22 June 2019
The Ministry of Education has clarified that in Singapore, bell curve grading is not used in any of the national examinations such as the GCE N, O, and A Level examinations.
According to the MOE, school-based assessments and national examinations are standards-referenced, where the grades awarded reflect a candidate’s own level of mastery in the subject based on an absolute set of standards. In particular, a student’s grades are not dependent on how well he performs in comparison with his peers.
Of the six autonomous universities, only the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University moderate results using a bell curve for certain modules. The other public universities do not do so for any of their modules.
The MOE spokesman said that while students’ examination scores are not “force fitted” into a bell curve, there is a tendency, among a large group of students, to have “natural variation in the level of mastery”.