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Mid-year exams to be scrapped in all primary, secondary schools by 2023

SINGAPORE — Students in primary and secondary school will no longer have to sit for mid-year examinations from 2023 to give them more time to participate in self-directed learning and "develop 21st century competencies". 

Mid-year exams to be scrapped in all primary, secondary schools by 2023
Since 2019, schools have been doing away with mid-year exams at the Pri 3, Pri 5, Sec 1 and Sec 3 levels.
  • Mid-year examinations for all primary and secondary school levels will be removed by next year
  • The Ministry of Education (MOE) is also reviewing the curriculum content and assessment demand to provide students with a range of options
  • Full Subject-Based Banding will be extended to Crescent Girls’ School, Tanjong Katong Girls’ School and Tanjong Katong Secondary School from 2024
  • MOE will discontinue the Mother Tongue Language ‘B’ course from the 2024 Sec 1 cohort

SINGAPORE — Students in primary and secondary school will no longer have to sit for mid-year examinations from 2023 to give them more time to participate in self-directed learning and "develop 21st century competencies". 

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, speaking in Parliament on Monday (March 7) during the debate on his ministry's spending, said that the ministry saw a "positive impact" from the removal of mid-year exams for some levels.

Since 2019, schools have been doing away with mid-year exams at the Pri 3, Pri 5, Sec 1 and Sec 3 levels. 

“Schools and teachers can better pace and deepen students’ learning. They use ongoing assessments to identify what students have mastered and the areas they have difficulties with.

“Students also focus more on their learning and less on marks,” said Mr Chan during his speech in Parliament.

With the additional time, students will participate in self-directed learning and developing "21st Century Competencies", which refer to a list of competencies identified by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to prepare pupils for a globalised world, said Mr Chan.

MOE is also reviewing the curriculum content and assessment demand to provide students with a range of options catering to their diverse abilities and needs.

These changes will allow students to “learn holistically”, be driven by intrinsic motivation and be less worried about comparing themselves with others, Mr Chan said.

EXPANSION OF FULL SUBJECT-BASED BANDING

During his speech, Mr Chan announced several other changes to the implementation of Full Subject-Based Banding in secondary schools.

In Full Subject-Based Banding, subjects are taught at three levels — General 1 (G1), G2 and G3. The three levels roughly correspond to what is taught in today’s Normal (Technical), Normal (Academic) and Express streams respectively. 

Students can take a range of G1, G2 and G3 subjects based on their abilities with form classes having students studying subjects at different levels. 

The scheme, which was piloted among several secondary schools two years ago, will be extended to three more schools from 2024.

The schools are Crescent Girls’ School, Tanjong Katong Girls’ School and Tanjong Katong Secondary School, which currently only admit students in the Express course.

Full Subject-Based Banding will be implemented across secondary schools by 2024, when the streaming system is abolished.

The extension of Full Subject-Based Banding to the three schools will ensure that students of more diverse learning profiles can benefit from these schools’ distinctive programmes, said Mr Chan.

In other changes, Mr Chan said that MOE will discontinue the Mother Tongue Language ‘B’ course from the 2024 Sec 1 cohort, which is now offered to students currently in Express and Normal (Acad) courses who face exceptional difficulties with Mother Tongue.

This is part of the ministry’s efforts to shift away from course-based subject offerings under Full Subject-Based Banding.

With Full Subject-Based Banding, they can instead study Mother Tongue at a level that better meets their learning needs — whether G1 or G2, said Mr Chan.

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Subject Based Banding MOE Chan Chun Sing exams

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