In the wake of this year’s changes to the PSLE system (where the Express, N(A), and N(T) streams will be phased out), corresponding adjustments will also be made to the O/N level examinations. 

Starting in 2027, the O and N level examinations will be replaced by the Singapore-Cambridge Secondary Education Certificate (SEC). With the introduction of the SEC, there will be a unified examination period for all students regardless of their posting group, beginning in October (for most subjects). Students will then collectively receive their SEC results in January of the following year.  

This unified examination period will also result in the removal of dual exam sittings for the mother tongue language (MTL) exams for O-levels. 

Consequently, the MTL curriculum will gain four extra months of learning, aligning with the rest of the school’s curriculum. Language exams will be taken in the second week of September, followed by the rest in October, as an attempt to distribute the exam load.

In addition to these changes to examinations, the Edusave awards are also undergoing minor changes. From 2024 onwards, EAGLES (Edusave Award for Achievement, Good Leadership, and Service) will recognise non-academic qualities as well.

How will this impact students

We understand that the removal of dual sittings for the Mother Tongue Language (MTL) exams may have left you feeling concerned, as it seems to be eliminating a possible second chance to enhance your scores. In response to these concerns, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing reminds us of the importance in “striking a balance between academic excellence and allowing students to learn at a comfortable pace”.

These changes, initiated by the Ministry of Education (MOE), aim to put less pressure on the demands of academic achievement, having students like you define their worth in other aspects, not just in chasing the best grade possible. 

You may have experienced this familiar pressure of needing to achieve a specific grade in your exams. Currently, students who think like this are retaking their MTL exams to bump their grade up, even if it’s just by one position. It’s important for us to recognise that redirecting this time and pressure into other productive endeavours can actually be more beneficial than solely pursuing higher grades. By removing the second sitting, students like you can learn to place less pressure on excelling academically overall. 

Exam with A grade

This change may also feel unsettling to you if you’ve held onto the notion of having another chance to take the exams as a form of comfort. The idea that “it’s okay if I don’t study as hard for this sitting as I will have another chance to redo it if I mess up”. It’s crucial to recognise that we should see and approach these exams like any other subject we sit for during our national exams. Rather than relying on the second sitting as a backup plan, let’s strive to give our best effort in a single sitting.

Graphic of stressed out child

Additionally, the extended timeframe for learning during MTL lessons offers students like you the opportunity for more balanced and effective learning. Ultimately, with the introduction of a single national examination, we hope to see the previous differentiation between students and their abilities fade away. This shift will allow us to prioritise the learning journey and focus less on striving for perfection.

Think your child needs some extra assistance? For more information, whatsapp us at 6520 6146.