PSLE 101: Everything You Need to Know for this 2021 Round

In an effort to move from the current system that over-emphasises academic results more than students’ personal competencies, Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) recently launched a new primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scoring system. 

From 2021, students taking PSLE will not be graded based on how they performed relative to their classmates but on individual performance in different subjects. 

The new scoring system now uses Achievement Levels (AL) instead of the traditional T-Scores. The emphasis on individual performance now makes it even more important for personal tuition. With PSLE online learning through our online lessons here at Superstar Teacher, your child stands a better chance of getting the best scores in the new system.

How Does AL Scoring System Work?

Under the new Achievement Level Scoring system, students sitting for PSLE will be graded using 8 ALs. AL1 will be the highest score while the lowest score will be AL8.

PSLE students will be scored as follows:

  • AL1 for students with more than 90 marks
  • AL2 for students with 85 to 89 marks
  • AL3 for 80 to 84 marks
  • AL4 for 75 to 79 marks
  • AL5 for 65 to 74 marks
  • AL6 for 45 to 64 marks
  • AL7 for 20 to 44 marks
  • AL8 for students with less than 20 marks

The 8 ALs are based on the curriculum’s objectives. They are meant to reflect each student’s understanding and mastery of the core subject matter. 

Each student’s AL score will also represent his or her personal level of achievement rather than performance ranked against their peers. 

Ultimately, the new scoring system will help students work towards achieving their individual goals or aggregate scores instead of having to compete against each other.

Foundation Level Subjects Grading

For students taking Foundation Level subjects, the grading will be in three levels, namely AL A, AL B, and AL C. This is done for the purpose of S1 posting and mapped to match the standard AL 6 to AL 8 level subjects.

The grading simply works like this:

  • Students with AL A results have a foundation marks range of 75 to 100, which is equivalent to standard AL 6.
  • Students with AL B results have a foundation marks range of 30 to 74, which is equivalent to standard AL 7.
  • Students with AL C on their results slip have a foundation marks range of below 30, which is equivalent to standard AL 8.

PSLE Score Ranges

The new AL scoring system has just 29 possible scores while the previous T-score system had over 200 possible scores.

Secondary schools will no longer have an overwhelmingly wide range of differences in scores based on cut-offs as they used to be. The new system will give students more options for schools, making the process less stressful and much easier.

MOE has already published indicative PSLE score ranges for 139 secondary schools participating in the 2021 S1 posting. You can find the list of schools at MOE’s SchoolFinder site.

The New Secondary School Cut Off Points

Now, under the new PSLE scoring system, primary 6 pupils will not necessarily need to get the highest scores to get a place in top secondary schools. 

The scoring system will be used for the first time this year for Primary 6 cohorts looking for places in secondary schools next year. This year’s simulation has the cut-off points ranging from 6 to 30. Just like the old T-score system, the cut-off points and score ranges are expected to vary from one year to the next. 

MOE nevertheless indicates that PSLE scores have remained more or less stable in the last few years and if any fluctuations are expected they will likely occur by 1 AL. 

While most pupils may find PSLE quite difficult, with adequate preparations and assistance from teachers and parents, they can perform well and find places in the right school under the new scoring system. As your child starts to prepare and revise ahead for PSLE, have peace of mind that he is getting all the guidance he needs with Superstar Teacher. Discover what our online tuition classes entail today.

Let us be part of your child’s education journey today! Do call us at 63415516 or email us at enquiry@superstarteacher.com if you have any questions.