How many schools conduct exams or tests immediately or within two weeks after the school holidays

Published Date: 11 July 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Mountbatten

Question

To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Schools) (a) how many schools conduct exams or tests immediately or within two weeks after the school holidays; and (b) what the rationale for having school holidays if students are expected to study for the tests/exams during the school holidays.

Response

Examinations are useful for students to gauge their learning and teachers to check on the effectiveness of their teaching. Schools adopt a student-centric approach, taking into consideration the profile and needs of the students, and the schools’ contexts when scheduling the examinations. The practice of having examinations after June holidays is more prevalent among the JCs in view of the school year for JC1 students starting in end January or early February. There would be limited time for students to consolidate their learning before the examinations if examinations are held in May. Many of the JC students are also participating in the Singapore Youth Festival for performing arts and National School Games in April and May. The decision to schedule the mid-year examinations for JC students in Term 3 after the June vacation will allow the students to better manage their revision and to ensure they would still have some time in the June vacation to have a break and pursue other recreational and social activities.

Similarly, a small proportion of schools at other levels may also conduct some form of testing after the June holidays for their students in graduating levels, to help them consolidate their learning in June and pace their revision leading up to national examinations.

Our schools are mindful of the need to strike a balance between catering to students’ academic and CCA needs as well as their socio-emotional well-being. The decision to have examinations after the vacation is made after considering the different options available to address their students' overall needs and also to minimise stress.

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