The hype around the PSLE has turned up by quite some notches in the past years in Singapore. But what is PSLE? How is it important for students? Is it necessary for all school students to appear in this examination? These are some common questions baffling the minds of most school going kids and their parents in Singapore. So, in this article, we will be talking all about this examination so that you can decide for yourself whether or not this examination is important. Although many people might straight away say that this examination is extremely important, some others might deny it entirely. So, instead of confusing yourself with the opinion given by others, it is better to know all about the PSLE in Singapore and judge for yourself. Isn’t it? Read along to gain complete knowledge on this hyped-up topic cum examination.
What Does PSLE In Singapore Stand For?
The PSLE or the Primary School Leaving Examination is considered to be one of the most important examinations that a child appears for before pursuing his or her higher studies. It is administered by the Ministry of Education in Singapore. And each and every school going student has to appear in this examination. The students appear for this examination towards the end of their sixth year in primary school, just before they move on to secondary school. This examination tests the students in various languages. These languages include – English, their respective mother tongues, i.e., Malay, Chinese or Tamil, mathematics and science.
The examination goes on for two hours for each subject except for the language subjects. It is a MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) patterned examination. Here, the students mark the answers in the booklet itself. The booklet is then optimized for obtaining the scores. Many people believe that the PSLE helps the Singaporean education system give value to the national culture. An interesting fact about the PSLE examination in Singapore is that the patterns and the questions are often forwarded to other countries. These countries include – Southeast Asia, China, India and Japan. The reason? To provide a benchmark of every student’s performance by comparing their abilities to the Singaporean education.
The History Of PSLE In Sigapore
On 4th November 1960, the first ever Primary School Leaving Examination was conducted in Singapore. A total of 30,615 candidates appeared in this examination. And the results were declared on 23rd December 1960. Since then, it has been mandatory for every student in Singapore to take part in this examination before joining their secondary schools.
But, in March 2018, there were many people protesting against the commencement of this particular examination. The then Education Minister, Ng Chee Meng, rejected all calls to this protest and claimed it to be an important checkpoint for all students before stepping out into harder things. Later on, in September 2018, the Education Minister, Ong Ye Kung, announced that the board will remove several mid-year and year-end exams to give the children a bit of relaxation. He did so to encourage students in becoming an all-rounder rather than just running after short-term goals. Now, whether or not this decision had/has proven to be successful can be easily judged from their child’s performance.
Why Is PSLE So Important?
Most people, do not consider the importance of PSLEs till the time their child has to appear for one. Once he or she goes through it, they tend to completely erase it out of their minds. But does that mean the Primary School Leaving Examination is not important? Not at all! Then what is its significance? Why are all the people in Singapore so tensed up about their child appearing for this examination? Here are two of the most important reasons why this age-old examination is highly important in any and every child’s life.
The Primary School Leaving Examination judges a child based on his or her past six years of education. When a child studies for two months about the same topic and appears for an examination on the same, he or she is bound to do well. But all of us tend to forget many important and unimportant things over time. So, to encourage children to study in order to gain knowledge and not just pass their mid-year or year end examination, the PSLE is one very important and useful step. Later on, based on the child’s result and performance in the Primary School Leaving Examination, the board allocates the child to a secondary school based on his or her abilities and choices.
The second reason why the Primary School Leaving Examination is so important is that it is a vital step in deciding your child’s future. Here, it is not only about getting admitted into a well-reputed secondary school, but it is also about getting a high paying satisfactory job that your child likes. Yes, that’s right! Many Singaporean companies focus highly on the PSLE results while recruiting. So, if your child has a lower PSLE score, there are high chances that he or she might not get the job and end up losing a great career opportunity. So, mark my words when I say, the Primary School Leaving Examination is one of the most important examinations a student of Singapore has to go through. In other ways, it is also a deciding factor for a child’s future.
How Can A Student Benefit From The Primary School Leaving Examination?
The PSLE basically determines how much a student has learned from his or her twelve years of education. Generally, if you need to appear for an examination after every few months, you tend to concentrate on short-term goals. But concentrating just on short-term goals is going to take you no where in life. And I think, we can all definitely agree with this.
So, to make a child concentrate on long-term goals, the PSLE judges them based on all of their school curriculum. You might argue that the Primary School Leaving Examination also narrows down a scope. And also that it does not consider multiple areas that a child might prosper in. But, as we all know, our prosperity is always based on our basics. If your child has excelled in his or her basic education, he or she can surely establish themselves well enough in other fields as well.
