'll never know. In any case, there's another exam for overseas kids, and my friend's girl who just took it said it's really tough. This is held around the same time as PSLE, so I have a feeling the papers may be similiar. I have to find out more, pretty clueless.

Anonymous said...

http://barbiedollseducationalsite.blogspot.com/2007/09/2007-psle-math-preliminary-examination.html

It's from a school girl's blog (Barbiedoll...haha). She copied from a well-known maths tutor (Norman Tien) blog entry (I can't find it in his blog) regarding 2 questions, one of which is the m/d/s age problem. The other is a challenging Nanyang geometry question.

MD

Lilian said...

Thanks MD. Brian also added a y variable for his algebra method like this Tien guy did, but that's about the only similarity :) Tien's solution is neat and easy to understand.

One of my readers here, YY, sent me her solution and it was the perfect model answer, like Tien's. Well done YY!

Anonymous said...

Gee, you have a lot of model mums here. :) What happened to the dads?

My wife can't solve maths problems using models. She never started on it. As for me, it happened because my eldest came to me when he was in P3 with a problem. Couldn't solve it without using algebra, I took out his text book to read. And I saw how simple and effective it was and the methodology behind it. And it just got the ball rolling from there.

MD

Lilian said...

Gotta be model moms or strive to be cos our husbands aren't model dads mah...

Yup, some of these ladies are getting hooked on solving model problems. I'm still not at that stage yet, too many distractions now, maybe when I'm back in freezing Moscow.

Anonymous said...

You know they are revamping the primary school education so it may not be as bad as this a few years down the road.

As it is, I have already noticed that the syllabi for my 2nd who is in P3 this year, cover less ground than his older brother's. Chinese so much less to learn; Science text books are so thin, so much less info; and Maths problems are much easier too. I heard from the grapevine that the topics on Speed and Rate will be excluded from next year's PSLE (speed questions are also killers).

Wonder what PSLE will be like for my youngest who is now 4. Yes, I have 3 boys. :)

Anonymous said...

No issue to link to my so-called blog and is not much of a blog...I just used it to post my solutions there otherwise I don't know where to put it.. :D

From all the comments so far, I too believe your boy has no issue with PSLE. In fact he is very surprising in his thought process for his age.

Wah, problem solving is addictive...just saw some questions on the barbiedoll website. Managed to solve 2 without checking the solutions yet..will post later today as I need to scoot now...

Thanks for starting this series of interesting math problems...mind boggling but good for me so I don't go senile too soon... :D

qx

Lilian said...

MD, please let us know here as soon as it is confirmed speed topics won't be tested at PSLE. That would be great news man!

3 boys wow, must be good fun in the house. At least there's a good age gap, 12, 8 and 4; my friend has 3 boys, P6, P5 and P4!

Lilian said...

QX: You're not the only one hooked, YY has been doing lots of questions too; I can't keep up with you ladies.

monlim said...

I don't think the syllabus gets easier leh... the Chinese words that Andre has to know in p2 now are way more than Lesley-Anne 3 years ago.

The maths questions are getting harder too. The tricky ones that used to appear in Lesley-Anne's p3 paper are now appearing in Andre's p2 paper.

Anonymous said...

Aiyah, maybe it's St Hilda's lah.

Anyway, the chinese textbooks are easier (the school is under the pilot scheme for the new chinese syllabus) so are the science textbooks - no more magnets/electromagnets; systems are just glossed over unlike previously where they were taught more in depth - no more xylem and phloem, etc. Such that when I gave him his brother's previous SA2 papers to do, he will tell me "This one don't have" "This one never learn" "This one not tested", etc.

As to whether speed/rate will be dropped out, did you hear anything since your daughter will be in P6 next year?

And lilian, P3 is 9 but technically he is still 8. Aiyoh, my heart goes out to your friend. Imagine no rest from PSLE for 3 years!! At least I get a break for the next 2 years.

MD

Lilian said...

My friend is super relaxed one lah. She doesn't really bother very much with her kids' work. And I've seen her kids come home and watch tv/movie all day on a school day (she says the two younger ones do that every day). They still do fine in school, No1 is on DSA waitlist of a top school while Nos 2&3 are in Nanyang GEP. Very cute boys.

Anyway, she's feeling more gancheong after reading all the comments in our blogs, and says she'll try to be more on the ball with her kids next year. What bad influence we all are!

monlim said...

not just st. hilda's (they're not known for their chinese standard!!) It's based on their textbooks. Andre's is under the supposed "Teach less learn more" syllabus. Looking at the words, I don't see how it's "teach less!"

Maybe only the new pilot scheme is truly less difficult.

monlim said...

