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    Oct 08, 2015

    PSLE coin question 'tests ability to estimate mass'

    THE Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) mathematics question last week on the weight of eight $1 Singapore coins was set to assess candidates' ability to estimate the mass of common objects.

    This is according to a statement by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) yesterday.

    The response came after My Paper and Shin Min Daily News reported earlier this week that some parents were upset because they believed that the question was not a test on mathematical skill.

    Such questions could be about estimating length, mass and volume of any common objects, the statement said.

    Similar questions have appeared in past years' PSLE standard mathematics and foundation mathematics papers, MOE and SEAB pointed out.

    "Students are not required to calculate or have prior knowledge of the mass of the object, but to make an informed estimate based on their ability to relate its mass to the different orders of magnitude given in the multiple choices," the statement said.

    According to MOE and SEAB, the paper of each tested subject, including mathematics, is carefully developed by a panel of experienced school teachers, curriculum specialists from the ministry and assessment specialists from SEAB.

    "This is to ensure that the questions provide an appropriate and representative coverage of learning objectives within the respective syllabus," the statement added.

    The $1 coin question had prompted one person to post a complaint on MOE's Facebook page, seeking clarification on whether it was an IQ or a maths question.

    The answer to the question on how much eight $1 coins weigh is among the four choices provided: 6g, 60g, 600g or 6kg.