Besides, it is also not possible for an assessment like the PSLE in Singapore to cover all areas of education. One or the other is sure to miss out. But the Ministry of Education surely does concentrate enough on the basic pillars of education. These are – English, the mother tongue, Mathematics and Science.
Another important thing that the PSLE does for students is to stream them into their deserving educational institutions. This way, every parent is satisfied that their child has been enrolled in a place they deserve. Nothing more, nothing less. Also, you can be sure that the correct learning needs of every student are being taken care of in these institutions. This would not have been possible otherwise if the children were to go to secondary schools based on the methods followed in other countries.
Is Stress Necessary While Appearing For PSLE In Singapore?
Stress and exams almost always go hand in hand, don’t they? It is one thing which surely pops up in almost every situation that children or adults face in their lifetime. But, one thing that many students and even parents miss out is that stress is actually advantageous. If your child is stressing about something, it means that he or she has invested much thought and effort into it. Whether it is an exam or a project, stress indicates that the person is concerned and is inclined to do better. Only when stress becomes undue and overwhelming, it becomes toxic for your health.
In the present times, all children need to learn to be resilient. They need to adapt themselves to the fast changing pace of the world. The students also need to keep in upgrading their skills to perform better in their life and career. But, at the same time, it is also important to keep the basic knowledge in mind. If you consider it, how many equation or formulas do you remember that you had learnt back in school? How many science lessons can you relate to when something ‘strange’ happens? Not often can you relate to it, can you? But, keeping in mind what you have been taught in your school life is extremely important. The PSLE encourages your child to do just that in a healthier and positive way.
Stress & Life & PSLE
In such a scenario, we can also go ahead and say that stress and competition is a healthy way to learn. Be it coping skills, time management or self discipline, stress and competition are enough to build you a better person. They teach you some of the most important priceless lessons of life that otherwise come at a hefty price. And the PSLE helps in cultivating that stress, thus making you a better person and a better student in the end.
Again, the role every parent plays in managing this stress is critical. A parent has to teach their child not only to manage the stress, but also how to embrace failure and accept disappointment. Failure is a natural part of everybody’s life. Be it a 15 year old or a 50 year old, every one faces failures in their life. It is what makes us stronger and gives us the will to perform better and achieve better. Again, not everybody scores the best scores in the Primary School Leaving Examinations. Some students get to go to their desired secondary schools. While some students need to settle in a place as per their score. But this only shows you that you need to work harder in order to achieve your dreams and goals, doesn’t it?
PSLE In Singapore Is Something Beyond Academic Excellence
The Primary School Leaving Examination demands for a holistic development of a child. In order for this to happen, the parents need to put in a lot of effort. The parents need to encourage a healthy lifestyle for the child to study better and grow better. As a parent, you can do this in various ways including
- Taking care of your child’s daily diet
- Promoting exercise as a daily activity
- Asking and helping them to strictly follow deadlines
- Making sure the child gets adequate sleep everyday
All of these, in turn, promote character building, growth of a positive self-esteem and healthy values. These three characteristics of a child are some of the main deciding factors in whether or not your child will perform properly in the PSLE. Besides, we can also say here, that healthy values are more important than academic excellence. So, it is not something that anyone should compromise with.
To nurture creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, it is important for the schools to promote such things in their curriculum. While it cannot be denied that the PSLE tests only one’s basic knowledge, the growth of a child’s mind is also important and this exam surely helps in that happening. One might ask how? Well, if a child is adept in realizing the long-term goals and is already working towards it, he or she is already a little entrepreneur in themselves. It also helps children discover their passion and start working towards it. As a result, every child appearing for the Primary School Leaving Examination is sufficiently self motivated and has ample stress management skills.
The Primary School Leaving Examination in Singapore is surely one of the most important examinations a child has to appear in Singapore. It helps children in achieving specific skill sets that, in turn, help them achieve long-term success. It also helps them build sustenance in a career field of their choice. Very clearly, if you grow the habit of something right in your childhood, you are sure to reap its results when the time comes.
The PSLE in Singapore is surely a necessary checkpoint for all students. It allows one to gauge their academic aptitude thus helping them in making the correct choice for their future. Thus, when the child grows up and seeks to build a career in that field, he or she is sure to prosper and give his or her best results always.