Changes to PSLE scoring from 2021 and how that may affect the English Language PSLE

For the past few years MOE has been making an effort to reduce the stress that our stduents face in school. From removing the mid-year examnation at certain levels to revising admission rules by DSA.

In 2021, the PSLE scoring system will change from a T-score system to and AL-score system

This basically means that a student’s PSLE score will be based on his her own individual grade for each subject (AL) and not how he or she fares among her peers (T-score).

The grading system is as follows

AL table e1610502854731

For information on how Foundation students are scored and other information, please visit the MOE website

The P5 2021 is the first batch of students to switch to the new PSLE scoring system.

Secondary schools will release their admission cut-off points by mid-2021, which will allow parents and students to discuss and select which schools would be appropriate for them based on their AL scores.

So how do the changes in scoring affect the English Language subject?

In my experience, most students with a good foundation of English Language and are capable of achieving a grade close to 90 or above for their school examinations, are highly likely to be able to achieve an A1 grade for PSLE English. Scoring an A-star or A1 in a language is never based on ‘luck’. A student must already have a good grasp of the language and a love of writing to achieve such a score.

My concern is the students in the A score area. While the move is to reduce the ‘fine differentiation’, I am puzzled as to why the A score is broken up into 3 ALs. Personally I think, it beats the purpose of reducing students’ focus on academic achievement when every mark now counts to ensure that they maintain or move up their AL. There is little or no room for careless mistakes and every component that a student can lose one or two marks in, may be over scrutinized and pushed to be perfected.

Whether that will happen or not, remains to be seen. In the meantime, I plan to prepare my P5s 2020 and even my P4s for the new scoring system with a clear explanation of how their English grades will now be counted. I will also switch to scoring their class tests and work in this way so that they can get used to the 2021 PSLE scoring system.

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