Published Books




Examinations in Singapore - Change and Continuity (1891-2007)


The first book to explore the development of Singapore's much-talked-about education and examination system, this volume juxtaposes examinations with its immediate context of education and wider context of politics, economy and society.

The study covers three broad historical periods: Examinations in Singapore from 1891 to 1945; The Post-War Years from 1946 to the 1970s; and Charting Our Destiny from the 1980s to 2007. In the British period up to 1941, the local examinations were conducted by the vernacular schools, and external examinations by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. There was a lack of systematic effort to establish a uniform system of education and examinations.

During the Japanese Occupation, examinations were conducted by the Japanese authorities and, unexpectedly, the Cambridge examinations continued in the Sime Road Camp.

In the post-war period and particularly after Singapore was granted self-government, the establishment of a national education system was followed by the emergence of national examinations: the Primary School Leaving Examinations and the Singapore-Cambridge GCE N/O/A Levels for every school-going child in Singapore.

Thereafter, the nature of national examinations evolved with the changing needs of education and the nation. At the turn of the century, with the Ministry of Education's decision to take greater control of examinations, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board was established, to oversee new developments in examinations. (Description from

You can purchase the book from World Scientific
Assessment in Singapore: Perspectives for Classroom Practice

assessment in singapore

This is a collection of essays on topics in educational assessment written by our staff. The essays are organised broadly around 3 central themes:

  • Assessment concerns in Singapore schools
  • Best practices in assessment
  • Development of assessment in Singapore

The 26 essays on educational assessment are:

  1. What do we do when we assess achievement?
  2. What are the main ideas of “Assessment for Learning”?
  3. What can the Taxonomy of Learning Gaps tell us about learning and assessment?
  4. How can teachers implement “Assessment as Learning” in the classroom?
  5. What validity is and isn’t
  6. How to vet test papers
  7. How can coursework be meaningful and manageable in schools?
  8. How to set open-ended questions
  9. How to reduce subjectivity in marking open-ended responses
  10. What are the issues teachers should address to enhance students’ skill of constructing explanations for upper secondary Social Studies?
  11. What is a good essay?
  12. Where do the ideas for primary Science questions come from?
  13. How to use the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) to develop primary Science questions
  14. How to review primary Science questions
  15. What are some key ideas for school-based assessment of science practical skills?
  16. What tools can I use to design comprehension questions of varying cognitive demands?
  17. Why passage-based questions for Literature are assessed holistically
  18. How effective are source-based questions in testing higher-order thinking?
  19. How to ensure that the items or tasks developed to assess oral skills do indeed assess the intended skills
  20. What should be considered in developing mark schemes?
  21. Synoptic Assessment – Why and How
  22. How can we maintain comparable demands of Humanities examination papers over the years?
  23. How to judge demands in test items
  24. How can teachers make better use of information from an item analysis?
  25. How to make the reporting of test results more meaningful?
  26. How to better align classroom assessments to the changes to the English Language Functional Writing tasks at the primary level

An e-book will be made available for sale in the second half of 2020. Please look out for more information on our website during this period.

Assessment in Singapore Volume 2: Strategies and Methods for Classroom Practice


We launched this book to commemorate SEAB’s 12th anniversary on 1 April 2016. It contains 20 essays penned by our staff to share their thoughts and learnings on educational assessment.

These essays are:

  1. Assessment of problem-solving in Mathematics
  2. Developing good listening comprehension tests
  3. Subjectivity in assessing writing
  4. Choice in Literature examinations: boon or bane?
  5. Reflecting on assessment of the Humanities for better classroom practices
  6. What e-examinations can or cannot do
  7. Considerations in the design of Science e-assessment items
  8. Ethics in classroom assessment
  9. Teacher guidance in the conduct of coursework
  10. Classroom assessment – Set it right!
  11. How to develop scoring rubrics for assessment
  12. Selecting appropriate formats for your assessment
  13. What do we mean by standards?
  14. Planned Questioning framework – Evidence of learning in the classroom
  15. Assessment and Science of Learning
  16. Using the Writing Portfolio to assess broader educational outcomes
  17. Loop of active practice – Adapted from Bloom’s and SOLO Taxonomies
  18. Aligning assessment practices with curricular changes in the context of globalisation
  19. Using two-tier multiple-choice instruments to promote deeper understanding in the sciences
  20. The 4i strategy for developing item writing skills

You can purchase the book from Toppan Leefung.

Assessment in Singapore Volume 3: Concepts and Tools for Classroom Assessment


In this book, our assessment specialists contributed essays on assessment topics that they presented in workshops, seminars and courses. In these essays, they share their thoughts and learnings on assessment matters so that their views of good assessment practices can reach a wider audience.

The essays in this book fall under two broad themes:

  • Concepts of assessment
  • Tools for assessment

These essays are:

  1. The roles of assessment in the education system
  2. The context of assessment - Purpose of education and nature of curriculum
  3. Alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment
  4. Standards-referenced assessment
  5. Principles of assessment: validity, reliability and fairness
  6. How to construct maps help in the construction and evaluation of tests
  7. Reducing construct-irrelevant variance in assessing language achievement
  8. What to value in students' writing at the primary levels
  9. Assessing humanities achievements
  10. Basic statistics for assessment
  11. Converting marks to grades
  12. Considerations for marking of written scripts and assessing performance
  13. Use of constructed-response items for assessment in primary science
  14. What really is assessment for learning?
You can purchase the book from Toppan Leefung.