Why is Singapore-Cambridge A levels so hard?

Majority of the student enrollments into local universities continue to come from A levels (other placements come from IB, NUS High diploma and polytechnic [programs]). The Singaporean version of the A levels is pitched at a higher level compared to the international version. Despite that, entry requirements remain stringent.

Why is that? One may ask.

Simply put, MOE doesn’t want the locals to get a degree, and referring to the WIKILeaked document, targets enrollment at 20-25% annually out of approximately 15,000 applicants.

The local media echoes the sentiments publishing articles like this. And the local universities corroborate with the story recruiting foreign student to make up the numbers (approximately 32%).

The double whammy appears when certain career paths are inaccessible without the degree qualification. It’s hard to get into a local university, career options may be limited without a degree. So it’s no wonder teen suicide rates are increasing to their highest year after year.

Professionally, this serves to benefit me as more seek my help to decrypt the alien text students read in school. But on a personal level, I worry about the way education is pushing the young to the edge. Will the education system let up before it is too late? COMMENT.


  • On February 15, 2017