Several concerned parents protest against the Ministry of Education’s recent PSLE difficulty level update. Moreover, the MOE commonly received complaints about the difficulty of the Primary School Leaving Examination over the years.
In this article, you’ll read:
- Concerned Parents Protest Against MOE’s PSLE Difficulty Level Update
- The PSLE Difficulty Level Update Sparked Further Debate
- What Do Parents Say?
Concerned Parents Protest Against MOE’s PSLE Difficulty Level Update
Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is an annual national examination in Singapore. Candidates take it at the end of their final year of primary school education.
Every Primary six student is required to take the test in at least four subjects. It must cover their language, mathematical and scientific proficiency, knowledge and reasoning.
PSLE is essential for the future of every student in Singapore. The result can determine which secondary school a student can enter.
In primary school, almost all parents, students, and teachers prioritise PSLE over anything else. It is because PLSE is a significant factor that can affect a student’s career choice.
Over the past years, Singapore keeps maintained a consistent standard of difficulty for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). According to an official from the Ministry of education, they keep 15% of the question “challenging.”
Concerning this, experts are saying that the percentage would help in testing the abilities of the students. However, several parents and tutors complain that this percentage is too high.
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The PSLE Difficulty Level Update Sparked Further Debate
Ms Liew Wei Li serves as the director-general of Singapore’s Ministry of Education. According to her, some mathematics problems in PSLe papers have been “the centre of public discussion and debate” in recent years.
On the 15 of July 2022, she addressed a question from the 2021 PSLE Mathematics, which sparked a firestorm of debate online. According to reports, the exam left students in tears. However, Ms Liew said that such questions are “actually dew and far between” in the PSLE.
She also added that one of the primary purposes of PLSE is to cater for students of different abilities.
“The majority of questions are accessible to most students, with a small number of questions allowing stronger students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject.”
People in Singapore take PSLE seriously; they take time to prepare for this examination. Many parents take time off work, while some students take extra coaching during their free time. This is in preparation for the Primary School Leaving Examination.
“For many parents, the anxiety is contagious,” stated Ms Liew. “I myself have two children, and despite being an educator who is familiar with the design of examinations and the support schools and teachers provide to our students, I am still not immune.”
Concerning this, Ms Liew aims to help parents, tutors, and students understand the examination’s purpose. She also said that it is essential for parents to know how the assessments are designed.
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What Do Parents Say?
Several parents agree that 15% is a good standard to have. Here’s why:
It determines students’ appropriate ability.
- 15% allows for the differentiation of students across different skills.
- It would enable students to think critically and logically about solving problems.
- Exam questions of varying difficulty can enable the examiners to create a sort of differentiation among candidates.
In addition, challenging questions teach and help students develop problem-solving skills. It would help them understand that different problems call for different methods.
Parents understand the importance of good exams. They also claim that it may help students excel. However, the majority of parents prefer that the percentage of challenging questions be cut.
The students will feel pressured.
- Both parents and students put so much effort into preparation for the Primary School Leaving Examination. Even though most of them are prepared, parents do not want their kids to feel so much pressure. If the children are under pressure, it will become harder for them to take the exam.
What to do:
Parents must constantly reassure their children.
- It is not hard to tell your kids that “there is nothing to worry about.”
- It would also be helpful to encourage them to prepare, set realistic goals, and learn to face challenges and failures positively.
Encourage the children to spend time studying.
- Before the exam, it would be helpful if the students spent more time studying. It would be a good idea for kids to study mathematics even after school.
“Take heart,” said the director-general of education. “No teacher, not exam-setter, ever sets out to inflict stress.”
It might never be easy for students, teachers, tutors, and parents to prepare for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). However, one must remember the significance of knowing the purpose of the exam.