Critical Next Steps: Pathways After “O” Levels




Polytechnic or JC? What subjects to take? If none of the above, what other options are there? It is common for many students to be unsure about their educational options after “O” levels. With some new pathways being added to our education landscape, it can be challenging for teenagers to face this crossroads at their age. This article will educate parents on the most common options for Singaporeans post “O” levels.


Junior College (JC)

A popular option that many students will choose is a JC. In a JC, your child will sit for the “A”-level examinations at the end of his two years. JC can be very stressful; the content and difficulty jump from “O” Levels to “A” levels is much more than from PSLE to “O” Levels. Your child should only consider the JC option if he/she has done well in his “O” levels, as this is a sign that there is potential to do well in the “A” levels. However, given the difficulty jump from the “O” levels to “A” levels, not everyone who does well at “O” levels does well at “A” levels. Hence if your child is better at academic subjects as compared to projects or presentations, perhaps a JC route is best suited for him/her.



Another popular option that many students would choose is polytechnic. If your child has made up his mind on an industry or area of specialty, a polytechnic education could be well suited for him. A polytechnic also offers a diploma pay should your child choose to work after graduation. Polytechnics require more hands-on, projects etc. Hence if this is the learning style that suits your child then perhaps a polytechnic is the best choice.

The key is to first find out what learning style suits your child. If your child chooses a JC, it is vital to choose the right subject combination based on his strengths and not what you may prefer. If your child chooses a polytechnic education, he needs to know the right courses available to him; he will likely have to continue in this field in university and probably in his work life.