Exam culture

How strong is exam culture in Singapore? Our first semester grades were available online (or by SMS!) a few days ago. I found out because another student clued me in to look; a day or two after we got this alert by email:

The online exam results for Semester 1, 2007/2008 have just been released. Pls check the NUS Student Intranet for more updates ...
As far as I know, these are the actual class grades, not just the final exam. The final exam made up between 30 and 50% of my grade for various classes. But in Negotiation and Conflict Management, the instructor successfully petitioned NUS (not the Lee Kuan Yew school, but the NUS mothership) to skip the exam, and there is a result for that class, so I'm pretty sure these are class grades, not exam results. But, presumably influenced by the historical practice of having exams be 100% of class grades, they are labeled on the web page as "NUS Graduate Examination Results". I'm happy to say I passed, with results good enough to maintain my scholarship. I didn't have any particular reason to worry, but apparently no matter how old you get, the wait for results can still get under your skin.