Reimagining Learning: The Power of Removing Mid-Year Exams

Category: Primary 6 PSLE

From Assessment to Enrichment: Shifting the Focus

Education is a complex journey of intellectual and personal growth. Traditionally, mid-year examinations have been used as checkpoints to evaluate a student’s learning progress. However, there are multiple other ways to assess a student’s understanding, such as regular assignments, quizzes, and classroom interactions. These methods not only provide an opportunity for timely feedback but also enable students to improve their learning strategies and habits.

Happy children after removal of Mid-Year Exams

The over-reliance on examinations can often limit students’ perspective on learning, making it a means to an end, rather than an enduring and lifelong process. Therefore, removing the mid-year exams aims at reorienting this view and nurturing a more intrinsic motivation for learning.

Stress Management: Not the Sole Purpose

Contrary to popular belief, the removal of mid-year examinations is not primarily aimed at reducing stress. Stress factors in students’ lives are numerous and complex, and cannot be resolved merely by eliminating an exam. Instead, this bold step is intended to free up time for a more paced out and diversified learning experience.

Feedback Loop: Teachers, Students, and Parents

Since the implementation of this no mid-year examination policy in primary and secondary schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has received positive feedback. Teachers, students, and parents alike have reported that this new approach has facilitated a more comprehensive learning experience. Over time, this is expected to bolster the students’ intrinsic motivation to learn, not merely for the sake of passing exams, but for the sheer love of knowledge and lifelong learning.

The MOE will continue its collaboration with parents and schools to foster students’ passion for learning. Any concerns or suggestions are always welcome and can be addressed to teachers for further discussion and resolution.

Nurturing Joy for Learning: The Learn for Life Movement

In a progressive move towards cultivating the joy of learning, the MOE has introduced several policy changes under the Learn for Life movement. The removal of mid-year examinations for all remaining levels in primary and secondary schools by 2023 marks another significant stride in this direction.

With no mid-year exams, schools have reported having more time to provide a plethora of learning experiences tailored to individual student needs. Feedback from students indicates that they now have more opportunities to explore their interests and identify their strengths.

Beyond Exams: Regular Assessments and Well-Rounded Development

Despite the absence of mid-year exams, schools still have regular assessments in place. These assessments are instrumental in monitoring students’ learning progress, identifying strengths, and addressing learning gaps. With no mid-year exams, students have more time to act on teachers’ feedback and improve their learning progress.

This shift towards a more holistic education is all about nurturing well-rounded students who can thrive in real life, not just in academics. The emphasis is on creating self-directed learners who can adapt, grow, and succeed in an ever-changing world, fuelled by an innate love for learning.


Why is there a shift away from mid-year examinations?

The move away from mid-year examinations is designed to encourage a more holistic approach to learning. Traditional exams often lead to an overemphasis on scoring and achieving results, which can inhibit the development of lifelong learning habits. Removing these exams allows for a more balanced and diverse set of learning experiences, fostering an intrinsic motivation in students to learn for the joy of learning itself, rather than for exam performance.

Will the removal of mid-year exams contribute to reducing student stress?

While it’s a common assumption that eliminating mid-year exams would directly alleviate student stress, the reality is more nuanced. The primary goal of this move is not stress reduction, as stress can stem from a variety of factors in a student’s life. Instead, the aim is to liberate more time for a range of learning activities and a more relaxed pace of study, which might indirectly contribute to a less stressful learning environment.

What has been the response to the removal of mid-year exams?

The initiative to remove mid-year exams has been largely well-received. Teachers, students, and parents have provided positive feedback, noting the benefits of having more time for diverse learning experiences and opportunities for students to discover their interests and strengths. However, as with any significant change, there may be unique concerns and adjustments to be made, which schools and the Ministry of Education are open to addressing.

What strategies are being used to evaluate student progress without mid-year exams?

Even without mid-year exams, schools continue to conduct regular assessments. These may include assignments, quizzes, and classroom interactions, which offer timely feedback to students. These assessments are essential for tracking students’ learning progress, pinpointing strengths, and identifying areas for improvement. This continuous feedback system enables teachers to adapt their teaching practices to better suit their students’ needs.

How does the Learn for Life movement contribute to the student learning experience?

The Learn for Life movement, initiated by the Ministry of Education, aims to inculcate a passion for lifelong learning in students. By removing the mid-year exams, schools have been able to create a variety of learning experiences to cater to different student needs. The ultimate goal of this movement is to foster confident, self-directed learners who are motivated not just by academic results, but by the joy and curiosity of learning
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