No more PSLE T-scores from 2021

Instead, Achievement (Levels) unlocked for current Primary 1 cohort.

primary school kids 5_800500 - PE

As part of a larger shift away from excessive emphasis on academic results, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will replace the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) T-scores with Achievement Levels (ALs).

PSLE subjects will be graded according to 8 Achievement Levels, with AL1 being the best. Those who performed at a similar level will be grouped in the same AL band. This aims to reduce the fine differentiation of students.

MOE PSLE Achievement Level bands

How raw marks translate into AL bands

The new scoring system will also better reflect a student’s level of achievement by grading each student on their individual performance, regardless of how the cohort performs. This will help students from being overly-competitive. Under the current system, students might receive a lower T-score aggregate if most students in the same cohort have done better.

The T-Score Aggregate will be replaced by the PSLE Score, which is the sum of the AL for each subject. PSLE Scores will range from 4 to 32 - reducing the number of possible PSLE Scores to 29, from more than 200 T-score Aggregates currently.

Under the new system, PSLE Score will be the first criterion for posting students to Secondary One but a student’s choice order of schools will matter more, as it may be a tie-breaker between students with the same score.

This will encourage parents to look beyond cut-off points and consider other factors, such as a school’s unique culture and programmes that will be a better fit for their children’s talents and interests.

Students will continue to be streamed into appropriate secondary school courses – Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) based on their PSLE Scores.

PSLE Score for streaming

Streaming according to new PSLE Scores

MOE will continue to rigorously test the new scoring and posting systems thoroughly before its implementation in 2021. Secondary schools will also be given time to develop their distinct programmes.

MOE will reach out to parents, students, teachers and other stakeholders to help them understand the changes in the coming months.

Source: Ministry of Education

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