Coronavirus: Students who missed mother tongue language exams in June to be fairly assessed

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board said special consideration can be applied to the affected candidates.
The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board said special consideration can be applied to the affected candidates.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Students who missed parts of the O- and A-level mother tongue language examinations in June because of the Covid-19 pandemic will be fairly assessed and not disadvantaged, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) has said.

Some students missed the mid-year written examination because they had tested positive for Covid-19; or were placed on leave of absence, home quarantine order or stay-home notice; or were certified medically unfit.

A spokesman for the board told The Straits Times that special consideration can be applied to the affected candidates, provided that they sit the remaining oral and listening comprehension examinations scheduled this month.

A number of students tested positive for the coronavirus around the written examination period and, last Tuesday (July 7), four more cases - from Bedok View Secondary School, East Spring Primary School, Jurong West Primary School and Jurong West Secondary School - were announced.

Students who had been in contact with confirmed cases in schools were also issued a 14-day leave of absence by the Ministry of Education or home quarantine order by the Ministry of Health.

SEAB said it will award affected candidates a grade by projecting their marks for the missed papers "based on multiple sources of evidence".

These include the candidate's performance in the other papers for the affected subject in the national examination, such as oral and listening comprehension; the school cohort's performance in the same examination; as well as the candidate's school-based assessment.

Every year, there is a second round of written examinations at the end of the year. Based on their mid-year results, affected candidates can decide if they wish to sit the year-end paper, the spokesman said, noting that this option has always been available to students, even under normal circumstances.

Even outside the Covid-19 period, special consideration can be applied to candidates facing "unforeseen circumstances", which can include an illness, injury or the bereavement of a family member.


The number of special consideration applications differs from year to year but, on average, about 2 per cent to 3 per cent of GCE O-level candidates are granted it each year, the board said.

All applications are subjected to a rigorous review process and assessed individually.

School candidates affected by Covid-19 should submit relevant documents, such as medical certificates, to support their application to SEAB through their school, while private candidates should submit these documents directly to the board.

A panel will review all applications based on the submissions received.