2021 Cut-Off Points for Secondary Schools
Towards the end of 2020, MOE released an indicative cut-off point range for secondary schools under the new Achievement Levels (AL) scoring system which will take effect on 2021 for P6 students.
The purpose of providing this range is to provide a broad sense of cut-off points for the different categories of secondary schools and contextualise the overall examination results for Primary 5 students in 2020, who are the first batch to receive their grades in AL format this year.
These indicative cut-off range will guide the current batch of P5 students (2020) in making wiser decisions when shortlisting secondary schools which are possibly within their reach in 2021.
The indicative AL cut-off points for individual secondary schools will also be released in the first semester of next year, based on the results and school choices of 2020 PSLE cohort. Basically, secondary schools in Singapore can be classified into 3 categories: government and government-aided, autonomous and independent.
Refer to the tables below for the different COP ranges for the 3 categories of secondary schools and also the eligibility criteria for subject-based banding.
|Indicative AL COP range for 2019 PSLE|
|Course||Government and Government-aided schools||Autonomous schools||Independent schools|
|Express [Integrated Programme (IP)]||7–9||7–9||6–8|
|Subject-based banding (Secondary) eligibility criteria|
|PSLE subject grade||Option to take the subject at|
|AL 5 or better in a Standard level subject||Express level|
|AL 6 or better in a Standard level subject or AL A in a Foundation level subject||N(A) level|
Let’s take a look at some differences between autonomous and independent schools in Singapore.
These schools follow the national syllabus, but offer a wider range of programmes to enhance the learning experience and develop the talents of their students.
Autonomous school fees are collected which range from $3 to $18 per month, on top of second-tier miscellaneous fees.
Note that some of these autonomous schools are also Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools which focus on nurturing bilingual and bicultural students. For example, Chung Cheng High School (Main), Dunman High School, etc.
The list below shows the 28 autonomous schools in Singapore.
- Anderson Secondary School
- Anglican High School
- Bukit Panjang Government High School
- Catholic High School
- Cedar Girls' Secondary School
- CHIJ Katong Convent
- CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School
- CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh)
- Chung Cheng High School (Main)
- Commonwealth Secondary School
- Crescent Girls' School
- Dunman High School
- Dunman Secondary School
- Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary)
- Maris Stella High School
- Nan Hua High School
- Ngee Ann Secondary School
- Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Secondary)
- River Valley High School
- St. Anthony's Canossian Secondary School
- St Margaret's Secondary School
- Tanjong Katong Girls' School
- Tanjong Katong Secondary School
- Temasek Secondary School
- Victoria School
- Xinmin Secondary School
- Yishun Town Secondary School
- Zhonghua Secondary School
These schools have autonomy over their curriculum, programmes and school fees and do not need to get approval from MOE.
The school fees collected are higher than those in autonomous schools. You can find out more details in their schools’ websites.
While most independent schools offer GCE O-Level or A-Level examinations, there are a few independent schools which also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. The list below shows some independent schools in Singapore.
- Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
- Hwa Chong Institution
- Methodist Girls’ School, Singapore
- Nanyang Girls’ High School
- Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)
- Raffles Institution
- St. Joseph’s Institution, Singapore
- Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
- The Chinese High School (Singapore)
- NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
- School of Science and Technology
- Singapore Sports School
- School of the Arts
Note that the last four schools listed above are specialised independent schools (SIS) which offer specialised education to students who have talent and strong interests in Mathematics and Science, the Arts, Sports and applied learning.
Do not choose schools for your child just because they are more popular or have “higher status” than the neighbourhood schools. Always discuss with your child first. Ultimately, you have to consider if the school selected is a good fit for your child. Think about the ethos, culture, programmes offered, commuting distance and academics aspects too.
About the Author
Teacher Zen has over a decade of experience in teaching upper primary Math and Science in local schools. He has a post-graduate diploma in education from NIE and has a wealth of experience in marking PSLE Science and Math papers. When not teaching or working on OwlSmart, he enjoys watching soccer and supports Liverpool football team.