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PSLE Scoring System Changes From 2021

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Table of Contents

Infosheet on Changes to PSLE in 2021

For students taking PSLE from 2021 onwards, they will be adopting a new PSLE scoring system. Students will no longer be scored based on T-score or letter grades. Instead, students will be awarded Achievement Levels from 1 to 8 for each subject, leading to an overall PSLE scoring range between 4 and 32. 

Why is MOE changing the PSLE scoring system?

The new PSLE scoring system aims to focus on student’s learning rather than the comparison to their peers. It is a way to measure student’s understanding of key concepts and academic development, ensuring that they learn at a suitable pace when they move on to secondary school level. 

MOE has been trying to develop the education system to encourage students to discover their strengths and interests, while moving away from an overemphasis on grades. 

The new PSLE scoring system aims to:

  • Reduce fine differentiation at a young age
  • Recognise children’s level of achievement, regardless of how their peers have done

How is PSLE score determined?

PSLE New Scoring System 2021

From 2021, students will no longer be receiving a numerical T-score or letter grades (A* to F) on their PSLE results slips. 

The new PSLE scoring system reflects a student’s level of achievement through Achievement Levels ranging from 1 to 8. A significant change is the distribution of marks in which there is a smaller range in the upper AL and a bigger range in the lower AL. 

For example, AL 2 ranges from 85 – 89 (4 marks range) vs AL 5 ranges from 65 – 74 (9 marks range) vs AL 6 ranges from 45 – 64 (19 marks range). 

This scoring system shows that the margin for success is lower in upper ALs and there is greater leniency for errors in the lower ALs.

infographic--how-the-psle-score-is-determined

A student’s total PSLE score will be the sum of the AL of each of the four subjects. The PSLE score ranges from 4 to 32. The placement outcome for secondary school is based on the student’s PSLE score as shown in the infographic. 

How does the Secondary 1 posting exercise work?

infographic--how-secondary-school-posting-works-al-cop

Under the new posting system, PSLE score is still the first criterion for posting. The first student considered has the best PSLE Score and will be posted to the school that is their first choice.

With the new PSLE scoring system, more students will have the same PSLE score, and schools will be less differentiated based on cut-off points. The choice order of schools matters and plays a role in a student’s priority in posting. 

For instance, when more than one student with the same score and citizenship status vie for the last available place in a secondary school, their order of school choices will be used to determine which student gets the last slot.

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