What is the PSLE Achievement Level system?
The PSLE Achievement Level system is a new scoring system that will replace the original PSLE T-score system. It takes effect from 2021 onwards for all primary six students taking the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) in Singapore. PSLE results out on Nov. 24, 2021, students can check on the details at this post.
How does the new PSLE Achievement Levels work?
Under the new Achievement Level (AL) system, primary six students will be given ALs from 1 to 8 for each subject, instead of grades like A* to E that was previously under the old PSLE T-score system. Those who score 90 marks and above will earn an AL1 for a subject; 85 to 89 is AL2; 80 to 84 is AL3 and so on.
The upper ranges of the ALs are narrower while the lower ranges become wider. For example, AL7 only needs a score from 20 to 44 (24 marks difference) compared to AL4, which needs a score of 75 to 79 (4 marks difference).
Each AL of the four subjects will be added together to form the student’s PSLE score. To achieve the best possible total score of 4, the student will have to score at least 90 marks for all four subjects.
The streaming placement criteria are as follows:
- Express: 4-20
- Express/Normal (Academic): 21-22
- Normal (Academic): 23-24
- Normal (Academic)/Normal (Technical): 25
- Normal (Technical): 26-30, with AL 7 or better in both EL and MA
How is the new PSLE Achievement Levels different from the old PSLE T-score system?
Under the old PSLE T-score system, the score achieved is a transformed score, which is an adjusted score that shows how well a student did – in English, Mathematics, Science, and Mother Tongue — compared to his peers.
Under the new PSLE Achievement Level system, students are graded according to how they fare in the subject, independent of their peers. Their marks for each subject are converted into eight different ALs, similar to grade bands. About half the cohort will score AL4 or better, according to MOE.
Why is the new PSLE Achievement Levels system implemented?
This is to reduce the competition and stop the comparison between pupils.
The new Achievement Levels (ALs) will span a range of marks, so students who perform similarly will obtain the same AL.
Also, the new PSLE AL system does not compare how a student has performed relative to his peers. A student can do well in a subject and score a good AL grade, compared to the old PSLE T-score system where he will get a lower T-score if a majority of his peers performs better than him.
Secondary School Ranking 2022
Click the link below to view the top secondary school ranking (2022)
Choice Order of Schools and Tie-Breaker
How is the student’s secondary school determined?
The PSLE score still remains as the first criterion for secondary school posting. However, with wider scoring bands, more pupils will be attaining the same score. This is when tie-breakers come into play.
What are tie-breakers?
If two pupils with the same score vie for the last spot in a school, tie-breakers will take place. The tie-breakers are used in the following order:
- Citizenship: Singaporeans will get priority over Singapore permanent residents and international pupils.
- Pupil’s order of school choices: Under the new PSLE Achievement Levels system, a pupil who puts the school higher on the list of choices will get priority in comparison to the old PSLE T-score system where the order in which the pupil places a given school does not matter. [NEW]
- Computerized balloting: Balloting may be necessary for more popular, oversubscribed schools. However, MOE anticipates that balloting will only affect a very small proportion of pupils.
What are the new indicative PSLE score ranges for secondary schools in 2021?
Indicative scores refer to the scores of the first and last student who will be admitted into each school. The school’s cut-off point is the last student’s PSLE score. Pupils with a better score will be given priority in his selected school, similar to the old PSLE T-score system.
Under the new indicative PSLE score ranges released by MOE, the top schools are Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) IB, Raffles Institution IP, and Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) IP with entry scores ranging from 4 to 6.
Take a look at our Dynamic Table for the new 2021 indicative PSLE range and new PSLE cut-off points of all the secondary schools in Singapore.
Indicative PSLE Range
In the new PSLE system, each AL of the four subjects will be added together to form the pupil’s PSLE score.
Based on the 2020 cohort’s results and school choice patterns, the indicative scores are the scores of the first and last student accepted at each school under the new scoring system. The school’s cut-off point is the PSLE score of the last pupil to be accepted by the school.
For this example, the cut off point for Ang Mo Kio Secondary School’s Express stream, NA (Normal Academic) and NT (Normal Technical) is 16, 24 and 28 respectively.
