Forum: Aim of removing mid-year exams is to strengthen students’ intrinsic motivation to learn

We thank Youth Forum writer Tan E-Fei for her feedback on the removal of mid-year examinations (Survey students to see if removal of mid-year exams reduces stress, Nov 28).

There are many avenues for students to evaluate their learning throughout the school year. For example, teachers conduct regular assignments, quizzes and classroom interactions to assess learning progress. These provide timely feedback for students to improve learning and hone effective learning strategies and habits. Over-relying on examinations to drive learning can work against students developing more enduring motivations to learn throughout life. 

The removal of mid-year examinations is not intended to reduce stress per se, as the causes of stress are multi-faceted. It is aimed at freeing up time to pace out learning and support the use of more varied learning activities.

Since the removal of mid-year examinations for primary and secondary schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has received positive feedback from teachers, students and parents that the move has allowed such gains to be made. We believe this will, over time, strengthen students’ intrinsic motivation to learn, not narrowly for examinations but for life.

MOE will continue to partner parents and schools to support students in developing a passion for lifelong learning. We also encourage the writer to speak to her teachers if there are further concerns.

Sng Chern Wei

Deputy Director-General of Education (Curriculum)

Ministry of Education

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