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What is the PSLE T-Score?

After all the stress-filled months of mugging and diligence, the day finally arrives. At last, your child is ready to sit for his PSLE exams. He is confident of doing well, of getting into the school and stream of his choice. And so are you. However, his hard work alone is not the only factor which decides whether he will get into the secondary school he wants. There is also something else which will make all the difference... his PSLE T-score.


What the PSLE T-score means

The overall T-score is the sum of 4 T-scores (Transformed-scores). Let's look at one T-score first, and see how it is calculated. Each subject's T-score is actually a recalculated score. This recalculated score (for each subject) is based on comparing the student's grade against the highest and lowest scores among all the students who sat for the same subject.

For example, if many students do very well for Maths (say, 95 and above), your child's high score (e.g. 91) will be transformed into a value lower (say, A or B) than his original raw score. But if your child is among the group of students who do well (say, A) while most of the others score lower (say, B or C), his score is transformed into a higher value (i.e. A*) than his orig inal raw score. Now, let's recap: Your child's T-score as a whole is the total of his 4 individual subjects' T-scores.

As a rough guide, the following table may help you to estimate your child's PSLE score based on the type of grades he or she has been getting during the exams:

Stream

EL

MT

Maths

Sc

Agg

Express

A

A

A*

A*

263

Express

A

A*

A*

A

242

Express

A

A

A

A

249

Express

A

A

A

A

228

Express

A

B

A

B

225

Express

A

B

A

A

212

Exp/Norm Acad

B

A

C

C

195

Normal Acad

B

B

C

C

160

Normal Tech

1

B

3

-

104

Normal Tech

2

1

3

-

101

Normal Acad / NT

1

1

2

-

111


So, why is the T-score important?

Your child's PSLE T-score goes a long way in determining the stream (Normal, Express, Special or Integrated Programme) he or she enters. It also determines whether he gets into the secondary school of his choice. For example, if Ali's T-score is 267 and Cindy's is 266. Then Ali, with a higher T-score, will be given priority in his choices of secondary schools.

Comments (2)Add Comment
Jennifer Tan
...
written by Jennifer Tan, March 05, 2010
But if my son got A* for Math of abt 94, B for Eng of abt 69, A for Sci of abt 85, A for Chi of 85, what will be his aggregate score? and how do you derive the score
Sarin
...
written by Sarin, March 08, 2010
Hi Jennifer,
The calculation of T-score takes into consideration your child’s raw score, the average score within his cohort and the standard deviation, i.e. the spread of marks around the average. The formula that is applied is as follows:
T-score = 50 + 10 [(A – B) / C ], where A is your child’s raw score, B is the average score and C is the standard deviation.
The value of the standard deviation depends on how big a gap there is between the highest and lowest scores of the students in the cohort. For example, if a group of four students score 50, 55, 60 and 65 respectively, the standard deviation for the scores in this group would be smaller than the standard deviation for a group in which the students score, 40, 50, 80 and 95.
You can also understand standard deviation (SD) through this example: if the average score of 900 pupils who sat for an English paper is 60 marks and the SD is 6, it means that two-thirds, or 600 of the 900 pupils have score 6 marks around the average score of 60, i.e. they score in the range of 54 to 66.
Let’s try out the logic of the formula and apply it to your son’s Maths scores. If most students do even better and score 97 and higher, his T-score for Maths might be less than 94. However, if most students don’t do so well and score around 70plus or 80plus, your son’s T-score for Maths might be higher than 94. So, simply put, if the majority of students score better than your child for a particular subject, his T-score for that subject is likely to be lower than his raw score, and vice versa.
You may wish to apply the above formula to estimate your child’s T-score for each subject, which when added up together, will form the PSLE score. However, for a more realistic estimate, you will need to have a sense of the average score for the cohort for each subject, and the standard deviation of the score.
We hope this explanation helps.

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