Blog General Singapore Education News 6 Myths about Integrated Programme Students

6 Myths about Integrated Programme Students

The integrated programme allows for kids to skip the ‘O-levels while the rest take their GCE ‘O’ and ‘N’ level exams and since these children already know their interests and what they want to be in the future. They spend 6 years exploring their various interests.

This makes IP schools different from and non-IP schools that are more focused on preparing students for O-level exams.

Though both schools are equally good with well-qualified teachers, what makes the students from each of these schools different? Why are IP students thought as ’Elitists’? Below, we look at six myths about IP students that some people consider to be true.

Myth 1 – They mug all day

When you step into IP classrooms, you’ll certainly not think these students are muggers. Similar to other regular students – you will notice students chatting among themselves, others sleeping, using their phones and the rest finishing up their assignments as the teacher watches.

The one time student get to mug around is when they have exams just around the corner. Since they don’t have formal exams in the first 2 years of IP, students slack a lot.

During their year 3 and year 4 of the Integrated Programme, most students will, however, start panicking and begin doing some last minute study work.

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Myth 2 – IB and IP is the same thing

Many people may be thinking that IB and IP are the same. It’s actually not. These two programmes are totally different. IB is the International Baccalaureate programme that eventually awards their students with the IB diploma with a score totaling 45.

However, the Integrated Programme is a different programme that lets students skip doing the ‘O’ levels. Few IP students can end up getting the IB diploma and others can get the ‘A’ level certification or relevant diplomas like the diploma from NUS High School upon completing six years.

So, this means that IB(international baccalaureate) and IP are not the same things.

Myth 3 – They are exclusive brats

Students from Joint-Admission Exercise (JAE) often have this perception about their peers pursuing the Integrated Programme kids programme.

The JAE students are those who have done their ‘O’ levels and have been posted to junior colleges where they attend together with IP students. It just that Integrated Programme students appear to have exclusiveness and an air of arrogance since they tend to remain in their social circles.

But, is this really the case? Though the students have developed strong bonds with friends through IP, many of them want to make more friends beyond the IP to help widen their social circles. So yes, they understand the “real world”

Myth 4 – They are all vocal

Since IP kids have been nurtured with numerous presentations, projects, class participation, and debates with individuals who will clearly communicate their ideas.

However, does it mean that all of them are vocal kids? Being reserved or vocal is a trait that is independent of the students’ academic background.

But, as a group, these students will frequently table issue to the principal regarding the schools’ lack of facilities for performing arts in schools, the importance of arts subjects and improving the learning environment by using creative means such as wall typography and graffiti.

Hence, being vocal is more of an individuals character and its independent of your academic backgrounds.

Myth 5 – They are super smart

There is little truth in this statement. So, what is really the truth about integrated programme kids? Although IP schools have rather high cut-off points for the Primary School Leaving Exams (PSLE). But, the reality is all students joining IP schools have to start afresh.

This could mean that just because you did very well during your PSLE. It will not necessarily mean that such a pupil will perform exceedingly well during their next major examination.

So, this means that once a child joins IP school, they have to start all over. Also, it’s not about the good grades they got, but it’s about starting anew and building up.

Myth 6 – IP students who fail their final national exams are doomed

Though this is the biggest nightmare possible for Integrated Programme pupils. But then IP “failures” often bounce back stronger after they are admitted into a more suitable institution. There some students who have done the Integrated Programme for some years. But, it happens that after they get their ‘A’ level results. They have performed poorly.

Some might start feeling that they should have done ‘O’ levels to help guarantee a good foundation in their studies. However, such results do not spell doom for them.

Instead, many bounce back almost immediately and opt to pursue other courses such as diplomas from local Polys, specialized institutes such as LASALLE and overseas institutions.

How IP Benefits Your Child

Academically, this fast-track programme helps keep your child ahead of his peers including the higher-level topics. Thus, when your youngster is doing Secondary 1, the curriculum may include topics from Secondary 2. Hence obtaining analytical and higher-order thinking skills.

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In omitting O-levels, the students will now have more time for the improvement programmes. These may include elective studies like leadership, public speaking, psychology, problem-solving etc. This assists your child in developing and gaining life skills beyond the classroom setting.

The IP students are given opportunities to organize school and community events that impart values like empathy and responsibility. When your child is into sports, IP schools also gives more time which allows them to partake in school competitions and further develop their passion.

Take Away

The IP schools are different from and non-IP schools in that they focus on giving a child more time to develop their interests. Also when your child joins IP schools, it means they will not be doing the ‘O’ levels exams. However, non-IP schools are centered on preparing kids for O-level exams.

Though the student from IP schools are sometimes misunderstood, they do face challenges of their own. For instance when they don’t do well in their A-levels.

It is perceived unfairly as ‘failure’ these students often get back on their feet and pursue other courses offered by other institutions both local and abroad.

To understand what is Integrated programme, here are some articles to assist you:

Choosing IP Or ‘O’ Levels

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.