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Published Date: 18 September 2023 06:30 PM

News Parliamentary Replies


Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Carrie Tan, Nee Soon GRC


To ask the Minister for Education (a) what is the rationale for requiring homeschooled children to meet the 33rd percentile benchmark for taking PSLE; (b) what is the rationale for requiring children to take PSLE at Primary 6 when they are typically at the age of 12 as they may have different learning paces; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider reviewing the PSLE policy to provide some latitude in timeline and autonomy for children to learn at their respective paces in their formative years.


  1. The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) serves as a checkpoint in a child's education journey to assess their mastery of core concepts and skills and to guide them to take subjects at appropriate levels at the next stage of learning. It also provides an objective and educationally meaningful measure for posting students to secondary schools in a fair and transparent manner.
  2. Children exempted from Compulsory Education, including those who are homeschooled, are required to sit for the PSLE and meet the PSLE benchmark. This is to ensure that they have a baseline foundation in their academic education that allows them to access further learning and training.
  3. We recognise that students learn at different paces. There is flexibility in our system for students to customise their education based on their learning needs. Students in our primary schools who need more time to master the fundamentals may offer Foundation subjects at the PSLE. With the changes to the PSLE scoring system since 2021, students' results are no longer as finely differentiated and reflect their objective performance. This allows students to focus on their own progress instead of how well they perform relative to their peers. Under Full Subject-Based Banding, students can also customise their learning when they move on to secondary school, by taking subjects at an appropriate level based on their strengths, interests, and learning needs.
  4. We will continue to refine our policies and provide flexible education pathways, so as to support all students in achieving their full potential.