The Gifted Education Programme (GEP) in Singapore - Part 2 of 4

My first post on this topic is here.  You may like to click on it and read it too.

The GEP Screening Test is happening soon, it's next month, 26 August. It will be held in the students' respective schools during school hours. The subjects tested are English (1 hour 15 min) and Mathematics (1 hour 30 min), basing on what they have learnt from Primary 1 to 3 but the questions are far more difficult than those usually assigned in schools. There will be multiple-choice and open-ended questions. After the Screening Test, about 10% of the top performers in the cohort will then be invited to participate in the October Selection Test. That would be about 3000-5000 students, depending on the size of the cohort.

As you can see from the subjects to be tested - English and Mathematics, in order to even get through the Screening Test, the child needs to be strong in these 2 subjects. Yes, it is a bias test as some may say. If your child is strong in Science only, I'm sorry. If your child is strong in Chinese only, I'm sorry too. Do bear in mind that the GEP scheme is for the academically-gifted kids in English and Maths, it is not for those gifted in other academic subjects or gifted in other domains like sports, arts, or music. 

The GEP tests only sieve out the more academic intelligence ones in English and Maths. The rest of the the intelligence factors are not taken into consideration. It is important for parents to recognise this fact so that we do not put down our children or discount their abilities if they did not get selected for this programme eventually. Not getting into the programme is no BIG deal, the BIG deal is your child's emotional needs and psychological needs.

I have seen mothers in AJ's previous school who expressed their dismay openly to other parents and to their children when their children did not get into GEP. They don't know the hurt they have created in their children. Please don't do that. Don't put down our children. It is not the end of world not to get into GEP.

So what would you expect on 26 August 2016?

With that advice to you, I now get on to the core of this post. The 2 tests (English and Mathematics) will be conducted on the same day, with a break in between the 2 papers. 

The English Paper is 1 hour 15 min and the areas of coverage include Vocabulary, Cloze Passage and Comprehension. The Vocabulary questions are purely multiple-choice questions, and there are 4 choices to each question. However, the available choices have identical meanings and it really takes a child with strong language foundation and ability to decipher the right answer.

The next section is Cloze Passage. There could be 2 or 3 passages, depending on the length of each passage and there are no helping words. Yes, there could be a few answers to each blank.

The last is Comprehension. It is also a multiple-choice section. The tough part about this section is the length of the article. If the child loses his/her focus in reading lengthy article easily, he/she could miss some important points. At this screening stage, there are 4 choices to each question.

The Mathematics Paper is 1 hour 30 min, it is broken up into 2 sections.  Section A is multiple-choice questions, there are 4 choices to each question. Section B is short problem sum questions, and the child only needs to write the answer on the blank, there is no need to show working. It may be good to know some questions thrown in are higher level questions. I guess the intention is to sieve out the advance learners.

Ok. Don't get too stressed up. As you cannot really help your children in preparation for it, just do what you need to do - feed them well and let them have sufficient rest. Remind them to proceed on to the next question if you cannot solve the current one. Time management is important in this test. And remember, they are the best regardless they pass this test or not.

I will write about the GEP Selection Test in October. Do stay connected via my Facebook Page or Google+ for updates. For more information about GEP, please read up on MOE's website.

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