Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board

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Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board
Seab logo.jpg
Logo of Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board
Agency overview
Formed 1 April 2004[1]
Jurisdiction Government of Singapore
Headquarters 1 North Buona Vista Drive, Singapore 138675
Agency executive
  • Tan Lay Choo, Chief Executive
Parent agency Ministry of Education

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (Abbreviation: SEAB; Chinese: 新加坡考试与评鉴局; Malay: Lembaga Peperiksaan Singapura) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore.

SEAB was formed to develop and conduct national examinations in Singapore and to provide other examination and assessment services. The board also publishes examination results for the major exams such as the Primary School Leaving Examination, GCE 'O' Level and GCE 'A' Level.

Primary school examinations[edit]

Prior to PSLE Primary 1 to 5[edit]

From Primary 1 to Primary 5, exams are conducted at the end of each term. The academic year is divided into two semesters. From January to May is the first Semester and at the end of the semester SA1 (Semestral Assessment 1) is conducted. The second Semester is from July to November and at the end of the semester SA2 (Semestral Assessment 2) is conducted. In the middle of each semester, a term test is conducted which is named CA1 (Continual Assessment 1) and CA2 (Continual Assessment 2). Most of the schools give different weightage to each of these tests and final results are calculated after calculating performance in all these tests.

PSLE - Primary 6[edit]

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a national examination, which a pupil sits at the end of primary education to assess pupils' suitability for secondary education and also to place them in appropriate secondary school courses, which match their learning pace, ability and inclination. Based on their results, candidates are streamed into three different courses: Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical).


The iPSLE examination is offered to Singaporeans studying abroad and whose school has adopted a curriculum similar to that offered in Singapore. Like the PSLE, students take the exam after six years of primary education. The examination format is similar to that of the PSLE. The iPSLE is also used by some schools abroad as a benchmarking tool to assess their standard of education compared with Singapore.

Secondary school examinations[edit]

GCE 'N' Level[edit]

The GCE 'N' Level examinations, otherwise known as the 'N' Levels, are conducted annually in Singapore. It is taken after four years in the normal academic or normal technical stream (secondary education). For subjects examined in English, foreign languages and Non-Tamil Indian Languages, the examining authority are the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. For subjects such as mother tongue languages, most commonly Chinese, the examining authority is the Ministry of Education, Singapore.

GCE N(T) Level[edit]

The GCE N(T)Level-Normal Technical Level, are taken by Normal Technical students after four years of secondary school education. This will eventually lead them to the ITE or Institute of Technical Education. Alternatively, if they performed well enough in Secondary One, they may be laterally transferred to the Secondary 2 N(A)-Normal Academic stream. Students may also opt to read a maximum of 2 subjects at the N(A) level. The curriculum is geared towards strengthening students’ proficiency in English and Mathematics. Students take English Language, Mathematics, Basic Mother Tongue and Computer Applications as compulsory subjects. The aggregate used for the GCE N(T) Level is L1B2(English and best 2 subjects). The grades are as following:

NT levels grades:

A: 75% and above

B: 70% to 74%

C: 60% to 69%

D: 50% to 59%

U: Below 50%, considered Un-graded, or failed

The N(T)-level can be considered a rough analogue of the Certificate of Secondary Education, examined in the UK in the era of the Tripartite System. Schools are not split into technical, secondary modern, or grammar, as they were in Britain, but rather follow the comprehensive system used in Britain today. However, there exists 1 'technical school', or specialised N(T) school.

GCE N(A) Level[edit]

The GCE N(A)Level-Normal Academic Level, is taken by Normal Academic students after four years of secondary school education.This may lead to a possibility of moving on to the Secondary 5N(A)stream to take their 'O'-Levels.Alternatively, they may take the O-Levels without taking the N(A)-Level.In the Normal (Academic) course, students offer 6-8 subjects in the GCE ‘N’ Level examination. They have, as compulsory subjects, English Language, Mother Tongue and Mathematics. For upper secondary, Combined Humanities and a Science subject are also compulsory.The aggreagate used for this stream is ELMAB3(English, Mathematics and Best 3 subjects)for admission to Secondary 5 N(A) and L1B2(English and Best 2 subjects for admission to the Institute of Technical Education.The N(A) grades are as following:

NA levels grade

1: 75% and above

2: 70% to 74%

3: 65% to 69%

4: 60% to 64%

5: 50% to 59%

U: Below 50%, considered Un-graded, or failed

N(A) students may be offered to take the more challenging 'O'-level subjects(maximum 2) if they did well enough for that subject after Secondary Two.The grades will be converted to the N(A)-Level grades by the following:

A1-B3(O)- 1(NA)

B4-C6(O)- 2(NA)

D7-E8(O)- 3(NA)

F9(O)- 4(NA)

Courses for N(A) students after N(A) Levels

PFP- Raw Score of 11 or below, and maximum 2 or 3 points per subject, depending on the course.

Secondary 5- Score of 19 or below

DPP- Score of 19 or below

ITE- Any Score

Polytechnic Foundation Programme(PFP)

Polytechnic Foundation Programme(PFP)is a programme that is for Secondary 4N(A) students.It was implemented in 2012 by the Ministry of Education(MOE).It is to provide more pathways to the tertiary education for the Secondary 4 N(A) students instead of going Secondary 5N to take the O-Level.To be eligible, a student must get at least a Grade 3 for the ELMAB3 subjects, getting no more than 11 points(excluding CCA points) and expected to be the top 10% cohort in the whole cohort of Singapore.This programme will only commence estimatedly during the month of April.Students are expected to pass all modules to advance to Year-One of polytechnic to take their diploma.

GCE 'O' Level[edit]

The GCE 'O' Level examinations, or more commonly known as 'O' Levels, are conducted annually in Singapore. Like the 'N' Levels, it is done after four years of express or five years of normal academic secondary education and is under the same examining authority. However, the 'B' syllabus for mother tongue subjects will not be counted towards the total aggregate score.

Examinations for tertiary education[edit]

Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A' Level[edit]

The Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level examination, like the other examinations, is conducted annually. It is taken before the completion of 2 years of Junior College or 3 years at Millenia Institute (tertiary education) at the post-secondary level. Like the GCE 'O' Levels, the 'B' syllabus subjects are not counted towards the total aggregate score.

The GCE 'A' Level examinations require students to read a compulsory H1 General Paper subject or alternative-H2 Knowledge and Inquiry (KI) alongside with 3 Higher-2 and 1 Higher-1 subjects (minimum of 10 Academic Units (A.U)). One out of the 4 content-based subject must be of a cross-disciplinary nature.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the common subjects offered at GCE 'A' Level Examinations:

Arts-based: Economics, Geography, History, English Literature, Theatre Studies and Drama*, Music* (only offered at H2 level and at selected institutions)

Science-based: Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Geoengineering


  1. ^ "Formation of Singapore Examinations & Assessment Board". MOE. 31 March 2004. 

External links[edit]