Parents' unofficial PSLE top-scorer compilation proves kiasuism lives on

"Why is every 12-year-old reduced to a 3 digit number?"

Jonathan Lim| November 30, 12:47 PM

Since 2012, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has stopped revealing the names of top Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) performers.

Instead, MOE releases a list of "students from various schools who have performed well in both academic and non-academic aspects and/or have shown resilience and determination in overcoming the odds to excel in their education."

The move was to recognise students for "their holistic development and all-round excellence, and not just their academic performance only."

MOE vs kiasu parents

Despite MOE's valiant efforts, some parents are still trying to find out what the top scores for this year's PSLE are. A recent article by The Straits Times (ST) explored why some parents are doing so.

One parent said, "It is about managing expectations. At the end of the day, we don't want our child to be disappointed if he can't get into a particular school."


The logic behind knowing how well the top-scorer did and how that will help another student with his/her secondary school admission is not clear.

This is like comparing the top salaries of your peers to judge whether the organisation will hire you.

The more obvious use of such a list is to give kiasu-as-heck upward-aspiring parents a yardstick of desirable primary schools to send their cute little five and six year-olds to.

This may go against MOE's goal of "Every School a Good School".

For parents who are thinking of using this list to ask your child why he or she did not do as well, don't be surprised if your child says something like:

PSLE meme

One such list is currently found on the aptly-named website - - which is crowdsourcing for information for the top scores of each primary school.

The co-founder of the site told ST that the scores are indicative but not an accurate reflection of the school's performance.

Currently, the highest score achieved is supposedly 283 from Nanyang Primary School and Rulang Primary School:

psle scores Screenshot from KiasuParents

This compilation of unofficial PSLE top scores did not go down well with some netizens:

psle scores comments 2

psle scores comments 3

psle scores comments Screenshot from ST's Facebook post

Perhaps some parents could learn a thing or two from the cool lawyer dude with L’Oréal Paris hair who scored 183 at his PSLE.


Top photo via.

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