Greater customisation and flexibility under Full Subject-Based Banding
- Full Subject-Based Banding (Full SBB) will provide students greater flexibility to customise their secondary education. The changes under Full SBB will also provide students with a more enriching secondary school experience by creating more opportunities for them to interact and forge friendships with peers from diverse backgrounds.
(New) Secondary 1 Posting under Full SBB
- Students taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in 2023 and progressing to Secondary 1 in 2024 will be posted to a secondary school through three Posting Groups – Posting Groups 1, 2 and 3. The PSLE score ranges for the three Posting Groups will be mapped from the existing N(T), N(A) and Express streams respectively.
- The three Posting Groups ensure that schools continue to admit a diverse profile of students, and students have access to a wide range of schools. Once in school, students will be organised into mixed form classes, giving them more opportunities to interact with peers of different backgrounds, strengths and interests, ensuring diversity not only at the school level but also at the class level.
- Unlike the existing academic streams, Posting Groups will only be used to facilitate entry into secondary school and as an initial guide for the subject levels students can offer at the start of Secondary 1 [termed General (G1), G2 or G3, and mapped to the different standards for the current N(T), N(A) and Express subjects respectively].
- Students will have greater flexibility to take different subjects at different subject levels as they progress through their secondary school years.
(New) More Flexibility in Customising Students’ Learning
- Currently, students may already offer English, Mathematics, Science, and Mother Tongue Language at a more demanding level at Secondary 1 if they had done well in these subjects in the PSLE. Under Full SBB, students will additionally be able to offer Humanities subjects at a more demanding level at Secondary 2.
- Students will also have flexibility to offer some subjects at a less demanding level to better customise their learning. MOE announced in March 2022 that from 2024, students entering Secondary 1 who face exceptional difficulties coping with Mother Tongue Language learning will have the option to offer Mother Tongue Language at a less demanding level (i.e., G1 or G2). Additionally, students who offered English, Mathematics and/or Science at Foundation level at PSLE, but are otherwise eligible to take most of their subjects at G3 when entering secondary school, may choose to take their English, Mathematics and/or Science at a less demanding level (i.e. G2), in consultation with their secondary schools.
- Students will have the opportunity to adjust their subject offerings to a more demanding level as they progress through secondary school, depending on their interest and learning progress.
- The flexibility to customise their learning will extend to the upper secondary school levels. From 2026, upper secondary students can choose to take elective subjects (e.g., Additional Mathematics, Art, and Design & Technology) at more or less demanding levels.
- Schools will consider their students’ learning progress and developmental needs when helping them determine their subject choices.
(New) Shifting Away from Stream-based Subject Offerings and Programmes
- To complement Full SBB, MOE will shift away from stream-based subject offerings and programmes by providing students from all learner profiles access to more subjects:
- Starting from the 2024 Secondary 1 cohort, Computer Applications (CPA), which is offered only to students in the Normal (Technical) stream, will be discontinued as a standalone subject at lower secondary level. From the 2026 Secondary 3 cohort, schools will offer G1 Computing as an elective subject in place of CPA. They can also choose to introduce G2 Computing as a new upper secondary elective subject. G3 Computing will continue to be offered in schools that are currently offering O-Level Computing.
- Starting from the 2024 Secondary 1 cohort, Social Studies for the N(T) stream will be discontinued and replaced by G1 Humanities subject which is also non-examinable.
- At the lower secondary level, the G1 Humanities subject will comprise Social Studies and Humanities Exposure Modules (Geography, History and Literature in English). This will allow students to enjoy learning, and benefit from a broad understanding of the various humanities disciplines.
- At the upper secondary level, students taking G1 Humanities will take Social Studies, and choose one of three exposure modules (i.e. Geography, History and Literature in English).
- Students offering G2 and G3 Humanities at lower secondary will continue with the existing offerings of Geography, History and Literature in English. At upper secondary, students will also continue to offer Social Studies and a Humanities Elective of their choice, for example in Geography, History or Literature in English. In addition, upper secondary students who are interested, can also continue to opt for another G2 or G3 Humanities as a full Humanities subject (i.e., Full Geography, full History, full Literature in English).
Admissions to Post-Secondary Pathways
- With Full SBB, students will offer a more diverse combination of subjects at different subject levels by the time they complete secondary school. MOE has thus reviewed the admissions criteria for post-secondary pathways to recognise a wider profile of learners and provide students with more options, while ensuring students have the necessary fundamentals to thrive in their chosen pathway.
