Pisa report: Students' fear of failure tied to focus on results

Experts say this is due to the culture of merit being linked to academic showing

The latest Pisa study also showed that 60 per cent of Singapore students had a "growth mindset", or believe that their intelligence can change with effort they put in.
The latest Pisa study also showed that 60 per cent of Singapore students had a "growth mindset", or believe that their intelligence can change with effort they put in.PHOTO: ST

The fear of failure resonates with Singapore teens and this does not surprise observers, who note that a student's sense of self-worth and confidence is often influenced by how well he does academically. This is the result of a culture here where, for decades, merit has been intertwined heavily with academic results.

Ms Annelise Lai, a clinical psychologist at Resilienz Clinic, said: "Before the phasing out of academic streaming by 2024, failing an exam could mean being ranked at the bottom of society or discriminated since a young age."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2019, with the headline 'Students' fear of failure tied to focus on results'. Subscribe