So you’ve decided to retake A-Level as a private candidate. The next step is to submit your application to SEAB. But wait, are these the subjects you want to take? Should you change subject combination?
Why You Might Decide To Change Subject Combination
Here are some of the more common reasons why others may have decided to change subject combination:
- Previous subject is not offered for private candidates
There are certain subjects that can only be taken in school. Subjects like H2 Art or H2 China Studies will not be available to you. Generally, subjects that require coursework cannot be taken up by private candidates. Unfortunately, this usually means a subject combination change is inevitable. Here is a list of subjects offered by SEAB in 2023 for private candidates. Take note to check the subject code as well; there is a possibility of a syllabus change.
- Unable to handle amount of content
For those who took 4 H2 subjects previously, another way to change subject combination will be to drop one of them down to H1. As one commenter on Quora puts it, “H1, H2 and H3 levels refer to how in depth a JC subject will be,”. Therefore, a drop will reduce the amount of content you have to cover.
- Did not enjoy previous subject taken
Sometimes the reason for considering a subject combination change is simply a lack of interest in the subject. If you did well for all other subjects, it might even be the only reason you need to retake A-Level in the first place!
What You Need To Consider Before Making Changes
Everyone has different circumstances. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should change subject combination. However, here are some things you can consider:
- Availability of subject
There are certain subjects that cannot be taken as a private candidate without prior background either. Especially for Science subjects, pre-requisites are present which can be found on SEAB’s Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t fulfil the requirements, then your desired subject combination will not be available to you.
- Feasibility of subject combination
Some subjects combinations are not recommended as they contain multiple content-heavy subjects. One very important thing to note is that you are no longer situated in a structured school environment. It’s likely that most of your revision will be done alone or without support. Are you disciplined enough to handle the heavy content load?
- University application
The reason you’re retaking A-Level is to qualify for a good university of your choice. When making a subject combination change, you must consider how it will affect your university applications. For example, if you decide to drop H2 Math, you will not be eligible for most science or engineering courses. Here are the subject requirements for courses in NUS and NTU.
Subject Change Regarding Economics
We specialises in coaching both H1 and H2 Econs. Here are some courses of action we usually offer to any student considering to change subject combination.
- Taking H2 Econs as a new subject
This is highly not recommended. The main reason behind this is the amount of content you need to cover. As a private candidate, you have to cover the same amount of content in a single year as compared to two years for other JC students. Generally, H2 subjects will take up a greater amount of time, especially if you’re learning it for the first time.
- Taking H1 Econs as a new subject
This is still not recommended, but it is definitely feasible. H1 Econs has a smaller scope than its H2 counterpart and is less taxing. In fact, we’ve a H1 Programme tailored to fit the needs of private candidates, which applications are currently open!
- Dropping your 4th H2 Econs to H1 Econs
This is a highly recommended course of action, especially if this subject change does not affect any of your prospective university course applications. Many of the students currently in our H1 Programme agree that this subject combination change is a good decision as they have more time to cover other subjects now.
Lastly, we’ve also interviewed a former private candidate on his experience, strength and hope for retaking A-levels. We hope his journey can sufficiently motivate you all to persevere in this tough journey:
Ultimately, whether you decide to take a leap of faith and opt to change subject combination or keep your old one, remember your original goal. If you find yourself in need of help for Econs, do remember to take a look at what we offer here.
All the best and good luck!