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View Full Version : 3As in A levels but got rejected from SMU, NTU and NUS?!


drunkenhammie
09-03-2009, 10:27 AM
There is something I am rather displeased about.

My cousin's situation -
A level results: AAA
Applied for psychology in SMU, NTU and NUS, and received rejects from all 3.
Gained admission into University College London instead (consistently ranked top 5 universities in the UK).

My own situation -
A level results: AAA
Applied for Bachelor of Social Science in SMU, and Political Science in NUS. Rejected.
Gained admission into London School of Economics instead (also consistently ranked top 5)
Fortunately for me, I had the means to study in London. For those people who, through no fault of their own, have no choice but to stay in Singapore - what the hell are they gonna do?

I never expected Singapore unis to be so competitive.

iceman
09-03-2009, 03:22 PM
:O

isn't LSE supposed to be hard to get in?

Alex
09-03-2009, 05:51 PM
What about the GP, H1 contrasting, Mother Tongue and Project work? I just found at at a socialising event that every year about 1,600 students attain 4 As in Singapore A levels. So 3A is honestly, nothing to shout about. The GP, H1 contrasting, Mother Tongue and Project Work will be the ones to decide most of our fate.

I think LSE ignore those.
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RickSteves
09-04-2009, 09:17 AM
I know of one:
AAB - accepted into NUS/NTU/SMU social science.

So I believe it is your H1 and PW grades.

drunkenhammie
09-04-2009, 09:37 AM
I guess I should've mentioned that my cousin and I didn't do the Singapore A Levels, but the Cambridge International Examinations. I'm not sure if Singaporean Unis view this qualification differently.

Anyway, I just found it strange that all 3 Singapore unis were harder to get in than UCL/LSE.

RickSteves
09-04-2009, 01:53 PM
From the cases that I know of, the local unis generally expect better grades for students who took CIE instead of the Cambridge-Singapore Alevels. From the cases I have seen, it seems like an AAA in the Cambridge-Singapore Alevels does not seem equivalent to an AAA in CIE.

That said, I feel that the local unis have the prerogative to set their own admission standards, I don't see why they necessarily have to follow UCL/LSE since NUS/NTU/SMU faces a different supply/demand situation (do we have enough resources for all CIE AAA applicants, without affecting the quality of education? is there an industry demand for so many social science grads?) and a different local context (you are competing with grads who have demonstrated academic ability in 3 extra subjects - GP, MT, PW, whereas in UCL/LSE most applicants wouldn't have these three extra subjects).

For Singaporeans who do not make it into NUS/NTU/SMU, there's always the option of SIM, or you can get some working experience and apply again later (it helps!), or even taking additional equivalent subjects for GP and MT. The fact is the number of Singaporeans who take CIE is rather low really and few would be in the same situation as you are in.

Alex
09-04-2009, 10:56 PM
I guess I should've mentioned that my cousin and I didn't do the Singapore A Levels, but the Cambridge International Examinations. I'm not sure if Singaporean Unis view this qualification differently.

Anyway, I just found it strange that all 3 Singapore unis were harder to get in than UCL/LSE.

Oh! For this has been a debate between myself and spencer a while ago. You might want to search for it. But those are our opinions.

I do vaguely remember the NUS President saying something about foreigners needing 4 A grades in foreign A levels to gain entry to NUS. So even if they give "discount" of say 1 grade to citizens, that would still mean AAAB. Google for that article, I'm a little lazy at the moment. :D

And why would you expect NUS to be easier to get in than UCL/LSE? It ranks way above these 2 in international standings! Plus today's news, former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan is joinning NUS as a Professor. That should be an indication of how strong NUS is now. A direct recognition from the top man in the world.
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serf
09-11-2009, 04:15 AM
And why would you expect NUS to be easier to get in than UCL/LSE? It ranks way above these 2 in international standings! Plus today's news, former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan is joinning NUS as a Professor. That should be an indication of how strong NUS is now. A direct recognition from the top man in the world.

Ehh........

koo86
09-11-2009, 11:28 AM
And why would you expect NUS to be easier to get in than UCL/LSE? It ranks way above these 2 in international standings!

I don't know what world u are living in, but u have got to be kidding me...

youchih
09-11-2009, 05:25 PM
Maybe u should have taken 4 subjects instead of 3. Which board did you do? London or Cambridge Board?

Run
09-12-2009, 12:57 AM
And why would you expect NUS to be easier to get in than UCL/LSE? It ranks way above these 2 in international standings! Plus today's news, former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan is joinning NUS as a Professor. That should be an indication of how strong NUS is now. A direct recognition from the top man in the world.

Your last sentence made me LOL. No offense.

Rankings are subjective. Check how they tabulate rankings and you'll see.

:)

Alex
10-28-2009, 03:29 PM
I disagree with how Singaporeans are seeing our own "local" Universities. I am of opinion that at least NUS and NTU are not "local" in the sense that the entire world now recognise that they are damn good globally. And look at their students, many of them are from America, Europe, and I believe some Japan, Korea, Russia?

"Local" University, if you are using "local" in terms of standards, international recognition, global student awareness, I believe will apply mostly to SMU as the 1st tier. And the second tier local are SIM, MDIS, etc.

