Singapore Primary School SA1: The Ultimate Study Guide

Singapore Education follows this assessment throughout a student’s academic year.

For Singapore Primary 1-6 curriculums, there are 4 assessments done every academic year, namely the CA1, SA1, CA2, and SA2.

The SA1 is short for “Semesteral Assesment 1”

Read also: All you need to know about the PSLE Curriculum


About SA1 & The Assessments

The weights of the assessments may differ from school to school but the SA2 has the heaviest weightage among all the assessments. 

Assessment Assessment Type Time
Continual Assessment 1 (CA1) Class Tests and assignments Jan-May
Semestral Assessment 1 (SA1) Mid-year Examinations May
Continual Assessment 2 (CA2) Class Tests and assignments July-Oct
Semestral Assessment 2


Final year Examinations Nov

However, from 2021 onwards, not all primary school students will sit for Final Year and Mid Year examinations.

Here is the table showing a breakdown:

Education Level Mid Year Examinations Final Year Examinations
1 No No
2 No No
3 No Yes
4 Yes Yes
5 No Yes
6 Yes Yes
1 No Yes
2 Yes Yes
3 No Yes
4 Yes Yes
5 Yes Yes

Though not all levels will have to sit for Mid Year Examinations, for those that have to, knowing the importance of SA1 is still relevant.

Why is the SA1 important?

SA1 vs SA2

For SA1, all topics that your child learns during the first half of the semester will be tested. Whereas for SA2, ALL topics that your child learns in the academic year itself are tested. Therefore, your child cannot neglect their mistakes and forget all the things they learn during the first half of the year.

Acing the SA1 is not just advantageous for your child it also helps them stay ahead for the SA2 examinations.

Not only so, studying for the SA1 examinations is less tedious as the topics for examination are lesser as compared to SA2, which is the end of year examinations.  


Checks Understanding

Taking this examination helps your child to check their understanding of the topics for the past 5 months of studying. When your child receives their results later, they will know which topics of the subject they are weak in.

This can greatly help you & your child to identify weak areas and immediately work on them before the SA2 curriculum starts.

During the SA2 curriculum, your child will be busy studying for the topics that were taught. Ultimately, this restricting them to have limited time for the topics that were taught in the first semester.

Some topics may be linked as well. The first semester sets the foundation for what your child is about to study for SA2. If your child struggles to build the foundation at the beginning, they might find themselves having an even harder time in the second half of the semester.



Advantages Of SA1

On top of that, SA1 takes up a large weightage as well, though it is not as much as SA2. However, it can be a game-changer if your child does well for this semester! With half the topics of the subject being tested for a heavy weightage is a HUGE advantage.

This is because your child will be technically studying lesser for a good amount of weightage for SA1.

So, we suggest they start prepping for the upcoming SA1 examinations!

Tutopiya will help you break down a few points as to how your child can prep for your SA1 effectively!




How to Prep for SA1?

Start Gathering Materials

macro photo of five assorted books

Start planning a timetable for the subjects your child is going to study. Dedicating a sufficient amount of time to each subject.

Gather all the papers, notes, homework, and practice papers for all the subjects. Instead of running around while studying, find a day to ensure your child organizes all of their work into subject piles ready for them to grab and revise.


Start Revision Early


All revisions must start early to be prepared. Start by reading all the topics briefly and then going in-depth topic by topic. This applies to all content-based subjects like Science and Mathematics.

Language paper usually tests students on understanding and answering techniques. Children may have to review the notes that their teachers have given to them. If their teacher has given a study guide, use it! More often than not, it always helps you to study more efficiently.



Taking Efficient Breaks When Studying

person wearing blue-and-white Converse All Star shoes while sitting on brown grass photo at daytime

The human average attention span is 10-20 minutes, therefore studying for long hours may not be the most efficient thing to do. Breaks can improve efficiency and productivity only if you take breaks efficiently.

Many students are utilizing these breaks wrongly. These breaks do not mean you can pick up your mobile devices, watch one or two YouTube videos. These are not useful breaks, as they can cause them to procrastinate and be distracted, therefore these breaks are not optimal.

Instead of using mobile devices and surfing the net, get them to engage in some relaxing exercise, meditation, or eating a nutritious meal. Prevent doing things that can potentially be distractions.



Knowing Your Strengths And Weaknesses

brown and beige weighing scale

While it is important to your child revises their strongest subject, to refresh their memory and make sure they remain strong, they should also focus on improving and investing more time in their weaker subjects.

It is always important to make sure they dedicate more time to weaker subjects. Allocating equivalent studying time to each subject may not be efficient.

The important takeaway point here is to revise strong subjects to remain strong and dedicate time to weaker subjects.

This is so that your weaker subjects can be caught up as they will be more focused on it. You child will then be able to understand and comprehend more.




Tuition can greatly assist your child in bridging subjects or subject areas that need assistance. It does come with its share of commitment but it does help your child is staying on par or exceeding their peers.


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