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Removal Of JC Mid-Year Exams: How Will It Affect Students?

02 Feb 2024

Over the past couple of years, the Ministry of Singapore has gradually reduced the number of graded examinations students must take in school. Their most recent announcement revealed that mid-year exams will already be removed for students in junior colleges (JCs) from 2024 onwards. This decision is part of their efforts to minimise the schools’ emphasis on grades, thereby unburdening the students from academic pressure and adopting more holistic approaches to learning.

However, although taking steps to lessen stress and academic pressure on students is commendable, some school authorities and parents cannot help but think of the effects that such removal will have. Being academically focused and competitive is a huge aspect of the Singaporean ‘kiasu’ attitude. The demand for courses like IB online tuition and H2 math tuition in Singapore continues to increase steadily.

To answer your questions regarding the latest announcement of the Ministry of Singapore, read on as this article lists the drawbacks and benefits of removing the mid-year exams for JC students.

The drawbacks of removing JC mid-year exams

1. Students have less opportunity to prepare for exams

A little bit of stress is pretty good. By experiencing the stress of assessments and exams, students can learn to prioritise tasks, manage their time, and work effectively under pressure. In the absence of regular exams, these students may no longer have the chance to practise their skills and may instead find it hard to deal with high-stress situations. This can result in students being unable to perform well on the final exam.

2. Lack of standardisation

The elimination of mid-year exams for junior college students raises concerns about a potential lack of standardisation. Without a common assessment tool, grading may become inconsistent across different schools, leading to difficulties in comparing student performance. Standardisation is essential for ensuring fairness and uniformity in evaluations, enabling accurate assessments of students’ progress across diverse educational institutions and regions. The removal of mid-year exams could compromise this standardisation, posing challenges for maintaining a consistent benchmark for academic achievement.

 3. Significant shift of attitude toward learning

With the removal of mid-year exams, there is also a possibility that some students will develop a laxer attitude toward learning since there is no more pressure on exams that can help them stay on track. Additionally, this action may also result in increased procrastination. In the absence of motivation brought by exams, students have a stronger tendency to delay their assignments or follow their study plans, thereby causing a decline in their overall academic performance.

The benefits of removing JC mid-year exams

1. Numerous assessment avenues

Despite the lack of mid-year exams, teachers can still evaluate the understanding and mastery of their students through regular classroom interactions, quizzes, and assignments. These touchpoints can provide students with timely and useful feedback, which they can use to enhance their learning. In addition, these touchpoints can allow teachers to adjust their teaching practices to support their students better.

 2. Nurtures a passion for learning

Another possible outcome of removing mid-year exams is that it can encourage students to concentrate on the joy of learning instead of just focusing on their academic grades. Because removing mid-year exams takes away the stress in students’ learning experiences, they can discover their strengths and interests and work on their weaknesses as identified by their teachers. This can bolster the students’ intrinsic motivation to learn and help them become more self-directed learners.

 3. Changes in university admissions considerations

The shift away from mid-year exam results has significant implications for university admissions. Without this data, universities will now lean more on other factors like class participation, coursework, and national exams to evaluate students’ academic abilities during the admissions process. This change may place additional emphasis on holistic student performance and individual strengths, providing opportunities for applicants as they strive to stand out in the evolving admissions landscape.

Conclusion

Although the removal of mid-year exams can provide students with less opportunity to prepare for exams, make them more complacent in their studies, and lead to a lack of standardisation in school systems, it can also bring in numerous benefits that will make learning more efficient and joyful, such as providing multiple assessment avenues to teachers, cultivating a passion for learning among the students, and allowing schools and parents to build strong relationships.

While some may be concerned about the effects that removing mid-year exams has on students’ academic performance and attitude, it is necessary to strike a balance between promoting the joy of learning and ensuring that these students are sufficiently assessed to determine and address their knowledge gaps. To attain better academic performance and receive additional support and guidance in preparation for final examinations, it is highly recommended for students to attend tuition classes.

For the most comprehensive and reliable tuition classes, IB Super is the education centre every parent and student should partner with! We offer a variety of tuition classes that will help you ace your exams and achieve better performance in school, such as IB Mathematics, IB Chemistry, IB Physics, O Level Additional Mathematics, and online A Level Maths tuition in Singapore. Please do not hesitate to contact to learn more about our classes.

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