GEP Test Format

There is limited information on the GEP Test Format on the official MOE website:


The entry point into the GEP is at Primary 4.

Pupils are identified for the GEP through a two-stage exercise in Primary 3.

Stage Month Participants Papers
Screening August Primary 3 pupils enrolled in government and government-aided schools English Language


Selection October Only shortlisted pupils will be invited to the Selection stage English Language


General Ability

For the screening test, the duration for each paper is around 1.5 hours.

For the selection test, there are traditionally two papers of 2.5 hours each:

  • Paper 1: English paper and a General Ability paper
  • Paper 2: Maths paper and another General Ability paper

In August every year, the cohort of P3 students is invited to sit for a GEP screening test. The test is not compulsory but all children are encouraged to go for it. The test comprises an English and a Maths paper, about 1½ hours each.

Out of the cohort of approximately 50,000 kids, some 3,000 pupils (about 6%) are shortlisted for the GEP selection test.

The selection test takes place over two days in October, the first comprises an English paper and a General Ability paper, about 2½ hours in total. The second consists of a Maths paper and another General Ability paper, also about 2½ hours altogether.


GEP Test Syllabus

Officially, the GEP Test can only test within the Primary 3 syllabus. (This is more relevant for Math than English. For English, it is more open-ended, they can test advanced GEP vocabulary like “cantankerous”.)

For example, technically they are not supposed to test “speed” questions since that is a Primary 5 topic. Similarly, they are not supposed to test area/perimeter of circle questions, or even area/perimeter of triangle questions.

Hence, the GEP Math Test Syllabus (according to the official Primary 3 syllabus) includes:

  1. Whole Numbers
  2. Fractions
  3. Money
  4. Measurement (Length, Mass, Volume)
  5. Time
  6. Area and Perimeter (rectangle/square)
  7. Angles (basic concepts of right angle, acute angle)
  8. Perpendicular & Parallel Lines (basic concepts)
  9. Bar graphs

The above topics may seem deceptively easy. However, even for a simple topic like fractions, it is possible to test a question like the GEP Screening Test Question Sample: The Tap Question, which may stump many secondary school students.

Related posts:


GEP PSLE Discussion

It is well known that GEP students spend Primary 4 and 5 doing miscellaneous stuff that appear to be not directly related to PSLE, yet majority of GEP students score 250 and above for PSLE. Hence, the main question is:

Does GEP help PSLE?

Kiasuparents has a very robust discussion going on, and here are some of the insightful snippets. For the full discussion, check out the Kiasuparents forum.

Summary: GEP only starts preparation for PSLE at P6 April (!!) For PSLE, students need to be exam smart and be careful to answer “according to the marking scheme”. GEP teaches many higher level concepts which are not in the syllabus, for example “good bacteria”. Content wise, GEP English/Math/Science at P4-P5 is already at or surpassing the mainstream PSLE level. For Chinese/Mother Tongue, there is not much difference between GEP and usual syllabus.

Viewpoint 1: GEP helps PSLE but not directly

bhcbl wrote:After DS 3 years journey in the program, my thoughts are as follow:

– Does GEP help PSLE … NoNot directly. I do think my son did better in PSLE than he would have done in his previous school coz his classmates were stronger, and because the teaching suited him. Revision was short and sharp, and he didn’t have to do too many revision papers
– Does GEP help DSA … No (definitely not directly under the new policy, maybe the exposure in broader Math and Science help HDP in a way) No, because GEPpers don’t have a special pass to DSA any more. But the GEP education does provide more opportunities to develop knowledge in various areas that could help in the interviews and portfolios
– If we get to choose again, will we still opt to be in the program … yesAgree with everything below
Stretches … eg. Book review on books for older reader, more difficult Math concept …
Broaden … eg. Ancient civilizations, magic square, ancient number system, history
Self-learning … various research and projects (at least 4-5 a year)
Time management … homework, projects, research, self-studies
Filing … they have no textbook
Also, I think it was just alot more fun for DS (after some confusion in P4 while getting used to the system). He enjoyed classes, enjoyed his classmates (mostly), and I loved the smaller classes and the opportunities for various additional classes / camps etc.
So as you can see, in the three years, most of their times are spend on thing that have nothing to do with PSLE or PSLE prep until around P6 Apr.

