MOE releases cut-off point ranges for different school types to help next year's PSLE cohort

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
Singapore's Ministry of Education. (Photo: Getty)
Singapore's Ministry of Education. (Photo: Getty)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) on Friday (6 November) released indicative Achievement Level (AL) cut-off point ranges for different school types so that next year’s Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) cohort can familiarise themselves with the new scoring system.

Under the new system, which will affect next year’s PSLE cohort, students will receive AL scores instead of T-scores. The AL scores are based on individual performance in subjects, regardless of how their peers have done, unlike the current T-scores.

The AL scores range for 1 to 8 for each subject. The best PSLE score that a student can get will be 4 points for four subjects.

The change is partly due to the MOE’s move away from an over-emphasis on academic results at a young age.

Also, students’ ranking of preferred school choices will now factor into their posting. Previously, the ranking did not factor into their eventual posting.

Cut-off point ranges

Based on PSLE results and school choices at last year’s Secondary 1 posting exercise, the MOE generated indicative AL cut-off point ranges for different school types.

For government and government-aided schools, the indicative AL cut-off point range for the Express (Integrated Programme) course is 7-9 points; for Express (O-Level) is 8-22; for Normal (Academic) is 22-25; and for Normal (Technical) is 26-30.

For autonomous schools, the indicative range for the Express (Integrated Programme) course is 7-9 points; for Express (O-Level) is 8-16; for Normal (Academic) is 22-25; and for Normal (Technical) is 26-30.

For independent schools, the indicative range for the Express (Integrated Programme) course is 6-8 points; and for Express (O-Level) is 8-10.

More details on the list of schools under the various school types can be found here.

MOE said it will provide the indicative AL cut-off points for individual secondary schools in the first half of next year.

“Students and their parents can use this information, in addition to factors such as schools’ distinctive programmes, CCAs (co-curricular activities), ethos and culture, to shortlist secondary schools that would best fit the educational needs of the student.”

More information on the schools’ locations, electives, programmes and CCAs can be found here.

Meanwhile, more details on changes to the PSLE scoring and Secondary 1 posting systems can be found here.

Subject-based banding

In 2018, MOE introduced subject-based banding in all secondary schools with Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) courses. The banding allows students to take subjects at a more demanding level based on their strengths and aptitudes.

Under the new PSLE system, students in the Normal course will continue to be able to take subjects at a more demanding level from Secondary 1, based on their AL scores for individual subjects.

A student who gets an AL 5 score or better in a Standard level subject such as English or Maths will have the option to take the subject at the Express level.

Meanwhile, a student who gets an AL 6 score or better in a Standard level subject, or an AL A score in a Foundation level subject will have the option to take the subject at the Normal (Academic) level.

“Beyond the start of Secondary 1, as students progress in secondary school, they will continue to have more opportunities to take subjects at more demanding levels based on their performance in school, to further pursue their strengths and develop to their fullest potential,” said MOE.

The ministry said it will continue to support students, parents and schools through the changes. It will also continue to provide education and career guidance support for making informed decisions on school and subject choices.

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