Blog Students Advice For Students How Relevant is ‘O’ Level POA to Real-Life Accounting

How Relevant is ‘O’ Level POA to Real-Life Accounting

In Singapore, principles of accounts subject is among the subjects that are offered in O-Level exams to secondary school students. The importance of having accounting knowledge is clearly to be observed from the exercise by the Polytechnic Joint Admission.

The Singapore Polytechnic (SP) of 2018 JAE, the set cut-off point for the Accountancy course is among the most competitive in all the study courses given at 13 points. And despite them having the highest intakes ever when compared to the other courses!

Such a phenomenon is not solely tied to SP, but it’s also reflected in the polytechnics as well.

Therefore, if you have chosen to study Principles of Accounts as one of your GCE ‘O-Level subjects, you need to realize the opportunity you will have to get the most practical and vital knowledge available in secondary school.

The Relevance of POA in Real Life

With about 95 percent of the accounting concepts taught in ‘O’ Level POA. This has direct application in real life accounting, thus the Principles of Accounts comes out as the most practical and relevant subject taught in a series of the subjects offered in ‘O’ Level.

Things are changing and more students in Singapore are progressively showing more interest in solving problems and learning subjects that they can link to real-life rather than those that are only theoretical by nature. In POA students learn how each accounting concept they learn may be applied in life.

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Let’s look at several examples on ways in which the concepts you will have learned in the Principles of Accounts are connected to real-life scenarios.

Bank Reconciliation

Therefore, how is bank reconciliation done in the real world? You will be able to compare the amount at ledger accounts to the bank statements that you get from the bank.

With this, you can update the amount at ledger accounts with the transactions that appear in your bank statements but aren’t included in the ledger. Thus making preparing a bank reconciliation statement.

What then is the difference between this concept from what you’ve learned in your coursebook (All About Principles of Accounts) in Chapter 7? There’s absolutely none!

Provided you infer the concepts you learn in Principles of Accounts, you always can take up a job in accounting that requires that you perform bank reconciliation after finishing your ‘O’ Level.

Ledger Accounts

One question that will certainly come in O-level POA Paper 1 is the preparation of the ledger accounts. This question often will require that you prepare ledgers in a columnar format.

Following drastic revamping of the Principles of Accounts syllabus in 2015 Exams, most ‘O’ level POA educators celebrated the long overdue changes.

The major change in this new syllabus was the move from T-account to the columnar format. All companies and this includes the smallest SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) have also made the move to using columnar ledger format.

Educators in Singapore are in full support of the change and this has certainly brought O-Level POA curriculum to even align more with the real world.

Impairment of Trade Receivables

This subject is covered in Chapter 14 of the coursebook. On this topic, students are asked to share why they are learning this particular accounting concept and ways that it can be used in real life scenarios.

Some schools may go no further than the basic ‘mechanical’ answer. But eventually, they do get to cover all the accounting concepts over again.

One topic that may have been taught in a mechanical manner in school is on the subject of allowance for impairment of the trade receivables.

Offering an allowance does not just a theoretical concept. It is something that has to be done every year before statutory audits start.

How Can I Do Well in POA?

How can a student ensure that they achieve good results in their ‘O’ level? Can hard work alone help your child secure A* Grade in their exams?

Though it is quite important for students to put in some effort as they learn this subject, you will probably require more for you to attain an A* Grade in your POA.

Luckily, by using the right application of some key factors of success, anyone may be able to attain excellent results in their POA and even in other O-Level subjects! Even with the help of educators, your child should be able to grasp the concepts of accounting taught in class.

What can you do to ensure that you are well prepared for the Principle Of Accounts exams? In essence, there are three key factors of success that you may need to apply in order for you to score a good grade in POA.

1. Proper knowledge of the subject matter
2. Use of effective methods of studying and exam strategies
3. Determination and intrinsic motivation.

Whether you plan to simply use POA as a subject in your L1R4/L1R5 as its easy to score good results or you want to become a successful accountant, POA is a subject you should not leave behind.


Just about all concepts, that is to about to 95 percent of things you are taught in ‘O’ Level’s Principles Of Accounts will have real-life applications. When it happens that your POA tutor or teacher has no real or little life experiences in the accounting industry.

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It is advisable that your child speaks to professionals who are actual accounting practitioners. It is highly likely that they will be very ready to share with your child about their experiences in the field.

Of course, the educators are also always willing to share useful insights of accounting with your child as well.

Students who are considering to take Principles of Accounts are said to gain an edge over the other classmates who are not taking Principles of Accounts in their O-levels studies. This is because the real world works around businesses and accounts is the language used by businesses.

Looking at how to excel in your O-levels? Here is some guidance for you:

5 Study Secrets to Take Your Grades to the Next Level
The Secret Formula to Ace Your Exams

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.