What should you do if you failed A Levels?

Every student in the Junior College comes across this thought of “What if I failed my A levels?” at some point in the journey of this Pre-university education course. This scary thought arises because the subjects are that much complex and in-depth that students are unable to catch up with the rigor. They are unable to practice with tenacity to achieve excellence in all subjects equally.

The Ministry of Education in Singapore has mapped out all the possible routes and pathways that students can take in order to land on a good career in the future. This also indicates that there is no one particular fixed route that students have to take in order to achieve goals and fulfill ambitions.


Parents have to understand that not all children are the same in the way they learn and internalise information. Some may be late bloomers and hence it is ok to take a longer route as compared to other children. The idea of competitiveness does not benefit in any way; instead it only provides more disappointment and worries unnecessarily. The most serious impact is that the social stigma and comparisons will take a toll on children’s confidence. It will scar them for life.


The first thing that we have to do in the scenario of having failed the A level examinations, is to avoid panicking. It is natural to become emotionally mangled. But at that moment it is important to think of the next step to take in order to move forward. It is indeed easier said than done, but keep in mind that crying over spilt milk never makes a difference to the situation. Hence practicality is important. Throughout the process, it is essential to be unapologetic with yourself and to take others’ criticisms with a pinch of salt.


In universities like NUS, NTU and SMU, up to 15% of admissions are open to students through their Discretionary Admission Scheme. This is MOE’s way of encouraging students to pursue their interests in non-academic areas. Though they may be a little weaker on the academic side. It gives you an alternative route even if you do not meet the cut-off point for the course you applied to. Take a close look at the minimum requirements and choose your course wisely because there is hope in everything.


There is a wide range of private institutions offering undergraduate degree programmes for students with varied qualifications. These include institutions like Kaplan Higher Education Academy, Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and SIM Global Education.


After doing well for their O levels to polytechnic route, many students have traded junior college. they were sure about what they wanted to pursue. There are so many courses available. It is up to you to think about which pathway you would like to take in life!


It is certainly not the end of the world if you have failed the A levels because there are various alternative options ranging from retaking A levels exams to re-routing to Polytechnic using O level certificate; and many more. It is perfectly fine to take a slightly longer route. Because it is the destination you reach at the end that matters!