Blog Students Advice For Students GCE ‘A’ Level or IB – Which is a Better Choice For Your Education?

GCE ‘A’ Level or IB – Which is a Better Choice For Your Education?

GCE A Level or IB

It can be nerve wrecking when it comes to choosing between ‘A’ Levels or IB. Which is a better choice for universities admission? Is IB better than GCE ‘A’ Level? What are the factors to consider choosing between IB or ‘A’ levels? Well, we have the answers for you.

As you all know by now, the Singapore – GCE ‘A’ Level was introduced in 1969, a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the University of Cambridge Local Examination Organization. Its primary purpose was to prepare Singaporean students for undergraduate admissions.

But in recent years, IBDP, known as International Baccalaureate Diploma Program has grown more popular among Singaporeans. International schools and Independent schools have recently introduced IB as the leading tertiary examination system for students. IB is considered as a world-renowned education that provides higher learning and rigorous skills development for students.

Both of these curriculums help students to shape and pursue their next step in education. So, here are the overview factors that will help you and your child to choose between ‘A’ Levels or IB.

• Curriculum in-depth
“So, what is the difference between GCE ‘A’ Level and IB?”

Simply put, ‘A’ Levels emphasises in-depth learning on individual subject knowledge, allowing your child to focus more on subject contents like Literature, Economics, History, Mathematics and Science.

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So, if your child chooses ‘A’ Levels, it is highly recommended to take a minimum of,
– Three H2 subjects and one H1 subject, of which, one of them must be a contrasting subject
– Mother Tongue Language
– General Paper
– Project Work

It offers a better choice for those, who want to focus on unique, in-depth knowledge of the syllabus, allowing them to pursue and explore in the advanced content of the curriculum.

However, the IB curriculum focuses more on the coverage of comprehensive, range of subjects. Unlike the ‘A’ Levels, it focuses more on the rigorous amount of coursework in IB. In other words, your child will always be evaluated, by providing consistent work throughout the year and will take the final examination.

Thus, if your child chooses to take the IB, it is highly recommended to take 6 subjects,
– 3 at Higher Level and 3 at Standard Level, which includes, English, Math, any Science subjects (one science subject compulsory), any Art subjects and at least one Foreign language.

Besides, your child has to focus on 4 compulsory IB components,
– Extended Essay (4000-word essay)
– Internal Assessments on each subject
– Theory of Knowledge
– CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service)

Therefore, if words or languages aren’t your child’s strength, it may affect your child’s overall performance as most of the components focus more on writing papers and presentations throughout the subject materials. IB is a better choice for students who can cope confidently with the syllabus. Generally, there was lesser students who need IB tuition than for A-levels.

• Admission requirements

For quite some time, Junior Colleges and at least, 1 Centralised Institute (Millennia Institute) are known to offer GCE ‘A’ Levels whereas Independent and International Schools offer IB Diploma Program in Singapore. So, what are the criteria standards to get into schools?

IB or Alevel

• School fees

As you weigh your options about these two, different curriculums, take into consideration the cost of the programs. It is a well-known fact among Singaporeans that Junior college fees are cheaper compare to IB schools. So, how much are you willing to spend for your child’s education?

Therefore, it is wise to research and compare school fees. Take your time and don’t rush it. Consider the best option for your child.

• Local or overseas university

All universities, including in Singapore, recognised IB and Singapore – Cambridge ‘A’ Levels, as per say by the Ministry of Education, “ ‘A’- Level and IB are internationally benchmarked qualifications for university admission. All qualifications are assessed equally rigorously during the admission process, and no qualification is accorded an advantage or disadvantage.”

It is entirely up to your child if he or she chooses to study abroad or in a local university. Keep in mind; both curriculums prepare your child to be qualified for local and overseas university admissions.

To conclude, if you’re still wondering which one of these curriculums is better, it is wise to discuss with your child and his/her teachers. Decide wisely and consider your child’s plans for university and career. Whichever you choose, we provide qualified home tutors for both IB as well as A-level Tuition.

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.