“Impossible” PSLE Math Questions 

PSLE Math Question

PSLE Math Question

Placing aside serious calculations and mathematical proficiencies, Singapore math with all its strengths and perks can be the hardest hill to conquer. For many years, adults have also looked back on PSLE questions and found these questions to be much harder than previously imagined. 

While results and studying is important, this article will take a light hearted approach towards some of the PSLE questions that have popped out throughout the years.  

Try your hand at the following question:   

Helen and Ivan had the same number of coins. Helen had a number of 50-cent coins, and 64 20-cent coins. These coins had a mass of 1.134kg. Ivan had a number of 50-cent coins and 104 20-cent coins.

1) Who has more money in coins and by how much?

2) Given that each 50-cent coin is 2.7g more heavier than a 20-cent coin, what is the mass of Ivan’s coins in kilograms?


Source: CNA 

PSLE Question, a mathematical problem or a grammatical one? 

In an age far before 2021, mathematics questions were also a test of English proficiency and logic. Check out this question from 2015

Albert and Bernard just become friends with Cheryl, and they want to know when her birthday is. Cheryl gives them a list of 10 possible dates.


May 15  May 16  May 19  

June 17  June 18 

July 14  July 16

August 14  August 15  August 17 

Cheryl then tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and the day of her birthday respectively. 

Albert: I don’t know when Cheryl’s birthday is, but i know that Bernard does not know too 

Bernard: At first i don’t know when Cheryl’s birthday is, but i know now. 

So when is Cheryl’s birthday? 

Source: Reddit

PSLE questions in Today’s Age

Over the years, PSLE has come a long way. In 2024, improvements and particular focus in phrasing have been implemented to ensure that the questions are easier to understand. However, this does not take away the nature of maths in Singapore where logical deduction and critical thinking are also components of the subject. 

One of the core topics that has remained testable is the speed and distance topic. Such questions often have a standard way of solving and may require a line graph.

For the year of 2023, the “Faizal and Elise” question is an example of such a question. Attempt the following: 

Faizal and Elise started jogging from the same spot at the same time. Faizal’s speed was 30 m/min faster than that of Elise’s. Both of them did not change their speed throughout the jog. Faizal jogged all the way to the end of the track and immediately made a U-turn. They passed each other at the 4000-m mark of the track. 

What was Elise’s speed?

The question also included a diagram illustrating that Faizal ran an additional 600 meters

before turning back and covering the same distance before overtaking Elise.

Source: Geniebook

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