Tuesday, 23rd April 2024

Tuesday, 23rd April 2024

After O-Levels: Why the next step is not that hard for us

19 Jan 2023

From left: Aidan Chiu, Tan Qi Ying, Ann Rose Teno, and Aaliya Binte Hisham. (Photos by: Ken Koh and Lawrence Lim)
From left: Aidan Chiu, Tan Qi Ying, Ann Rose Teno, and Aaliya Binte Hisham. (Photos by: Ken Koh and Lawrence Lim)

Here’s a story that an AI chatbot cannot write: Your child’s. After collecting their O-Level results, students from Bukit Merah Secondary School and Greendale Secondary School let us in on their plans and considerations for the next chapter.

By Jacquelyn Ng and Neo Wen Tong

Schoolbag - Aaliya

(Photo by: Ken Koh)

Aaliya Binte Hisham, Greendale Secondary School

“I took Principles of Accounts in Sec 3 and became interested in the subject. I visited Temasek Polytechnic’s (TP) open house with my parents that year too. The school is very vibrant, and I enjoyed interacting with the poly students. From there, I decided that I would aim for TP’s Diploma in Business.

I secured a spot for the course through the Early Admissions Exercise. My school helped a lot. We had consultation sessions, and I could ask my teachers many questions. In lower secondary, I wasn’t always interested in my studies, but after I found the course that I liked, I worked harder because it was something I wanted to do for myself.

For now, what success means to me is having plans and putting in the effort to follow them, and being proud of my achievements!”


Schoolbag - Qi Ying

(Photo by: Lawrence Lim)

Tan Qi Ying, Bukit Merah Secondary School

“As a Dance Vice-Captain, I had to set a common vision for the team and encourage everyone to work towards it. When I told my Education and Career Guidance (ECG) counsellor in Sec 2 how much I enjoyed these responsibilities, he mentioned Business as a possible career option. In Sec 3, I picked Principles of Accounts as a subject to further explore this area.

At the start of Sec 4, I considered going into the Common Business Programme in polytechnic because it would expose me to different aspects of the Business discipline.

After speaking to seniors who either took the junior college (JC) or polytechnic track, I eventually accepted a Direct School Admission (DSA) offer into Catholic JC because I enjoy the structure of the JC lessons. I am certain of pursuing a Business Administration degree in university, and this option might give me a more direct pathway there.”


Schoolbag - Aidan

(Photo by: Ken Koh)

Aidan Chiu, Greendale Secondary School

“I hope to go to Temasek Polytechnic (TP) for their Psychology Diploma. My CCA, Singapore Red Cross Youth, was a big part of my secondary school life, and I’ve grown to enjoy helping people.

I took six years to complete secondary school because of my health; I stopped school for two years to undergo treatment for leukaemia. Returning was challenging because I was older than my peers. But taking on leadership roles in my CCA, and seeing myself as a senior to others, motivated me.

I want to be a psychologist or counsellor in the future to continue helping others. Unfortunately, I did not do as well as I had expected, so my chances of joining TP’s Psychology course are slim. But it’s not the end. There are other paths I can still take. Eventually, I will get there because I haven’t stopped trying.”


Schoolbag - Ann Rose

(Photo by: Lawrence Lim)

Ann Rose Teno, Bukit Merah Secondary School

“I’ve always been interested in healthcare because my mother works in the sector. In school, I discovered that studying Chemistry excited me. My teacher told me I could combine my interests in both through careers like anaesthesiology!

While my score does not meet the Cut-off Point for entry into JC, I’m not disappointed because I did my best. I also know there are other options for me. 

I can focus on applying for courses in either applied chemistry or pharmaceutical science in polytechnic. I bookmarked these courses earlier when I was browsing through online brochures and catalogues. This might also suit my learning style because I learn best by applying what I study.”

For more ideas for your child’s next chapters, try www.moe.gov.sg/coursefinder.

More stories on next steps after the O-Level exams:
Beyond career advice: Lending a listening ear
5 cool jobs, and the polytechnic courses that prepare you for them
Why I chose poly over JC
Why I went from polytechnic to junior college
I switched from JC to poly after 1 year

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