Think about the following: in English, they learn to infer and read between the lines, but in PSLE compre, if you do that likely you will get marks deducted; Have parents experience the problem of teaching your child Math … using algebra to solve, and then convert to the model method to explain … this is some of the things that Gep students need to go through for Math PSLE (imagine for a 12 years old child). Or PSLE syllabus issue … if you ask any Gep student whether bacteria is good or bad … they will tell you both and give you a good list of examples … but too bad that is not in PSLE syllabus: Bacteria is bad (marks likely deducted if you start talking about bacteria is good).
Our take: the GEP system is a great system, but the problem is in the past they don’t need to rely on PSLE because there is DSA, but now they have to with the change in MOE policy. It is quite cruel to do that to a child… teach them more boarder and advance stuff but in exam ask them to forget about all these.

To us, we think that education is a journey, while PSLE is just a small part of the journey. Therefore, we will still go for GEP if we could choose again. Lastly, you will see most GEP students don’t need to adjust to secondary school: 8 subjects … they are already used to very pack schedule; additional topic like history, literature, geography … these are covered in one way or another in their 3 years program (but not tested in PSLE).

So hope that this could help you in your decision in your child education journey. If you are hoping that GEP mean PSLE or DSA or good secondary … under the new policy, you may be disappointed. If you are hoping to have a challenging and stretch program for your child … likely you won’t be disappointed.

Viewpoint 2: GEP definitely helps PSLE (and DSA too)

(by entei17) Does GEP help PSLE

Yes, definitely. In fact two years in advance. If you look through the learning scope and common tests papers for English, Higher Chinese, Maths and Science, the P4 Geppers are already doing P5-6 stuff in the mainstream.

English already has situational writing which is not introduced till P5 mainstream. Vocabulary and Grammar are pitched at P5-6 or maybe secondary levels. Comprehension format is very similar to PSLE, except that the passage is lengthier and more difficult to understand (need inference) than PSLE. As revision and practice for common test, I let my child do past year PSLE papers instead, because the P4-5 revisions books are not compatible. All the Extensive Reading List assignments, Single Shard literature, Synthesis and Transformation etc also help to build up their English foundation, so they can read more and advanced their appreciation of the language. Some of the assignments are an overkill, requiring a Herculean effort, or mission impossible. They have a comprehensive English curriculum, but I’m not sure whether all the Geppers could keep up.

Higher Chinese uses the same textbooks as the mainstream i.e. 生字 are similar, but the test/exam paper formats are similar to P5-P6/PSLE. Geppers would have no problems adjusting to the PSLE requirements. As GEP selection test only tested English, Math and General Ability, Geppers’ average Chinese ability are generally on par with the mainstream. Those that are good in English are generally not good at Chinese, although there are a handful who are good at both, or in all the subjects. I don’t have any evidence to back this up, but one reasons why some Geppers who didn’t score well in the PSLE are probably pulled down by their Chinese.

Maths are pitched at P5-P6 mainstream topics, but enriched and more interesting. I’ve seen many mentioned about Ancient civilizations, magic square, ancient number system, history. These are all covered over a week or only a few assignments. Most of the worksheets are still the usual topics but pitched at a higher level that stimulates their thinking. The only problem is Geppers think faster and have a tendency to skip/leave out some of the workings, which may prove a problem to the marking scheme in the PSLE.

Science topics follow the PSLE syllabus and the usual topics, enriched and deeper thought. We use P5/PSLE questions for revisions. The key here is (no pun intended) is still keywords and key concepts when answering open-ended questions, which is not dissimilar to the mainstream and PSLE requirements.

If whether GEP prepares PSLE every single day from P4-6 by drilling them to do past year papers after past year papers, then clearly they don’t. They spend a lot of time doing other stuff which indirectly raise their ability – maybe it helps in PSEL, maybe it doesn’t.

– Does GEP help DSA

DSA based on Sports/CCA are irrelevant here unless GEP’s heavy workload deprive them time to train or participate more actively, which could be a consideration. If not GEP and mainstream compete evenly based on their sports achievement.

Based on history, the majority of Geppers score 250 and above. Some don’t because of their mother tongue (as mentioned above), which even if they are in the mainstream, won’t be any different. Some are simply misclassified into the GEP – no matter what the GEB says about their tests. Parents know their child best whether they have the ability.

