The 2018 campaign Life Beyond Grades wants to tell parents: PSLE results and PSLE cut-off points are not everything. But will parents listen? If the sudden influx of pious parents at temples and churches during exam season is any indication… no.
So if your child is about to go through PSLE preparation rites soon (or not so soon), we’ve put together a guide to important PSLE dates, top secondary schools’ PSLE cut off points and how much you can expect to spend on preparing your kid for PSLE.
PSLE 2019 exam dates & results dates
For quick reference, here’s a table with the key dates you need to know: PSLE 2018 exam dates and the PSLE results release schedule.
|PSLE oral exams||15 & 16 Aug 2019|
|PSLE listening comprehension||20 Sep 2019|
|PSLE written exams||26 Sep to 2 Oct 2019|
|PSLE results||Not revealed yet|
|Posting to secondary school||Not revealed yet|
PSLE has 3 major components: the PSLE oral exams (mid-August), listening comprehension (mid-September), and the big one – PSLE written exams (between end September and early October).
After the exams, you’ll have over a month of waiting time before the PSLE exam results dates (end November). Thereafter, you will have 7 calendar days to apply to a secondary school. Your child will then be posted to a secondary school in late December.
So if your child is waiting for his or her PSLE results and secondary school posting, make sure you’re not away on holiday during these periods of time.
PSLE cut off points for top secondary schools
So, why is PSLE such a big milestone and why are parents so hung up on it? That’s because whether your kids can make it to top secondary schools depends on the child’s PSLE T-score and the secondary school’s PSLE cut-off points.
For the uninitiated, the PSLE cut-off point is the lowest you must score to get to the school of your choice. It changes yearly – the more in-demand the school is, the higher its cut-off point. Therefore, it’s often taken as a measure of how good the school is. (Note that some secondary schools have lower cut-off points for affiliated primary schools.)
This is the secondary school ranking for 2017 (for 2018 intake) and their PSLE cut-off points:
|Secondary School Ranking 2017||PSLE cut-off point|
|Nanyang Girls’ High School||264 (Affiliated: 250)|
|Methodist Girls’ School||260|
|Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)||260|
|Hwa Chong Institution||258|
|CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School||256|
|National Junior College||256|
|Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)||256|
|Dunman High School||255|
|Cedar Girls’ School||254|
|Catholic High School||253|
|St Joseph’s Institution||253|
|Singapore Chinese Girls’ School||252|
|River Valley High School||250|
|Temasek Junior College||249|
|Anderson Secondary School||245|
|Bukit Panjang Govt High School||244|
|Nan Chiau High School||243|
|Nan Hua High School||243|
|CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh)||243 (Affiliated: 201)|
|Chung Cheng High School (Main)||242|
|Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)||240|
|Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary)||241 (Affiliated: 200)|
|Crescent Girls’ School||241|
|Swiss Cottage Secondary School||239|
|Anglican High School||238|
|Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)||238|
|Commonwealth Secondary School||237|
|Yishun Town Secondary School||235|
|Maris Stella High School||235 (Affiliated: 226)|
|CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent||235|
|CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent||232 (Affiliated: 200)|
|Fuhua Secondary School||232|
|Presbyterian High School||232|
|Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School||232 (Affiliated: 200)|
|Temasek Secondary School||231|
|Tanjong Katong Girls’ School||231|
|Tanjong Katong Secondary School||231|
|Clementi Town Secondary School||231|
How much should you spend on tuition for PSLE?
Technically, the cost of PSLE is $0 – the exams are free. But prepare to get peer pressured and judged by fellow mamas if you intend to spend that amount. This kind of hands-off parenting in Singapore is as rare as a unicorn sighting.
For most Singaporean parents, tuition represents a big bulk of PSLE spending. Here’s a selection of 6 tuition agencies to give you an idea of the tuition fees (though this of course varies depending on subjects):
|Subject||Tuition centre||Cost per 4 lessons (excluding GST)|
|Chinese||Tien Hsia Language School||$109|
|Math & Science||SmartLab Education Centre||$170|
|All||Mavis Tutorial Centre||$163|
|All||True Learning Centre||$180|
In general, tuition centres can cost as “little” as $170 per month and as much as $100 per SESSION, if you send your kid to an elite tuition centre. Alternatively, you can also hire an affordable home tutor at around $20 per hour (roughly $120 a month).
Need recommendations? Here are 17 top tuition agencies in Singapore.
By the way, spending these amounts on your child’s tuition is totally normal in Singapore. Quartz found that a “startling” 80% of primary school age students receive private tuition, but most Singaporean parents would probably find the other 20% more startling…
But tuition fees are not your only cost when preparing your child for PSLE. Aside from tuition, there are also incentives, supplements, and assessment books and past-year papers.
Here are 3 potential scenarios of how much PSLE may cost you if you have a kid that will go through it soon.
Scenario 1: No-frills parents (less than $4,000)
No-frills parents are like that bear in Jungle Book – only providing the bare necessities. If you’re a no-frills mum or dad, you probably believe your child’s PSLE is his own responsibility.
If you consider yourself to be someone like that, we applaud you here at MoneySmart! Don’t talk to anyone about your PSLE prep plans (or lack of) and stay steadfast and unshakeable.
|Tuition for the weakest subject only||$2,640 ($220 per month)|
|Assessment books and past-year papers||$300|
|Incentive trip to Bangkok||$500|
Scenario 2: Kiasu parents (around $12,000)
Kiasu parents are likely the bulk of Singaporean parents – you’ve succumbed to peer pressure and feel the need to “up your game”. Think: tuition for almost all the subjects, chicken essence and tantalising rewards. Balking at the number? See the breakdown:
|Chinese tuition at Berries World||$3,520 ($880 per term)|
|Maths home tuition with a super tutor (tutorchen)||$6,720 ($560 per month)|
|Science camp during the holidays (Dr Seet Ai Mee’s Discovery Camp)||$485|
|PSLE math final preparation camp (Speed Math Centre)||$120|
|Assessment books and past-year papers||$500|
|“Reward”: iPhone XS with a reasonable telco plan||$638|
Scenario 3: Tiger parents ($40,000 to 50,000)
Tiger mums and dads adopt a no-expenses-spared approach to PSLE. Without a question, the child HAS to go for tuition for all 4 subjects. At least one parent will also take no-pay leave to ensure that someone is there with the child every step of the way (yes, people actually do that). They’ll even hire a study coach to teach the child time management skills and better study techniques. Excessive? They’ll tell you they’d rather avoid any potential regret later on.
|Chinese tuition at Berries World||$2,585|
|Math tuition at SmartLab Education Centre||$5,800|
|Science tuition at SmartLab Education Centre||$5,800|
|English tuition with a super tutor (Ann Tutor)||$8,640 ($720 per month)|
|PSLE Preparation Heuristics Math Camp (Speed Math Centre)||$100|
|Exam Strategies Holiday Workshop (MindChamps)||$392 ($98 per subject)|
|PSLE English Intensive Synthesis & Comprehension Workshop (Lil But Mighty)||$260|
|Assessment books and past-year papers||$500|
|Study coach (Daniel Wong)||$1,599|
|Time taken off work (4 months no-pay leave)||$15,000|
|Health supplements (brain boosters, multi-vitamins, chicken essence, bird’s nest) in the last few months||$600|
|A trip to Paris Disneyland||$5,000|
Experienced parents, how much did you spend on your children’s PSLE prep? Tell us in the comments!
Image credit: Philip Cohen via Flickr
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