In Singapore’s highly competitive academic environment, high school students have to choose their path to university. One of the most demanding, but promising routes is Junior College, which could either lead to A-Levels or an International Baccalaureate diploma.
In this article, we will focus on A-Levels and how this curriculum helps you prepare for entering the university of your dreams, whether it’s in Singapore or abroad.
What Are A-Levels?
A-Levels, short for Advanced Levels, are exceptionally high level of qualifications offered primarily in the British education system. In Singapore, the curriculum was adapted as Singapore-Cambridge GCE A-Level, which is said to be even more difficult than the UK’s version.
They are typically taken by students aged 16 to 18, which corresponds to the final two years of secondary education. These qualifications are highly regarded both in the UK and internationally for their academic rigour and depth of study.
What Are the Different A-Level Subjects?
A-level curriculum in Singapore covers 3 main areas which are Life Skills, Knowledge Skills, and Subjects. The aim is to provide a holistic learning experience that includes not just the academic subjects but also character and values formation as well as thinking and communication skills.
In terms of subject matter, you can choose from a diverse list of languages, humanities, and math and science subjects. What’s important is for you to choose the subjects that relate to the courses and careers you wish to pursue when you go to university and beyond.
For instance, if you want a career in business, economics should be on your roster. Even if you find the subject challenging, you can always get extra help with H1 and H2 Economics tuition. If you really have your heart set on a business degree, you have to invest your time and dedication to subjects that will help you get ahead when you go to university.
How Can A-Levels Prepare You for University?
Now, let’s dive into how A-level curriculum and subject syllabuses prepare you for the exciting and challenging world of university education.
A-Levels Serve as Pre-Requisites for Local and International Universities
Starting with the most obvious, A-Levels often serve as prerequisites for university admission, both in Singapore and around the world. With a stellar grade of A/A*, you just increased your chances of getting into an Ivy League university such as Harvard in the US and Cambridge in the UK. In addition, you’ll also get the chance to enter the top Singapore universities like NUS or the National University of Singapore.
In terms of the degree of your choice, you also have to meet the required scores. For example, if you aspire to study engineering at a prestigious university, you might find that A-levels in mathematics and physics are required. These subject prerequisites ensure that you have the foundational knowledge necessary to succeed in your chosen field
A-Levels Promote Independent Learning
As mentioned before, A-Levels are not just about acquiring knowledge; they are about developing crucial skills for university and life beyond. One of the most valuable skills you’ll gain during your A-Level journey is independent learning.
As an A-level student, you’ll find yourself taking charge of your studies and setting your study schedules. This fosters self-discipline, a trait that will serve you well when you enter the more self-directed environment of university education.
A-Levels Allow Students to Specialise in Subjects They Are Interested In
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of A-Levels is the opportunity to specialise in subjects that genuinely pique your interest. Unlike the more general curriculum in high school, A-Levels enable you to dive deep into the subjects that matter most to you.
For example, if you’re passionate about humanities, you can study literature and history to your heart’s content. Likewise, if you aspire to be a scientist, then advanced mathematics and chemistry should be on your list of subjects to take. This specialisation not only enhances your knowledge but also showcases your dedication to your chosen field when you apply to universities.
A-Levels Develop Your Hard and Soft Skills
While A-levels undoubtedly deepen your subject knowledge, they also foster the development of a wide range of hard and soft skills. Hard skills include the specific subject knowledge you gain, such as advanced calculus or coding.
On the other hand, A-Levels also nurture essential soft skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, and time management. These skills are not only vital for university success but also for thriving in your future career.
A-levels are essential stepping stones for a successful entry into the university of your choice. Whether it’s a local or international Ivy League school, you have a better chance of getting in with A-levels under your belt.
While it’s true that the path to A-levels in Singapore is rigorous and demanding, it builds character and tenacity, values that will drive your success not just in the academic world, but life in general.