O levels in Singapore is one of the major milestones students must overcome to advance to higher education. But sometimes, students don’t get a good grade and have to reconsider their future options.
One of them is to retake O levels as a private candidate. However, the process can be confusing since you’re on your own and don’t have a school to help you with the registration and other details.
To help you along the way, we’ve compiled everything a private O level candidate should know.
Before registering as a private candidate, you should look at the registration information and the Candidates portal (CP) guide on examination registration.
These guides and websites contain the latest updates on the registration process. They also include information on the subjects or papers and registration fees.
You should also have the following information ready before registering online:
1. Your NRIC number or Foreign Identification number
2. Your email address
3. The subjects that you wish to register for, including the subject name and subject code
4. Singpass account details (for those who are eligible for Singpass) or CP username and password (for those who are not eligible for Singpass)
5. Your credit card / debit card / PayNow details
Always check the latest exam syllabus at the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) website. This is because:
1. Some subjects are not available to private candidates.
2. There is a new or updated syllabus.
Sometimes, the subject syllabus content might have been updated or changed to a new syllabus code. This means that you might not be familiar with the content, so you might want to re-study the subject or reconsider retaking the subject.
Before retaking your O levels as a private candidate, you need to make sure that you meet all the registration requirements, which are:
1. You are 15 years old as of 1 January of the year you are sitting for the examination.
2. You must not be a school candidate.
3. If you’re registering for a Science subject with a practical paper, you must have:
– Sat for the same Science subject(s) previously, OR
– Are currently attending or will be attending a course of instruction in Science practical at any institute/school.
4. You are only allowed to sit for 9 test subjects.
When you fulfil all of these requirements, you are eligible to retake O levels as a private candidate.
Exam registration for private candidates is available in March. You can register at the private candidate registration portal. Make sure to also check the portal for the exact registration dates as they may change every year.
Late Registration Period
If you missed the march registration deadline, there is a late registration period in April for you to apply. But do note that SEAB will charge an additional ‘late fee’. You’re also required to contact the Ministry of Education (MOE) when you miss the March registration deadline.
The Exam Fees
Exam fees vary according to your citizenship status. For example, the basic price for Singapore Citizens is $64, Singapore PR is $65, and for International Students, it is $75.
Per subject, the fees are $75 (SC), $100 (PR), and $105 (IS), excluding GST, which applies to the basic and subject fees. Your examination fees can be paid online via credit/debit card payment or at any SingPost office or Self-Automated Machines (S.A.M).
Proof of exam entry
Once you have paid your exam fees, you will receive a proof of exam entry by mail. This entry proof allows you to enter the exam hall and includes your exam location and seat number, so make sure you don’t lose it.
Receiving Your GCE O Level Results
Two months after completing the examination, your GCE O level results will be released. MOE will announce the actual release date, so check their website regularly for updates. The results will also be announced on the news, so keep an eye out for that.
Your results will be sent out by mail, and if you’re a Singapore citizen, you can view your results on your Singpass too.
Taking O levels as a private candidate might feel intimidating at first. After all, you don’t have any teachers or schools to help you with the registration process. However, MOE has made it more seamless and more organised, with many websites and guides for you to refer to.
In the case where you’re not sure and need support, you can contact MOE or SEAB. Good luck!