The latest update is that the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) aggregate score is soon going to be scrapped and replaced with simple grade bands such as A, B and C. What effects will there be and how to prepare in advance for it?
Do leave your comments below!
My opinion is that there will be a few crucial changes that parents would have to prepare for as soon as possible:
Chinese (or Mother Tongue) is a top priority. In the past, many students from English-speaking families can get low marks for Chinese, high marks for Math/Science/English and still get a very good PSLE score (e.g. >250). This is unfortunately not possible anymore in the new system. A low Chinese grade will drag down the entire performance. Also read more about the benefits of studying Chinese.
DSA (Direct School Admission) GAT (General Ability Test) and CCA becomes more important. The effect of simple grade bands is that many students will get the perfect score of all As. However, the top schools have limited vacancies and thus will have to use other criteria like DSA and CCA to differentiate students. Check out this previous post on DSA.
The new system benefits all-rounders who are good (but not necessarily excellent) at all subjects, including CCA. All-rounders will manage to get ‘A’s in all subjects. However, the new system is unfortunately not good for those who are excellent in one single subject, but average in others.
This quote from the article is very good:
“The focus should not be on how one performs relative to others, but how well the person himself performs in the exam.”
DR TIMOTHY CHAN, director of SIM Global Education’s academic division, on the use of grade-banding to reflect pupils’ abilities.