What Are Indicative CutOff points?
The year 2021 marked a significant change in the PSLE's scoring system. The Achievement Level Scoring System was drafted and implemented by Singapore's Ministry of Education (MoE), the Achievement Level (AL) Scoring System replaced the long-used T-scoring system. Under the new grading system, the Standard PSLE subjects will now be scored using eight scoring bands from AL1 to AL8.
Instead of the usual grades A to E, students will now gain scores from 1 to 8 for Maths, Science, English, and Mother Tongue Language (MTL). The new AL scoring system was used for the first time by Primary 6 cohorts to enter secondary schools in 2021. The MoE has also released the Indicative Cut-Off Points (COP) for various schools in Singapore. What does this term mean?
To understand the COP, we must first understand the PSLE score. Each school's indicative PSLE score is taken from the scores of the first and last students admitted to the institution. The school's Indicative COP is the PSLE score of the last student posted in the previous year.
By mid-2022, the Ministry will release the Indicative COP for all schools. This will also include:
- Indicative AL Cut-off Point ranges
- Subject-Based Banding (SBB) eligibility criteria under the AL scoring system.
The MoE has also simulated each student's subject score under AL terms. All the individual subject scores are added to arrive at the total PSLE score. Now, there is a high probability that more than one student will end up with the same PSLE score. Therefore, there will be two or more students vying for the last spot in the school.
To solve this dilemma, the MoE has set three tie-breakers, namely:
- Singapore citizenship where top priority is given to students who are Singapore citizens. The next in line are Permanent Residents and then come the international students.
- The list of school choices where the pupil places the school higher on the list of choices gets priority.
- Computerised balloting will be used when the tie remains unsolved.
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How Does the MoE Calculate the Cut-Off Points?
To clearly understand how Indicative COPs are calculated, we must first understand three aspects:
1. Raw Subject Scores
Under the AL scoring system, the eight AL bands (from AL1 to 8) are based on the curriculum's learning objectives and designed to reflect broader achievement levels. Each scoring band has the following mark ranges:
|AL||Raw Mark Range|
|2||85 - 89|
|3||80 - 84|
|4||75 - 79|
|5||65 - 74|
|6||45 - 64|
|7||20 - 44|
Each subject is awarded an AL score. Therefore the total achievable score ranges from 4 to 32, with 4 being the best possible score and 32 being the worst possible score.
2. The PSLE Score
The final PSLE score is the sum of the four subject scores. The following example will help you understand how to PSLE score is calculated:
|Mother Tongue Language|
|PSLE Score: 8|
3. Subject-Based Banding (SBB)
Subject-based Banding is a blessing for many students in the normal course. Based on their AL subject scores, students in the Normal course now have a better chance of attempting more demanding subjects from Secondary 1. The new system also allows students to be placed in one of the three secondary school courses like Express, Normal (Technical), and Normal (Academic).
The following table explains the SBB eligibility criteria based on PSLE scores:
|Placement Outcome||PSLE Score|
|EXPRESS||4 - 20|
|EXPRESS / N(A) OPTION||21 - 22|
|N(A)||23 - 24|
|N(A) / N(T) OPTION||25|
|N(T)||26 - 30, with AL7 or better in both English Language and Mathematics|
Achievement Level CutOff Point Derivation
The following are the steps implemented by the MoE to derive the Indicative Cut-Off Points:
- Each pupil's individual subject scores are simulated based on their Raw Subject Scores.
- A school's COP is calculated using the PSLE results and school choices of the 2019 Primary 6 cohort.
- The AL individual subject scores are added to derive the total PSLE score.
- The Indicative COP for each school is based on the PSLE score of the last student admitted.
The highest and lowest Indicative COPs give the PSLE score range of that particular school, whether it is Government, autonomous, Government-aided, or independent. According to the MoE, the simulation is only an indicator, and the COPs may vary every year because it is driven by the school choices and the PSLE results of the Primary 6 cohorts.
List of PSLE Cut-Off Ranges Released by the MoE
The MoE has released the following Cut-Off Points for various schools in Singapore. Here's the list based on the school type.
- Autonomous schools
The PSLE CutOff Point for Express Stream (Integrated Program) and Normal (Academic) courses range from 8 to 16 points and 26 to 29 points. The range is similar to that of the government and government-aided schools.
- Government & Government-aided schools
For these schools, the Indicative COP for Express course students is 7 to 9. Other eligibility marks include:
- Express (O Level) 8 to 22 points
- Normal (Academic)- 22 to 25 points
- Normal (Technical)- 26 to 30 points
- Independent schools
For Express (Integrated Program), the COP is 6 to 8 points. For the Express (O-Level) course, it is 8 to 10 points.
StudySmart- Refining PSLE Preparations
It is important to know all the details about the Cut-Off Points. At the same time, please note that these changes in the PSLE scoring system give you a chance to look beyond COP when choosing schools. Above all, your child's performance in PSLE will simplify and expedite their chances of getting admission into prestigious institutions.
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