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Old VS New PSLE scoring system

In Singapore, PSLE is the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) system, which is for 12-year-old to enter secondary schools next year.

Entry scores released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on 27 April 2021 showed that the lowest entry score for even the most popular schools will start at 6, rather than a perfect score of 4.

It's claimed that Primary 6 pupils vying to enter top schools will not need a perfect score.

Under the new scoring system, each standard-level PSLE subject will be scored using eight bands known as achievement levels (ALs).

Each pupil will be given AL scores from 1 to 8 for each subject.

A pupil’s total PSLE score will be the sum of the ALs of the four subjects, with the best possible total score being 4.

Under the Old PSLE scoring system:

Band 1 is A* for 91-100

Band 2 is A for 75-90

Band 3 is B for 60-74

Band 4 is C for 50-59

Band 5 is D for 35-49

Band 6 is E for 20-34

Band 7 is U for 0-19

U actually means ungraded and anything below 50 is considered as fail.

Under the New PSLE scoring system:

Band 1 is for 90-100

Band 2 is for 85-89

Band 3 is for 80-84

Band 4 is for 75-79

Band 5 is for 65-74

Band 6 is for 45-64

Band 7 is for 20-44

Band 8 is for 0-19

Previously, to pass is to be at band 4 scoring at least 50 marks out of 100.

Now, to pass is still at band 4 but scoring at least 75 marks out of 100.

Of course, the government can claim that to pass is still 50 marks.

But since there are 8 bands now, 4 are passes and 4 are fails.

Therefore, to pass is still at band 4 but scoring at least 75 marks out of 100, instead of the previous 50 marks.

So is this going to be more stressful for our Singaporean students?

Is this an attempt to boost the economy and GDP via Singapore's billion dollars tuition industry?

Will the suicide rate for the younger generation continue to increase because of exam stress?

Statistically, there were 400 suicides reported in 2019, continuing an upward trend after 397 cases in 2018 and 361 in 2017, but still fewer than the 429 in 2016.

Suicide remains the leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 29, adding that the number of suicides among the 20 to 29 age cohort remains the highest compared with other age groups.

Suicide accounted for one-third of all reported deaths in the 20 to 29 age group, with 71 young people taking their lives in 2019.


In 2018, the number of suicides in Singapore rose 10 per cent, with suicides among boys aged 10 to 19 at a record high.

A total of 94 people aged between 10 and 29 killed themselves in 2018.

Among boys aged between 10 and 19 years old, there were 19 suicides in 2018 – the highest since it began keeping records in 1991 and almost triple the seven cases recorded in 2017.



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