Current Affairs

O-Level results: Fewer score at least 5 passes in exams


SINGAPORE: A smaller percentage of students who took last year’s O-Level examinations scored at least five passes, according to results released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) on Friday (Jan 12).

Out of 29,112 candidates who sat for last year’s exams, 83.4 per cent – or 24,287 students – scored at least five passes compared to the record 84.3 per cent, or 25,551 students, who sat for the exams in 2016.

A total of 29,090 students – 99.9 per cent – were awarded certificates for passing at least one subject, the same proportion of the cohort as the previous year. In addition, 28,058 students (96.4 per cent) passed at least three subjects in the exams, slightly lower than 96.5 per cent in 2016. 

Last year, 1,570 private candidates sat for the O-Level examinations, compared to 1,865 in 2016. Of these, 90.8 per cent passed at least one subject, up from 90.2 per cent the year before.

The first batch of Normal (Academic) students who were offered higher-level subjects under Subject-Based Banding (Secondary) also performed comparably to their peers in the O-Level cohort, MOE and SEAB said.

The system allows students who have done well in specific subjects to take the subject at a higher level. About 370 Normal (Academic) students under this scheme took one or more subjects in English Language, Mathematics, Combined Sciences and Mother Tongue Languages at the Express Level last year, according to the press release.

Students can visit MOE’s education and career guidance portal for information on the various educational options available to them after the O-Level examination.

As four junior colleges are due to be merged next year and will not be admitting first-year students this year, MOE and SEAB said the junior colleges admitting students this year will be able to increase their intake of students and there may be resulting increases in the cut-off points. 

They added that these cut-off point variations do not reflect the quality of each JC or its programmes.

“We encourage students to continue choosing JCs based on each school’s distinctive programmes, co-curricular activities and school culture – factors that can further develop their strengths and interests. We also want to reassure students and parents that there will be sufficient capacity and JC places to cater to demand.” 

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