Not heard anything about whether rate/speed is included in PSLE next year. In the GEP, they learn the maths p4-6 topics in a different order. Eg.angles is a p4 topic but they only covered it this year. They've already touched on rate this year.

Anonymous said...

Actually I am more gancheong with No.2 who is the more creative and artistic one, not as academically inclined as No. 1. (I think No.3 is going to be the sporty one). In fact, I spent more time with him than no. 1 this year. Only the last couple of weeks did I devote more time to No. 1.

Reason being - DSA!!

You see, No. 1 has always been very self-motivated; I didn't have to do much. Top in Maths last year, top 3 in the whole level... and then he got confirmed DSA offers from two of the top boys schools. Before long, complacency set in. Watching the olympics day in and day out. I thought he would still do ok for the prelims, but then the results were not so good (coupled with that silly mistake of forgetting to shade the OAS until the last 5 minutes), position dropped till the mid 20s. That was when I pulled up my sleeves (and he too), and mapped out the last 2 weeks timetable with him. Told him that \$14,400 is alot of money..haha.

Now we just have to wait for the results to see whether his last two weeks efforts pay off.

MD

Lilian said...

Your son's so brilliant! It's good that he got a jolt during the prelims, learnt his lesson at the right time. Yes yes, it's a lot of money, can go for a really good family holiday :)

Anonymous said...

Lil, relax...

Check this out: PSLE scores of boys who got into ACSI Sec1 2008:-
http://app.sis.moe.gov.sg/schinfo/SIS_SearchDtls.asp

Your boy is in ACS Primary right? So he's in luck. To get into ACSI he only needs score of 235 according to 2008sec1 cohort.

But if a boy is not from ACS primary, he'll have to get score of 252.

In contrast, in 2002 my girl got 230+, but she was suay suay from Nanyang Primary. Nanyang Girls' High's 2008-intake even WITH affiliation was 251!!!

NOT FAIR.

After that experience I kept telling my friends to get their kids into a primary school with a very favorable affiliation with a desirable sec. school.

My girl's bestfriend was with her from Nanyang P1, but in P5, the bestfriend's mom--an ex-teacher--transferred her to MGS Primary.

Guess what's MGS's 2008-intake cut-off?
No affiliation: 252.
With affiliation, 220!!!

So my girl's bestfriend really 'tan-dio'. Her mother worked hard a bit to transfer her to MGS Pri, but after that can 'relak' liao..

I read that you actually transferred Brian to ACS, right? So you're smart, smart, smart... :-)

YY.

Lilian said...

But still have no idea what getting let's say, 240, means. It's like a number plucked from the air, what the heck does that mean? Don't even know how to gauge what points Brian would get, given he's never taken a Sg exam, never done cloze passages, proper compositions, science, so knowing the cut-off doesn't really help.

Actually, how do people get a transfer? Based on school results? Mine wasn't technically a transfer; Brian took the GEP test as an external student from overseas; so when he got through, we just had to indicate our top 3 choices for schools.

I know many were coveting the then few remaining GEP place left for non-ACSians. I think MOE pitied us and figured if he comes back, he'd fit in better in a 'jiak gantang' school like ACS :) I was happy for him to go to either ACS or our second choice Catholic; both all-boys schools. But preferably ACS cos less demanding in Chinese, plus Eddie was an old boy too (secondary).

Anonymous said...

OK, go to this link instead & click on the school of interest:

http://app.sis.moe.gov.sg/schinfo/index.asp

YY.

Anonymous said...

Go here for how T-score is calculated:

YY.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Brian & my girl, considering how he easily answered that tough qn at 6am in the morning without much sleep, I think he's capable of AT LEAST 250 with some preparation, and >260 if he's very motivated, and >270 if very very motivated.

But, it's not worth pushing for 270 in PSLE lah... Unless he just enjoys the kick of it. All you want is to get into a good sec. school, right?

So, just get him to do past year questions--that's a very good way of letting him know what he's in for. (getting used to format, time-limit, how not to lose marks from careless mistakes, etc.). But of course let him know what are the changes in format from previous years, lah.

Oh btw, he doesn't have to do 2nd language meh? Lucky..

How to transfer schools: dunno leh.. My girl's bestfriend's mom--she was ex-teacher so maybe she knew the ropes. She had to go talk to the principal amongst other things. Apparently she had 'chemistry' with the principal, said the things the principal wanted to hear..

I got another friend: she & family stayed in Canada for 8 years in the 90's, but when they went back to Sgp she managed to get her kids into RGPS and another top boy's primary school. Again she was an ex-teacher and knew how to find the 'lobangs', how to make herself useful. At RGPS I think she became a relief teacher there and that gave her daughter an advantage. (Btw this family, 2 of their kids are Singapore Sailing Champions in Asian & European games. Aced in schools too. Don't know how they train their kids lah..)

