Might end up spending 5 years studying in Millennia Institute (MI), feeling very worried (Response A)

This query comes from a student:

I am currently in Millennia Institute (MI) pursuing the 3 year 'A' level course, fyi the school permits students to repeat once each year for their first 2 years there. Well I was already retained previously in J1, and since I have been scoring mostly U grades once more for most of the major assessments in J2, it means I will most likely get retained yet again. If (a big IF) I succeed in getting promoted to J3 eventually, I would been stuck in the same place for 5 whole years!!!!!!

Should I just quit now altogether and study elsewhere instead, say a polytechnic? Honestly I am very, very worried about having wasted an obscene amount of time compared to my peers with nothing to show for in the end if I hung around and screw up my 'A' levels......:( What should I do? Please do kindly advise, thanks.

The Response:


Sorry to hear about your troubles.

If I’ve read you correctly, this is already your 3rd year in MI (and at the J2 level).

I understand your dilemma:

- If you stay, even if you make it to J3 you might not graduate with a good result – and the point of taking the 'A' levels is to qualify for university, anyway.

- If you go to a polytechnic, you’d have wasted the 3 years so far in MI.

Without other necessary information to go by, it’s hard to make a good recommendation about your subsequent course of action, but I think you’d have to ask yourself:

This is a harsh question but do bear with me: Have you really been trying your best in school so far? i.e. Have you taken the initiative to consult your tutors for help, consult classmates (the more studious ones)? Have you studied the notes in detail, clarified all of your doubts with teachers, and done your tutorials (and tried your best to understand what was going on)? If you have done all of those, it’s hard to imagine that you’d still get a U at the end of it, so I imagine something must be missing.

- If you haven’t done the above, it’s not too late to make an improvement in your attitude and approach to studies, even if you have to take another year. To be honest, I have not seen a student who puts in all the hard work and yet, still does not make it with a respectable grade at the end, even if they have to take more time to achieve it.

- If you are thoroughly convinced that you have done the above due diligence but are still getting Us (maybe ask a neutral 3rd party who knows you well enough to express an opinion on whether you have really done all the above), then to be frank, you might be better off going to a polytechnic and pursuing a diploma in a field that you’d really enjoy, and can excel in. It only makes sense, because you’re doing all the “right things” but am still not getting the results – clearly the highly theoretical nature of the A levels isn’t really your thing.

Hope this helps in some way or another.

Eric Chng

(Senior Councilor: May 2013 - December 2020)

Answered On 16 October 2018