Can I study in a polytechnic and retake my 'O' Levels at the same time?

This query comes from a student:

Recently, I sat for my 'O' Levels. I scored 26 points for my L1R2B2, so I am thinking of doing a resit. May I know how much does it cost to hire your tutors and is it possible for your tutors to teach students who intend to register as private candidates? Also, is it possible to study in a polytechnic while retaking the 'O' Levels during the first year, thereafter quit the polytechnic course enrolled in to join my desired course when results for the 'O' Levels resit are released in 2015?

The Response:


The fees vary from tutor to tutor, so I would advise you to check with the tutor directly.

Most tutors are fine with teaching students who intend to register as private candidates, but do check with them as well.

As for your question regarding studying in poly while retaking the 'O' Levels, I would also advise you to contact the relevant polytechnic directly, as they would have the most reliable source of information. For instance, you may find the contact of Nanyang Polytechnic here:

However, I’m sure you’re aware that it might be difficult to juggle both the 'O' Levels and your poly workload at the same time. It might just be better for you to focus on either one, and my opinion is that if you are really not keen on your current poly course, you should focus on just studying for and retaking the 'O' Levels so you can get into your desired course next year. It’s risky but sometimes, you have to create a situation where failure is not an option, in order to succeed.

Alternatively, if you are “okay” with the poly course that you’re allocated, then why not just give it a shot, try to find your passion in it and put aside your 'O' Levels for now. Who knows, you might just like it and do very well in it.

Hope this helps and wish you all the best regardless of which decision you make.

Eric Chng

(Senior Councilor: May 2013 - December 2020)

Answered On 19 January 2014