When we appealed & got my girl into St Marg Sec School, her aunt--an ex-teacher--was the person who really effected it. Again it was a matter of locating the principal, 'catching' him/her at an opportune moment, and talking to him/her. My girl's scores actually qualified for St Marg, but silly-us didn't choose that school lah.

YY.

Lilian said...

Thanks for the info, very useful. If possible, don't want him to do PSLE, cos that'll entail more work for me! But if that's what it'll take to get him into ACS(I) then I sacrifice lah :)

Decisions...decisions...

Anonymous said...

O you mean there's a way he doesn't have to do PSLE?

Also he doesn't have to do 2nd language?

YY.

Lilian said...

Depends on when we return to Singapore. Also there's now a centralised exam for returning overseas students. Or apply directly to school.

PSLE is the most straightforward method I think, no subjectivity there, just do the exam, and apply to school based on results. Yup, no need to do Chinese.

And of course there's always the International School routelah...\$\$\$.

monlim said...

Since Brian is already is ACS, he'll have no problems getting into ACSI. Actually, I'm 99.99% sure he'll get in even without affiliation. With affiliation, practically guaranteed lah. The only way he can fail is if he doesn't turn up for the exams.

I think the whole affiliation thing is just unfair, full stop. Not by merit anymore! Even if you want to consider criteria other than results, should be things like social or other qualities, not something as silly as affiliation.

Lesley-Anne wants to go to RGPS. That stresses me out big time - the cut-off for last year was 265!!!!! I think the highest of any school. I'm realistic about her abilities - I think her best bet of getting in would be thru DSA cos 265 is just too high. The thing is, there are more IP schools for boys than girls, so there isn't a lot of choice. The other is Nanyang but the cut-off is equally ridiculous and it's even further from my place.

Decisions decisions...

monlim said...

Sorry, I meant RGS!!

Anonymous said...

235 is for the normal 4 years (GCE O) at ACSI for affliation. To get into the 6 years IP/IB, the cut-off is 257 last year for all, whether affliated or not.

A rough gauge of the aggregate score is this: getting score of mid 80s for all 4 subjects will give you an aggregate score of 245 - 250. From mid 80s to 90, it rises to 250s. Low 90s will give you 260s while high 90s will give you the coveted scholarship.

MD

Anonymous said...

btw, \$14,400 is spread over 6 years (\$2,400 a year/\$200 a month).

Fyi, if you are in GEP and you get into IP, well, the scholarship is yours. No need for psle score of 265. Not only that, you will also automatically be transfer to the GEP classes of the IP school.

MD

Anonymous said...

Last year: RGS 266; Nanyang Girl 265; RI 263; HCI 261; Dunman High 260; ACSI 257 (IP)

MD

Anonymous said...

Model mum

not sure whether you have read this forum letter before on a parent's stressful time with RGS DSA process.

http://www.straitstimes.com/ST+Forum/Story/STIStory_154543.html

MD

Lilian said...

Monica, cut off was 235 last year, this year may be higher, next year even higher. I'm not as confident as you about how he'll perform, mostly cos he'll have to depend on assessment books only; I wonder if anyone has done well in PSLE without classroom instruction. MOE doesn't encourage kids who are not in the system to take PSLE, there must be a reason for this. And I'm hoping he gets to do IB, cos right now he's also doing Primary IB, and based on what MD says, the cut-off for GEP kids to do IB is 257 for ACS(I). That's very high lah.

You know, on his first day in ACS, the teacher covered something about ratio, and that particular aspect of ratio was new to Brian. From that one lesson, he was able to do most ratio-related questions after that. I know it's obnoxious to say this, but really, he learnt more NEW things (wrt Math) during that first week in ACS than the entire year in his Moscow school. Of course, he learns other stuff in Moscow but just not much hard knowledge. So I was just thinking, how much he's missing from not getting classroom instruction.

L-A will get into whichever school she wants lah. Where do most St Hilda GEP girls go to? I'm hoping most boys want to go to schools like RI and Chinese High, so there's more places available in ACS(I).

Agree with you about affiliation points being unfair. Eddie got into ACS by merit through his 4A* way back then, from a now defunct school called Toh Tuck Primary. He said he got 399 points then, good enough to get into RI. I have no idea what 399 points was lah, should be the same year you sat for PSLE.

Lilian said...

So MD, what I'm hearing is gotta aim for low 90s in all subjects to be safe. That's quite tough man :(

monlim said...