So even without DSA, for those scoring 260 and above they would still get into the top IP schools. The only one you have no choice but to try for DSA is NUS High, because there are very few places left in the posting exercise after the PSLE. However, this may also backfire on the Geppers because the schools know the Geppers would score high, and therefore still come to their school, and therefore may not need to give you a CO. With government’s push for social mobility and anti-elitism, they may just want to mix it up a bit more in the elite schools and therefore less Geppers as the first cut – just pure guess, since PSLE would still bring back the higher scoring Geppers anyway through meritocracy.

But compare to the mainstream, does GEP equip you better to do DSA? I think very so, as GEP affords you opportunities to participate in the MO, SO as well as many other competitions, and as early as P4, which may not be the case in the mainstream. So you have a better chance to build up your academic portfolio.

Finally, do check out our most popular GEP post: Recommended Books for GEP Selection Test and How to Get Into GEP.

Researchers studying the Flynn effect have found that scores on IQ tests have actually improved over time.

This is an interesting read for parents and students. Basically, IQ is a complex notion that is dependent on various factors, including environment and educational factors.

Source: ThoughtCo

You’ve probably heard someone lament the state of “kids today”: that current generations aren’t as smart as the ones that came before them. However, psychologists who study intelligence have found that there isn’t much support for this idea; instead, the opposite may actually be true. Researchers studying the Flynn effect have found that scores on IQ tests have actually improved over time. Below, we’ll review what the Flynn effect is, some possible explanations for it, and what it tells us about human intelligence.

What Is the Flynn effect?

The Flynn effect, first described in the 1980s by researcher James Flynn, refers to the finding that scores on IQ tests have increased in the past century. Researchers studying this effect have found wide support for this phenomenon. One research paper, published by psychologist Lisa Trahan and her colleagues, combined the results of other published studies (which included a total of over 14,000 participants) and found that IQ scores have indeed increased since the 1950s. Although researchers have documented some exceptions, IQ scores have generally increased over time. Trahan and her colleagues observed, “The existence of the Flynn effect is rarely disputed.”

Why Does the Flynn Effect Happen?

Researchers have put forward several theories to explain the Flynn effect. One explanation has to do with improvements in health and nutrition. For example, the past century has seen a decrease in smoking and alcohol use in pregnancy, discontinuation of the use of harmful lead paint, improvements in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, and improvements in nutrition.

As Scott Barry Kaufman writes for Psychology Today, “The Flynn effect serves as a reminder that when we give people more opportunities to prosper, more people do prosper.”

In other words, the Flynn effect could be partially due to the fact that, over the twentieth century, we’ve started addressing many of the public health issues that prevented people in earlier generations from reaching their full potential.

Another explanation for the Flynn effect has to do with societal changes that have occurred in the past century as a result of the Industrial Revolution. In a TED talk, Flynn explains that the world today is “a world where we’ve had to develop new mental habits, new habits of mind.” Flynn has found that IQ scores have increased the most rapidly on questions that ask us to find similaritiesbetween different things, and more abstract types of problem solving — both of which are things that we need to do more of in the modern world.

Several ideas have been put forward to explain why modern society might lead to higher scores on IQ tests. For example, today, many more of us have demanding, intellectually rigorous jobsSchoolshave also changed: whereas a test at school in the early 1900s might have been more focused on memorization, a recent test might be more likely to focus on explaining the reasons for something. Additionally, more people today are likely to finish high school and go on to college. Family sizes tend to be smaller, and it has been suggested that this may allow children to pick up on new vocabulary words while interacting with their parents. It’s even been suggested that the entertainment we consume is more complex today.

Trying to understand and anticipate plot points in a favorite book or TV drama may actually be making us smarter.

“Actual” GEP Questions 2017 (from Forum)

Since the actual GEP papers are never released, the next best source is from those who have actually taken it and post on forums like Kiasuparents.

Some Maths questions my girl remembers.

