2021 New PSLE AL Scoring System: What does it mean for your child?


March 3, 2021

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2021 New PSLE AL Scoring System: What does it mean for your child?


The PSLE is undoubtedly one of the first major hurdles that your child will have to face in his/her education journey. PSLE scores are necessary to benchmark students’ learning efforts during his/her first six years in school and determines the secondary school that they will enter. Over the years, more parents are ramping up their efforts to provide the best support for their children to excel in the examinations. 

Did you know that from 2021 onwards, a new scoring system will be used for PSLE?

This means that the PSLE will be scored with wider bands and the scores will reflect the student’s individual performance and not his/her performance relative to their peers. 

Well, if you’re still unsure, here’s a complete breakdown of the changes that will be implemented starting next year.


What are Achievement Levels (AL)?

Before 2021, the raw scores for each subject examination is converted to T-scores. Moving forward, these raw scores will be classified by 8 bands. These bands are called Achievement Levels (AL) as show in the table below:

How is the New PSLE Score calculated?

Each subject will have its own AL, with AL of 1 being the best achievable score. The overall PSLE score is calculated by adding up the ALs of all four subjects, which will be within the range of 4-32

What’s the Ideal Score to enter your child’s Dream Secondary School?

Now, you may be wondering: “How does the AL scores affect my child’s entry into secondary schools?”

There will be cut-off points (COPs) for various secondary schools and streaming into different courses will still exist based on the overall PSLE score achieved.

How does the New AL System impact my child’s overall PSLE score?

With this new scoring system, the aim is to obtain the lowest Achievement Level for each subject. Which means each subject’s raw score needs to be the highest possible your child can achieve. And scoring well in Mother Tongue is no exception.

What’s the most effective way to prepare my child for the AL Scoring now?

Whether it is getting that extra boost to move 1 level up the Achievement Level or like many English speaking families whose children struggle with the Chinese language, Xuelin is here to help. And it is not too late!

Here at XueLin, our Chinese language curriculum is specially designed to help your child transition to the new scoring system, as well as MOE’s latest marking rubrics. All with the goal to help your child excel to the best of their abilities in oral, comprehension and composition papers. Here are how we can help your child:

We use current teaching methods aligned with the new AL syllabus to engage with our students.

  • It is important to note that between the top 4 Achievement Levels (Levels 1 – 4), there difference between each band is 5 raw scores.
  • By focusing on specific areas and honing your child in these areas, our tutors can help them “jump” from one level to the next one up”
  • With continuous learning and practice alongside our tutors’ guidance, attaining an additional 5 marks to increase your child’s AL band is definitely achievable.

We cater to every individual’s learning strength.

As parents ourselves, we understand the challenges and demands of Singapore’s challenging education landscape. And we aim to not only help your child in their academic pursuit but also to strengthen their learning abilities:

  • Catering to your child’s individual learning style whilst enhancing their learning capabilities and correcting bad habits
  • Creating an environment through positive reinforcement to motivate them
  • Small class sizes to provide more 1-on-1 attention for each child
  • Regular feedback sessions to parents

We can prepare your child to take on Higher Chinese in secondary school.

If you and your child are aiming for a specific secondary school, and that secondary school only offers Higher Chinese. Your child will be required to score at least an 8 Achievement Level for PSLE. Or a PSLE score between 9 to 14 including a Merit/Distinction for Higher Mother Tongue / AL 1 – 2 for Mother Tongue. We have a special curriculum tailored for this need to help your child prepare and succeed towards these scores. 

For your child to pursue Higher Mother Tongue in secondary school, they should obtain either:

  • A PSLE score of 8 and below OR
  • A PSLE score between 9-14 while getting a Merit/Distinction for HMT or AL1-2 for Mother Tongue
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