Mid-year exams in JCs and MI to be progressively scrapped from 2024

The change is in line with MOE’s shift away from over-emphasis on testing and academic results.

Amanda Tan

Published: 1 March 2023, 4:47 PM

Students from junior colleges (JC) and Millennia Institute (MI) will no longer sit for mid-year examinations from 2024, announced Education Minister Chan Chun Sing at the ministry’s Committee of Supply debate in Parliament on Wednesday (Mar 1).

This follows the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s decision to remove mid-years from primary and secondary schools in a bid to shift away from an overemphasis on testing and academic results.

MOE added that the gradual removal will not be replaced by more school-based assessments and schools must not administer more than one weighted assessment per subject per term.

“The time saved from preparing for examinations can be channelled towards deeper student engagement and learning through more varied experiences,” said Mr Chan during his speech in Parliament.

The assessment of the subject Project Work (PW) will also no longer be factored into the overall grade calculation from 2024.

Students will now be given a pass or fail grade for PW to encourage them to pursue their interests creatively, rather than being motivated solely by grades, said Mr Chan. However, obtaining a passing grade in PW is essential for students intending to apply for university.

“Our students have done well in PW over the years. Making PW a pass/fail subject now encourages our students to exercise greater agency and creativity in areas of interests, rather than be driven by grades,” said Mr Chan.

MOE added in a statement that the PW curriculum will “remain rigorous to ensure students are able to develop the relevant skills and competencies”.

Additionally, the General Paper (GP) subject will be mandatory for all, starting with the 2024 intake. Students can no longer take Knowledge and Inquiry (KI) in lieu of GP.

GP requires students to be abreast of current affairs and express their views through essay writing. KI focuses on the nature of knowledge and its construction in areas such as the sciences, the social sciences, mathematics, history, ethics and aesthetics.

From 2026, the A-Level students will not be required to count their fourth content-based subject in their university admissions, unless it improves their score.

Currently, students usually take three H2 and one H1 subject, along with GP and PW. Additionally, they may take Mother Tongue language.

These changes mean that the maximum university admission score would be 70, instead of the current 90.

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