NUS, NTU should be global Universities belonging to Singapore. Not a "local" University. As for people expecting to get into these Universities just because overseas ones reject you, I think it is going to be a rude awakening if you just speak to a more global audience at socialising events.
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RickSteves
10-28-2009, 05:16 PM
I disagree with how Singaporeans are seeing our own "local" Universities. I am of opinion that at least NUS and NTU are not "local" in the sense that the entire world now recognise that they are damn good globally.

semantics...

And look at their students, many of them are from America, Europe, and I believe some Japan, Korea, Russia?

Actually, most of the full-time undergrad non-singaporean students are from a selected few countries - PRC, Malaysia, Vietnam, India. Full time undergrad students from America, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia would be very rare. I've not met a single one from these countries in my four years. There really isn't much international diversity as seen in schools like LSE or some of the top US schools.

"Local" University, if you are using "local" in terms of standards, international recognition, global student awareness, I believe will apply mostly to SMU as the 1st tier. And the second tier local are SIM, MDIS, etc.

Funny how SIM, MDIS graduates are usually the ones carrying a cert with the name of an overseas university.

I think it is going to be a rude awakening if you just speak to a more global audience at socialising events.

Hmmm... many "global audience" I've spoken too still tend to look favorably upon tier 1 Western universities + a few top Jap/Korean/PRC universities only. Very common for NTU to be unheard of. The sentiment on NUS is mixed.

koo86
10-29-2009, 06:40 AM
semantics...



Actually, most of the full-time undergrad non-singaporean students are from a selected few countries - PRC, Malaysia, Vietnam, India. Full time undergrad students from America, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia would be very rare. I've not met a single one from these countries in my four years. There really isn't much international diversity as seen in schools like LSE or some of the top US schools.



Funny how SIM, MDIS graduates are usually the ones carrying a cert with the name of an overseas university.



Hmmm... many "global audience" I've spoken too still tend to look favorably upon tier 1 Western universities + a few top Jap/Korean/PRC universities only. Very common for NTU to be unheard of. The sentiment on NUS is mixed.

I agree with you, some of the people I know from China and India , don't know what Nanyang Tech is, most have heard of NUS but there are some that haven't heard of NUS. Being here in the US for almost a month, most people have not even heard of Singapore to being with, a "global" university requires a "global" student body, i really dun see that in NTU or NUS

spencer
10-29-2009, 06:55 AM
Hmmm... many "global audience" I've spoken too still tend to look favorably upon tier 1 Western universities + a few top Jap/Korean/PRC universities only. Very common for NTU to be unheard of. The sentiment on NUS is mixed.

I can affirm this. The best universities in large economic blocks are definitely good. For Asia, this points to India (IITs), China (Peking, Tsinhua, Fudan), Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, etc).

spencer
10-29-2009, 07:01 AM
Oh! For this has been a debate between myself and spencer a while ago. You might want to search for it. But those are our opinions.

I do vaguely remember the NUS President saying something about foreigners needing 4 A grades in foreign A levels to gain entry to NUS. So even if they give "discount" of say 1 grade to citizens, that would still mean AAAB. Google for that article, I'm a little lazy at the moment. :D

And why would you expect NUS to be easier to get in than UCL/LSE? It ranks way above these 2 in international standings! Plus today's news, former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan is joinning NUS as a Professor. That should be an indication of how strong NUS is now. A direct recognition from the top man in the world.

It has been over a year and Alex is still as naive as ever. Finished your A-levels yet? :rolleyes:

NUS is very easy to get in, and I am saying it as a foreigner.

A friend of mine (also non-Singaporean but was staying in Singapore during that time) applied to NUS. Her grades were only so-so and yet was still given the university scholars programme (plus a double degree I think). She enrolled at NUS for a month before quiting and went onto Warwick to do Economics.

spencer
10-29-2009, 07:04 AM
I disagree with how Singaporeans are seeing our own "local" Universities. I am of opinion that at least NUS and NTU are not "local" in the sense that the entire world now recognise that they are damn good globally. And look at their students, many of them are from America, Europe, and I believe some Japan, Korea, Russia?

"Local" University, if you are using "local" in terms of standards, international recognition, global student awareness, I believe will apply mostly to SMU as the 1st tier. And the second tier local are SIM, MDIS, etc.

NUS, NTU should be global Universities belonging to Singapore. Not a "local" University. As for people expecting to get into these Universities just because overseas ones reject you, I think it is going to be a rude awakening if you just speak to a more global audience at socialising events.

Great. So when you are at NUS or NTU, try to use that name and apply to NY/London bulge brackets. I can assure you that your CV will not be binned, because it won't even be printed in the first place.

spencer
10-29-2009, 07:08 AM
And why would you expect NUS to be easier to get in than UCL/LSE? It ranks way above these 2 in international standings!

Frame it so that Alex cannot delete his stupid post.

spencer
10-29-2009, 07:31 AM
I do vaguely remember the NUS President saying something about foreigners needing 4 A grades in foreign A levels to gain entry to NUS. So even if they give "discount" of say 1 grade to citizens, that would still mean AAAB. Google for that article, I'm a little lazy at the moment. :D.
The Singapore A-levels is also very easy. You basically just need to study for the S-papers.

