Deciding Your Next Step After N Level

Posted on: 13th October, 2021

You’ve studied hard, completed your N Level examinations and you’re wondering where to next? First, acknowledge that getting through a national exam is an achievement in itself and that warrants celebration. Once you’ve allowed yourself time to unwind, it’s time to chart your next few steps to determine a course for the future.

With your N level certificate in hand, you have several doors now open to you. Spend a fifth year in your secondary school, or enrol in a private education institution or Institute of Technical Education (ITE) course. Find out which route suits you best.

Public Education Route

Sit for the GCE O Level

After your N Level examinations, Secondary 4 N(A) students can choose to advance to Secondary 5 in your current school and sit for the O Level examinations. To be promoted to Secondary 5, you must achieve a qualifying aggregate score.

Do take note that if you choose this route, you’ll need to be very focused and disciplined as the syllabus from N(A) level to the O level is a big jump. Start studying early and consistently.

Enrol in Institute of Technical Education (ITE)

It is also common for N level students to progress to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and take a NITEC or Higher NITEC course.

Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP)

For N(A) students who have performed well in the N Level Examinations and would like to benefit from a more hands-on preparation at ITE, may apply for the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP). The DPP allows students to take a two-year Higher Nitec course at the ITE as an alternative to Secondary 5. You will subsequently be assured of either a place in a related Polytechnic Diploma course, if you achieve the qualifying Grade Point Average (GPA) score in your Higher Nitec course.

Qualify for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP)

Another option for Secondary 4N(A) students after the N Level exam is enrolling in the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP). With a ELMAB3 score of 12 points or less, you have the option of enrolling in the one-year programme that offers a practice-oriented curriculum taught by polytechnic lecturers, to prepare N(A) students for entry into the relevant Polytechnic Diploma courses.

Private Education Route

Sit for the IGCSE Examination

There’s also the option of sitting for the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examination, an internationally recognised qualification. Cambridge IGCSE is recognised by universities worldwide as evidence of academic ability, providing an international passport to progression and success. You can search the recognition database for organisations which have provided formal written acceptance of Cambridge qualifications.

As a registered Cambridge school for IGCSE, PSB Academy offers Preparatory Course for Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Examination (Intensive), a 5-month intensive course that prepare students to sit for the IGCSE English and Mathematics Examinations. With the IGCSE certificate, students will have access to our suite of Certificate, followed by Diploma and Degree programmes across more than 10 disciplines.

Enrol in a Foundation Certificate course

If you are keen to explore a business, engineering or IT related programme after the N Level Examinations, PSB Academy offers foundation certificate courses to arm students with business or engineering and IT fundamentals.

For example, the Foundation Certificate in Business, students learn the basics of business with complementary modules of marketing and economics, which aims to inculcate skills of communication, problem-solving and decision-making. Another course offered by PSB Academy is the Foundation Certificate in Engineering and Technology, where students can gain a comprehensive and deep understanding of cyber security and technical understanding of engineering.

In addition, the foundation certificate may help prepare students for IGCSE. While the IGCSE examinations is optional, but the qualification is a stepping stone for students to continue their studies in our certificate programmes and subsequently diploma and degree.

The Future is Yours to Behold

Whatever your N Level results may be, you always have options open to you. Start your journey of further education with PSB Academy’s Early Admissions Exercise (EAE). Get a headstart by applying for our IGCSE or Foundation Certificate courses based on the subjects you gravitate towards and your strengths. You might secure a conditional offer from PSB Academy before sitting for your O Level or N Level examinations and be well on your way to studying your dream course.