13 March 2018
The Straits Times
SINGAPORE-CAMBRIDGE GCE-LEVEL EXAMINATIONS ARE BASED ON SINGAPORE CURRICULUM
1. We thank Mr Joel Pang and Ms Karen Koo for their letters (‘Develop local version of O and A Levels’; 27 February 2018 and ‘Let go of colonial past to create world-class local qualifications’; 6 March 2018). Both writers suggested that Singapore could develop our own local version of the GCE O-Level and A-Level examinations.
2. Singapore’s GCE O-Level and A-Level examinations have been delinked from the UK examinations since 2002 and 2006 respectively, when the Ministry of Education (MOE) took greater control of these national examinations. Our examinations are based on the Singapore curriculum and syllabus designed by MOE, which emphasises strong fundamentals and 21st century competencies. They are different from the UK examinations.
3. While the Singapore Examinations and Assessments Board (SEAB) engages Cambridge Assessment to set and mark the GCE examination papers, the curriculum standards, learning objectives and assessment standards of the GCE subjects are determined by MOE and SEAB. The award of the grades for the GCE subjects are also determined by MOE and SEAB, in consultation with Cambridge Assessment. For GCE Mother Tongue language subjects, these are entirely set, marked and graded locally by MOE and SEAB.
4. As part of SEAB’s ongoing efforts to enhance our marking processes, we are also currently exploring electronic marking to help reduce the risks of transporting hardcopy exam scripts. That said, any further changes to the conduct of the national examination and its processes must be carefully planned, taking into consideration the timeline and resources available.
5. MOE, SEAB and Cambridge Assessment will continue to work together to ensure that our Singapore-Cambridge GCE qualifications continue to be well-recognised by institutions of higher learning both in Singapore and overseas.
Tan Lay Choo (Ms)
Chief Executive, Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board