The grade ranges for each school can be found at https://moe.gov.sg/schoolfinder. An easier way is to use our dynamic table to filter the PSLE cut-off point (data compiled from MOE’s website)
How to get into affiliated schools for affiliated students?
For affiliated schools, there will be two sets of cut-off points for affiliated and non-affiliated students.
Same as before in the old PSLE system, the affiliation priority only works if the affiliated student from the primary school meets the minimum requirement and selects the affiliated secondary school as his first choice.
Whether the student gets admitted ultimately depends on the vacancies that year and how many students are applying.
Take a look at our Dynamic Table for the new 2021 indicative PSLE range and new PSLE cut-off points of all affiliated schools in Singapore.
How to get into affiliated schools for non-affiliated students?
For affiliated schools, there will be another set of cut-off points for non-affiliated students.
Non-affiliated students will have to meet the non-affiliated cut-off point for that particular school. Whether the student gets admitted ultimately depends on the vacancies that year and how many students are applying.
Take a look at our Dynamic Table for the new 2021 indicative PSLE range and new PSLE cut-off points of all affiliated schools in Singapore
For the above example, there are 2 sets of indicative PSLE score ranges. The left side is the “Affiliated” score range and the right side is the score range for “Non-Affiliated” students. Again, the cut-off point for both ranges is highlighted in an orange oval. The AL number indicate the score for the last pupil posted in the Holy Innocents’ High School. (cut off point)
How to get into SAP schools?
The PSLE score achieved is still the first criterion for secondary school posting. Students don’t have to take the Higher Chinese subject to get into a Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school.
However, students in the top 30% of the PSLE cohort who take Higher Chinese will be given an advantage in the posting to SAP schools.
How does the HCL posting advantage work?
Admission into SAP schools takes into account the pupil’s Higher Chinese (HCL) grade. The pupil is awarded bonus points based on his HCL grade: 3 points for Distinction (D), 2 points for Merit (M), and 1 point for Pass (P).
The award of bonus points applies before all the tie-breakers. According to MOE, this means that if pupils with the same PSLE score are vying for limited places in the same SAP school, those with better HCL grades – in the order of distinction, merit and pass – will be allocated a place ahead of other pupils. For example, a pupil scoring AL6(M) will take precedence over another pupil scoring AL6 when applying to a SAP school. However, a pupil scoring AL6(D) will take precedence over the pupil scoring AL6(M).
The HCL grades of the first and last student admitted into SAP schools will be reflected in parenthesis in all the SAP schools’ indicative PSLE range.
Take a look at our Dynamic Table for the new 2021 indicative PSLE range and new PSLE cut-off points of all SAP schools in Singapore.
The illustration above indicated the cut off point for a SAP school.
5(D) – The first student accepted into CHIJ St. Nicholas Girl’s School.
8(M) – The last student accepted into CHIJ St. Nicholas Girl’s School with “M” = Merit in Higher Chinese Language (HCL) [Cut Off Point]
PSLE Cut Off Point 2021 / 2022
Our Dynamic Table offers a glimpse of the indicative PSLE Range for all secondary schools in Singapore as well as one-click access to the schools’ websites.
For easier comparison, there are filters available to sort the different secondary schools in Singapore by:
- Express Cut Off Point;
- Normal Technical (NT) Cut Off Point;
- SAP Schools;
- Schools offering the Integrated Program (IP);
- Autonomous Schools;
- Independent Schools; or
- School’s Zone in Singapore
One Click to visit school's Website
Filtered By School's Zone
Filtered By IP (Integrated Program)
Filtered By SAP Schools
Filtered By Express Cut Off Point
Filtered By NT (Normal Technical) Cut Off Point
What is a Foundation Level Subject?
In Primary 5, there will be subject-based banding that allows students to take a combination of subjects at two difficulty levels: Standard or Foundation. A Foundation-level subject is less demanding compared to a Standard-level subject.
How does the new grading system work for Foundation-level subjects?
Under the new PSLE grading system, the Foundation subject grading system will be replaced with Achievement Levels (AL). Foundation-level subjects will be graded at AL A, AL B, and AL C, instead of Grade 1 to U under the old PSLE system.
