What is Next After The GCE O-Level Exams?

Posted on: 10th October, 2023

Taking the GCE O-Level exams is probably one of the most important academic milestones for Secondary 4 Express or Secondary 5 Normal Academic students in Singapore. The GCE O-level results will determine each student’s academic pathway for the next two to three years.

Now that you have completed your O-level examinations, and wondering what is your next step? Read on to find out how you can start planning for your post-secondary education now.

The Junior College (JC) Route

To qualify for a place in a JC, your L1R5 score – based on English and five relevant subjects – must not exceed 20 points. According to JAE Booklet 2021, top JCs in Singapore such as Anglo-Chinese JC, National JC, Victoria JC, etc., have a cutoff point of below 10, which means that aspiring students would have to score mostly A1s or A2s.

JC students typically spend two years studying intensively for the GCE A-Levels in their respective streams (Science or Arts). If taking the GCE A-Levels in two years is too stressful for you, you can always opt to attend Millennia Institute, where students learn GCE A-Level subjects in three years instead of two.

The Polytechnic Route

To gain admission to local polytechnics, students ELR2B2 score must be below 26 points except Diploma in Nursing (ELR2B2 must not exceed 28). However, this varies between different courses, with some courses only accepting students who score 12 points and below. The polytechnic route has grown increasingly popular with students in Singapore. In fact, half of the students who took the GCE O-Level in 2020 chose this route.

The main difference between studying in a polytechnic and a JC would be that students from the former will graduate with a diploma, which make them more employable. Polytechnics offer hands-on, practice-based learning experience in a dynamic and progressive learning environment. Furthermore, students have the opportunity to gain work experience in their relevant industries during their internship or attachment semester.

The Private Education Route

 While it might be the path less travelled, students have the opportunity to take a course of their choice after their GCE O-Level examinations should they meet the entry requirement.

While PSB Academy do not look at the L1R5 or ELR2B2 aggregate score, we offer a wide range of private diploma courses, designed to support your future aspirations, and enable you to possibly gain entry to degrees awarded by our university partners. If you have 1 GCE O-Level or equivalent, you can apply for a certificate course* or foundation diploma in life sciences at PSB Academy.

With that being said, O-level holders who opt for the private education route will still have to take a certificate course before progressing to the diploma level. These certificate courses bridge the gap between secondary school education and tertiary education. With the certificate, students may progress to the diploma level and subsequently a bachelor’s degree offered by one of the partner universities.

Further Your Studies with PSB Academy

At PSB Academy, we offer certificate and foundation diploma courses that can be completed within 6-15 months. The courses available for GCE O-Level graduates include Business Management, Engineering, IT and Computer Science, Media and Communications, Sports Sciences and Life Sciences.

If you have completed your O-level and looking to further your studies, join us at our STEM Open House on 1 June 2024 to learn more about our suite of programmes and the possible progression pathway to a Bachelor’s Degree.

*Excluding graduate certificate and short courses.