As a Singaporean mom, my eldest daughter passed the Primary School (PSLE) exam and got her results.
I still remember well the experiences for the day of results in 2019. It was up to Covid, but that year was tough as my daughter was hospitalized several times due to infections. Having been in poor health for almost six months, she had difficulty studying.
Two years later, how does she remember that experience? Is there a takeaway for students who will get results soon? Also, are there any tips for moms to make better parenting decisions when her next serious exam comes? I sat down to talk to J.
Mom: What did you learn in the PSLE course?
J: Since I missed many months of lessons that year, I barely passed the mid-year exams and got the lowest grades in the class. I remember panicking, but fortunately the teachers helped me a lot. Slowly I caught up with my school work. From that case I learned that you can always elevate yourself, even if you are the slowest or last. Another important thing I learned: health is more important than grades. Anyway, if you’re sick, you can’t give away everything you can.
Mom: From your point of view, what would help this year’s graduates feel calmer?
J: I believe that students do not need to do anything at this time, because they have already done everything they could and passed the exams. Right now, their parents’ task is to make them feel that they still love them, regardless of their PSLE results.
mom: What really influenced you on the day of the results?
I think developing a plan for the day of the results helped a lot, so whatever results I got, I knew there were good options I could be happy with. Also, I think the lack of thinking of excessive achievements helped me (laughs).
mom: What did you consider when reviewing the school selection booklet before getting the PSLE results?
J: I looked at the boundaries of each school, how accessible the school was from home and the subjects offered. The distance mattered to me because I didn’t want to spend so much time traveling to and from school. Oh, I also checked to see if the schools offer interesting CCAs that will interest me for the next four years.
Mom: Why didn’t you apply Direct admission to school (DSA)?
J: Some of my classmates applied for favorite schools through the DSA. While it would be cool to have talent, I knew myself well; I had no athletic or musical inclinations, so it didn’t make sense to go the DSA route. Also, I thought trying the DSA would be pretty stressful, so I might just spend time getting ready for PSLE.
Mom: What did you do the day before the PSLE results day?
J: We were on vacation! In addition to the occasional panic attacks, I tried not to think about what might happen on the day of the results, because I knew I still could not rewrite my documents.
Mom: How did you feel on the day of the announcement of the results… and when did you see that your result was missing?
J: I was very nervous, excited, and a little afraid that I would somehow fail one or two subjects because I missed so many classes that year. But when I saw that my results were better than expected, I was very happy.
Some of my friends were not so happy, although their results were better than mine. I guess everyone has different standards or views on what success means. For me and for us (parents) it was not in the number on my form about the results of the exam, but in the fact that the effort I made paid off. You told me that. It helped.
My advice to students who will get results soon: what is done is done. Go have fun – before your parents decide you may need extra training next year (just kidding!).
Mom: Name one quality that helped you get into high school.
J: Uh, self-love counts? Faithfulness to myself and love for who I am have helped me make a living in high school. Over the last two years, I have made friends who accept me for who I am. Peer pressure, such as not doing homework or not watching during the exam because all your friends go outside, is quite common among people my age. If you are not true to yourself, you will find it difficult to be happy, even if you are surrounded by many so-called “friends” at school.
In high school, the workload is much greater than I used to in elementary school, because you need more subjects. Having the discipline to do what is right – that is, take my studies seriously if necessary – has allowed me to stay true to my goals.
Mom says: a new stage in high school
Learning that J had better-than-expected results, we visited a few open days at different schools before sitting down to discuss the pros and cons of each school.
My husband and I offered our views, but eventually left the decision to our daughter. Her first high school choice met most of her initial criteria – the cut-off point closely matched her PSLE results, and the school offered combinations of subjects that interested her.
As long as the school was a little further from our neighborhood, it could take a direct bus, which greatly reduced travel time. He also suggested several CCAs that looked interesting to her.
Looking back on all this experience – two years of high school – I realize that the PSLE year was just one milestone in her young life. This year is now preserved and preserved in my memory of the experiences of parenthood.
J is now in a new phase of maturation and learning to negotiate the new obstacles, joys and heartaches that come with it. However, I am grateful that she remained as balanced as ever.
This mini-interview with my daughter – the first in my 16-year writing career – was interesting and also strengthened my views on parenting.
As parents, we naturally want the best for our child’s education. But it’s also important to remind yourself that it’s really more about your child’s aspirations and dreams than about your own perception of success.
Remember, too, that there are many paths to a fulfilling life. More importantly, let your kids know that you are and will always be on the same side with them.
Therefore, regardless of the marks printed on the PSLE results form, we must never forget to make our children feel loved, accepted and valued.