More than 13,000 students receive N-level results; high pass rates for class of 2019

Spectra Secondary School, after students collected their N-level results on Dec 19, 2019. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - More than three in four Normal (Academic) stream students made the cut for promotion to Secondary 5 next year, the N-level results released on Thursday afternoon (Dec 19) showed.

And almost every one of the 9,752 students from the stream who sat the exams this year passed, with figures showing 99.5 per cent clearing the hurdle.

These figures are similar to the ones recorded last year, which showed 76.9 per cent qualifying to take the O-levels at Secondary 5.

About 13,700 students collected their N-level results on Thursday.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Education and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board said 38.1 per cent of students from the Normal (Academic) course took O-level subjects this year under the subject-based banding system, which allows students to take subjects at varying difficulty levels based on their strengths.

The results for their O-level subjects will only be out later in January.

This year, about 4 per cent of students from the Normal (Technical) course, or about 150 of them, took one or more subjects in English language, Mother Tongue Languages, Mathematics and Science at the Normal (Academic) level.

An MOE spokesman said the pass rate for subjects taken by these students is comparable to their Normal (Academic) peers.

The pass rate this year for Normal (Technical) course students was 98.1 per cent, up from 97.5 per cent last year.

These students may apply to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), or laterally transfer to the Secondary 4 N(A) course if they had obtained an A grade for English and mathematics, and at least a B grade for one other subject.

Sec 4 Normal (Academic) students, who obtained an aggregate not exceeding 19 points in English, mathematics and the best three subjects, may apply for the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP).

Under this programme, students who complete their two-year Higher Nitec course at ITE and attain the minimum qualifying grade point average are guaranteed a place in a related polytechnic diploma course.

Like last year, about 1,200 DPP places will be offered across all three ITE colleges. Applications open on Thursday.

More information is available at

Sec 4 Normal (Academic) students also have the option of applying for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP) - a one-year programme to prepare for entry to polytechnic diploma courses, which is open to students who obtained an aggregate not exceeding 12 points.

The polytechnics will offer about 1,500 PFP places in total. Applications open in January next year.

Close to 95 per cent of Crest Secondary's students this year passed the N levels, the school said in a statement.

Students at Crest - one of the two specialised schools for Normal (Technical) students - go through a four-year academic programme, but they also learn vocational skills, and graduate with an ITE Skills Certification (ISC) in facility services, mechanical servicing, retail services or hospitality services.

The school said 92.7 per cent of its students passed the ISC, with about 10 per cent of them scoring a perfect grade point average of 4, which is equivalent to two A grades in the N levels, and can be counted towards ITE admission.

Some 30 per cent of students at Crest also secured a place in ITE through the Early Admission Exercise, which allows them to apply for courses based on aptitude.

Its principal Seet Tiat Hee said: "I am very happy that many of our students who come from very humble backgrounds have done very well in both the N levels and the ITE Skills Certificate.

"Crest Secondary is a school of hope for NT students to succeed.

"We see natural talent in them - here we rejoice and celebrate their efforts more than their academic grades.

"Our unique skills-based, practice-oriented curriculum has prepared them well, and raised their self-esteem and self-confidence such that they excel at the Early Admission Exercise interview and secure for themselves popular courses in the ITE Colleges."

In a separate development, ITE said that it is offering three new Nitec courses in January next year.

These are in the fields of electronics and Internet of Things, business administration and an updated course in automotive technology.

In total, it will have 44 Nitec courses, 50 higher Nitec courses and 24 traineeship courses next year. Traineeship programmes combine work and study at the same time.

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