Why I Decided to Switch to a Private Diploma Even Though I Scored 7 Points for my O-Levels

Posted on: 08th November, 2022

By: Amelia Ng, Certificate in Business Management and Diploma in Business Analytics

After My GCE O-Level Results

Scoring 7 points (L1R4) for GCE O-level examinations would make any O-level student elated. I put in a lot of time and effort to study, but I was still pleasantly surprised. With my aggregate score, I naturally enrolled in the Biomedical Science course at Singapore Polytechnic because my L1R4 met the course requirements.

Since my first day of Polytechnic, I felt like I had imposter syndrome. Everyone around me seemed to be keeping up with the rigorous academic demands, but I was barely able to keep myself afloat. Topping it off, I had zero interest in Biomedical Science.

It was a constant battle to keep my emotions in check while juggling schoolwork, but I pushed myself to soldier on till the second semester of year two. My grades were alright, but by then, the negative thoughts and emotions that festered within me since day one became so overwhelming that I was completely burnt out. What really sent me over the edge was a personal issue that happened right after that semester, and I eventually dropped out of polytechnic.

Traumatised and emotionally wrecked, it took me almost a year to and reconsider going back to school. I told myself that I should no longer dwell on my failures, and I should give myself a second chance.

Enrolling For a Private Diploma

With this mindset, I enrolled in PSB Academy (PSBA)’s Diploma in Business Analytics course after completing their certificate in business management course. Now, I can imagine people reading this questioning my decision. “Isn’t private schools only for the rich and those who did badly?”

That’s definitely not the case, at least for me. In actual fact, PSBA has helped me rediscover my motivation to study, and gave me back my confidence and an opportunity to pursue my dreams. Something my Polytechnic days couldn’t.

While the course at PSBA was shorter and the school load was lighter, the quality was not compromised. I’m still taught the necessary business analytics knowledge, such as analysing data, writing research proposals and transforming data into stories for presentation. The class schedules were not as hectic too. This allowed me to work part-time and hone my time management skills, which taught me independence. It has also given me room to focus on my mental health.

I also benefitted from the smaller class sizes, where lecturers could focus their attention on each student and answer our queries thoroughly. Miss Koh Wee Nee, my Fundamentals of Economics lecturer, played a part in making the subject interesting for me, as she was always clear in her teachings. Mr Frank Boey, who taught Data Collection Methods and Data Storytelling for Business, was my favourite lecturer as he was always cheerful, friendly and willing to guide us every step of the way. All the lecturers have motivated to go for lessons!

Moreover, the school has also provided me with out-of-classroom opportunities to challenge myself, such as participating in my first YouTube video, and now, sharing my journey through this article. When you put everything together, PSB Academy has actually helped me to rebuild my sense of self-worth, necessary for me to pursue my dreams.

Knowing What Is Best for Yourself

I’m not saying that the normal education route is bad, nor am I encouraging everyone to join the private education route. Different people adapt differently, and no one should be judged for their choice. You should know what is best for yourself. I see the private education route as just another path that some of us take. Such unconventional pathways are not bad pathways; they are just different from the usual ones. If choosing a private school best suits your needs, go for it!

I’ve had people commenting negatively of me being in a private school. I’ve also witnessed a change in their facial expressions when I tell them where I study. But I’ve grown not to rely on other people’s opinions. I know how difficult this journey has been for me, and I’m very proud of how far I have come. Having a strong support system has really made the road to recovery less turbulent. I’m also very grateful to my parents, who have always been there for me.

My advice to those looking to further their studies: Think carefully about your own interests and decide on what you want to do in the future. Research thoroughly and choose wisely, taking into consideration various factors, such as your interests, instead of just based on the courses’ entry requirements. Finally, failure does not mean you have reached the end of your dreams. If you do not perform as well as you had hoped for in your N or O level examinations, it is alright to feel disappointed. Take some time to be sad but have the courage to pick yourself up and move forward!