GCE certificate is a high school diploma that is being used by the UK and other countries in the UK education system, including Singapore. Under the education system, GCE certificate is divided into two levels: O-Level for 16-year-olds – equivalent to graduating high school in Vietnam and A-Level for 18-year-olds – equivalent to general education. Singapore’s O-Level and A-Level certificates are recognized globally, especially in the federal states and in the United States.
Singapore’s O-Level exam is held annually. The Cambridge Institute for Exam (CIE), the Ministry of Education, and the Singapore Examination and Assessment Board (SEAB) are co-organizers of the O-Level examinations.
Students at the end of the 4th year (for the Express) or 5th year (for the Normal – Cultural Division) and freelance candidates can take the O-Level examination. According to statistic, about 30,000 students attend the O-Level exam every year.
All students study Express and Normal also have to take at least 5 examination subjects and maximize up to 9 subjects. Students who wish to take 10 subjects must be approved by Ministry of Education.
Examination subjects include: English language (Listening, Reading Comprehension and Speaking), Mathematics, Mother Tongue (Listening, Reading Comprehension and Speaking), Humanities (to be compulsory Social Sciences subject to elected subjects include: History, Geography, Literature in English, Chinese, Malay or Tamil), Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology). Besides, students have optional subjects: Higher Mathematics, Accounting, Applied Science (Biochemistry, Design, Communication), Religion, Economics, Foreign Languages.
Upon releasing the result of O-Level exam, students have many opportunities to choose a higher level.
Applying to Polytechnics:
In Singapore, there are five Polytechnics:
– Nanyang Polytechnic
– Ngee Ann Polytechnic
– Republic Polytechnic
– Singapore Polytechnic
– Temasek Polytechnic
The system of Polytechnics is established with the task of training skilled human resources in technique and economy for the country. Study programs at these schools will focus in practice and reality knowledge with the subjects such as Technology, Business, Accounting, Nursing/Nurse, Pre-Education, Design…
Graduates of these Polytechnics are often recruited by employers as they are equipped completely with practical skills and working experience, so they can integrate quickly into the working environment.
Apply to Junior Colleges (JC)/Millennia Institute (MI)
Currently, there are 20 JCs and one MI. In most of JC and MI, students will be study A-Level Singapore-Cambridge Pre-University program to prepare for enrollment in Singapore’s Universities or in the world. Depending on their choice, students can take Higher 1 (H1), Higher 2 (H2) or Higher 3 (H3). Besides, at the Anglo-Chinese (ACS) and St. Joseph, students can study IB.
Study programs at JC and MI focus mainly on the subjects of Language, Mathematics and Science, Humanities (Economics, History, Geography, Opera, Art, Music). In addition, students can choose from a wide range of intensive specialized subjects in Music, Opera, Mother tongue.
To enroll in JC/MI, students will be required to take the JAE or AEIS exams (for international students, held annually after obtaining O-Level results). Admission will depends on the O-Level exam score, course selection and available spaces of the school.
Tuition fees at JC and MI can be referred in the table below:
(Data of 2017)
Apply to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE)
The institute consists of three campuses: East Center and West Center with approximate of 28,000 students and more than 90 full-time Nitec and Higher Nitec courses.
ITA’s program aims to provide students with the technical knowledge and skills to directly respond to the human needs of the economy.
Courses at ITE include: Marine Technology, Aviation, Cooking and Baking, Asian Cuisine, Nursing/Nursing, Accounting, Electrical Engineering, Pre-Education…
According to statistics of 2016, nearly 90% of ITE graduates find jobs within the six months after graduation. In case students do not want to join the labor market right after graduation, they can choose to study at higher level or register at Polytechnics.
Apply to Art Academies
In Singapore, there are two government-funded art schools: LASALLE and NAFA. About 4,000 students are currently studying in these schools, with more than 40 courses of degree and certificate in the fields of Performing Arts, Design, Communication.
A-Level program can be considered as equivalent to the 11th and 12th grade programs in Vietnam. This is a card for students to continue applying to study in the system of public universities in Singapore or other prestigious universities around the world.
The program lasts for 2 years for JC and 3 years for MI. Students will choose at least 6 subjects. The subjects are chosen based on your career orientation and your ability to study. Choosing the right subjects will help students improve their chances of being admitted to prestigious universities. Even if student decides not to continue studying, many Singapore employers may also request A-level certificate.
A-level scores are counted to the scale from A to E, with A being the highest and E being just enough to pass, and S and U being failed. If passing this exam, (passing H2 and General Paper – which is a combination subject of English and Sociology), students will receive A-level certificate.
The program lasts for 2 years for JC and 3 years for MI. At each JC school, students will have different subject choices, called combinations. Students will generally be required to select two subjects as General Paper and Project Work, the subject requires teamwork and design a project as required by the program. Students may also be asked to choose a contrasting subject – for example, if student chooses a science combination that in terms of science subject, he must also choose a social subject, and vice versa. And depending on each school, students will not be allowed to select certain subjects to study together – for example, at Raffle, students cannot choose Physics and Biology in the same combination.