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Old 11-17-2013, 11:50 PM   #11
Esse
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Default Also foreseeing bad grades

I am also currently doing A levels but I foresee myself getting very bad grades. I used to do relatively well in secondary school, one of the better students in class, (O levels 7 points before deduction) but I had difficulty coping with JC and due to some personal stuff on the side I've been struggling with depression which made it even harder to study. Anyway I barely passed J1 and totally failed J2 even up till prelims.

Can advise me if redoing A levels would be a good option?

And if so should I retake as a private candidate with SEAB or should I do the British Council which is supposed to be easier.? I want to get into local uni.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:25 AM   #12
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Redoing is your option if u want to go to local uni.

As for SEAB or British council I can't help u decide.

When u say easier with British council what does that mean. U plan to do uk A levels not sg-Cambridge? Using uk A levels for sg uni not sure how that works u better find out. If u going overseas sure go ahead.

U still have personal issues, school is full time.
How much help can school provides to get u your grades?
School can only facilitate and provide competition the rest is up to you.

Last edited by patryn33; 11-18-2013 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esse View Post
I am also currently doing A levels but I foresee myself getting very bad grades. I used to do relatively well in secondary school, one of the better students in class, (O levels 7 points before deduction) but I had difficulty coping with JC and due to some personal stuff on the side I've been struggling with depression which made it even harder to study. Anyway I barely passed J1 and totally failed J2 even up till prelims.

Can advise me if redoing A levels would be a good option?

And if so should I retake as a private candidate with SEAB or should I do the British Council which is supposed to be easier.? I want to get into local uni.
Go with SEAB. Yes, UK A-levels are easier, due to grade inflation, its easier to score. But even the local universities here know that. So an AAA from the UK A-levels will not equate to an AAA to the sg A-levels. You will be disadvantaged if you apply here with the UK A-levels instead of sg A-levels. Unless you're thinking of going overseas then the UK A-levels are fine.

You can refer here:

http://forum.brightsparks.com.sg/showthread.php?t=3841

for proof of people with a full set of As(UK A level) actually getting rejected from all universities here.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:46 PM   #14
darylimjz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esse View Post
I am also currently doing A levels but I foresee myself getting very bad grades. I used to do relatively well in secondary school, one of the better students in class, (O levels 7 points before deduction) but I had difficulty coping with JC and due to some personal stuff on the side I've been struggling with depression which made it even harder to study. Anyway I barely passed J1 and totally failed J2 even up till prelims.

Can advise me if redoing A levels would be a good option?

And if so should I retake as a private candidate with SEAB or should I do the British Council which is supposed to be easier.? I want to get into local uni.
Are you still suffering from depression? Retaking next year might not be a good idea, unless you're sure you've recovered and are able to do well given the second chance. I similarly struggled with depression too, but thankfully am fine now. Are you male or female? If you're female you could try appealing to your school to do a J2 repeat. Which I would do if there wasn't conscription.

imo if your grades can't get you to wherever you want to go, you should redo the As.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:36 AM   #15
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The A-Level offered in the UK (as well as the one offered by British Council in Singapore) are way easier than Singapore's A Levels. Especially the Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics papers.

And the shitty thing is that even if you do well for a subject (scoring 70%, which would normally get you an A), you might run into a risk of receiving only a B. I've heard that in order to get an A for Physics in 2011, you needed to get 77%. You're not just taking the paper yourself but competing with 15 000 other Singaporean/international students. And you know how competitive Asians in general, or Singaporeans in this context are.

So Singapore's unis know how competitive local A-Level is. AAA from the UK is not viewed the same as AAA here. (The funny thing is, the reverse is also true: UK unis don't give a damn about CCA, H1, PW, MT and especially GP. They view GP as an inferior subject there lol. IELTS all the way.) You don't even have to do another H1 subject, plus GP, plus PW, and plus Mother Tongue, like local Singaporeans.

However, I say you stand a good chance (if you get AAA sitting in British Council's A Level) when applying for less competitive courses in NUS/NTU. Look at IGP released each year, just avoid top courses such as Law, Dentistry, Medicine, Psychology, Accountancy, Business Admin... If you want to study Business/Economics, you can look at SMU. They are trying to recruit as many students as possible (to gain reputation) and the entry requirements are not that hard either. You only need BBB/B and C for PW + GP to get in SMU's business.

Last edited by Shirui; 11-21-2013 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darylimjz View Post
Are you still suffering from depression? Retaking next year might not be a good idea, unless you're sure you've recovered and are able to do well given the second chance. I similarly struggled with depression too, but thankfully am fine now. Are you male or female? If you're female you could try appealing to your school to do a J2 repeat. Which I would do if there wasn't conscription.

imo if your grades can't get you to wherever you want to go, you should redo the As.
I'm a girl and won't have NS. But as long as I pass GP (which I'm quite sure I will), I won't be able to retake my A's in JC. I'm just concerned about my ability to do well if I retake. I'm hardworking but I tend to get exam panic and the personal stuff may not be sorted out in time, though I'm actively trying to get over it.
Did you suffer from depression during your A's period too and if so how did you managed to get over that larger obstacle?

I was wondering if I could do better if I did British council A's but from this feedback it seems that even if I do better, I will have a harder time getting to local uni so I will redo Singapore A's.