“ In a fishing competition, five kids caught 50 fish in total. A is the winner – she got 12 fish. B and C caught the same number of fish and both are at second place. D is at fourth place. E came in last, got only 6 fish. How many fish did B get?“

( my girl couldn’t solve this one. )

“ The red ribbon is twice as long as the blue ribbon. The green ribbon is 2cm shorter than the blue ribbon. A red ribbon and two green ribbon together measure 16cm. How Long is the blue ribbon? “

( she managed to solve this one- but only after spending a lot of time on it. )


Review by mathtuition88: These two questions are not that hard. Can be solved by either model method or algebra.

Some tips from parents: English and GAT is actually harder to prepare than Maths:

Just sharing based on our experience last year. Of the 6 that were selected for GEP eventually from my child’s class, it seems English and GAT were the determining factors. For maths, a lot of kids are already very advanced and well – prepared nowadays. The majority of the balance 14 who went for round 2 found English harder than maths. According to them, English is somewhat like pitched at sec 1 and sec 2 standard, while maths was like up to P6 and Primary Maths Olympiad standard and more manageable. I think it was also more because anything can come out under the sun for English and you can’t really prepare for it. That’s what I heard last year.


For more GEP tips and recommended GEP books, check out: Recommended Books for GEP Selection Test and How to Get Into GEP.

Free Video about GEP

Video URL:

Talking Point 2017 – EP23

Thu 5 Oct 2017

By Channel 5 Published: 05 Oct 2017 Audio: English

Each year, only the top 1% of the primary school cohort will enter the Gifted Education Programme. Yet scores of parents send their children to preparatory classes in hopes that their child will ace the GEP Selection Exercise. Authorities frown on such courses. Learning centres say there’s overwhelming demand. Can a child be trained to be gifted? And should he? Talking Point gives you an inside look into how primary school students are being prepped to take a screening test for gifted kids.

GEP Selection Test Review and Experience

The following is a parent’s review and experience of the GEP Selection Test (2016). Original text (in Chinese) at:

Interested readers may also want to check out Recommended Books for GEP Selection Test.


One day in September 2016 afternoon, read the son of the third son as usual time to go home, after the door looked calmly handed me a letter ~ OMG! A letter from the MOE to inform the son passed the GEP first round Examination, will be held on October 18 to participate in the second round of selection.

The son of the school in Singapore ranked 100 +, the third grade a total of seven classes, a total of about 280 students, he is in the best class. According to him, almost all the classmates participated in the first round of examinations, only through the eight individuals, including him. Later learned that, in fact, the school also 8 individuals to participate in the second round of their selection. Due to the small number of schools will not send people to pick up. Examination place in a subway station, never been to the school. The original quiet life, because to send test and upset, and finally have the opportunity to close feeling the legendary GEP.

A. Parents around the campus export was packed, looking at the eagerly a pair of eyes, I immediately think of China’s college entrance examination. Originally even sent too lazy to send his son to the exam, that is only an examination only, did not expect her husband told me to pick up the road, I began to excitement.

B. Carefully observed the son of the school to take the exam students, are not usually learn top-notch, but not usually take the scholarship. Such as the son of English is poor, but also through the first round.

Further, GEP study focus on learning with the usual very different. Also confirmed the rivers and lakes in the legendary: GEP will try to reduce the impact of language on the selection, so that truly talented children to stand out, and as much as possible without interference. Nevertheless, English is actually bad or affected. I asked the four students, all of the questions are difficult to answer the most difficult IQ, and the son of English that is better than IQ difficult, but there are several IQ questions did not understand, because the word does not know, of. In this case,

C. There are eight children in the class reference, thought that there will be a few other classes, did not think the day before the collection know that their school also their 8 classes. In fact, before the class this year, his son was assigned to other classes of students, there are several aspects of the results are good. Why the last one did not pass the GEP first round?

I think the first is the environment, in improving class, the teacher will be strict a lot of the other classes are not necessarily. Son is after almost a year, only to adapt to such a fast-paced and strict requirements.

Second, the amount of information provided is different. I remember the beginning of the beginning of his son’s class soon, on a large number of additional courses, including Mathematical Olympiad, Science Olympiad, Chinese writing, the second foreign language (Malay), plus a day CCA and school normal plus lesson. . .

Never had a tutorial managed son plus a lesson, home every day at least 4 points, and sometimes 6 points, as well as the violin and Chinese Orchestra, once tired and round and round all day shouting hungry. Home do not want to do anything, followed by his brother to play, to think of homework to do quickly, the next day and get up.