I think most girls in St. Hilda's want to go to RGS, not really by anything other than that it's one of the few girls' IP schools. Nanjang is in the west which is travel terror for most of the easterners at St. Hilda's. Even RGS gotta take at least an hour for travelling via MRT. Not many St. Hilda's kids opt for Dunman High (which used to be in the East but not anymore) cos it's a SAP school, so higher chinese. Anyway, mission school kids typically won't fit well into the Chinese school type environment.

The IB is a great programme. But maybe if Brian is coming back, he can take another type of exam, not PSLE, if you're nervous about it (although really, if he comes back in time for some classroom instruction here, I really believe he should be more than fine).

I don't think DSA into these top schools is a sure thing for GEP kids, I've heard of GEP kids not getting in thru DSA. But I don't really know much cos I haven't spoken to other GEP parents. These types of info seem to be only gathered thru the grapevine, not official sources!

MD: Do you know what are the chances of GEP kids getting in thru DSA? I think that's the only way Lesley-Anne will make it to RGS. We attended the RGS open house this year - basically, they take in only the top 2% of each cohort *faints*

monlim said...

ei Lilian, how come you know sayonara yet and still online??

monlim said...

Sorry MD, forgot to answer your question. The link not working but yes I've read about the stress over RGS DSA. Even St Hilda's have emphasised that DSA can be very stressful so not to subject kids to too many applications, like some kiasu parents will do. They're recommending one application, max 2. But I think no choice for L-A if she really wants to go to that school.

Lilian said...

Yup, happened to see a comment by a mum that this year, ACS(I) was very kiamsiap with their DSA for ACS GEP kids; many kids didn't get in.

If we do decide on doing PSLE, will return to ACS after Sg June hols, enough time to prepare? Jul, Aug, Sep...In the first place, don't even know if he'll be allowed to do PSLE lah, I'm still clueless. Just emailed GEP branch to enquire about this.

Headed for the airport soon, taking night flight. Even in the airport, can still be online one mah, thanks to wireless@sg!

Anonymous said...

Basically for GEP students, they stand an edge over non-GEP in that they are the first to be invited for DSA, phase 1. This year, some schools like HCI did not require the GEP students to sit for the GAT, straight into the interview and selection tests; while RI phase 1 is for all GEP students. That is the only advantage. Selection, I think, will still be based on the selection tests, GAT and interviews.

ACSI's IP/IB takes in only 180 students for Year 1; and 90 places were given out during DSA. And there were a thousand applicants?? But there are 2 more intakes at year 3 (100 more from ACSI 4-year programme) and year 5 (200 more from all over, including girls).

Dunman High will be relocated back to the east for next year to a brand new school building.

MD

Anonymous said...

the comments section did not show the whole link. i will try to cut and paste:

http://www.straitstimes.com/ST+Forum/Story/
STIStory_154543.html

MD

Anonymous said...

Maybe 399 meant.... that Eddie got 100, 100, 100, & 99 marks for the 4 subjects!!! hahahaha..

YY.

monlim said...

err... sorry ah, what is GAT?? And what does the selection test involve? Obviously you can tell I'm not very clued in!!

Dunman High cannot lah, L-A chinese not powderful enough...

Anonymous said...

GAT - General Ability Test (administered by the Civil Service College).

L-A would have sat for the GAT when she went through the 2nd round of GEP screening in P3. 2 days - English and GAT 1 on one day and Maths and GAT 2 on the second day.

For DSA, you would need to sit for it just once, and the results will be sent to all schools that you apply for by CSC. However, schools like ACSI have their own version called HAST (High Ability Selection Test).

You can apply DSA through various means:

1. Academic (which most GEP students apply under) - languages, science or maths (you get alot of applicants applying under the maths domain simply because there are many maths olympiad competitions organised and students have these awards to show off unlike languages or science - and that was the grouse of the parent who complained about RGS DSA in the forum letter)

2. Sports
3. Arts - music, drama, etc
4. Niche programmes - for a list of schools, see this:

dsa-sec/participating-schools/

The selection tests will vary according to what you apply for. For maths, there will be a maths test. For some schools there will be language test. For sports and the arts, there will be auditions.

And lastly interviews. But not all schools have this; some will just require you to submit a personal statement (like ACSI).

MD

monlim said...

Wahh!! Sounds very intimidating. I'm not sure Lesley-Anne would fall under any category, she's not super in languages or maths or any of the others. So means no chance liao :(

Anonymous said...

Sorry, under Academic there is also the General one - which most GEP students apply under (this is what I meant earlier). This is for RI/RGS DSA. You may want to visit www.raffles.sg for more info.

For Hwa Chong and ACSI, there is no breakdown of academic domains (into languages, maths, etc), only sports and the arts.

If L-A has a special talent in the Arts, you may want to try this route. My friend's daughter got into Dunman High through Drama.

MD