All you need to know about the PSLE Curriculum

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All you need to know about the PSLE curriculum can be found right here in this article, the curriculum overview, PSLE tuition and all the essential information that you need to know!

The article will touch on the following:

  • What is PSLE 
  • How does the PSLE curriculum work 
    • Subjects and syllabus 
    • Subject-based banding
    • PSLE grading system 
  • What is after PSLE 
  • Why is PSLE tuition important 

This article will breakdown in depth everything about the PSLE curriculum where all the things you need to know can all be found in one article! 

To find out more about education in Singapore as a whole, read our Expat Guide to Singapore Education to get a quick overview and understanding of education in Singapore! 

What is PSLE? 

PSLE is known as the Primary School Leaving Examination, is an annual national examination taken by all candidates at their final year in primary school. 

How does the PSLE curriculum work? 

All Singapore citizens born after 1 January 1996 and living in Singapore are required to attend primary school. 

The primary school curriculum takes 6 years to complete and children begin their primary school journey at the age of 7 typically. 

Children will go through primary 1 (usually referred to as P1 by Singaporeans) and through to primary 6 where they will take the PSLE national examination at the end of their primary sixth year. 

Subjects and syllabus 

The primary school syllabus is curated by the Singapore Ministry of Education and has been highly regarded by many other educational institutions around the world. 

Singapore primary mathematics 

Singapore Maths is a teaching method and term coined in the United States to describe approached that Singapore used to teach students in primary school. 

The Singapore Primary Math focuses on teaching students to learn, master and build a strong foundation – in other words, students will learn in-depth instead of learning broadly. 

The Ministry of Education Singapore developed its own mathematics textbooks to focus on problem-solving and critical thinking. 

Mother tongue language 

Mother tongue language also known as a second language by other countries, is a compulsory subject here in Singapore. 

Singapore is a multiracial country that homes the Chinese, Malays, Indians as well as Eurasians. 

Here’s a little history lesson about Singapore! 

Singapore’s national language is Malay but due to the different ethnic groups that were present in Singapore during the time of independence in 1965, Singapore has chosen English to be the main language. 

To preserve our multicultural and racial diversity, Singapore hence established the Bilingual Education Policy in Singapore where MTL is a compulsory subject to be taken in primary schools. 

Henceforth, students can appreciate their cultural heritage and communicate more effectively in their mother tongue languages. 

Subjects to be taken by primary students 

Here’s a breakdown of what main subjects the students will take through their 6 years of primary education 


Primary 1 – 2
  • English Language 
  • Mother Tongue Language 
  • Mathematics 
Primary 3 to 6
  • English Language 
  • Mother Tongue Language 
  • Mathematics 
  • Science

Science will only be introduced to the students after primary 2. The primary science syllabus will cover the following topics in-depth: 

  • Diversity 
  • Cycles
  • Systems 
  • Interactions 
  • Energy 

English, Mathematics, MTL and Science are the 4 main subjects that students will be taking throughout their primary school years. These are also the 4 subjects they will sit for their PSLE national examinations.

Students will also take up other subjects that are non-examinable such as Art, Music, Physical Education, Social Studies and Character and Citizenship Education (also known as CCE). 

Subject-based banding 

This is a streaming process that gives your child an opportunity to take subjects at the standard or foundation level based on their strengths. You can also find more information about subject-based banding on the Ministry of Education official website here. 

Primary 4

  • Your child will sit for the school examinations 
  • The school will then recommend a subject combination at the end of the year based on their results
  • Fill up an option form to indicate your child’s preferred subject combination 

Available subject combinations 

  • 4 standard subjects
  • 4 foundation subjects 
  • A combination of standard and foundation subjects 

Thereafter, your child will take the subject combination recommended by and sits for it for their PSLE. 

PSLE grading system 

A new grading system has been implemented in the year 2021, where the Ministry of Education has completely removed the old scoring system also known as the T-score for Achievement Level grading instead. 

You can read more in-depth about the New PSLE Scoring System – All You Need To Know

Students will be graded Achievement Levels 1 to 8 instead of current grades A* to E. 

The new scoring system for ALs 1 to 8 are as follows:


Achievement Level Scores 
1 ≥ 90
2 85-89
3 80-84
4 75-79
5 65-74
6 45-64
7 20-44
8 <20


What is after PSLE?

After 6 years of primary education, your child will move on to secondary education. Their PSLE scores will be an indication of which school and which stream they are able to enrol into. 

There are 3 different streams in secondary school namely the Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical stream. 

Your child can also choose to be homeschooled after their primary education. Your child can choose to sit as a private candidate for the international curriculum such as the IGCSE.

You can also find out more about the IGCSE curriculum and IGCSE Homeschooling in Singapore here. 

Read more: IGCSE homeschooling in Singapore 

Why is PSLE tuition important? 

PSLE Tuition will help your child to better their range of competencies and learning ability that helps them to be prepared for their lives and careers. 

PSLE Tuition helps to close up any knowledge gaps your child may have in a particular subject if any. Moreover, PSLE Tuition with Tutopiya is personalised and curated for every individual. 

Tutopiya believes every student has unique learning habits and ability. Hence the personalisation of tuition for every student is highly emphasised here at Tutopiya. 

PSLE Tuition is not effective if not for a really experienced tutor. Tutopiya has a pool of experienced Singaporean tutors that are well aware of the primary MOE syllabus. They are also trained to deliver high quality online live lessons for your child. 

Primary school education and PSLE is extremely crucial for your child since it is their first step into the world, also where they will start to grow and discover themselves as individuals. 


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