How to calculate PSLE score?



PSLE is over!


Yes, the tough part is over but the anxiety remains.

Did your child do well enough to enter the secondary school of his/her choice?

The secondary school cut-off points can be found here. 



If your scores for the prelims are lower than the cut off points, do not despair. PSLE score is not an average of your prelim scores out of 300. Instead, T scores are calculated for each subject and the aggregate of the T scores will be your final PSLE score.

What is T Score?

This is the formula for T scores :

Source: SEAB


x is the candidate's mark for the subject
m is the average mark (mean) scored by all the candidates
s is the spread of the marks around the average mark ( standard deviation)


To simplify, T score is determined by 3 main factors
1) Your Raw Score
2) Your cohort average score
3) The standard deviation of the cohort score around the average mark

Here is an example



AVERAGE



Subject
Total Score
Raw Score
Cohort Score
Std Dev
T Score






English
200
175
120
30
68.33
2nd Language
200
170
130
35
61.43
Mathematics
100
90
75
20
57.5
Science
100
90
70
25
58.5






Aggregate Score




245


As you can see, it is not as straightforward as it should be. Do not be too happy if the paper set for the year is deemed as too 'easy' as it would lower T score when everyone does well. On the same note, do not despair if it is a 'difficult' paper (like the infamous PSLE Math 2019) This might mean the T score could be higher if you fare a bit better than everyone else. The standard deviation (SD) for different subjects varies year on year and it is hard to predict which one would have the lowest SD to affect the final score.

Some schools advocate higher T scores for languages especially 2nd language vs subjects like Mathematics and Science. Although the raw score for languages is at 200 vs 100 for the others, they do not have a higher weight.  The scores will be scale down to 100 to be of equal weight.

The assumption that languages hold more weight probably stems from the conception that the average score is generally lower than other subjects. With a lower average cohort score, it tends to 'inflate' the T score base on the calculation.  However, this cannot be verified unless MOE releases the data of past years to prove the theory.

It also meant that the prelims scores are not entirely reliable in predicting the PSLE score. There are theories that you should add 7-10 points to prelim scores to gauge PSLE scores. This is not true, as some fare worse in PSLE compared to Prelim.



Another interesting point to note is that there can never be a perfect 300 scores for PSLE even if you score 100 marks for all subjects. In theory, you could get more than 300 marks if everyone scores badly except you. On the same note, if the cohort does well and pushes up the average score, it would be the norm to see high scores in the range well below 300 for PSLE.

Lastly, having A or A* does not necessarily mean high T Scores, we had seen students scoring 3A and 1 A * with a score of 227 and a student with 4 A with a score of 250. It really depends on your raw scores for the A. Scoring 75 vs 90 for A makes a lot of difference in the calculation.

What is more important is how well you are prepared and how you fared on the day of the test.

For now, we would have to wait till 21-25 November for the PSLE outcome. In the meantime, enjoy your well-deserved break, P6sers and parents.  The destiny is already written in the stars... you just have to wait for the results.

In the meantime, do head to the secondary school open houses to have a peek at what to expect for the schools you wish to go to.

Secondary School Open House dates can be found here.

The good news (or bad, depending on how you view it) is that all these will change in 2021 with a new scoring system. The new scoring system should be more transparent as it eliminates average and standard deviation in the calculation.

You can read about it here

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