After six months, tired not, but the results plummeted. I have wanted his son not to learn these extra lessons, and his son said that these classes only their classes have, and other classes will not notice the information plus lesson, or learn it!

It now appears that the school had great efforts to catch them this class, the son is still helpful, and sometimes really forced a force, hold on, or there will be harvest. At least the son did not spend extra effort to improve classes, but also an improvement! This also fully shows that folklore, the small three-class is how important and tragic. I also know it!

From the test finished out of the children’s face, you can guess the state of the exam!

D. Elite is the elite schools, such as the son of this little-known school, a school had only a few people in the first round. The elite is the school charter to pick up, as well as teachers to accompany. Because the reference is really many people, a car also sat down, opened a few.

Nanyang Primary School is said to have 120 reference. People usually test and this test is almost, not just like to play like a try test chant. In this case,

E. When the son, met a lot of acquaintances. Parents who have children’s kindergarten students, parents who have attended the parents’ meeting, parents who have written classes, parents who have Chinese orchestra help, parents who have neighbors playmates, friends who have friends with God, and my fellow villagers and husband colleagues Even though the children in different schools, but the emphasis on education, parents, will eventually meet ~ to wait for the child to test this way to meet, quite special.

F. From the parents of the ratio can be inferred: the Chinese to the absolute high rate of reference, a small amount of Indian, a small amount of Malay, did not see Europe and the United States. Chinese like to test, but also good at the test, really reflected most vividly. After my visual, the number of boys more than girls. Take the son school, for example, 8 people have only 1 girl. I guess half of half a far cry. After all, his son son school class first, almost the girls occupied. Impression in the class last year, single scholarship, only the son of a boy.

G. GEP ultimately can be admitted to the rare, most parents are holding try to see the idea of the problem, let the children participate in, do not need all the energy on the GEP, but no need to focus on depletion in the primary three. Son of a classmate did not apply for GEP, heard there are not admitted to the second round, and some even admitted to the elite do not read.

Have seen a documentary article, his children’s classmates, the results are very good score is also high, can enter the first-class university, but eventually chose to read poly, because that read enough, never want to read!


Although most of the parents of the GEP rush, often the results are unsatisfactory. If the child has the ability to have a high degree of quality into the GEP selected elite, of course, is very good!

But if it is to further test, in order to further fight, one year or even several years earlier to the child overweight, premature energy consumption in reading this matter, the child’s desire to pursue knowledge and innovation, personal opinion, for the long And a variety of life, it is not worth!

I am a student of English in the workplace, said her daughter through the GEP test class children to go, now mixed very general.


Participating in GEP is a good experience. No matter what the outcome, are worth a try Oh!

In addition, the son of GEP in the second round of the examination notice, the accident received three years to transfer the success of the phone in the fourth grade to go home only 5 minutes away from the school, and is directly assigned to the best classes to This ended his last three years, 5-15 minutes a day, take a 15-minute bus, but also to go some way to learn the experience.

Attached: GEP introduction of Singapore

GEP History

In 1984, the Ministry of Education of Singapore launched the Gifted Class, which aims to foster gifted students and give full play to their talents so as to better serve the community in the future.

The nine schools that provide talent education are: Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), Catholic High School (Primary), Henry Park Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School (Nan Hua Primary School) ), Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Rosyth School, St. Hilda’s Primary School and Tao Primary School. Nan School).

GEP screening process

All primary school students have the opportunity to participate in the first round of screening tests, voluntary, not mandatory. The first round of screening tests, including English and mathematics, usually in late August each year (the specific test location and time to the Ministry of Education notice).

In the first round, only 5% of students will be selected to participate in the second round of the selection test (usually the examination time in mid-October each year). Usually only 1% of the students will be selected last year, from the fourth grade, more than 9 schools to enter the genius classes.

Genius classes differ from ordinary students in their curricula.

On the basis of the general curriculum, intensive classes will be arranged for the Gifted students to explore and expand the capacity of gifted students to stimulate their more personalized and profound learning.

