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    Dec 24, 2015

    Schools raise PSLE cut-off points

    THE minimum entry requirement for popular secondary schools was raised by between two and eight points this year.

    The increased scores - which are aggregated from four subjects at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) - follow a record performance by this year's cohort.

    Schools with the highest cut-off points include Nanyang Girls' High, which took the lead with 264 points, up from 262 last year.

    The score for both Methodist Girls' School and Raffles Institution rose from 256 last year to 261, while that for Raffles Girls' School went up by two points to 260.

    Hwa Chong Institution's cut-off went up four points to 260, while Dunman High School's score was 258, compared with 253 last year.

    The cut-off scores for CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School's Integrated Programme and the O-level tracks this year were 258 and 253 respectively, up from 253 and 245 last year.

    Pupils were informed on Tuesday which secondary schools they have been posted to for the upcoming year.

    Some parents whose children missed the mark for their chosen school by a few points are making appeals.

    As in recent years, the Ministry of Education did not release this year's top T-score, which indicates how well pupils do compared with their peers. But many people online believed it to be 283.

    Some parents also said they expected the cut-offs to increase because many pupils fared so well.

    A total of 39,286 Primary 6 pupils sat for the PSLE this year. About 98.3 per cent did well enough at the national exam to move on to a secondary school, up from last year's 97.6 per cent.

    Between 1980 and last year, the percentage of students eligible to enrol in secondary schools ranged between 81.7 per cent and 97.8 per cent.

    An MOE spokesman told The Straits Times that cut-off points are not pre-determined before students are posted to schools as it depends on their PSLE results and their school choices.

    "The previous year's posting aggregate range is published to serve as an approximate guide and the eventual range may vary depending on demand patterns and the cohort size for that year," she said.

    She added that factors such as teaching programmes, teachers' commitment and student motivation contribute to the improved performance of PSLE cohorts.

    Housewife Anne Tan, 50, thought her son had a good chance of getting into National Junior College (NJC) based on last year's figures.

    Her 12-year-old son, whose score was 256, was posted to his second choice, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).

    NJC's cut-off last year was 254. This year, it rose to 258.

    "He wanted to do the Art Elective Programme in NJC and we live six MRT stations away from the school," said Madam Tan, who submitted an appeal to NJC this month.

    Medical doctor Sin Wen Yee, 46, whose son was posted to Catholic High School's Integrated Programme, said she considered appealing to Raffles Institution, his first choice, which he missed by two points.

    She said: "I expected that schools would have higher cut-off points because many of his schoolmates had fairly high scores and my son was surprised with his own score.

    "But my son, who was from Catholic High School's primary section, says it is a happy place to be in and he feels that he will have more opportunities to excel and shine."