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Frequently Asked Questions About PSLE Past Year Papers

OpenSchoolbag distributes the PSLE past year papers from two major publishers and received a lot of questions from concerned parents. We have put together a list of questions that you may also be curious to know. Should you buy the books now? Find the answers below.

You have more than one book for each subject, which one should I get?


There are two publishers appointed by Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) to print the PSLE past year papers. (See: https://www.seab.gov.sg/home/services/distributors-of-past-years'-question-papers). They are namely:

  • SL Education
  • Educational Publishing House (EPH)

This is the reason why you see each subject is available with different covers as they are by different publishers.

Are the papers the same?

Yes! They are all the actual past year PSLE papers the earlier cohorts sat for. 

Please do not confuse these papers to assessment books. Assessment books with "PSLE" titles are not actual PSLE papers but simulated papers written by experienced educators to follow the format as closely as possible. They provide a form of practice in preparation for the actual PSLE.

Then, what are the differences?

Prices & Presentation

Prices of the past year papers range from $4.50 - $7.50. SL Education and EPH release question book with the solution booklet together.

Yearly/Topical Editions

Mathematics and Science can be categorised into topics. EPH and Shing Lee has topical editions of Mathematics and Science subjects available.

Both the contents of the yearly and topical editions are arranged differently. You will be able to see it from a preview of the content page available on each listing.

In the Yearly edition of the TYS, it is arranged in order of the year (2020, 2021, 2022) and are separated into the individual Paper 1, Paper 2, Paper 3, Paper 4.

In the Topical edition, the questions from the past-year papers are sorted into the general topics/chapters that are covered in the subject's syllabus.

Which one should I pick for my child? Which edition is more popular?

Both the Yearly and Topical editions of the PSLE TYS are great for use in revision! It will depend on the type of revision technique that your child is best suited to.

You may consider the Topical edition to help prepare your child for the type of questions that they can encounter in the PSLE exam itself.

The Yearly edition can serve as simulated practice to help your child test their understanding of the subject material, and check which areas they will need more help in.

Topical practices are good for revision, to reinforce learning for each topic before prelims (Jan- Jun).

Solution booklets

Publishers may present their solutions differently. Model answers are also provided by respectively publishers. Do take time go through and consider your preferred presentation, learning or teaching style.

Are there only three years available?

Yes, at the moment, all past year papers are released for past three years. Latest edition is 2019-2021. Papers from earlier years are not on sale now.


"Starting 2015, on an annual basis, SEAB will be releasing PSLE papers from the previous three years in examination format, for both the standard and foundation levels, in all subjects. This enhancement aims to provide students and parents with greater clarity on the overall standard of the PSLE." (Statement by Ministry of Education, 2015)

Are papers for past three years sufficient?

In our humble opinion, papers from the earlier years may not be appropriate for preparation as syllabus may have changed and examination format may differ. However, they are definitely still good for practice. This is what our Minister of Education posted on his Facebook post:

Hence, I am glad that SEAB has decided to release PSLE in the exam format too, so that students can have a better sense of the types and spread of questions that let all students show subject mastery, and prepare well – not to over-prepare and spend excessive time on drill-and-test, but to free up time for play, for exploring interest and holistic education; and not to under-prepare as PSLE can serve as a good gauge of their mastery of the subject, for the next phase of their learning journey. What matters most is for children to develop a love for learning."

How many copies should you buy?

One is sufficient. Some parents may obtain more than one copy for school or tuition separately. Some parents may get a copy from both publishers to obtain two sets of answer key to help them to teach.


We hope this post clarifies your doubts! If you have further questions, leave them below! Have a good academic year ahead!



This article is written by Hui Juan, founder of OpenSchoolbag. She has a thing for assessment books and spends time going through books in the market. She is currently busy looking through more books and making recommendations.

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