Here’s what you need to know about the new PSLE System.

PSLE 2020
According to the Ministry of Education,  The new PSLE scoring changes aim to move away from an over-emphasis on academic results. They aim to achieve this by:
  1. Reducing fine differentiation at a young age
  2. Recognising children’s level of achievement, regardless of how their peers have done
Here is a table highlighting the differences between the old and new systems.
T-Score (present) AL Score (from 2021 onwards)
Scoring Bands from A* to Ungraded. Broader Scoring Bands:  AL1 to AL8, with AL1 being the highest band, and AL8 being the lowest band.  For every subject, students will be assigned an Achievement Level which spans a range of marks.  Students who fall into the same range of marks will fall into the same Achievement Level.
A student’s total PSLE score is out of 300.  When a student sits for a PSLE paper, their raw score in each subject is computed into a subject T-score using a formula. The 4 subject T-scores are added to form the T-score Aggregate, which shows how well they did compared to everyone else who sat for the PSLE in the same year. A student’s total PSLE score will be the sum of his subject Achievement Levels. A student who scores as follows: English: AL2 Mathematics: AL3 Mother Tongue: AL1 Science: AL2 Total Score: 8
The old system is a reflection of how well students have done relative to their peers. The score will be reflected based on how well the student does for his/her subjects and not relative to the student cohort. In this vein, the bell curve system is de-valued. 
Secondary 1 Posting Changes The first criterion to be admitted into a school is one’s PSLE Score. More students will have the same PSLE score, a student’s choice order of schools matter more in secondary school posting. These are the tiebreakers for one’s admission:
  • Citizenship
  • Choice Order
  • Computerised Balloting
The Ministry of Education has introduced methods to encourage parents to look beyond their child’s grades and academic results with schemes Direct School Admission (DSA), disallowing schools from revealing the top scorers etc. In terms of changes made in Secondary Schools, a larger variety of activities such as Forensic Science, Computing, and Hydroponics are introduced to the primary 6 students, thereby inspiring them to pursue their interests beyond grades. With the new PSLE System in place, students will not only be able to be placed in a school that satisfies their academic needs, but they are able to make more time for their hobbies.  What you should consider as a parent of a P6 child?
  1. Talk to your child about their strengths, interests, and learning styles
What are they are good at? What do they like, value, and enjoy? How do they spend their time?  If your child has special learning needs, choose a school with specialized facilities or resources that can support them.
  1. What programmes do the schools offer? Do they align with the interests of your child? How is the school culture? How is transportation like? Do they offer subjects in upper secondary that would potentially interest your child?
  2. Shortlisting the schools suited for your child
As secondary schools’ cut-off points are based on the previous cohort’s PSLE scores and school choices, you should: Include at least 2 – 3 schools with cut-off points more than your child’s PSLE Score. This will increase the chances of being posted to a school of your child’s choice. Use all 6 options. This will increase your child’s chances of being posted to a school of their choice. If your child does not get into a chosen school, they will be posted to a school with vacancies near your registered address. If your child is in an affiliated primary school, list the affiliate secondary school as the first choice. This will give your child priority, but it does not guarantee admission. At, our tutors are familiar with the changes made to the PSLE Scoring System and are trained to educate your children holistically. As parents, it is our duty to be actively involved in our child’s learning journey and to provide them with the appropriate assistance they need. We are open to providing any form of advice and offer you the best resources suited to the needs of your child. Seeking help early and understanding the AL scoring system not only gives you assurance but it ensures that your child has a smooth primary school education.

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