The decision to undergo an A-Level retake is not one to be taken lightly. There are many things to consider before choosing this course of action. Here are some of the biggest areas to consider, especially if you are planning to retake as a private candidate.
Lack Of School Environment
This is the most drastic change private candidates experience when sitting for a retake. Studying on your own is an extremely different experience than studying as a student. Below are two especially tricky issues you’ll have to deal with.
1. Lack of guidance
Without a school environment, guidance in the form of consult with teachers, school notes and lecture videos may not be available. For Economics, we are happy to guide you through this year of retaking (check us out here), and feel free to ask about other subjects; we’ll be happy to refer you to other learning centers.
2. Level of discipline
Private candidates more often than not have to study alone. In order to finish revising for all the subjects, you have to be disciplined enough to keep to a study plan or schedule, as well as not give in to the temptation of slacking off. To keep yourself motivated throughout this A-Level retake, we recommend scheduling breaks in-between studying to unwind and relax yourself. (Did you know? Our learning center offers free Mario Kart games for students to de-stress!)
Are You Prepared To Sit For A-Level Retake?
Other than a change in environment, you must also be mindful off other factors like personal abilities. These factors also play a part in determining the outcome of your A-Level retake.
1. Financial considerations
In order to retake A-Level, you need to have sufficient funds. Just applying for the examination will require fees of its own. You can find them in this document by SEAB. Whether or not you decide to join a learning center or institute, money will be required. One private candidate recounted his experience retaking A-Level and included a rough breakdown of average expenses required.
2. Support from others
One important thing you may overlook is the need for support from your community, especially if most of your former classmates are not sitting for a retake. We strongly encourage you to connect with other retakers so you can create a good study environment among yourselves. One good place to reach out would be through the r/SGExam community on reddit.
3. National Service (NS)
If you are eligible for NS, you will definitely find preparing for retake more difficult than your peers. While it is possible to study and serve at the same time and achieve good results, we recommend that you sit for retake only in your second year of serving as retaking in the first year is a much more exhausting ordeal.
Lastly, there are also administrative issues to settle before you can sit for an A-Level retake as well as dates to look out for.
1. Things to prepare
Here is the official SEAB site for A-Level retake, which contains everything you need to know before signing up for the exam (remember to switch from school candidate to private candidate). You can find everything you need to know there, including step-by-step application and Singpass activation.
2. Important dates
SEAB has already released the exam timetable for 2019. Other than that, there is also a complete timeline of other important dates to keep track of throughout the year. While A-Level retake registration window for private candidates is from 7 March to 27 March, it is still possible to apply for A-Level retake until July. However, we recommend that you apply first and ask for refund if you withdraw as it is a much safer option.
While the small details may differ from candidate to candidate, these are some of the main things to take note of when sitting for an A-Level retake as a private candidate. With all that said, all the best for the year ahead! If you need help with Economics, feel free to take a look at our program below!