My story in the Gifted Education Programme.

By GEPthrowaway

When I was in P3, I remembered being extremely surprised I had gotten into the 2nd round. I was the only one in my entire class. Hell, I was the only one who was outside the top 3 classes. I knew that I had no chance of getting in, but my mother encouraged me to try anyway. I had no idea what 95% of the questions were asking, so I filled in the OAS randomly and hoped for the best. I did this for all the tests, which were if I remember correctly, English, Chinese, Math and a General Paper.

Fast forward a couple of months and imagine the look on my face when I was told I had been accepted into GEP. I was speechless and overjoyed! Me! The top 1% of students in Singapore! Me!

To this day I still have no idea how I got in. I was never an exceptional student. I had gotten into a 'branded' school because I live extremely close to one but I had always gotten slightly above for everything, except Math which was the only subject I was good in. I had a discipline record, having fought someone in P2 (f***er wouldn't stop annoying me).I didn't get a CCA until Secondary School, because no one chased me. I had won no awards, acomplished nothing, I was just an ordinary boy. When the initial sense of happiness wore-off, I thought about the hundreds of more deserving students whose place I had taken.

The next 3 years were absolutely shit. Being in a different league all together with my class mates, I consistently got last in class. I couldn't even get a 75 for math whereas everybody else got 90s without even trying. In the GEP, you were required to take an extra subject, Social Studies, which was examinable, and get at least 70% to be promoted to the next year. Being 10, 5 subjects was ALOT. In addition to that, there were numerous other projects. I really tried my hardest, but I was stressed out of my f***ing mine trying to keep pace. Frankly, they were complete and utter wastes of time. I'm no saying they weren't interesting, but I learnt skills that will never help me get a job, never help me buy a house or car, never help me in life. i remember in P6, 2 months before Prelims, when the mainstream classes were doing revision papers and stuff that would help me pass we started advertising in English.

In order to continue being a "Gepper" in Secondary School, I had to get a minimum of PSLE score of 250. I gave it my all, but at the end of the day I got 236 while my classmates pretty much all got 260 and above. Still a decent score, but not good enough. I took it well, knowing I had deserved it, unlike my mother who unreasonably expected a 265. I even jokingly apologised to my form teacher for pulling down the class average ( the schools like to have dick measuring contests.) Everybody else went to RI, RGS, NYGH, etc, but I went to a slightly above average secondary school, where I felt comfortable and finally where I belong.

I frequently think about what would have happened if I hadn't joined. About the tax money that had been wasted on me.( The government apparently spends f*** loads of each student? At least that was what they told me.) About the person's place I had taken and how his or her life would be different. I wouldn't have met some of my closest friends, but I'm sure I would have been friends to others. Maybe I could have gotten higher than 236 because I wouldn't need to have done so much useless bullshit. I don't know, but sure as hell would have enjoyed school more.

This post was first published over at Reddit on 12 April 2014.


Poor PSLE grades: Boys need to fall in order to climb higher mountains.

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