No more mid-year exams for S’pore primary & secondary levels by 2023

More time and space for students to develop life skills.

Mandy How | March 07, 2022, 02:50 PM

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Primary and secondary school students in Singapore will no longer have to sit through mid-year examinations by 2023.

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced the move at the Committee of Supply (COS) Debate on Mar. 7, 2022.

Over the last few years, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has removed mid-year examinations for Primary 3, Primary 5, Secondary 1 and Secondary 3 students.

Primary 1 and 2 students have not had to take tests and exams since 2019.

According to Chan, the ministry has observed a “positive impact” from the removal, where schools and teachers can better pace and deepen students’ learning.

Students also focus more on their learning, rather than on their marks.

Ongoing assessments are used to identify what students have mastered, and what they are having difficulties with, Chan added.

MOE will thus be building on these gains by removing mid-year examinations for all primary and secondary levels by 2023.

The move creates time and space for students to develop life skills, including the ability to deal with failure, such as adaptability, inventive thinking, and cross-cultural skills, which Members of Parliament Darryl David and Lim Biow Chuan have raised.

“This frees up more time across all levels for self-directed learning and developing 21st century competencies,” Chan said.

The Straits Times (ST) reported that this will free up three weeks of curriculum time for each level, which teachers can use for other ways of learning.

Additionally, MOE is also reviewing curriculum content and assessment demand, as a standard curriculum may not be able to meet the “diverse learning needs” of students.

Chan elaborated:

“Any ‘average curriculum’ will necessarily mean that many students will be overstretched while others are under-stretched. Hence, we must have a range of options to cater to our students’ diverse abilities and learning needs.”

Top image via MOE's Facebook page