SINGAPORE: The Singapore-Cambridge GCE N-Level (or Normal Level) results were out on Thursday.
Nearly three quarters, or 72.8 per cent, of the 12,419 Normal (Academic) students who took the N-Level examination this year will move on to Secondary 5.
And more than 99 per cent of them will be awarded the Normal (Academic) Level certificate.
In all, 17,929 students took the N-Level examination this year, with a third from the Normal (Technical) stream.
And 98 per cent of these students will get their certificate.
At Hillgrove Secondary, Nicholas Chua is one of the top N-Level students of his cohort.
But he was not always hardworking, especially in his lower secondary years.
That changed when he found a dream he wanted to pursue.
Nicholas said: “I was quite playful back then -- I didn't see the importance of studying. I was often distracted by my friends… to go out with them and all.
“The turning point probably (came) in Secondary 3, when the school introduced us to many various careers and the different courses in polytechnic. And when I found a particular interest, which was engineering, I set a target for myself to work hard for that. It gave me a clearer direction to what I want to be in the future.”
With an aggregate score of eight points, Nicholas is hoping to apply for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme, which allows him to skip Secondary 5.
The best possible score is five points, which takes into account a student's grades in English, Mathematics and best three subjects.
Abdul Haziq Abdul Hafiz could have gone to the Express stream with his results, but he chose the Normal (Academic) stream as he wanted to give himself more time to learn.
Tragedy struck the Temasek Secondary School student when he was in Secondary 1, as he suddenly lost his father, the breadwinner of the family.
But Abdul Haziq did not let his grief get him down.
Instead, he worked hard and even took up leadership positions in his co-curricular activities.
And he credits his good results to support from his mother.
Abdul Haziq said: "It has to be my mum. She has been there for me the whole time since my father left. I know she's really sad about what happened -- I don't know how sad she really feels -- but no matter what, she still supports me."
Reshma Nambiar from Yio Chu Kang Secondary said her mother did not let her go out with her friends for almost the entire year, so that she could concentrate on her studies.
In retrospect, she is glad she listened to her mother.
Reshma said: “I have some friends, they can go out, but they would still do very well, but I'm not that type of person. I have to actually sit down and study, and I think my mum knows that about me, so a lot of times, throughout the whole year, she didn't allow me to go out with my friends, or she just made me stay at home and just study and study.
“I got very angry. I was very upset because why can all my friends have fun, and… I can’t? But I think in the end, it really paid off and I'm very grateful to my parents for doing that.”
After the N-Level examinations, students have a range of choices on where to go next.
Most will go on to Secondary 5 to do the O-Level examinations, while some may choose to do a year at ITE before moving on to polytechnic.
The best of the cohort -- those with an aggregate score of 11 and below -- may gain direct entry into polytechnic.
This year, the five polytechnics are offering 1,200 places in total. - CNA/gn
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