SINGAPORE - About 93.4 per cent of those who took the A levels in 2022 obtained a pass.
This translates to 10,206 students who attained at least three H2 passes, with a pass in General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry.
A total of 10,930 students sat the exam last year, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a joint statement with the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) on Friday. Their results are comparable with the performance of previous cohorts.
From special education to mainstream school
Mr Joshua Ng, who collected his results from Yishun Innova Junior College (JC) on Friday, never thought he would join a mainstream school after spending 11 years as a student in Pathlight School, a special education school for those with autism spectrum disorder.
“I enjoyed my years at Pathlight, as my teachers were kind and understanding and I could learn at a comfortable pace,” said the 19-year-old, who has high-functioning autism. His father is in the social service sector and his mother is in the media industry.
“Initially, I didn’t feel the need to join a mainstream school. I wasn’t sure if the learning environment would be too stressful,” he said.
But he did well enough at the O levels, and decided to take up the challenge of studying in Yishun Innova JC. He scored an A for H2 mathematics and a B for H2 computing in the A-level exams.
“I’m happy with my results, and they were within my expectations... I worked really hard and, in the lead-up to the exams, there were times I studied for 10 hours in a day,” said Mr Ng.
The initial weeks of adjusting to a new school environment were not easy. “In Pathlight, most of my lessons were held in the same classroom, whereas in JC, lessons could be spread across blocks... So I needed to follow the timetable accordingly. If I wasn’t careful, I would go into the wrong class,” he said.
“Also, the workload was four times that in secondary school. The fast-paced nature of JC stressed me more,” he added.
But he learnt to overcome the anxiety with coping mechanisms such as using a stress ball to relieve tension, listening to music while doing work, and focusing on positive thoughts. He also had weekly sessions with a guidance counsellor in school, who taught him how to manage stress.
“Whenever I felt stressed, I would go to him to calm down during break times,” he said. “My friends were also very understanding and patient with me.”
Mr Ng, who hopes to pursue further studies related to computing or data science, said: “I’ve found computers fascinating since primary school.”
He took technology-related courses in Pathlight School and later studied computing as an H2 subject in JC.
He hopes society will give children with autism a chance to learn and get better support, so that they can grow up alongside people without disabilities and reach their potential.
“Autism may have its limitations but... you can still do well as long as you work hard and be consistent. Whether you go to (one educational institution or another), it’s about getting the appropriate support in a comfortable learning environment,” he said.
In pursuit of biomedical research or medicine
Ms Srinithy Nagarajan, 19, from Raffles Institution, hopes to take up a local university course in biomedical research or medicine, after deepening her interest in these areas through research attachments and internships since secondary school.
She attained As for all four of her H2 subjects – biology, chemistry, mathematics and Tamil literature – as well as for General Paper and project work.
On top of that, she obtained a distinction in the Nanyang Technological University H3 Molecular Biology Programme. She took up the programme at the start of her second year in JC, and travelled to the university two or three times a week for a couple of months for lessons.
“I took on quite a lot of commitments in JC, which could be risky for my studies. But my parents never pressured me about my grades, and always encouraged me to keep trying and never give up... It feels great that everything paid off and I can pursue my interests,” said Ms Nagarajan, whose parents work in the education sector.
Pushing on despite father’s cancer diagnosis
Millennia Institute student Arjoon Selvaraja, 20, was also among the many who collected their results on Friday.
Mr Arjoon, who enlisted in national service (NS) in January, found out about his father’s cancer diagnosis in his second year at the school.
“It was very painful for me. I didn’t know who to turn to, and I was shy about talking to the school counsellor as I was embarrassed to cry in front of others,” he said.
Mr Arjoon, who lost his mum to diabetes when he was two years old, suddenly had to take on more responsibilities at home while juggling his schoolwork. He turned to running as a way to manage his emotions, and learnt to confide in his close friends.
“I’m grateful for my friends and teachers, who were my support system. The first people I would call whenever I’m feeling down are my friends,” he said.
His friends would buy him meals from time to time when he was running low on cash. His form teachers, Ms Tamilselvi Siva and Madam Giam Suyin, chipped in to buy him new shoes after noticing that his old pair was in bad condition.
Mr Arjoon passed all his subjects, with a B in H2 mathematics, in the A-level exams and qualified for university. He hopes to pursue further education once he finishes NS.
In Friday’s joint statement, MOE and SEAB said applicants interested in admission to the autonomous universities or in scholarships should submit their applications online. There is no need to submit a hard copy of their A-level certificates. More information on the universities’ admission processes can be found on their websites.
A-level graduates looking to apply to polytechnics can benefit from module exemptions in about 120 courses. “This can potentially reduce the time taken for them to obtain a polytechnic diploma by up to one year,” the statement said.
Interested students can apply directly to the polytechnics from next Tuesday to March 6, for enrolment in April. They may also apply in August for enrolment in October. More details can be found on the respective polytechnics’ websites.
Students are encouraged to make informed decisions about their next steps. They may refer to these websites for more information: MOE’s CourseFinder (www.moe.gov.sg/coursefinder) on course offerings at the autonomous universities, or MySkillsFuture (go.gov.sg/mysfpreu) on education and career pathways.
They can also consult their teachers, or education and career guidance (ECG) counsellors supporting their schools, for advice. They may make an appointment with a counsellor from the ECG Centre at MOE (Grange Road) via the e-appointment system at go.gov.sg/moe-ecg-centre. They can also call the ECG hotline on 6831-1420 or e-mail MOE_ECG@moe.gov.sg
The MOE ECG Centre is offering online or phone counselling from Feb 10 to March 18.