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Full Subject Based Banding (SBB)

What is SBB?

Starting from 2024 Secondary 1 Cohort, all students will be under Full Subject Based Banding System.

Full Subject Based Bending (SBB) is the new system introduced by MOE to cater to different strengths and interests of students.

Everyone is unique! With some students being stronger in the Arts, while others in Maths or Science, not to forget Languages and Humanities too!

There will no longer be a distinction between the Express, Normal Academic (NA), Normal Technical (NT) streams, but instead, students will now be mixed determined by their level of proficiency in each subject.

Understanding the G1, G2 and G3 subject levels

SBB exam format and standards

As seen from the chart above, the previous streams now have their corresponding subject levels.

Based on each student’s PSLE score, they will be assigned to a posting group, either G1, G2 or G3.

The Posting Group guides the initial subject levels that the student will take in Secondary 1.

  • If you are in Posting Group 1, your subjects will mostly be at G1.
  • If you are in Posting Group 2, your subjects will mostly be at G2, and so on.

HOWEVER! You are now given greater flexibility to adjust your subject levels according to your strengths. 🥳

The chart above also shows the level of subjects available to each student depending on their corresponding PSLE score

To illustrate, here is a simple example of an adjustment that can be made:

Student PSLE score: 23.

  • If Assigned to Posting Group 2 → majority G2 subjects.
  • Depending on the individual subject score, the student may opt to take G3 (a more demanding level) or G1(less demanding level).

What do the subject systems look like in lower secondary?

In lower secondary, students will be given a chance to explore a range of different subjects before specialising in chosen ones in upper secondary.

→ the introduction of Common Curriculum Subjects

  • in these subjects, students across the G1 to G3 levels will mix in classes, allowing for greater opportunity for students to make friends of different interests and strengths.

List of Common Curriculum Subjects

SBB Examinable and non-examinable Subjects

Apart from these subjects, all students must take their respective subject levels of English, Mother Tongue, Science and Mathematics along with History, Literature and Geography at a basic level.

At the end of Secondary 1, students will be offered a chance to take the Humanities subjects (Geography, History, and Literature in English) at a more or less demanding level.

  • for more information, refer to the MOE website on the eligibility of switching levels

Students are to reflect on the subjects they’ve taken to determine which ones have caught their interests and hope to pursue through the rest of their secondary school journey.

💡 At various points in your secondary school journey, you may have the option to adjust your subject levels.

What do the subject systems look like in upper secondary?

From Secondary 3 onwards, students are to choose an elective (computing, art, POA, Additional Mathematics) to take, along with their level of specialisation of G1 to G3.

If a student does well in a subject in lower secondary, they will be able to take the subject at a higher level in upper secondary.

  • eg. If a student does well in lower sec G1 Math, they can upgrade to G2 or even G3 in Upper Sec. (When deciding, do take note of the post sec requirements needed to enter your desired tertiary institution or course!)

Examination Seating

From 2027, graduating students will sit for Singapore-Cambridge Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) Examinations at their respective subject levels. This fully replaces the previous O Level & N Levels.

NOTE: These examinations are done in a Single Sitting, with all students taking the subject examination together. Different papers will be given to the students depending on whether they take G1, G2 or G3.

→ There is no change in an exam format!

English and Mother Tongue examinations are taken in September, while the other subjects are taken during the period of October to November

Differences in Post Secondary Admissions

SBB - Secondary School & Post Secondary School Pathway

Option for a Fifth year in Secondary School

There is a removal of Sec 5NA as a default requirement. However, after Secondary 4, students have the option to continue one more year.

→ Do note that NA students who have entered Secondary 1 in 2023 have the option to stay back one year (in 2027) to sit for the common national examination to receive the Singapore-Cambridge Secondary Education Certificate (SEC)

SBB - year 5

JC /MI Admission

There is no change to the system, points are simply computed with G3 Subjects.


To enter poly, you need at least 5 G3 subjects.

From 2028, students can offer to use 1 of their “best” subjects to be computed as a G2 or G3 subject for their grade in their ER2B2 (English, 2 Relevant subjects, 2 Best subjects)

  • basically meaning that students can have 4 G3 + 1G2 instead of 5G3, allowing for an easier entry point into their poly courses.
SBB - Grade mapping table G3 to G2

The Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP)

Previously, PFP was only offered to Normal Academic (NA) Secondary 4 students. However, it has expanded to allow a wider group of students to benefit by providing an alternate pathway to a polytechnic education, while still ensuring that they are able to cope with the curriculum, by:

  • Relaxing the grade requirement of two 'Best' subjects in ELMAB3 (English Language, Mathematics, Best 3 subjects), to minimum Grade 4.
  • The ELMAB3 aggregate, computed with G2 subjects, will be retained at a gross aggregate score of 12 points or better.
    • The G2 subject requirements for English Language and ‘Relevant’ subjects will be retained.

From 2026, PFP will be restructured to a CLUSTER system containing,

(i) Science
(ii) Design, Engineering, Technology
(iii) Humanities, Art, Media, Business

students are grouped into their clusters before entering a specific diploma.

PFP Cluster System from 2026

From 2028, PFP will be allowed for Students taking G3 subjects / mix of G2 and G3 subjects to access PFP by mapping their G3 to the G2 equivalent.

This allows students who may not have performed well in their G3 subjects to still be able to enter a course they desire from relaxing the grade point

Institute of Technical Education (ITE)

ITE is transitioning all its Nitec courses to the enhanced three-year curricular structure leading directly to a Higher Nitec certification.

Starting from the Academic Year 2028, the admission requirements for direct entry into Year 2 for all Higher Nitec courses will be set at the G2 subject level.

  • This means that students taking a combination of G3 and G2 subjects can apply for direct entry into Year 2 of Higher Nitec, as long as their gross ELMAB3 aggregate score is 19 points or better.
  • Thus, like the poly entry, those who may not have performed well for a subject at the G3 level may convert it to a G2.9

→ At the end of ITE, as long as the student’s GPA score is 3.5/4 or better, polytechnic admission will be smooth sailing! ⛵

Bonus Section

Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the new Subject Based Banding system implemented by MOE!

We have prepared secondary school math exam papers to help you with this change. Should you need secondary math tuition, we are here for you. 

All the best in your studies!

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