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SEAB extends GCE-Level coursework deadlines, reschedules selected exams amid circuit breaker

SEAB extends GCE-Level coursework deadlines, reschedules selected exams amid circuit breaker

File photo of a student taking a GCE A-Level Chemistry paper. (Photo: Ruyi Wong)

SINGAPORE: To ensure that students are fairly assessed during the "circuit breaker" period of full home-based learning, adjustments will be made to GCE-Level coursework submissions and examination dates for A-Level H3 subjects, said the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) on Friday (Apr 17). 

The board said it recognises that the full home-based learning period, which took effect on Apr 8 and will last until May 4, will have certain implications on students taking GCE-Level coursework and GCE A-Level H3 subjects taught by autonomous universities. 

There are 34 GCE N(T)-Level, N(A)-Level, O-Level and A-Level subjects that have a coursework component as part of the national examination framework.

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"Most of the coursework cannot be done at home due to the need for face-to-face teacher supervision or the use of school facilities and equipment - for instance, the use of studios for music, food laboratories for food and nutrition, studios for design and technology, as well as sports equipment and facilities for exercise and sports science," said SEAB. 

Hence, SEAB said it would apply three methods to ensure assessment remains fair and accurate, including extending the national submission deadline by two weeks where possible. "The extension will give students more time to complete the coursework and help reduce the anxiety of students and teachers," said SEAB. 

A total of 12 GCE-Level subjects will have their coursework submission deadlines extended by two weeks. 

For 10 GCE-Level subjects, the coursework submission deadlines cannot be extended as they are very close to school preliminary examinations or year-end national examinations. 

The deadlines for the remaining 12 GCE A-Level subjects, for which the coursework components can be carried out independently through research and independent study, will remain. 

"In the event that full HBL is extended and that coursework national submission deadlines cannot be further extended without overlapping with school preliminary examinations, students should submit the coursework that they have so far completed," said SEAB, adding that it has established processes to ensure these students are fairly assessed. 

The board said it would also consider adjusting task requirements, for example by cutting the number of assessment tasks. It would also accept evidence of learning from the schools and apply "special consideration" in grading candidates in these coursework subjects. 

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The national examinations for GCE A-Level H3 subjects that are taught by the local autonomous universities will be rescheduled to take place only after the end of the full home-based learning period, and decentralised at the students’ respective junior colleges and Millennia Institute.

The schools will implement the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all students and examination personnel, said SEAB.

The board said it will continue to work closely with schools to provide guidance to students on examination matters. It also reiterated that all national examinations, including the mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language examinations in June, will proceed as scheduled as these are "essential milestones for students in their educational journey". 

"If any changes are required, given the fluidity of the current COVID-19 situation, we will certainly provide timely updates," it said.

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Source: CNA/ic(hs)


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