The Truth behind those high T-scores

Academic support for Primary 6 and PSLE

The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby SpartanMum » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:41 am

This is something that I've been pondering for a long time. So I decided to write down my thoughts on this subject. Just my humble opinion. Definitely many parents may think otherwise.

Parents
IMHO Parents are the number one factor contributing towards a child's high T-scores. Why?
Parents have the opportunity from day one to mould their children's lives.
Many highly educated parents tend to place a huge emphasis on education....some professions more than others. One of the interesting things I have observed is among this group is that many (not all) seem to place a huge emphasis on 'brand name' primary schools. They have the means to move house and do volunteer work and basically do what it takes to get their child in. Among those from this group who place their kids in neighbourhood schools, a number are Malaysians and non-Singaporeans.
In primary school, parents who have the means are able to provide adequate supervision for the children. These children often do not have to spend time on household chores....the parents or maid takes care of most chores, freeing up time for mugging and much needed rest. The best tuition available is sourced for and secured for the child. Now this, as many have testified, can make a huge difference to the child's scores in school and ultimately at PSLE. Some of these tuition centres are well-known for producing stellar results. Their materials are top-notch. And where 'gaps' are found, these parents, because they keep such a close eye on their children, are able to fill in...either themselves or by engaging additional help.

So where does this leave children who don't get much parental help as both parents might be working long hours to support the family or just not available to help out? That brings us to the schools:

Schools
Is every school a good school? This is debatable. IMHO every school has the potential to be a good school. But just as a business is as good as those who run it, schools are often as good as those who teach in it. We have all seen it - dramatic changes happening in a school when leadership changes. Even if all schools were equal in terms of facilities, exams and enrichment classes...the biggest factor in the success of a school is the human factor - the teachers and leaders.
A good teacher can make an enormous difference to a class. In my own and my children's experience, this has been absolutely true. So what happens when teachers are not able to deliver? Parents have to step in and fill in the gaps...either themselves or through tuition. Again not every parent is going to be able to do that....which brings me to the next point:

Our children
By and large, excluding those at the extremes of the spectrum of intelligence, most kids are more or less equal. Some are more motivated than others. Some are more mature and responsible. Some are gifted in non-academic areas and veer towards these.
When it comes to PSLE, all things being equal, it's the self-motivated, mature child who has the advantage. Whether this is fair or not at age 12 is really highly questionable. ('GIftedness' is decided at age 9 !!!)

THE GOOD NEWS
PSLE does not determine success in life. It helps to do well and get into a 'good' school. But Singapore (and the world ...for those who can afford it) has enough opportunities for everyone.

Apologies for this long piece. Would be really interested to hear any thoughts. Please note that this is purely based on my observations and opinion. I sincerely hope I have not offended anyone.
Have a beautiful Dec holiday folks!

SpartanMum
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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby PlatypusAsia » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:09 pm

Thank you for the most eloquently written piece of observation.

I just want to add that to achieve that stratospherically high T-score, I give credit to the synergy achieved by both a very resourceful (financial, emotional, time resources) family and a child who is willing to be guided / molded / pushed (depending on your perspective). Very often, one part of the equation is missing. You get parents who are so deeply committed but a very unwilling child or a highlly motivated child with parents who cannot or care not.

To me, everything should have a balance. No child or parent should reach the tipping point in this brutal pursuit.

In life, there are many more enduring moments than PSLE T-score. When was the last time a person of significance to you asked about your PSLE Tscore?

Happy Holidays!

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby rains » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:06 am

PlatypusAsia wrote: When was the last time a person of significance to you asked about your PSLE Tscore?


While we don't ask for psle scores, I find that it's common to ask about the schools one comes from and from there, we are able to tell if the person had done well for their psle eg. 'I was an RGS girl.' must mean the person had an exceptionally high score while 'I am from Changkat Sec Sch.' would mean another (rather fixed) set of scores unless the person is an outlier ie. scored 270 but went to a neighbourhood school.

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby zbear » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:46 am

I agree with rains. I tend to think a student from RI/RGS is smarter n better than one from Siglap Sec Sch or similar.

