HCI Confessions: Retaking A Levels in Singapore less feasible than in UK

Half a year has passed, and the online Facebook confessions rage continues unabated. On the Hwa Chong Institution page, a student launches a rather lengthy debate about the pros and cons of retaking the A Level examinations, making comparisons to the supposedly more forgiving system/environment in the UK:

"While researching on university admissions, I was so bricked to find out that many teenagers in the UK who take the A' Levels like us actually resit papers that they did not do well in. Apparently, they have two rounds of exams so if they did not do well for the first time, they can have a second go at it (The A/AS Level thing).

I know that does not put us in any gaping disadvantage, but their curriculum is designed in a way to allow them to have the time to resit for exams and really maximise their potential to get into their desired university. How many times have we experienced that what-if-I-did-this, that painful regret that could alter our fates forever? How many times have we felt so stressed, so choked up with the compelling need to study just because of that one exam?

I am also aware many will be commenting saying how we can retake our exams if we want to, but really, how often do you hear of a Singaporean kid retaking his A's to get the As he needs? Besides, time is another factor. Most guys have to go for NS, girls will need to wait up to one year to register as a private candidate, and the examination fees are known to be costly. Retaking A's here is just simply not as easy and as cheap as it is in the UK.

And what makes it worse is how we grew up in a kiasu environment with endless tuitions and means to glorify our SGC. It just feels terrible to know that kids elsewhere have a second chance, a back-up plan, where we are just stuck to this one exam where our university fate lies forever (that could mean a lot more to others, though some may go ""aiyah go out to work, the degree is just a mere piece of paper"").

Here's perhaps the most reliable article so far: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationadvice/8708526/Should-you-retake-your-A-levels.html

Any takes? And no trolls please, I mean, all of you troll about how you can just screw it and not study but at the end of the day when A's draw near, you know will really sit your butt down and mug for it."

Well there are pros and cons for it, just like everything else in this world. For one, our way of doing it forces you to give your all because there is no second chance. See, if we are all given a second chance, there will be people who dont take the first one seriously and just decide to take it the second time. But of course there is the advantage of being able to retake your weaker subjects so that the stakes are not as high as a one-time-decides-all kind of thing like we have now. But overall i think that its much better to have a chance to retake."

Carefully harvested by the Czar (Site Founder)

Dated 19 June 2013


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