A-Levels results release: What’s the next step?

You can take a gap year or apply for a part-time job while awaiting university.

Farhana Subuhan

Published: 17 February 2023, 2:46 PM

Now that you have completed an important milestone examination, you may be feeling conflicted on where to head next.

While the general consensus would be to apply for a university course, one can also take up a part-time stint or a gap year to embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Here are a few options to explore if you are still indecisive about your next step:

Apply to local universities

Those intending to pursue a degree can consider applying to any of the six autonomous universities in Singapore – Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

These local universities will host hybrid, physical, and virtual open houses from end February till March. Prospective students can visit the open houses to help them decide the courses they are keen on.


NTU and NUS will host hybrid open houses this year. PHOTO CREDIT: NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Apply to private or overseas universities

Students may also explore the full-time undergraduate courses offered by private universities in Singapore, such as those from KAPLAN Singapore, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and Murdoch University.

Part-time undergraduate programmes in engineering, marketing, business, communications and science are also offered in these universities.

As undergraduate courses in Veterinary Science, Podiatry and International Relations are not available here, one can consider applying to overseas universities in the United Kingdom (UK), Australia and the United States (US) to obtain a degree in these fields.

Take on a part-time job

On top of earning pocket money, part-time jobs can also expose one to various life experiences and skills.

For those with aspirations of running their own F&B business, finding a part-time job in the field might provide some valuable insight.

Part-time roles in retail may also serve as great opportunities to pick up on customer managing skills. These skills could be helpful even in future unrelated roles.

Students can search for available roles on Indeed, FastJobs and Glints. Some job offers will allow applicants to indicate the number of days or hours in a week they are available for work.


One can also include part-time experiences in resumes when on the hunt for a full-time job. ​​PHOTO CREDIT: HEADWAY VIA UNSPLASH

Take a gap year

A gap year might be helpful for those looking to take a brief break from academics. One can use this time to expand their skill set and determine the career they want to pursue.

Internships can also serve as job tasters to help one find out if the job industry is suitable for them.

Students can find opportunities from a wide range of industries, including healthcare, media, finance, retail and accountancy. An example of a platform listing these opportunities is Internsg.

However, it is important to note that most companies will require applicants to at least possess a basic theory and practical knowledge in the industry.

Basic courses designed for learners with limited or no prior knowledge can be found on the SkillsFuture portal. The full list of courses available under the SkillsFuture series can be accessed here.

The portal also provides an assessment to help learners find out more about their career interests.


Taking a gap year can help you rediscover yourself. PHOTO CREDIT: LEAH KELLEY VIA PEXELS

Mandatory National Service

Every male citizen and Permanent Resident (PR) must serve a two-year mandatory National Service (NS) upon turning 18. NS can be served in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) or the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

To prepare for NS, males can make an effort to exercise regularly to enhance their physical fitness, fix their body clock at least a week prior to enlistment and not overexert as it may potentially lead to injuries.

Students can also apply to universities prior to enlistment but will receive a two-year deferral for their undergraduate studies. Those who apply during their first year of NS require a one-year deferral and no deferral is needed if an application is sent during the final year of conscription.

Retake A Levels

Should students feel that their results are unsatisfactory, another option to consider would be to retake the A-Levels examinations as a school or a private candidate.

However, subjects with coursework components, computing, H3 subjects and Mother Tongue Syllabus B are not offered to private candidates. The list of A-Levels syllabuses that are offered to private candidates in 2023 can be found here.


Some A-Levels subjects that are offered in junior colleges are not offered to private candidates. PHOTO CREDIT: ZEN CHUNG VIA PEXELS


Additionally, private candidates who are registering for a Science subject with a practical paper must have previously sat for the same subject or currently attending a course of instruction in Science practical at any institute.

The General Paper (GP) and H2 subjects must also be taken at the same sitting in order to meet the minimum requirements to enter a local university.

Registration for the A-Levels examinations will be available in March and can be made online on the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) website.

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