The release of the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) results is one of the most nerve-wracking periods for most Singapore families. These results will determine the fate of their children in the next four to five years.

However, it is essential to remember that poor exam results should not be considered the end of your child’s future. Exams are only one of the many ways to determine your child’s academic progress. 

But what happens if your child did poorly in PSLE? Can they retake the exams? As a parent, what else can you do? 

We break down a few scenarios that you need to know if the PSLE results did not meet expectations:

What Happens When Your Child Fails PSLE

If your child has failed their PSLE, there are other opportunities for them to continue their education. 

One of the options you can do is enrolling them in the NorthLight School or Assumption Pathway School. Both schools accept students who failed their PSLE and help them with their studies. Once they graduated from these schools, they can apply for Institutes of Technical Education (ITE) to take on their target industry before applying to Polytechnic. 

Another option is to let your children retake the PSLE next year and fall back a year in their studies. If your children choose to take this route, we will seek professional assistance from us to help your children in their exam preparation and ensure that they are ready to face another PSLE. 

If you and your child are undecided whether to repeat Primary 6 or continue on the next stage of education, you can always consult their teachers and seek some guidance. 

What Happens If Your Child Fails One Subject In PSLE?

If your children failed one subject, including critical subjects like Math, they would not face any penalties, unlike in O levels. 

Unfortunately, the impact of your child’s failed subject will be evident in their overall PSLE score as it takes into account all four subjects, and their scores may eventually end up lower than 200 points. However, if they did very well on the other subjects, their overall score could be higher. 

What Happens If Your Child Cannot Qualify for Their Preferred Stream

If your child didn’t make the cut on their preferred learning stream, N(A), IP or Express, you can appeal directly to the school. By doing this, even if your children do not take the faster route, they can still pursue their chosen tertiary level interests. 

Some schools allow children to upgrade to a different stream halfway through the year if they see that they are doing exceptionally well. However, both parents and students must know that these opportunities are scarce and come with strict requirements. The course load will also be harder, which can throw some students off if they shift from a slower pace than they used to. In such cases, it is best to get your children up to speed with tutors, like us, before they lag behind their peers. 

What Happens if Your Child Qualified for Express with a Borderline Score

If your children qualified for Express, but their scores are within the borderline limits, you can look at it in two different ways. On the one hand, it is quite a blessing because they qualified for the Express stream. On the other hand, it could be a sign that your children may need to study harder than their classmates so that they can catch up. 

For parents, you should not pressure your children to pick among the options that will be available to them. Whatever stream your children will qualify for, celebrate their achievements and help them to review which schools would work well for them. Your actions will help your child look forward to the new school year and feel that they have done their best in their PSLE. 

What Happens If Your Child is 1 Or 2 Points Shy of Qualifying for His or Her Dream School

There are times when there are close calls for some children who may have missed 1 or 2 points to qualify for their target schools. Some students may become depressed because they may think that they will not find a decent school to help them with their academic goals. 

However, it would help if you shower your children with some encouragement. For example, you can tell them that there will be other schools out there that can still help them achieve their dreams in the future. The schools they intend to try may have affiliates that offer the same education level as their dream school. In any case, all schools in Singapore follow a general guideline issued by the Ministry of Education to get the best education for their future. 

Managing Your Expectations as a Parent and Do Not Compare

As parents, you must not give your children too much pressure to achieve the goals you want them to have. Be very realistic with your expectations and know that your children are doing their best to do well in their exams. 

You should also not compare their results with others because it will only cause your children to get stressed. PSLE-induced stress is one of the reasons why the MOE has shifted the PSLE grading system as they wanted to prevent parents and students from focusing only on academic grades. 

When your children get their PSLE scores and don’t meet their targets, they do not immediately see it as a bad thing because there are other opportunities out there for them. Look at the resources provided by the MOE or reach out to your children’s school for advice. Remember, while these PSLE scores matter for your child’s secondary school, there will always be a way for them to achieve their future careers even if they cannot go to their dream secondary schools.