AL A represents 75 marks and above, AL B represents 30 to 74 marks, and AL C represents under 30 marks. AL A is equivalent to AL6, AL B to AL7, and AL C to AL8 at the PSLE level.
foundation level table
A student’s PSLE Score will be the sum of the four AL scores of his Standard and Foundation subjects.
How is the new grading different from the old system?
Under the old PSLE system, the score achieved is a “transformed score”, which is an adjusted score that shows how well a pupil did – in English, Mathematics, Science, and Mother Tongue — compared to his peers.
Under this new PSLE scoring system, pupils are graded according to how they fare in the subject, independent of their peers. Their marks for each subject are converted into the three different ALs, similar to grade bands.
Students taking Foundation-level subjects are eligible for the Express Course, as long as they meet the course placement criteria.
Choosing a secondary school isn’t a decision that is to be taken lightly as it will affect the next 4-5 years of the student’s life.
Every secondary school in Singapore has its own merits. Parents and students must consider the following and make their school choices accordingly:
- Student’s strengths and interests
- Programmes, subjects, and CCAs offered
- School’s culture and ethos
- Location and transportation options
Parents and students can find out more about the various secondary schools in Singapore through our Dynamic Table, the schools’ websites, and open houses.
PSLE 2021 Timetable
- English Language
- Foundation English
- English Language
- Foundation Chinese/Foundation Malay/Foundation Tamil
- Bengali/Gujarati/Hindi/Panjabi/Urdu Foundation Bengali/Foundation Gujarati/Foundation Hindi/Foundation Panjabi/Foundation Urdu
Listening comprehension examination
9 am – 9.35 am *: Chinese/Malay/Tamil
9 am – 9.40 am *: Foundation Chinese/Foundation Malay/Foundation Tamil
9 am – 9.30 am *: Bengali/Gujarati/Hindi/Panjabi/Urdu Foundation Bengali/Foundation Gujarati/Foundation Hindi/Foundation Panjabi/Foundation Urdu
11.15am – 11.50 am *: English Language/Foundation English
- English Language Paper 1: 8.15 am – 9.25 am (Duration: 1 h 10 min)
- English Language Paper 2: 10.30 am – 12.20 pm (Duration: 1 h 50 min)
- Foundation English Paper 1: 8.15am – 9.25 am (Duration: 1 h 10 min)
- Foundation English Paper 2: 10.30 am – 11.50 am (Duration: 1 h 20 min)
- Mathematics Paper 1: 8.15 am – 9.15 am (Duration: 1 h)
- Mathematics Paper 2: 10.30am – 12 pm (Duration: 1 h 30min)
- Foundation Mathematics Paper 1: 8.15 am – 9.15 am (Duration: 1 h)
- Foundation Mathematics Paper 2: 10.30am – 11.30 am (Duration: 1 h)
- Chinese/Malay/Tamil Bengali/Gujarati/Hindi/Panjabi/Urdu Paper 1: 8.15 am – 9.05 am (Duration: 50 min)
- Chinese/Malay/Tamil Bengali/Gujarati/Hindi/Panjabi/Urdu Paper 2: 10.15 am – 11.55 am (Duration: 1 h 40 min)
- Foundation Chinese/Foundation Malay/Foundation Tamil Paper 1: 8.15 am – 8.55 am (Duration: 40 min)
- Science: 8.15 am – 10 am (Duration: 1 h 45 min)
- Foundation Science: 8.15 am – 9.30 am (Duration: 1 h 15 min)
- Higher Chinese/Higher Malay/Higher Tamil Paper 1: 8.15 am – 9.05 am (Duration: 50 min)
- Higher Chinese/Higher Malay/Higher Tamil Paper 2: 10.15 am – 11.35 am (Duration: 1 h 20 min)
18 - 21, October
PSLE Marking Days
The PSLE 2021 Marking Days or Exercise is tentatively scheduled on Oct 18 – 21, 2021.
24, November , 2021
Release of PSLE Results
Result Release Date: Nov 24, 2021 (Wednesday). PSLE results will be released at 11am.
Submit your secondary school preferences.
Choose the secondary schools your child prefers. At 11.30am on the day the PSLE results are published, the S1 Internet System (S1- IS) will open for 24-hour online submission. You can submit your child’s six preferred schools online until 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Do not miss the deadline!