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All About Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE)

PSLE Subjects and Syllabus Information

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Overview of PSLE Subjects

For many students, the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) subjects are content-heavy and challenging to score well in. However, by knowing the requirements of each subject’s examination and their exam format, it becomes easier to attempt and overcome.

This is because you are no wonder surprised by the types of questions and you can better manage your time when doing the papers. Therefore, understanding the PSLE Subject Syllabus and Exam Formats is so important to excel in the PSLE.

Over here, we’ve gathered information from the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore Education and Assessments Board (SEAB), primary schools and our top tutors to give you comprehensive breakdown of PSLE subjects and their syllabuses. We have all you need to know to plan and do well for the PSLE!

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PSLE Subjects – Understanding the Differences

What are the subjects tested in the PSLE?

There are four kinds of subjects tested in the PSLE, namely English Language, Mother Tongue Language, Science and Mathematics. Students taking the PSLE must take all four subjects, including the Mother Tongue Language which can be selected by the student.

Students taking the Higher Mother Tongue Language will be taking five subjects for the PSLE.

What are the different subject types?

There are three different subject types in the PSLE, namely Standard, Foundation and Higher to cater to students of all skills and knowledge.

All subjects will be offered in both Standard and Foundation types while only Mother Tongue Languages have the additional Higher subject type.

What’s the difference between Foundation and Standard subjects?

Foundation level subjects have lower levels of difficulty, content and assessment which focuses on learning rather than scoring. This will encourage student to build their subject fundamentals and gain the confidence to learn at a more suitable pace

What’s the difference between Higher Mother Tongue and Standard Languages?

Higher Mother Tongue (HMTL) is an additional subject available for students who have shown to have great understanding of their Standard Mother Tongue Language.

HTML is significantly more demanding, and requires students to have higher levels of comprehension, vocabulary and language knowledge than standard languages.

Under the new Achievement Levels (AL) grading system, there are no bonus points awarded. However, students with HTML subjects are given priority for admission into Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools.

Refer to the following table for an example:

Considered for admission to SAP School in the following order:PSLE ScoreHigher Mother Tongue Grade
1st7No HCL
2nd8Distinction
3rd8Merit
4th8Pass
5th8No HCL
6th9Distinction

Grading and Scoring in the PSLE Subject

Many parents have lamented that the new PSLE scoring system is confusing, especially the AL score calculation. However, understanding the PSLE scoring system is important for all, because you can aim for an ideal score and plan for the best secondary school to enter.

Over at our PSLE Scoring System and AL Score Information page, we have simplified and consolidated all the information you need to learn about the PSLE scoring system. Furthermore, we’ve made your life easier by developing our free online AL Score Calculator and Secondary School Cut-Off Point List.

Succeed in any PSLE subject with PSLE Home Tuition

With so many PSLE subjects your child needs to take, are you confident in them to learn, revise and practice all by themselves?

The PSLE is not a walk in the park for any student. Succeeding in the PSLE requires months of hard work, patience and practice. Most students require more help than the school can provide to tackle the PSLE, such as customised help, special resources and guidance.

This is what private home tutors can offer, in the comfort of your house. Get your private PSLE home tutor today and kickstart your child’s preparation for the PSLE.

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