Changes in GCE ‘A’ level education
- No more Mid-Year examinations
- General Paper made compulsory
- Project Work becomes a pass/fail subject
- University Admission Score will be rebased to 70 from 90
1) Some thoughts regarding the scraping of mid-year exams – less administrative work to prepare for a major exam, more time to put back into lessons and learning. But, like what many others have already pointed out, without this major milestone check, students will be in for a rude shock when it comes to their End of Year Exams.
“The removal of mid-year examinations will not be replaced (emphasis mine) by more school-based assessments, and JCs and MI must not administer more than one weighted assessment per term, MOE said in a separate press release.”
If this is really the case, students will not have a timely feedback on their progress via exams conducted under time-constraint. There are two things that might happen, one is schools will give more assessments but will not call them ‘weighed assessments’, the second is that students and parents might turn to tuition centres to conduct the assessments instead.
The elephant in the room is still the way students are graded at the GCE ‘A’ level exams, as long as the format of the exam doesn’t change, the way the students/parents prepare for it wouldn’t change much.
2) GP is taken by the vast majority of students anyway, only 100 students took KI as an alternative in 2022, so this change isn’t that significant.
3) Making PW a pass/fail subject is a de-emphasis on the subject. The most likely effect this will have is that students will spend much lesser time and focus on their content subjects which contribute to University Admission Score. I personally feel that this is a good move as i see the J1 students spend a disproportionate amount of time researching and on meetings.
4) The fourth content subject and MTL would only count towards the UAS if it scores better compared to GP. A likely outcome for students who are very poor in language will bank on the fourth content subject to replace GP in their UAS.
On the other hand, students who are strong in either GP or MTL might not need to put so much effort for their fourth content subject. Most arts stream student tend to struggle with the contrasting H1 science subject so it will be good for them to leave it out of their UAS. However, the best bet for science students struggling with contrasting H1 arts subject may simply be to focus on GP.
In any case, having two less subjects contributing to UAS is a good step towards relieving the workload for our ‘A’ level students.
What do you think? 🙂
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