So you want to retake A Levels? Find out our advice for you!


“CDE/ BB” – Is this your latest A level grades? Are you disappointed with your grades despite putting in so much effort to study?


In one of the latest CNA article, it was stated that 4,400 students do not make it to local university. Reason being local universities have limited openings for popular courses, plus the hidden fact that they are also profit driven and have to enrol foreign students who can pay more for their courses.


This leaves you with the following main options:

  1. Enrol into a foreign university program in Singapore / Overseas.
  2. Enrol into a Diploma program with your O level results;
  3. Retake A levels as a Private Candidate


We will go on to explore the three options with you!


1. Enrol into a foreign university program in Singapore / Overseas  –


Singapore has many oversea education provider like UOL, SIM, Kaplan providing popular courses like accountancy and business. However, the challenge lies in the perception of these foreign universities as being inferior to the local universities. For your first job, given that you have no track records, your future employers will judge you base on the university you graduate from.  Think as an employer – would you want to hire someone at the same pay from NUS or from XXX university?


Furthermore, the government sector of Singapore only recognises local degrees (and maybe SIM only). So if you want to pursue & secure a public sector job, enrolling into a foreign university is not a good option.


Lastly, foreign universities (both in Singapore and Overseas) are much costlier as compared to local universities courses which are subsidised by the government. So unless your family can finance your oversea education, this may not be a viable choice for everyone.


2. Enrol into a Diploma program with your A/O level results –


This option involves a higher risk as compared to the first one. First, you are going to specialise in a very niche diploma program which you may not necessary like or adapt very well (its just like JC – you won’t know whether you like Physics or Econs until you are stuck in the program).


Second, you have effectively wasted two years of your precious time attempting to pursue an A level certificate, which you did not obtain. Now, you are going to invest another three more years into getting a Diploma. How many 5 years in life do you have?


This option is only viable if you have a clear picture of what you want to pursue. If you are still unclear of what you want to achieve in life, this is a poor choice.


3. Retake A levels Econs as a Private Candidate – 


Your grades are not “fantastic” enough for you to re-do your A levels in your former JC.  And if you have crossed out the previous two options, you will have to re-do your A levels yourself.


You may be thinking – “what’s the big deal? I have more time to study myself. This time sure okay!” But statistically, private candidates don’t do better. Why is this so?


  • Guys – National Service will take a physical and mental toll on you. Imagine being out in the field for the whole day, would you still be disciplined to take out your notes to study?


  • Girls – You are slightly better off than guys. However, many girls thought that they can handle a part-time job and study at night, but the studying result is greatly diluted as you will be largely distracted (trust me, I have coached many private candidates before).


So does that mean you should strike out this option?


No! For those that are doing A-level Econs, our private candidate program will be able to help you to overcome the above two barriers and provide a school-like environment for you to excel!


For those that are not doing Econs, you can simply drop me an email at and I will be happy to personally recommend you a few good tutors who have similar private candidate program like myself!