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Primary School Leaving Examination


The Ministry of Education in Singapore conducts the Primary School Leaving Examination. Every student in Singapore has to take this examination at the end of the sixth year in primary school before they pave their way for the secondary school. The examination is conducted nationwide and tests are taken on English language, mother tongue languages, mathematics and science. The time scheduled for every exam is taken to be two hours.

A standardized optical answer sheet is used to test multiple-choice questions. In order to live up to the expectations of the Ministry of Education's policy the format of examination has been revised many a times during the past years. Despite the changes implemented the standard examination procedure still retains its same elements. Several separate examinations are conducted to test the grasp of the students in the language subjects. The written examination is followed by an oral examination to test the proficiency of the student while speaking the language. The time scheduled for science examination is around 1 hour 45 minutes.

The syllabus comprises of subjects like chemistry, physics, biology and basic interpretation of statistics on the primary classes. The paper consists of sixty marks on multiple-choice questions and forty on open-ended questions. In order to prevent bias in marking the Ministry of Education randomly distributes the examination papers among the teachers in Singapore. Anyone who fails to pass is retained in the primary six education for another one year. It is on the basis of the marks gained that the students are allotted to various secondary schools in Singapore.

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