Grade expectations: Why PSLE scores matter so much to parents, pupils

Grade expectations: Why PSLE scores matter so much to parents, pupils

However, according to a study of 1, 000 families of Main Five and Six kids, 99 per cent said great PSLE scores were important.

Since the T-score transition to Achievement Levels ( ALs ) in 2021, this is the first such nationwide survey that CNA has conducted.

In the study, 85 % of parents said their children were stressed out about the PSLE, while 64 % of parents said they were stressed out themselves.

Parents are actually “more stressed” as a result of the new scoring system, according to research professor Jayce Or, who started PSLE training seminars for parents in 2017.

What is driving the fascination with results, and what is it doing to Singapore’s kids? The program Regardless of Marks, which airs tonight ( March 29 ), examines how much has changed since recent initiatives to lessen the emphasis on academic results.


Under the current PSLE scoring system, which spans eight ALs, the total scores range from four to 32, which are “less finely differentiated” — as intended by the Ministry of Education ( MOE ) — than the previous range of more than 200 aggregate scores.

For example, the previous grade A, which was 75 to 90 marks, is now split into AL2 ( 85 to 89 ), AL3 ( 80 to 84) and AL4 ( 75 to 79 ), with AL1 for 90 marks and above.

But in the past, children had “drop two to four scars” and still get an A, said Or, the leader of advancement heart Germinate Learning.