Come 2021, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be implementing changes to the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).

In a statement released by them, the changes aim to reduce the fine differentiation of students and hopes that PSLE will reflect the student’s level of achievement regardless of how his peers have done as opposed to the current T-scoring system where a students scores are affected by how well his peers have done.

Here’s are the new changes that will take effect…

New PSLE Achievement Level 2016

What has changed?

Instead of the current T-score system, a student’s score for each subject will fall under eight Achievement Levels (AL), where AL1 would be the best. The student’s overall PSLE score will be based on the total AL score for all four subjects, which will range from four to 32 – with four being the best possible score.

New PSLE Streaming 2016

With the total PSLE scores tabulated, students are then streamed to Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical). This score will also be used for their admission into secondary schools.

With the new system in place, the order in which the student lists his or her choice of secondary school will matter more when there’s a tie-breaker. In a situation when two students have the same PSLE score, the student who has listed the school higher in the order of preference will have priority for a place in that school. This means that the order of the choices now play a more important role.

Other considerations that play a part in the instance of a tie-breaker are citizenship and balloting.

What does this all mean?

  • Fine difference will have less impact. For example, a student who has a T-score Aggregate of 200 and a student who scored 199 could have the same learning ability, and it may not be meaningful to differentiate so finely between the two at this age. This issue is now alleviated with the new AL system.
  • Students will be graded based on their own performance instead of taking into consideration the performance of his or her peers.
  • Year-to-year standards will remain the same., without taking into consideration the overall performance of the whole cohort.
  • Choices of secondary school and its order will play a huge part during allocation. When considering a secondary school for your child, it is good to learn more about the school’s culture, programmes, CCAs, distance from your home, and how your child will fit in to the above based on his or her personality, strengths and learning abilities.