(Text: Tao Ying)

GEP / DSA Pattern Recognition Book

Visual Discrimination, Grades 2 – 8

Some readers of my blog has bought this book on Amazon. Upon closer inspection, I realised this is actually an excellent book for preparing for pattern recognition (visual discrimination) which is tested in GEP / DSA under the logic portion.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 6.09.39 PM

The above is a sample of what the book teaches. If you are familiar with the GEP / DSA test, this is exactly what the logic part of the test is about. Not just the GEP / DSA tests use this, basically any IQ test worldwide will test something like this.

Getting familiar with such tests will obviously be an advantage. No harm giving it some practice rather than seeing such tests the first time in the GEP / DSA test.

Pattern recognition is a skill that can be learnt, and one can argue that many intellectual activities like chess / math are just advanced forms of pattern recognition!

GEP Test Dates 2015


Just a gentle reminder that the dates for 2015 GEP Test would be as follows:

Schedule for 2015

  1. GEP Screening Test: 28 Aug 2015
  2. GEP Selection Test: 20 and 21 Oct 2015
  3. Invitation to join GEP: Early November 2015

(Do check the website above for updates)

Students interested to buy books relevant to GEP can check out one of my most popular blog posts on Recommended Books for GEP Screening / Selection Test. The truth is that at age 9 there is little difference between normal and gifted kids, i.e. normal kids with some training and excellent family support / learning environment can easily be on par with gifted students. Gifted students are nothing really special, they do have more training and good family learning background, but normal students with additional exposure and training can be as good as gifted students.

Singapore’s educational experts and professors have recently called for Singapore as a nation to read more books, posted prominently in Straits Times. The correct choice of books is critical, as reading books meant for entertainment like Harry Potter or Twilight is unlikely to benefit students a great deal. Worse still is reading FaceBook or Twitter, as they are often in broken English. Singaporeans are notoriously known for reading very few books, leading to bookstores like Borders and PageOne completely shutting down in Singapore. Students who wish to enter GEP would need to read even more books, as GEP would require a broad knowledge base, which is tested in the vocabulary and logic section of the screening tests.

In my earlier post on Recommended GEP Books, I recommended some books to tackle the notoriously difficult GEP Screening Test, including the Vocabulary Section, Math Section, and Logic Section. Children with weaker English levels would definitely need to brush up on their vocabulary, as words like “gregarious“, “amicable“, “cantankerous” would pop up in GEP tests, leading to students being “flabbergasted“.

For the Math section, the harder GEP Screening Math questions are undoubtedly of a Math Olympiad style that would flounder all but those who are trained in the art of Math Olympiad. It is a truth that a P3 student scoring 100 marks in normal Math, most likely cannot solve a P3 Math Olympiad problem due to lack of training. However, once he/she is trained, Math Olympiad is just a trick and will be easily solved. Check out some Recommended Books for Math Olympiad Self-learning.

Finally, remember the Cheryl Birthday Puzzle that went viral? This is an example of a logic puzzle. Logic is not taught anywhere in the syllabus, and hence students would need to self learn to master the art of logic puzzles. This skill will be critical again for DSA / GAT / HAST, as they will be testing the similar logic puzzles again for P6 DSA.

To all students taking the GEP test, all the best. Keep calm and good luck!

The Brain of John Conway (Gifted Mathematician’s Brain)

The book mentioned in the video can be found here:

Genius At Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway

Many scientists and research has revealed that the true source of genius comes from both nature and nurture.

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

GEP Test Dates (August)

In August, Primary 3 pupils in Singapore schools have the opportunity to take the GEP Screening Test, comprising 2 papers: English Language and Mathematics.

Check out the Recommended Books for GEP Test here!

IQ is based on both nature (inheritance of genes), and more importantly nurture (habits, family background, books read as a child, …), hence a logical way to prepare for the GEP is to read some books relevant to the GEP test. Some preparation is always better than zero preparation, as authors of many self-help books have researched and concluded.

It would be a huge advantage for students to be familiar with basic logic quizzes that are found in IQ tests. Seeing this type of question for the first time in the GEP test would not be very conducive as it may lead to nervousness which would affect the logical thinking.

To do well in the time based GEP test, it would be a great advantage to have seen such questions before. (Found in the Recommended Books for GEP link above)

GEP Screening Test Question Sample: The Tap Question

The Tap Question is another one of those questions that only involve fractions and whole numbers, and hence technically within the grasp of a 9 year old kid sitting for the GEP Screening Test.

