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The Paramount Importance of PSLE 

There is probably no other acronym more notorious to Singaporeans than ‘PSLE’. The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) makes the news for being exponentially harder each year and for containing inventive questions. It is the inescapable culmination of primary school education. It strikes fear into the hearts of parents and students alike. The fear is not unfounded – it is a high-stakes examination that determines your child’s eligibility for secondary schools and programmes. It is the first threshold in the educational landscape and where they find themselves after the whirlwind of PSLE bears consequence on their future. This is an immense pressure placed on students at the mere age of 12. 


During PSLE preparation, parents and students are known to go into revision overdrive, making sure to cycle through the syllabus to cover all bases. However, academic guidance provided by school teachers and parents can sometimes fall short. Teachers cannot provide personal guidance and busy parents may be hard-pressed for time. As such, many have turned to the convenience of private home tuition. PSLE home tuition helps your child in a myriad of ways, ensuring that they build the all-important foundation for core subjects such as Mathematics and Science. 


Many educational experts agree that PSLE preparation should start early and with the help of a private tutor. A tutor is an invaluable resource that provides one-to-one attention and helps children master weak topics. Furthermore, private PSLE home tutors equip students with confidence through practice and strategic planning. The sooner parents engage a private tutor, the more preparation it allows for their child. 

Paradigm Shift in PSLE Scoring from 2021


The Ministry of Education has reformed the way PSLE results are tabulated. The chief change is the introduction of Achievement Levels (ALs) which is indicative of a student’s ability and aptitude in a subject. Here is a quick glance at the reforms for grading:


  • Each subject will be scored using 8 bands known as Achievement Levels (AL), with AL 1 being the best score and AL 8 being the lowest score. 
  • The final PSLE scores will be the sum of the ALs received for four subjects.
  • The score will range from the best score of 4 (AL 1 for 4 subjects) to 32 (AL 8 for 4 subjects). Compared to the previous wide-ranging aggregate scores, there are only a total of 29 possible PSLE scores. 


The introduction of Achievement Levels (ALs) means that the difference of one mark does not heavily distinguish a student from their peers. Students who demonstrate the same level of academic aptitude and ability will receive the same AL. To further encourage students to focus on their own pace and achievements in learning, the new scoring system shows parents how well students have done. This should bring some long overdue ease to the anxious minds of parents. However, the changes do not take away the fact that PSLE is still a highly competitive examination. Parents who sought private PSLE home tuition early stand to benefit the most!


More information on the changes to PSLE scoring can be found here


Subject-Based Banding in Primary Schools

As announced by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Subject-Based Banding (SBB) will be rolled out in primary schools. This means that students will take subjects according to their level of academic ability, as assessed by the school.

Source: MOE Subject-Based Banding FAQs 2019


At Primary 4, students will sit for an internal examination which will determine their band for Primary 5 and, subsequently, PSLE. This has a direct impact on the sum of their ALs as subjects taken at the Standard Level and Foundation Level are not directly equivalent.


Top: Sample Breakdown of New PSLE Score

Bottom: ALs for Foundation Subjects

Source: MOE PSLE Scoring


For example, taking Science Foundation means that students can only score between AL 6 to AL 8. Compared to Science Standard, students do not have the chance to achieve AL 1, the best possible score. This is below optimal and compromises their place in their preferred secondary school and programme. As such, it is important to start PSLE tuition as early as lower primary to ensure that they have a competitive edge. 


To qualify for Higher Mother Tongue Language (HTML) in secondary school, students must attain a total score of 8 or higher OR between 9 to 14, with AL 1 or AL 2 or Distinction/Merit in Higher Mother Tongue. 


5 Primary Benefits of Private PSLE Tuition

PSLE tuition is highly sought after because it has been tried and tested. Syllabuses and formats change all the time but the advantages of having private tuition stays the same! The benefits of home-based private tuition includes: 


Customised Learning

Students will get personalized help from their tutors, particularly for their weakest topics and subjects. This is particularly helpful since school teachers have too many students and may not be able to devote her time and attention to struggling students. Private tuition provides personalized help that weak students desperately need, giving them the opportunity to catch up to their peers.


Comfortable Pace

Every child is unique and simply does not learn at the same pace as his peers. A private PSLE tutor ensures that your child learns comfortably while on schedule to complete all the necessary revision for PSLE. This takes strategic planning and experience on the part of the tutor to ensure that this is achieved. If done professionally, your child will have the best time learning and growing from his tutor. 




Private tuition is highly convenient. Students can have lessons in the comfort of their own homes. This also translates to savings on travel and time taken to commute. As tuition sessions are appointment-based, students can decide when would be the most suitable time for them to have tuition. Private tuition is highly flexible and offers students the luxury of controlling their own schedules to bring about greater personal convenience. 


Beyond the Curriculum 

PSLE is notorious for having questions that extend concepts taught. Having an experienced home tutor means that students will have exposure to less common questions as well as the techniques of answering them well. This can make all the difference when it comes to methodical and qualitative subjects like Mathematics and Science. 


Forming the Right Study Culture 

Students with private tuition are better able to cope with subjects. An experienced and dedicated tutor makes all the difference because they will inculcate values of fortitude and perseverance in students, gearing them up for lifelong learning and excellence. These formative years are important for good revision habits and thus students stand to take away a good study ethic from their tutors.


Finding Perspective: PSLE is an Important Checkpoint

In this Channel NewsAsia commentary piece, a parent notes that PSLE is not a doomsday event. With the grade disparity between students being narrowed, it is important to see PSLE as a checkpoint and not as an endpoint. PSLE is a rite of passage in a student's academic journey and they should take stock of their strengths, weaknesses and interests. The end of PSLE merely means the start of secondary school education which will be a more challenging if not rewarding experience. The resilience and fortitude they have learned are lifelong values that will take them far beyond in life. As PSLE can be a particularly stressful time, here are 5 useful tips for parents!


Nanyang Academics: PSLE Preparation Starts With Us

PSLE Home Tuition is helpful as the tutor's attention is not divided. They focus on a single student, ensuring that they excel well academically. Private PSLE home tuition focuses on the student's concept grasping abilities, speed of learning, and learning gaps. Lesson plans by the tutor can easily be adjusted according to the child's learning needs.


At Nanyang Academics, we believe in early planning and preparation for PSLE. Since students sit for internal banding examinations as early as Primary 4, it is important to make sure that they properly prepare. With a private PSLE home tutor, students will receive adequate preparation to conquer PSLE. 


Don’t hesitate! Request for a private PSLE home tutor today!