Mid-Year Exams Will Be Removed For Primary & Secondary Schools To Shift Focus Away From Grades

Mid-Year Exams To Be Removed For All Primary & Secondary School Students From 2023

Singapore boasts one of the best education systems in the world. But over the years, many have debated the emphasis on grades in our society.

On Monday (7 Mar), Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced in Parliament that all primary and secondary schools will be removing mid-year exams by 2023.


This will help shift the focus away from grades and tests, freeing up time and space for students to develop interests and focus on learning.

The decision was made based on the positive impacts observed from scrapping examinations in the past years.

Mid-year exams removed to shift focus away from grades

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (7 Mar), Minister Chan shared that all primary and secondary schools will be removing mid-year exams. This change will take place by 2023.

mid-year exams removedSource

The prime reason for removing exams is to shift the focus away from academic grades and tests.

In the past 3 years, mid-year exams were removed for Primary 3, Primary 5, Secondary 1, and Secondary 3 students.

Primary 1 and 2 students have not had any tests or exams since 2019. They have not been graded in those years.

According to The Straits Times (ST), schools can choose to remove mid-year exams this year if they are ready.

As of now, about 1 in 14 primary schools have cut mid-year exams for Primary 4 students. More than one-third of secondary schools have also removed the exams for Secondary 2 students.

Give students more space to develop interests & learn

Minister Chan said that removing exams for all primary and secondary schools would free up about 3 weeks of curriculum time. Students can then have more space to develop interests and focus on learning without grades.

There will be more space to develop life skills beyond the books, such as dealing with failure and adaptability.

Students can also experience self-directed learning and develop 21st-century competencies, such as knowledge, skills, and values.

Minister Chan added that the scrapping of exams had shown a positive impact in the past years. Without examinations, schools and teachers can better pace and deepen students’ learning.

There will be ongoing assessments and activities to evaluate students’ progress in school, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Feedback and guidance will also be continually given to students.

MOE reviewing curriculum

Besides removing examinations, the Ministry of Education (MOE) hopes to create more space for students to explore their interests.

They are currently reviewing curriculum content and assessment demand, said Minister Chan.

He elaborated that a standard curriculum may not meet students’ diverse learning needs and capabilities. Some will be under-stretched while other students, overstretched.

MOE is looking into having a range of options to cater to students’ differing abilities and needs, reported ST.

This would allow teachers to pick and choose from various options and better customise them to suit students.

mid-year exams removedSource

Students will also be more intrinsically motivated to learn without worrying much about comparing themselves with others.

Additionally, regular home-based learning will be implemented for secondary and pre-university students by the end of 2022.

Hope students will feel less stressed

Kudos to MOE for continually exploring ways to improve our education system for students.

Understandably, some parents might worry about how this move will impact their children’s education.

But hopefully, with this change, students will feel less stress to perform and have the peace of mind to enjoy their studies better.

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Featured image adapted from The Straits Times on YouTube and Chan Chun Sing on Facebook.

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