- The existing JC admission criteria will be retained to ensure that students are right-sited to cope with the academic rigour of the A-Level pathway;
- The option of a fifth year in secondary school will continue to be available for eligible students to pace their learning and take subjects at a more demanding level to access more post-secondary pathways;
- Students who wish to pursue courses in the polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will enjoy more flexibility.
- Admission criteria to Polytechnic Year 1 will be reviewed to better recognise the different subject levels taken by students, and updates will be provided in due course.
- The key changes below will be progressively implemented from 2024 to 2028.
(New) Expansion of Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP)
- The PFP is a 1-year programme that presently offers eligible N(A) students a practice-based preparatory pathway to a polytechnic education. We will expand the PFP to allow for a wider profile of learners, offering a different combination of subjects at different subject levels, to access the PFP.
- As announced at COS 2022, we will relax two ‘B’ subject grades to G2 Grade 4 or G3 E8 for admissions to PFP from the Academic Year (AY) 2024 intake to allow access for polytechnic-bound N(A) students who do reasonably well, but do not currently qualify for PFP.
- From the AY2026 intake, admissions to the PFP will be restructured to a cluster-based approach. Students in the PFP will enter one of three key broad clusters: (i) Sciences (ii) Design, Engineering & Technology or (iii) Humanities, Art, Media and Business, before posting to a specific diploma course based on their interest and PFP performance.
- From the AY2028 intake, we will also allow students taking G3 subjects, or a mix of G2 and G3 subjects to access PFP by mapping their G3 grade to the G2 equivalent – thus removing the current stream-based admission which is limited to today’s N(A) students. Following this change, up to 2,600 students per AY are expected to be eligible for the PFP from AY2028, up from about 1,700 students per AY today.
Changes to ITE Pathway
- ITE is transitioning all its Nitec courses to the enhanced three-year curricular structure leading directly to a Higher Nitec certification. ITE will continue to monitor the outcomes of this implementation, and is on track to complete the transition by AY 2026.
- ITE will continue to expand its Work-Study Diploma (WSDip) and Technical Diploma (TD) offerings to provide more upgrading opportunities to ITE graduates.
(New) Changes to A-Level Curriculum and Autonomous University Admissions
Computation of University Admission Score (UAS)
- Currently, JC/MI students applying to Autonomous Universities (AUs) are required to include four content-based subjects (i.e., three H2 and one H1 subject), General Paper and Project Work in the computation of their UAS as part of their AU application, resulting in a maximum of 90 points. For students who offer four H2 content-based subjects, their lowest scoring subject in the GCE A-Level examinations is considered as an H1 subject for the purpose of computing the UAS.
- In practical terms, the fourth content-based subject would refer to a JC/MI student’s H1 subject (in the case of a student offering three H2 and one H1 subject), or their lowest scoring H2 subject in the GCE A-Level examinations (in the case of a student offering four H2 subjects).
An illustration is provided below:
- From 2026, the fourth content-based subject will be included in the computation of UAS only if it improves the UAS. This will allow JC/MI students room to choose their fourth content-based subject by interest without being overly concerned by examination grades. In addition, the change in Project Work (PW)’s grading to “Pass/Fail” means that it will be removed from the computation of UAS. Hence, from 2026, the maximum UAS will become 70 points.
An illustration of the new computation method from 2026 is provided below:
Project Work to be graded as a “Pass/Fail” subject
- Project Work remains an important subject that provides students with a collaborative and inter-disciplinary learning experience that nurtures 21CC and life skills in an authentic and applied manner.
- With the change to a “Pass/Fail” grading, the lowered assessment stake for Project Work will offer greater scope for JC/MI students to explore their ideas and interest in issues with real-world applications, and better focus on developing skills that will serve them well in the future. Notwithstanding this, the Project Work curriculum will remain rigorous to ensure students are able to develop the relevant skills and competencies.
- Under the new grading format, students will have greater flexibility to scope their project from either a set Project Theme or an area of interest identified by their group.
- Students may also indicate their involvement in Project Work topics when applying to the AUs via aptitude-based admissions, if it demonstrates significant evidence of their aptitude and learning beyond the school curriculum.
Removal of Mid-Year Examinations for JC/MI Levels
- The removal of mid-year examinations at the JC/MI level will be implemented progressively, starting with the cohort entering JC/MI in 2024. This will follow through with consecutive cohorts in 2025 (i.e., 2nd year of JC and MI) and 2026 (i.e., 3rd year of MI). The move aims to encourage a mindset shift away from an over-emphasis on testing and academic results. It also aligns the assessment practices at the JC/MI level to those at primary and secondary levels, providing a seamless experience for students progressing through the general education system.