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N-Level results release: What’s the next step?

Whether it’s retaking the exams, heading to ITE or joining the Polytechnic via direct entry, here are the options available.

Farhana Subuhan

Published: 20 December 2022, 10:42 AM

Candidates who sat for the GCE Normal (Academic) Level (N(A)) and Normal Technical Level (N(T)) examinations received their results on Monday (Dec 19).

About 9,000 candidates from the Secondary 4 N(A) course and 4,414 candidates from the Secondary 4 N(T) course sat for the examinations this year, with  99.5 per cent of the N(A) candidates and 98 per cent of candidates from the Secondary 4 N(T) course passing the exams.

MOE added that 78.4 per cent of the school candidates from the N(A) course are eligible for progression to Secondary 5 NA.

Secondary 4 N(A) students who wish to take their O Levels to move to either Junior Colleges, Millennia Institute (MI) or Polytechnics will have to move onto Secondary 5.

Meanwhile, N(T) students who have completed their GCE ‘N’ Level examinations can consider a lateral transfer to Secondary 4 N(A) if they have obtained grade A for both English language and Mathematics, and grade B or better for one other subject.

If you are still indecisive about your next step, here are four other options you can explore to make an informed decision:

Three-year Higher Nitec course

A three-year Higher Nitec full-time programme has been introduced by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in 2022 to allow students to attain a Higher Nitec qualification directly in only three years instead of the current four-year requirement.

Both N(A) and N(T) students who have sat for the GCE ‘N’ Level examinations can apply to 11 courses under the new programme using the existing Nitec entry requirements. 

The 11 courses are: Accounting, Sport Management, AI Applications, Business Information Systems, Cyber & Network Security, Data Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Immersive Applications & Game, IT Systems & Networks, IT Applications Development and Security System Integration.

Eligible students can apply for the Joint Intake Exercise (JIE) from Dec 19, 2.30pm till Dec 22, 5pm. Application results will be released on Dec 30 at 9am.

Nitec courses

Alternatively, N(T) students who have sat for the GCE ‘N’ Level examinations can directly enrol in a two-year Nitec course in ITE.

Nitec students can only progress on to one of the five local polytechnics to pursue a diploma if they have attained a Nitec certificate in technical areas with a minimum GPA of 3.5 or above. Otherwise, students who have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 and above may only progress directly to the second year of the relevant two-year Higher Nitec course.

These courses will include anywhere between three to six months of industry attachment while applicants who apply for the Nitec in Nursing programme will undergo nine months of on-the-job clinical training.

Most Nitec courses will require at least three GCE ‘N’ level passes. Asian Culinary Arts, Digital Animation and Urban Greenery and Landscape are some courses that have a minimum requirement of completing the GCE ‘N’ Level examination.

Eligible students can apply for the Joint Intake Exercise (JIE) form Dec 19, 2.30pm till Dec 22, 5pm.

Polytechnic foundation programme

N(A) students who have attained a raw ELMAB3 score of 12 points or less for the ‘N’ Level examinations are eligible for PFP. The PFP is a one-year programme that will teach a practice-oriented curriculum to prepare polytechnic-bound students for entry into the relevant diploma courses at all five participating polytechnics.

To qualify, eligible students must have a minimum required grade of three and above for English Language Syllabus A, Mathematics Syllabus A and three other subjects. All five polytechnics will offer a total of 1,500 places for the PFP.

PFP students will be granted provisional admissions into diploma programmes, subject to passing all modules in the one-year PFP course. Thereafter, they will commence their  three-year diploma programme in their respective courses.

The programme is also extended to N(A) students who have sat for GCE O-Level subjects. Students can combine their ‘N’ and ‘O’-Level examination results to compute their eligibility for the programme.

Registration for the PFP will open after the release of the GCE ‘O’- Level results. The application outcome will be released by end-January.

PFP at all five polytechnics will commence on April 17, 2023.

Direct entry scheme to polytechnic programme

N(A) students eligible for the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP) can also enrol in a two-year Higher Nitec course in ITE and subsequently be placed in a related polytechnic course.

Students will need to achieve a qualifying Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or more for Applied Sciences and Engineering courses and 3.0 or more for Business Services courses during the two-year programme in order to enrol in their desired courses in polytechnic.

To qualify for DPP, one will need an ELMAB3 score of 19 points or less, excluding bonus points for the N-Level examinations. Students applying to applied sciences, engineering or info-communications technology courses will need a minimum grade of four and above for English and Mathematics and five and above for the best three subjects.

MOE said that 1,200 DPP places will be offered across all three ITE colleges.

Successful applicants who enrol in DPP will attend a 10-week preparatory course before commencing their two-year Higher Nitec course in April.

The DPP track caters only to secondary four N(A) students of the preceding cohort. Only scores received by Secondary 4 N(A) students at the GCE ‘N’ Level examinations in 2022 will be considered for application to the DPP 2023 intake.

You can check out the list of Higher Nitec courses offered under DPP here.

Students can apply for the DPP track from Dec 19, 2.30pm till Dec 22, 5pm. Application results will be released on Dec 23 at 2pm.

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