The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a national examination in Singapore administered by the Ministry of Education and taken by all students near the end of their sixth year in primary school before they move on to secondary school. This examination tests students’ proficiency in the English language, their respective mother tongue languages (typically Chinese, Malay, Tamil, and some other South Asian languages such as Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu), mathematics and science. Students have around two hours to complete each subject paper, except for certain components of language subjects. Students answer multiple choice questions by shading their responses on a standardised optical answer sheet (OAS) that uses optical mark recognition to detect answers. The format of the PSLE and the presence of it in the Singapore education system gives the PSLE a part in national culture. PSLE material has also been exported to other countries. Some schools abroad, particularly in South East Asia, have their pupils sit the international version of the exam, the iPSLE, to provide a benchmark of their performance vis-a-vis Singapore’s standards.

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