However, looks are highly deceiving, and whoever tries the Tap Question for the very first time is highly likely to get stuck. (I was one of them years ago!) The Tap Question is highly popular as a challenging question, due to its psychological nature it is a hard question to grasp. This is a question you wouldn’t want to meet for the first time in the GEP Screening Test. However, if you know how to solve it, it is easy as a piece of cake, and you will be able to solve it during the GEP Screening Test no matter how they twist the question.

GEP Screening Test Sample Math Question (The Tap Question):

A fish tank is connected to three taps.
Tap A can fill the tank in 2 hours.
Tap B can fill the tank in 3 hours.
Tap C can drain the tank in 6 hours.
If all three taps are turned on at the same time, how long would it take to fill the empty fish tank?

Do try out the question before looking at the answer below!

There is a huge difference solving a question for the first time, and solving a question that one has seen before. To familiarize yourself with GEP Screening Test questions that can come out, do check out our Recommended GEP Books. Reading one of those books would increase your child’s repertoire of questions, and hence boost your child’s IQ indirectly. Also, do check out Math Olympiad books, as it is well known that GEP Screening Test Math questions do incorporate some Math Olympiad questions.

A book like The Original Collection of Math Contest Problems: Elementary and Middle School Math Contest problems would be suitable for children training for GEP Screening Test and Math Olympiad simultaneously at the same time.


The key insight is to find out what each tap can do in one hour.

Tap A can fill 1/2 of the tank in 1 hour.
Tap B can fill 1/3 of the tank in 1 hour.
Tap C can drain 1/6 of the tank in 1 hour.

Hence, if all of them are turned on simultaneously,
\displaystyle\frac{1}{2}+\frac{1}{3}-\frac{1}{6}=\frac{2}{3} of the tank can be filled in 1 hour.

2/3 of the tank takes 1 hour to fill.
Multiplying this statement by 3,
2 tanks takes 3 hours to fill.
1 tank takes 3/2=1.5 hours to fill.

Ans: 1.5 hours

Hope you had fun solving this!

Also check out the following GEP Screening/Round 2 questions:

By the way, for my foreign readers who are curious what is GEP Screening Test, it is a test conducted in Singapore for entry to the GEP (Gifted Education Programme). The screening and selection tests are conducted at the end of Primary 3, equivalent to Grade 3 or age 9. The official website on GEP Screening Test is available at:

The GEP Screening Math questions can be viewed as the epitome of the Singapore Math system, as it features highly challenging Math questions that are technically in syllabus but few students know how to solve!

GEP Sample Question: The Worker Question

Here is a type of a typical GEP Exam Question that can come out. Technically, this question is in syllabus since it only involves Whole Numbers. However, in practice, this is an extremely tough GEP Exam question for students who have not seen the Worker Question before.

GEP Test Question Sample (Worker Question):

6 men working 8 hours a day can paint a house in 2 days. In how many more days will 4 men, working 3 hours a day at the same rate, complete the same job?

Before you scroll down to check the answer, do give it a try! From personal experience as a tutor, even a 16 year old typical Secondary 4 student cannot solve this question if it is the first time they see it. However, once I explain the solution to them, it is extremely easy and students will get it immediately, even for primary school kids. Someone who has seen these types of questions before can solve it under a minute!

This shows the immense advantage one has if he/she has been exposed to certain types of questions. This is same for the GEP General Ability Test (GAT), a type of “IQ test”, which is basically pattern recognition. If a child has been exposed to books like Match Wits With Mensa: The Complete Quiz Book, words cannot describe the huge advantage he/she has over someone who has not seen a logic pattern puzzle before.

Solution to GEP Sample Question (Worker Question):

There are many types of solutions to this question, but my favorite is using the man-days concept. Man-days is a unit for the amount of work that is needed for something. E.g. If building a house needs 10 man-days, it can be accomplished by either 1 man x 10 days = 10 man-days, or 5 men x 2 days = 10 man-days, etc.

For this question, we will use the unit of man-hours instead.

6x8x2=96 man-hours are needed to paint the entire house.

