O’Levels and N’Levels Results 2022 – What should I do after N’Levels or O’levels? What are my options?

Today is D-Day where N’levels candidates both NT and NA will collect their results in school. With a new common national examination to be launched in 2027, a mere four to five years away, this year’s batch of over 13,000 students (both NT and NA) will be one of the last few batches taking the GCE N-Level. 

How did this year’s N(A) students fare?

According to MOE, there are 9,000 students that took the N(A) course of which close to 79 per cent of them scored an aggregate score of 19 points or less in English Language, Mathematics and the best three other subjects (ELMAB3). This would allow them to progress to Secondary 5 N(A), as they have a score of 19 points or less. Students who choose to progress to Secondary 5 will take have to take the O’levels Syllabus within a year and they will have a choice of entering a Junior College (L1R5 below 20) or Polytechnic next year. 

This blog post seeks to answer some of the many questions that will pop up after getting your O’levels or N’levels results; “Should I retake my O’levels?” “What can I do if I cannot make it to Sec 5?” “Should I choose to go to Secondary 5 if I am eligible?” “What is DPP programme?”


What are my options after N’Levels exams? 

(1) Move on to Secondary 5

As mentioned earlier, those who obtain an aggregate of 19 points or lower in English, Mathematics and the best three subjects (ELMAB3), and at least a Grade 5 for all subjects used in the computation of the ELMAB3 to qualify for Secondary 5 N(A). But this means that you will need to go through the O’levels syllabus in just one year. 

(2) Apply for Direct-Entry-Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP)

If you scored a raw aggregate score of 19 points or less in ELMAB3, and met subject-specific entry requirements for their chosen course. This means that Secondary 4 N(A) students will be admitted directly into a 2-year Higher Nitec programme at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) without having to sit for the O-Level examinations or undergo a Nitec programme. How to apply? You can apply directly to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) based on a combination of your N-Level examinations results and your school’s preliminary examination results. Click here for more details. Under this scheme, you may first enrol in a 2-year Higher Nitec course at ITE. You will subsequently be assured of a place in a related polytechnic course, provided you achieve the qualifying Grade Point Average (GPA) score in your 2-year Higher Nitec course. This means that you need to maintain your grade and no goofing around in ITE! 

(3) Go on to Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP) if you scored 12 points or lower for ELMAB3

This is the most direct route to polytechnic education open only to students who achieved 12 points or lower for ELMAB3. To compute the score, take English Language + Mathematics + Best 3 subjects (which also include one of the relevant subjects based on either Group 1 or Group 2 courses). Instead of continuing with your ‘O’ Level examinations in Secondary 5, you can join the poly of your choice as part of this programme to prepare yourself for your pre-selected diploma course. However, you need to still progress to Secondary 5 till end of Jan 2023 while you await for your posting. It is extremely important to note that eligibility to apply for PFP does not guarantee placement in the programme. Whether you will get a placement or not, depends on factors like competition based on merit and the availability of places. All the five  polytechnics in Singapore will offer a total of 1,500 PFP places and applications will open in January 2023, on the day of the O-Level Examination results release. If you choose a highly popular course, you need to be aware of the competition. For more details, click here


(4) Apply to take O’levels as a Private Candidate 

For students who did not achieve their ideal grades for N’Levels but desire to take O’levels (but you cannot meet the criteria of going on to Sec 5 because you did not score 19 points). You can choose to take the O’levels as a private candidate at schools like MDIS and TMC Academy. Both schools provide Preparatory Courses for students. However, do be prepared to pay $7,000 to $15,000 plus for the programmes, depending on school and duration. For more information, click here for TMC O’levels Preparatory Course and MDIS  

Whatever options you choose, you need support both from your parents and quality, professional tutors who can help you achieve your dreams. Whatsapp us today or email us


What is SPERS


SPERS is an acronym for The School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans. It is a centralised placement exercise which takes place annually mostly at the end of the year for Returning Singaporeans (RS).

Due to the Covid-19, situation, there are over 200,000 Singaporeans who have return home. Amongst these Singaporeans, many are back with their children and looking to return permanently to Singapore.

At The Learning Space, we have received an overwhelming number of enquiries from parents, particularly from Hong Kong and China – Beijing, Shanghai asking for SPERS tuition for their children immediately. In view of that, we would like to share some quick tips on SPERS.


Who can sign up for SPERS?

Children of Singaporean parents working abroad can look forward to easier re-entry into the mainstream school system for their children when they return to Singapore.

Returning children of Singaporean parents will only need to sit for one set of centralised SPERS tests for school admission,” said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on their website.

