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ChatGPT Fails to Pass the PSLE

According to a recent report by the national broadsheet, the ChatGPT AI machine-learning system fails to pass the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examinations).

ChatGPT, launched by OpenAI in November 2022, has been met with a remarkable response from users, having garnered 100 million users in just a few months. Its success is largely due to the bot's capability to comprehend and generate conversational language that appears comparable to that of humans. The AI has had a noteworthy influence on different industries, said to have made certain occupations, like copywriting, obsolete in some businesses.

The AI language model has demonstrated its capability with outstanding results in tests; like passing the Google coding interview for a Level 3 Engineer, and in various exams; such as the final exam for the Wharton Business School, four law school tests, and even an American medical license evaluation. Unfortunately, it failed to impress when assessed by the Straits Times on the PSLE.

The publication compared ChatGPT's performance to that of students who had taken the PSLE in the three preceding years, using questions from the most recent batch of past year papers available in bookstores.

ChatGPT got a mere 16/100 for the math papers, 21/100 for the science papers, and 11/20 for the English papers.

While it managed to answer more than half of the questions in the maths papers and a quarter of those in the science papers, the bot's performance was limited as it couldn't answer questions involving graphics or charts and thus scored zero for those sections.

Many who have read the report have noted the technology's restrictions highlighted by the test, while others see the bot's lacklustre result as further proof that the PSLE is too rigorous for Singaporean children.

The national exam is viewed as a source of immense pressure by 12-year-olds, since their scores dictate the educational prospect ahead of them under the streaming program. This system breaks down students according to their PSLE results and places them in one of three categories: Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical).

Those who fared well in the PSLE and made it to the Express stream had an easier time securing a place in junior colleges and polytechnics. While for those who did not perform as well, prospects were more limited.

The Government's announcement last year that the streaming system will be phased out by 2024 brought a sigh of relief to many, as it means that the stress associated with the PSLE will soon be no more. For now though, the PSLE remains a major exam that has a longstanding effect on a student’s academic future.


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