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Welcome back to our Examination Paper Analysis series!

In this article, we will be reviewing the 2018 P5 Nanyang Primary School (NYPS) SA1 Science Examination Paper.

What Topics Are Covered In This Paper?

The topics covered in this paper (both Booklets A & B) include:

  • Plant Cycle
  • Reproduction in Plants and Humans
  • Matter
  • Properties of Materials
  • Heat Energy
  • Water Cycle
  • Light
  • Magnets

There were also a few experimental type questions that test students on:

  1. Is the experiment is a fair test?
  2. What is the relationship between the variables?
  3. Why were the results not reliable?
  4. What can be concluded from the experiment?

To find out more on how to answer experimental type questions, you can take a look at the other articles as well!

The two major topics that make up more than 65% weightage of this paper are Plant Cycle and Heat Energy.

There are a 10 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions which test students on the topic of Plant Cycle, constituting a total of 26 marks. As for Heat Energy, there are 4 open-ended questions (40% of Booklet B) and 6 multiple-choice questions (21% of Booklet A) on this topic.

Thus, if your child would like more practice on the topics of Plant Cycle, Heat Energy and experiment-centric questions, do give the 2018 P5 Nanyang Primary School (NYPS) SA1 Science Examination Paper a try!

However, in this article, I will not be discussing questions on the topic of Heat Energy from this paper as they are straightforward and have been covered in the our other articles.

Instead, I will be reviewing 2 questions in Booklet B I’ve found interesting.

Let’s Take A Look At Q32a

Source: Nanyang Primary School – 2018 P5 SA1 Examination Paper [Q32a]

Question Analysis

As seen in the diagram above, 3 types of plants are shown. Each type of plant is dispersed by a different method. Let us first recall what the 4 methods of seed dispersal are.

  1. Wind
  2. Water
  3. Splitting/Explosive action
  4. Animals

We are able to identify the method of dispersal of Plants X, Y and Z by observing the distribution of plants across the island.

Identifying the method of dispersal for Plant X:

Plants X are found in clusters and this suggests that the seeds are disperserd by splitting. During splitting, the fruit splits open when its ripe and throws the seeds forcefully in all directions around the parent plant, forming a cluster.

Identifying the method of dispersal for Plant Y:

Plants Y are found along the sides of the river and the shoreline. This suggests that the seeds are being dispersed by water.

Identifying the method of dispersal for Plant Z:

Plants Z are found at random locations across the island. This suggests that they are either be dispersed by wind or animal.

Note: The direction of the wind is not specified in this question.

After identifying the method of seed dispersal for Plants X, Y and Z, we need to recall the characteristic of each fruit, which allows them to be dispersed by the methods of dispersal mentioned above.

Characteristic of the fruit of Plant X for dispersal by splitting:

The fruits of Plant X have a pod-like structure that splits open, which throws out the seeds forcefully around the parent plant.

Characteristic of the fruit of plant Y for dispersal by water:

The fruits of Plant Y have a fibrous husk to trap air, so they can float on the water away from the parent plant.

Characteristic of the fruit of plant Z for dispersal by wind/animals:

Since the fruits of Plant Z can be dispersed by wind or animals, there are 3 possible characteristics of its fruit.

  1. Plants Z could have hook-like structures that allow the seeds to be dispersed by animals, as the seeds will be able to attach themselves to the outer covering of animals.
  2. Plants Z could have juicy and fleshy fruits that attract animals to eat them, which helps in seed dispersal.
  3. Plants Z could have wing-like structures that allow them to stay afloat in the air for a longer time, allowing them to be dispersed by wind.

Here’s The Answer

Let’s Take A Look At Q32b

Source: Nanyang Primary School – 2018 P5 SA1 Examination Paper [Q32b]

Question Analysis

After looking at the diagram, which plant do you think will be most affected by the construction of the tall buildings on the island?

If you’re thinking about Plant Z, that is correct!

But why is Plant Z most affected?

Firstly, the buildings are taking over the space that were previously occupied by plants Z. Secondly, the buildings are tall and would block wind.

Thus, the tall buildings will affect Plant Z in 2 ways, depending on whether you’ve chosen animal or wind dispersal as your answer in part (a):

  1. The tall buildings would prevent the animals from moving into the area to disperse the seeds. (for seeds dispersed by animals)
  2. The tall buildings would block the wind, preventing the wind from carrying the seeds of plants Z to other parts of the island (for seeds dispersed by wind).

One common mistake from students here is that they tend to only mention that “the buildings are taking over the space that were previously occupied by Plants Z” but did not further explain how this would affect Plant Z. As a result, examination markers would not be able to award the student the full marks due to an incomplete answer.

To avoid incomplete answers, we encourage students here at The Pique Lab to craft their answers using the CUE method of writing.

Here is what CUE represents:

C stands for Choose.

U stands for Use Data from the question (e.g. diagrams, graphs, tables).

E stands for Explain Data (using the science concept).

Here’s The Answer For Q32b

Choose: Plant Z.

Use data: The tall buildings have taken over the space previously occupied by Plant Z.

Explain data: Thus, the tall buildings will prevent the animals from moving into the area to disperse the seeds. OR Thus, the tall buildings will block the wind, preventing the wind from carrying the seeds of plants Z to other parts of the island.

Let’s Take A Look At Q39

Source: Nanyang Primary School – 2018 P5 SA1 Examination Paper [Q39]

If your answer to part (a) of the question is “She would be able to take the wooden cube and iron cube out from the hole”, you are absolutely right!

Let me explain the reason to you in part (b) of the question.

Describe and explain how she could take out the object(s) you had stated in (a).

Let’s Analyse Question 39

Based on the information given, Farah had a ball of cotton string, a pail of water and a bar of magnet with her. To answer this question effectively, we need to have an understanding of the properties of the different materials.

Here is a summary table that shows the properties of the three cubes.

What can Farah do with the magnet?

The first thing that would probably come to your mind when you see a magnet is to use the magnet to attract the magnetic material.

As such, Farah can tie the cotton string to the magnet and slowly lower the magnet into the hole. The magnet would be able to attract the iron cube, which is made of magnetic material. Next, she can raise the cotton string and magnet to remove the iron cube from the hole.

What can Farah do with the pail of water?

Farah can pour water into the hole. Since wood is able to float on water, the wooden cube would move upwards as the water level inside the hole increases. The ceramic cube would then be the only cube left at the bottom of the hole.

Here’s The Answer To Question 39

Farah could tie the magnet to a cotton string and lower the magnet into the hole. The magnet’s magnetism would be able to attract the iron cube, which is a magnetic material, allowing the iron cube to be lifted out from the hole.

Farah can then pour the pail of water into the hole. This allows the wooden cube to float on the water surface, allowing her to remove the wooden cube out of the hole.

In Conclusion

We have come to the end of the examination paper analysis of 2018 P5 SA1 Nanyang Primary School Science examination paper. I hope that this has been a good read for you!

Once again, do try out the P5 NYPS SA1 2018 paper if you need more practice on “Plant Cycle”, “Heat” and experimental type questions!

Remember to keep practicing your past year examination papers and you will get better at tackling the PSLE science questions.

Stay tuned for more exam paper analysis coming your way! 🙂