5 Tips To Excel Under MOE’s New PSLE Scoring System in 2021

By: Team Glean

May 23 2021

5 Tips To Excel Under MOE’s New PSLE Scoring System (2021)

Worried about how to approach the new changes to the PSLE Scoring System? Here are some practical tips compiled by our team to help you and your child prepare for the changes.


Tip 1: Understand How The New Scoring Works

The new Scoring System grades each child using a point-based system For each of the four subjects, a child will be given an Achievement Level point from 1 (perfect score) to 8. Combined, the total score ranges from 4 points (perfect score) to 32 points. The lower the total score for all four subjects, the higher the chances of getting into a secondary school of the child’s choice. 

Since there is no bell curve grading in the new system, it is theoretically possible to have an entire cohort of students scoring a perfect score of 4. If the students applying to a secondary school have the same score, the tie will be determined by the following in order: 1) Citizenship; 2) Choice order of schools; 3) Computerized Balloting.

Lastly, the concept of a Foundation Level has been introduced to help students who are weak in particular subjects. In theory, for your child to make it to the Express stream, the maximum number of Foundation Level subjects that he or she can take is 3 out of 4. 


Tip 2: Familiarise yourself with the syllabus and make a study plan with your kid!

In order for you to help your child prepare effectively, you need to understand what is in the syllabus for each subject.

In addition, SEAB has released the calendar dates for the 2021 PSLE here. The examination timetable can be found here. By helping your child to plan out a  study schedule, you will be able to ensure he or she has sufficient time to absorb and understand the material. 

The above two steps might be time-consuming, but a better understanding of what your child faces can only make you more effective at helping him or her prepare!


Tip 3: Continually Gauge Progress Using Standardized Tests

It would not make sense for athletes not to track their progress during a gruelling training schedule leading up to competition, right? Likewise, it is crucial that you monitor your child’s progress leading up to the PSLE. 

The drawback of relying solely on the standardised tests provided by your child’s schools is two-fold. Firstly, for practical reasons, school-wide exams and tests are conducted only once every three months (Semester Assessments and Preliminary Examinations). Further, school-wide assessments only help you gauge your child's performance against other students in his or her school. Ultimately, you need to recognise that the PSLE is a nationwide examination. Your child’s chances of getting into his or her preferred school will depend on how he or she performed relative to the entire national cohort.

As such, our team recommends that you seek out alternative sources to gauge your kid’s relative progress in their journey towards the PSLE. Here at Glean, we aim to provide parents with free, accurate and useful insights on how your kid is performing.


Tip 4: Targeted Practice and not “Spray and Pray”

Provided you are able to determine exactly which topic your child is weak at (an insight that Glean aims to empower you with), you can look to maximise the effectiveness of your child’s revision. Rather than spending time on topics in which your child is already strong at, you can direct your child towards spending more time on their weak points. This can help to reduce the amount of time your child spends studying while increasing the effectiveness.

We also recommend that you engage his or her teachers regularly to understand if they have identified any topics your child is particularly weak at.

If you are able to execute this well, your child will have more time to play and relax! (Our team strongly believes that children should be given the time to work hard and play hard)


Tip 5: Utilize External Learning (EdTech)

Most parents should already be familiar with this step. After all, if other parents are sending their children for tuition, will your child be missing out if you do not do so?

However, tuition for the sake of tuition may not be beneficial for a child. Forcing a child to attend lessons may result in them being disengaged. Furthermore, the syllabus covered by the tuition centre may not be optimal for a child. Last but not least, the cost of tuition can take a significant toll on the monthly household budget.

Instead, consider increasingly popular alternatives like E-Learning platforms.  KooBits and Practicle are but two examples. As time progresses, such solutions will continue to mature and, eventually, provide an affordable alternative to group tuition.



Regardless of the changes made to the PSLE scoring system to reduce ‘fine banding’, we understand that parents will still feel anxious and worried for their children. We hope the above tips are useful for you and will empower you to take action! 

Do contact us here if you would like to offer any suggestions or feedback to our wider community (who knows, we might turn it into an article!)