top of page

Excel In Science Exams With These Answering Technique Tips

Besides mastering content knowledge, the other key aspect of excelling in science exams lies in having the proper answering technique. Even if you understand the topic very well, it can be challenging to score good marks if you are constantly misreading the question, missing the keywords in your answers, or phrasing your answers in an inappropriate way.

Not too sure what ‘good answering technique’ means for science exams? In our primary and lower secondary science tuition classes, we emphasise the importance and mastery of effective answering techniques, such as the TCR approach.

Below, we share some of these good habits to have when tackling science exam questions!

Read the question carefully

Many students make the mistake of rushing through the questions because they want to get straight to answering them and saving time. However, rushing often leads to a poor understanding of the question. Some very common errors are reading numbers wrongly and missing out on negation words – for example, “Which of these is/are NOT true?”.

So, rather than waste those precious marks, spend just a few more seconds reading the question thoroughly, rereading it if you need to. Identify the topic (the ‘T’ in TCR) of the question, and then circle or underline any clues (‘C’ in TCR) that will help you solve the question. Then note the result (‘R’ of TCR) or scenario that the question is asking you to explain.

Use the right key terms

Science exams are marked according to key words and phrases. So, even if you understand and know the correct answer, you can only get the marks if you express your answer with the right terminology.

Make it a habit to circle or underline the key terms in the question you need to address, ensuring your answer links back to the question rather than just regurgitating a line from your textbook. Suppose you regularly have trouble with key words and phrases. In that case, you can study by referring to a reliable answer key and identifying the key words that are important for every topic.

Refer to the marks allocation

The number of marks for every question part is a clue for you to know how detailed your answer needs to be. Avoid writing a five-sentence answer for a one-mark question, for example. You will appear as if you do not know exactly what the question wants and seem to be rambling or imprecise with your answer.

Every mark is usually one key point, or sometimes two sub-points worth 0.5 marks each. Based on the question requirements and mark allocation, you should estimate how much you need to write and how detailed you need to be.


While you can study for PSLE science by reading and memorising the concepts well, it is still important to practise with mock papers and past year papers to put these answering techniques into practice. To help you with this, we publish our own science revision guides with answer keys written by our experienced tutors according to the TCR answering technique.

At Heuristics Science, we also offer online science tuition in Singapore for primary and secondary school levels to further provide guidance and feedback to students. Want to discover how to practise smarter and perform better in science exams? Contact us today to learn more!

32 views0 comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page