There are generally two main SPERS admission tests. SPERS-SEC which is designed for those who wish to enter a secondary school at Sec One or Sec Three. Your child cannot re-join a secondary school at Sec 4 or JC/Pre-U 2 as these years are national examination year. The School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans (SPERS-SEC) for Sec One allows your child to seek entrance to a secondary school without taking the PSLE. Older children generally around 14 or 15 years of age, can take the entry admission for Sec 3. SPERS-JC/MI designed for students usually 16 who are looking to enter Pre-University (JC or MI).


What are the dates for SPERS 2020?


The SPERS-Sec tests are conducted within 1 day and will be held around mid-September.

Your child has to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the tests and sit at your assigned desks at least 15 minutes before the tests begin.

What will be tested? Two core subjects, English and Math,

The English test comprises two parts. Your child will be given 2 hours and 10 minutes to complete it:

Part 1: Writing

2 topics are set for Secondary 1, while 4 topics are set for Secondary 2 and Secondary 3.

Your child has to choose 1 topic for composition writing. The word limits for the different academic level are as follows:

  • Secondary 1: 200 to 300 words
  • Secondary 2: 250 to 350 words
  • Secondary 3: 300 to 400 words

Part 2: Comprehension and language use

Compulsory multiple-choice questions

  • Comprehension (based on 2 passages): 15 items
  • Comprehension cloze (based on 2 passages): 15 items
  • Vocabulary: 10 items
  • Grammar: 10 items

The Mathematics test comprises 2 parts. Your child will be given 30 minutes to complete Part 1, and 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete Part 2. They will not be allowed to use a calculator.


Part 1

  • Multiple-choice questions: 34 items

Part 2

  • Short-answer questions: 20 items
  • Open-ended questions: 10 to 15 items

For both short-answer and open-ended questions, your child has to show the method of solution (working steps) clearly, writing their answers in the spaces provided.

Generally, open-ended questions require longer and more complex method of solutions as compared to short-answer questions.

For SPERS-JC/MI, your child will be tested on English and Math, he or she will need to be familiar with the O’levels requirement, although the paper format differs slightly. Your child will be tested on three parts, a General Ability Test, English and Mathematics.

Test 1: The general ability test assesses your child’s general reasoning ability.

You child will be provided with all the information they need to respond to the test questions, and clear instructions will also be provided. 


The duration of the paper, including instruction and familiarization, is 45 minutes.

Test 2: English

The English test comprises two parts:

Part 1: Writing (1 hr 50 min)

  • Section A: Editing.
  • Section B: Situational writing.
  • Section C: Continuous writing.

Part 2: Comprehension (1 hr 50 min)

  • 3 visual texts and comprehension passages, including comprehension, vocabulary and summary sections.

Test 3:

The Mathematics test comprises 2 sections. Your child will only be assessed on Elementary Mathematics and will be given 2 hours to complete the paper.

Section A

  • Short answer questions (no options) – To test on fundamental skills and concepts.

Section B

  • Problem-sum questions (no options) – To test on higher order thinking skills.

To help you get started, our team of former MOE Teachers and professional tutors are ready to help you and your children for any enquiries on SPERS Tuition. You can start having tuition online or when you return to Singapore.


Changes to PSLE and ‘O’ Levels curricula tested this year 2020

The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on 22 Apr that changes will be made to the curricula tested this year, taking in account the impact of the extended circuit breaker measures on curriculum time and to allay student’s anxiety. The ministry indicated that the common last topics – a set of topics taught by schools toward the end of the academic year, will be removed from the national examinations this year.

For skill-based subjects such as English and mother tongue languages, MOE state that it will not be “meaningful and practical” to identify common last topics. In such instances, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) will ensure that disruption to curriculum time will be taken into consideration during marking and grading to ensure fair assessment of all students.

Keen to find out more on the updated curricula? Visit us to find out how we can help your child prepare for their upcoming examinations.



At a glance: 

Common Last Topics not examined in 2020*

  • Speed, Volume, Pie Charts, Solid Figures and Nets (PSLE Math)
  • Interactions within the Environment (PSLE Science)
  • Proofs in plane geometry (O Level A. Math)
  • Vectors in two dimensions (O Level E. Math)
  • Magnetism and Electromagnetism (O Level Science Physics) 
  • Organic Chemistry (O Level Chemistry)
  • Organisms and their Environment (O Level Biology)

* Please take note that this list is not exhaustive. For a complete list of subjects affected, kindly visit https://www.seab.gov.sg/ for more information