Poor “O” Level Results: What Are The Options?




It is saddening that students sink into depression or even have suicidal thoughts after doing badly at a national examination. From time to time we hear of students taking their lives after doing badly at “A” levels or “O” levels. Understand that in today’s world there are a lot more pathways and opportunities compared to the previous generation. Parents should not feel that all is lost, transmitting the doom and gloom to their children. They can consider the following advice and talk to their children about next steps. Here are some of them.


Institute of Technical Education (ITE)

ITE Is (not) The End.

Mrs. Lim, mother of student Anthony Lim shares her views on ITEs.

“I urge all parents to not look at ITEs as a dead end. It is just a longer route to what everyone may define as success like a polytechnic or a university. My son went to an ITE after doing badly at the O levels. He really liked his course at ITE and did very well in it, he then went on to a local polytechnic where he was granted a year exemption, he took up the same course and again did well at it. He now has a place in a local university. Hence, it was the ITE that made my child find out his interests and this has made him look forward to school ever since. I couldn’t say the same for him in primary or secondary school.”

ITE offers course-based schooling. One will graduate with a certificate. Graduates can find work mostly in vocational and technical jobs. If the child does well in ITE, he will be allowed to proceed onto the local polytechnics.


Private Schools

Private schools such as MDIS and Kaplan accept students with the most passes in the “O” levels into their diploma programme. From there the child can proceed to a degree programme in their campuses. However, private schools are much costlier; the school fees are not government-subsidised.


Repeating O levels as a private candidate

Of course, there is always the option of repeating the O levels as a private candidate. However, it is better to move on if the child is not academically inclined.

Parents must make their children understand that education is a life long journey. The students should stop beating themselves up and move on from their exam results as there will be many other opportunities in life.