New PSLE system may not ease pressure on pupils

As a student who has been through the arduous process of preparing for the Primary School Leaving Examination, I agree that the change in the scoring system is indeed a move in the right direction ("New PSLE scoring system to have 8 grade bands"; yesterday).

However, there are still issues within this system that need to be addressed.

Even with the eight Achievement Levels (ALs) put in place, pupils will still be extremely concerned over every mark. This is because a mere difference of one mark can result in a pupil scoring a different AL.

Thus, every single mark will still be of huge importance to the pupils, and this will not relieve the pressure they are facing.

The whole purpose of moving away from an overemphasis on academic results may hence not be met.

In order to truly benefit the pupils, perhaps there should be other alternative assessment methods as well.

Pupils can take tests or have interviews that quiz them on a wide range of knowledge or skills.

This way, the secondary schools can select students that will suit their school environment and curriculum, making it a win-win situation for both the students and the schools.

Jazlin Tan Kaiqian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2016, with the headline 'New PSLE system may not ease pressure on pupils'. Print Edition | Subscribe