Ashearo
10-29-2009, 11:59 PM
The Singapore A-levels is also very easy. You basically just need to study for the S-papers.

Easy to you.

spencer
11-17-2009, 07:51 AM
Easy to you.

University is a lot, a lot harder.

gaofu
11-19-2009, 12:13 AM
my...what an argument...
just wondering...what is A-levels to a uni student? isnt that just like comparing the intelligence of a monkey to a human?
if u really are looking to say something is easy...how about challenging your professors in a debate and winning...i think its a better indicator of your very high intelligence is it not?
oh...and i believe that a university undergrad or grad whatever should have better things to do than flaming others on a forum which is so much like cyberbullying

Alex
12-02-2009, 03:29 PM
The Singapore A-levels is also very easy. You basically just need to study for the S-papers.

So outdated ain't you? Singapore has no S papers for a long time. I think you boss needs to review your knowledge base. :rolleyes:
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Alex
12-02-2009, 03:34 PM
It has been over a year and Alex is still as naive as ever. Finished your A-levels yet? :rolleyes:

NUS is very easy to get in, and I am saying it as a foreigner.

A friend of mine (also non-Singaporean but was staying in Singapore during that time) applied to NUS. Her grades were only so-so and yet was still given the university scholars programme (plus a double degree I think). She enrolled at NUS for a month before quiting and went onto Warwick to do Economics.

IITs and IIMs are very easy to get in, and I am saying it as a foreigner.

A friend of mine (also non-Indian but was staying in India during that time) applied to IITs and IIMs. Her grades were only so-so and yet was still given the IIT top scholars programme (plus a double degree I think). She enrolled at IIT/IIM for a month before quiting and went onto Warwick to do Economics.

(ps: without prove we can write anything to discredit something we are ignorant of, but my Indian cousins were laughing when I sent them your replies)
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Alex
12-03-2009, 03:48 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GCE_Advanced_Level

Universities in Britain have constantly complained that the increasing number of A grades awarded makes it hard to distinguish between students at the upper end of the ability spectrum.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7174848.stm
Competition was "fierce" for places at top universities - with many candidates for courses such as medicine, English and law having three or four A grades at A-level.

Cambridge University, for example, advises pupils not take more than one of a list of 20 A-level subjects, including art and design, dance, film studies and media studies, as part of the three A-levels normally needed to obtain a place.

Applying with two of these A-levels "would not normally be considered to be acceptable", it says.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4538127.stm

...what has been lost is the opportunity for the most able students to develop and demonstrate originality, creativity, insight, clarity of thought and analysis, extended arguments and problem-solving.

Also lost: the ability to differentiate the exceptional students from the good.

These are all things universities want from the qualifications, he says.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/3773047.stm

"It does mean that applicants must not be led to believe they have a 'right' to a place at any given university."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/aug/20/a-levels-a-grades-results

One in four A-levels taken this year was scored an A grade, according to record results published today as more than 300,000 students received their marks.
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Alex
12-08-2009, 12:48 PM
University is a lot, a lot harder.

Of course. IIT and IIMs are crap and don't prepare you enough to Universities. Thank you for admitting. :cool:
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PureFitness
03-02-2012, 09:45 AM
but i was rejected by all of the ntu courses which i've applied to. i appealed and all i got was 'it was too competitive.' my average score is 96%

I'm guessing you're an Indian national? From my experience, many Indian nationals studying in NTU score >96%, so 96% really isn't a very competitive score. To be honest, there are many singaporeans who are admitted into oxbridge but can't afford it, and so choose to stay in Singapore instead. So your case isn't all that special.

in fact, there's another person who was rejected for law in nus but is studying law at cambridge. ironic much?

Is said person singaporean/PR or hold the singapore-gce A-level cert? because if the answer is no for both, then it is almost impossible for him/her to enter NUS law regardless of his/her grades.

The singapore universities have limited vacancies for law and since the universities are funded by taxpayer money, they have to prioritise Singaporean/PR students before international students. The same can be said for certain other courses like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy. Singapore universities have no obligation whatsoever to international students.

On the other hand, entry into UK universities for international students seems to have become easier (at least that's what I've heard) after they raised the tuition for local students. Fewer local students applying = more spaces for international students.

Ironic? Not really, if you understand the political and economic situation of both countries.

PureFitness
03-02-2012, 01:48 PM
Wow, you know of people who can't enter oxbridge simply because of financial situations? So they were rejected by all scholarship institutions?

Yeah, definitely. For scholarships, there's much more emphasis on non-academic and leadership achievements. Oxbridge (and UK schools in general) don't place that much emphasis on that.

singapura
04-23-2012, 02:14 AM
The issue is that the admissions staff in these local schs are just being S'porean, ie. by the book, ie. if the certs are not one of GCE a-lvls or IB, then it is unknown to them. Not many S'poreans have global experience to tell eg. what your certification actually is.

Maybe u should have taken 4 subjects instead of 3. Which board did you do? London or Cambridge Board?