Does anyone have any stories of girls (no NS) who redid A's? Can share their experiences?
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esse View Post
I'm a girl and won't have NS. But as long as I pass GP (which I'm quite sure I will), I won't be able to retake my A's in JC. I'm just concerned about my ability to do well if I retake. I'm hardworking but I tend to get exam panic and the personal stuff may not be sorted out in time, though I'm actively trying to get over it.
Did you suffer from depression during your A's period too and if so how did you managed to get over that larger obstacle?

I was wondering if I could do better if I did British council A's but from this feedback it seems that even if I do better, I will have a harder time getting to local uni so I will redo Singapore A's.

Does anyone have any stories of girls (no NS) who redid A's? Can share their experiences?
I actually know of a girl who spent 4 years in JC(not MI), and still failed to enter local uni. For some people, the pace and harshness of A-levels is just not suited for them. No matter how many times you try, even with the guidance of a proper JC, you might not succeed.

I know of a few people, although all guys, who redid A-levels during and also after NS as private candidates and did really well, some with only private tuition and others with private schools like MDIS. A close friend of mine even brought his notes to the jungles of Brunei, I kid you not, just to study and revise. Perseverance and determination is one thing, but at times we must reflect and think if such a path is right for us. If you decide to retake your A-levels and at the end of the day, your depression overcomes you on the exam day, it would not matter how hard you worked because all that effort is gonna be wasted.

So you must deal with your depression first before moving on. Medication and therapy and whatnot, before investing time to redo your A-levels. Even if you overcome A-levels and get into local uni but still have depression. Uni is much tougher, its like having A-levels once every 3 months. 8 times over 4 years. If you dont get treatment, you may overcome one hurdle only to be blocked by the next. My advice is to get yourself treated first, at least get anti-depressants, before deciding on a path forward.

I do know of two female friends who are retaking their A-levels as private candidates under MDIS this year too. But I cant say if they will do well or not, gotta wait till results day before I can comment on that.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esse View Post
I am also currently doing A levels but I foresee myself getting very bad grades. I used to do relatively well in secondary school, one of the better students in class, (O levels 7 points before deduction) but I had difficulty coping with JC and due to some personal stuff on the side I've been struggling with depression which made it even harder to study. Anyway I barely passed J1 and totally failed J2 even up till prelims.

Can advise me if redoing A levels would be a good option?

And if so should I retake as a private candidate with SEAB or should I do the British Council which is supposed to be easier.? I want to get into local uni.
Hi, just two cents from me. I'm a girl so I hope my story would be applicable

I was an A level graduate, and a retaker. I struggled with depression in JC, and did not seek help for it. I entered a really good phase after my first A levels in terms of my emotions even though I did not do really well for my A's and got rejected from many Unis. I decided to retake it. What I didn't know was that depression sneaked up on me again after that... I relapsed.. and because I wasn't seeking help at that time.. I was doing badly academically and emotionally. Ended up my retake was worse than my initial take. (A levels and depression simply did not mix together!!!)

Currently I'm in a private uni... and while I wish I was in NTU doing my dream course.. I'm just happy that I'm here. While I'm still struggling to beat my illness, I have the support of my docs behind me who want to see me succeed and I'm doing a little better now

My advice is: please do not retake A's while you're in depression. Unless.. you're seeking help. Or unless you're sure you can make it.

My advice is go for foundation year. It's actually easier than A level standard. And gives you a really good chance for uni too!
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by havok_ex View Post
So you must deal with your depression first before moving on. Medication and therapy and whatnot, before investing time to redo your A-levels. Even if you overcome A-levels and get into local uni but still have depression. Uni is much tougher, its like having A-levels once every 3 months. 8 times over 4 years. If you dont get treatment, you may overcome one hurdle only to be blocked by the next. My advice is to get yourself treated first, at least get anti-depressants, before deciding on a path forward.
Just a heads up from someone whos taking anti-depressants.. urm it's not a cureall and it doesn't work for everybody. What's most important actually in the management of depression is having someone to talk to. Which is therapy. But agree about how you must deal with it first before facing A levels head on. It's not easy...
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:13 PM   #20
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Esse and darylimjz: I'm in the midst of A-levels and I'm pretty certain I've screwed them up too. For the past 3 years I've suffered from depression, generalised anxiety and disordered eating issues. I was surprised to read that two of you have struggled with depression; I'm sure you'll agree that school pressure, adolescence and depression is a horrible combination haha. Anyway back on topic, I intend to redo my A-levels and this time I'll actively seek help and surround myself with a strong support system to prevent a relapse.

Based on several firsthand accounts I've heard local universities don't discriminate against retakes, so long as you achieve satisfactory grades. As for uni overseas you should email individual unis (or colleges if the uni has a college system, because policy differs even within a uni). Some are very accepting of retakes, others not so.

You can also consider a UK Foundation level. I know (as in actually know, not just know of) a girl who retained in J2, then headed over to UK and did really well at UK Foundation level (considering how easy it is compared to JC) and managed to get into Oxford. (Of course I'm not saying all Foundation kids are headed to Oxford, just trying to make the point that our options for a bright future are not entirely cut off.)
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