I think such perception is normal n many people will feel the same on first impression unless you know the student personally.

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby sleepy » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:12 am

High t score referring to how high?

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby Fresco » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:28 am

zbear wrote:I agree with rains. I tend to think a student from RI/RGS is smarter n better than one from Siglap Sec Sch or similar.

I think such perception is normal n many people will feel the same on first impression unless you know the student personally.


First, we need to acknowledge the fact that top grades do not always go to the brightest students.

I think what SpartanMum is trying to say in this thread is, what exactly attributes to the success of smart and not-so-smart students in attaining high psle t-scores. Is that right, SpartanMum?

Precisely it is this perception of most people, if not all, thinking that a student from RI/RGS is 'smarter and better' than someone from Siglap Secondary that spur some parents and kids to make desperate attempts to go against all odds and at all costs to prep for exams; to attain high t-scores to get into these top schools in Singapore, simply because they can perhaps look better and not be stigmatised as underachievers. Hence, the vicious cycle of stress, anxieties, sweat and tears for both parents and child. Sadly the child always ends up bearing the consequences if the desired result is not achieved.

Whatever happens to being the best in your own ability and capacity to perform. That 3-digit figure does not necessarily determine your life path. Period.

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby SpartanMum » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:27 pm

Firstly thank you to all who read the post and also to those who posted comments.
Secondly, yes the article was just my reflection on what contributes to higher t-scores.
Thirdly, I believe Siglap and Changkat Changi Sec have wonderful attributes too...every school does or has the potential. Let's not compare them
negatively with any other school.

Parents , schools and students ... When they work hand in hand the child's potential is maximized . That's what I was trying to say.

High, low, good, better, best.... These are all relative terms . For my kids, when we set targets , I try not to get bogged down by these terms. For my kids, the target we set together was quite simple ... Just get enough to go into the school you want to get into. Anything higher is a bonus. That way they didn't get too stressed out with trying to make it for EESIS , edusave scholarships and what not. Oh and the school we chose was one which was not a stretch target for them. It was a very realistic one based on their performance . I think that helped a lot to reduce all of our stress.

Sorry I digress. Take care all !

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby iRabbit » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:16 pm

To me, PSLE is impt for 2 reasons -

a) A good PSLE score gives one more choices. With more choices, it's easier to find a good match between child and sec sch. That's the next 4-6 years of a child's education journey.

b) It takes grit, intelligence and diligence to get a good PSLE score. Humans are creatures of habits. More often than not, PSLE top scorers carry forward their habits of grit and diligence into sec sch. So while PSLE T-score is only a 3-digit number, the habits that go into achieving that result are what really matter (once one gets into his dream sch).

Let's not forget that even with strong parental support and school system, ultimately it's the diligence and intelligence of the student that will make or break the result. So let us give credit when credit is due.

Edit: I full heartedly agree that that 3-digit number does not have to map out one's future if we don't allow it to.

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby janet88 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:00 am

iRabbit wrote:To me, PSLE is impt for 2 reasons -

a) A good PSLE score gives one more choices. With more choices, it's easier to find a good match between child and sec sch. That's the next 4-6 years of a child's education journey.

b) It takes grit, intelligence and diligence to get a good PSLE score. Humans are creatures of habits. More often than not, PSLE top scorers carry forward their habits of grit and diligence into sec sch. So while PSLE T-score is only a 3-digit number, the habits that go into achieving that result are what really matter (once one gets into his dream sch).

Let's not forget that even with strong parental support and school system, ultimately it's the diligence and intelligence of the student that will make or break the result. So let us give credit when credit is due.

Edit: I full heartedly agree that that 3-digit number does not have to map out one's future if we don't allow it to.

:goodpost:
with psle results out in 3 weeks time, this is the right time to repost this message.

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Re: The Truth behind those high T-scores

Postby CatMoon » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:25 am

The REAL TRUTH is that ..... the PSLE is the NEW O-levels!

It determines what a child will be doing for the next 6 years.

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