4 men working 3 hours a day would lead to 12 man-hours a day. Hence 96/12=8 days are needed.

Warning: This is where they trap the careless students! The question asks for how many more days. Hence, the answer is 8-2=6 more days.

Ans: 6 days

Do also check out the Chicken and Rabbit GEP Math Question, which is another type of popular GEP Selection Test and Screening Test question, and can be practiced beforehand as a GEP Mock Test.


GEP Exam Paper / GEP Questions

Firstly, do check out our GEP Recommended Books if you are interested in books that will help boost your chances of entering GEP.

A typical sample GEP Exam Paper Question (Math) is the Chicken and Rabbit Question. This test is highly popular in the GEP Screening / GEP Selection Test, Round 1 or even extremely difficult Round 2.

A sample question would go like this:

A farmer has 36 chickens and rabbits in total.
He counted 124 legs altogether.
How many chickens and how many rabbits are there?

(By the way, this question is generated from my Chicken and Rabbit Question Generator!)

This is a highly typical GEP Exam paper question that may come out in the GEP test.

How do we solve it? One way is the trial and error or Guess and Check method. However, this method may not work for high numbers. What if the farmer had 10000 sheep?

The GEP Exam Paper has limited time, hence, we would need to solve it in an efficient way.

There is one method called the Assumption method, where students can remember the acronym ASSD!

Steps of ASSD to solve GEP Exam Paper “Chicken and Rabbit” Question:

Step 1 (A): Assume) Let’s assume all the 36 animals are chickens.

Then, there would be 36×2=72 legs in total.

Step 2 (S): Subtract) Clearly, 72 legs is too few.

In reality, there are 124-72=52 legs more.

Step 3 (S): Subtract) 4-2=2

Each rabbit has 2 more legs than a chicken.

Step 4 (D): Divide)

The extra 52 legs must be due to the rabbits, and each rabbit contributes 2 more legs.

Hence, there are 52/2=26 rabbits!

There must be 36-26=10 chickens then.


During the GEP Exam Paper, checking is essential to avoid careless mistakes. 26×4+10×2=124, which tallies! Hence, we are right!

To practice more Chicken and Rabbit questions, which is highly likely to come out in the GEP Exam Papers, check out our Chicken and Rabbit Worksheet Generator.

Lastly, do check out our GEP Recommended Books which may be the most useful books on the market (not found in Singapore since most major bookstores like Borders have closed down).

Scientists have proven that IQ can be increased, and hence reading a book like Match Wits With Mensa: The Complete Quiz Book would increase your score in the GEP Exam Paper (Logic) section during the GEP Screening / Selection Test.

Book by Truly Gifted Kid (GEP Book)

This is the book written by a truly gifted kid, the book of all gifted books. If you are looking for GEP books, this is the GEP book to rule all GEP books, written by the gifted kid himself.

The book is titled: We Can Do

I was reading the online news, and discovered this story about Moshe Kai Cavalin.

The one thing 14-year-old Moshe Kai Cavalin dislikes is being called a genius.

All he did, after all, was enroll in college at age 8 and earn his first of two Associate of Arts degrees from East Los Angeles Community College in 2009 at age 11, graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Now, at 14, he’s poised to graduate from UCLA this year. He’s also just published an English edition of his first book, “We Can Do.”

Not only is he focused on academics (he researches on Wormhole Theory), he is also proficient in Chinese martial arts, scuba diving, and also writing books. He is also a math major!

Personally, I think the title “We Can Do” is a clever word play on Jeet Kune Do, a style of martial arts invented by Bruce Lee!

If you want to read the Chinese version, it is also available: (Go to College At 8-year-old!) 八歲進大學

More books on giftedness, GEP at: GEP Books Compendium

Also, thanks to one of my readers who bought this book via my website: The Stanford Mathematics Problem Book: With Hints and Solutions (Dover Books on Mathematics)
This volume features a complete set of problems, hints, and solutions based on Stanford University’s well-known competitive examination in mathematics.

Video on Moshe Kai Cavalin, of half Jewish, half Chinese descent:

Small Group Maths Tuition at Bishan (O Level E Maths and A Maths)

Maths Tuition @ Bishan by Patient Tutor, NUS 1st Class Honours,


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*Small Group Maths Tuition available in 2014 —

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