Econs For Private Candidates: What Can I Expect?

Econs for Private CandidatesDear Private Candidates,

You have received your A level results and have realised that your results were unfortunately too good to allow you to re-enrol into your JC, but not good enough to admit into your preferred university course. 

To the girls: you have evaluated your options and decided to give yourself another shot to redo A levels as a private candidate. 

To the guys: you might have considered retaking the A Levels in the course of your two-year stint in NS.

So, after making this tough decision, what might you expect from your second chance? Is Econs for private candidates any different from what you used to study in JC?

Change in Syllabus

For both the H1 and H2 syllabi, the content and scheme of assessment has changed. 

The new H2 syllabus (9757) has included Asymmetric Information, namely adverse selection and moral hazard, as another form of market failure. Candidates caught in this transition may find themselves stuck and very confused! 

As for the new H1 syllabus (8823), there is no longer an essay component. It has instead been replaced with 2 full CSQs. Therefore, CSQs for H1 students are now marked out of 45 marks and not 30.

Studying Momentum

Studying momentum is vital in giving one the mental stamina to power through long hours of studying and revision! Private candidates should ensure that they have the mental capacity and strength while studying to extract the most out of the session. Otherwise, you might as well just not study (harsh reality but true :/).


  • You might have forgotten a significant portion of the Econs syllabus. With the long break after As till results collection at the end of February, Econs might have been pushed to the back of your mind.
  • Additionally, after struggling to decide if it is worth it to retake, more time might have passed. This means that there is much less time to catch up with the syllabus!
  • Studying-wise, doing so alone and after a long break disrupts the momentum and causes students to lose motivation.
  • As such, it is important to form study groups (be it with other candidates or juniors) to stay relevant with course syllabus as well as staying motivated to study!


  • Your difficulties compound further especially if you have to serve the nation. While most female private candidates redo their A levels the following year and can commit a full 6 months to study full time at home, your busy NS schedule takes up a lot of your time and energy. 
  • By the time you redo your A-levels, the syllabus may have changed even further. 
  • The military environment will make things worse with distractions and the unconducive environment. By the time you’ve booked out from camp, you will either want to spend time with your loved ones or are exhausted from training.
  • The momentum to study is simply not on your side and you need to be extremely self-disciplined in your revision!

Subject Combination

Private Candidates who are attempting H2 or H1 Econs with no prior background have to take note. Please do not mess with your existing subject combination and try out a new one! Never underestimate the difficulties of A Level Economics. You are pit against existing JC students with 2 full years of background and a strong support system. Comparatively, you might have less resources and support.

It is rumoured that the A levels are graded against a bell curve. Statistically, you are at a disadvantage compared to the rest of your juniors. Sticking to your existing subject combination is your best bet!

To sum up, the odds are stacked against private candidates. That being said, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost! Econs for private candidates is not as scary as we put it out to be. In fact, my private candidates in 2019 exceeded all my expectations, and I was proud to have made a change in their lives. 

A Call for Help…

If you are considering redoing your A levels to achieve better results, we are your safest bet. We have helped numerous private candidates and are clear of their struggles. Do consider seeking help from us and we will support you through our private candidate programme! We look forward to your application into the AYE family to make a change in your life!