Nearly 80% of school candidates who took N(A)-Level exams eligible for Secondary 5

SINGAPORE: Nearly 80 per cent of school candidates who took the N(A)-Level exams this year are eligible for Secondary 5, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) said on Friday (Dec 17).

More than 13,600 students who took the 2021 N-Level exams collected their results on Friday. Arrangements were made for school candidates to receive their results in classrooms instead of gathering as a cohort.

MOE and SEAB said last week that only school candidates collecting their results would be allowed entry into school premises, and that safe management measures would be in place.

Of the 9,407 candidates who took the N(A) exams, 99.5 per cent were awarded the GCE N(A)-Level certificate, said MOE and SEAB in a joint press release. This is a slight drop from 99.7 per cent last year.

This certificate is awarded to candidates who receive a Grade 5 or better in at least one N(A) subject.

Among the school candidates who took N(A)-Levels, 79.2 per cent were eligible to move on to Secondary 5. Last year, 77.7 per cent of students who took the N(A) course were eligible for Secondary 5.

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These students had aggregate scores not exceeding 19 points for English, mathematics and the best three subjects (ELMAB3), and at least a Grade 5 for all subjects used in the computation of ELMAB3.

About 50.3 per cent of N(A) school candidates also sat for subjects in the O-Level exams this year, said MOE and SEAB.

"Schools will take into consideration their combined GCE N(A)-Level and school-based O-Level preliminary examination results when determining their eligibility for progression to Secondary 5 N(A) or post-secondary pathways," added MOE and SEAB.

Of the 4,228 students who took the N(T) exams, 98.1 per cent obtained a Grade D or better in at least one subject and were awarded the GCE N(T)-Level certificate, down from 2020’s 98.5 per cent.


Secondary 4 students who sat for the N(A)-Level exams and obtained a raw ELMAB3 score of not more than 19 points can apply for the Direct-Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme.

They must have scored a Grade 4 or better in both English and mathematics, and a minimum of Grade 5 in three other subjects, excluding co-curricular activities. Those who want to enter business and services courses will need to have scored Grade 3 or better in English.

CCA bonus points are not factored into the ELMAB3 aggregate used for considering eligibility for the programme, but are taken into account for posting.

Under the programme, students will be prepared for progression into selected polytechnic diploma courses with a two-year Higher Nitec programme at an Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

Those who successfully complete the Higher Nitec course with the minimum qualifying grade point average (GPA) are guaranteed a place in a polytechnic diploma course mapped to their Higher Nitec course.

About 1,200 places under the programme will be offered across all three ITE Colleges, said MOE and SEAB, and applications will open on Friday.


Secondary 4 students who sat for the N(A) level exams can also apply for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme. Those who have a raw ELMAB3 aggregate of not more than 12 points and meet the subject specific requirements of their chosen course are eligible.

They must also have scored a Grade 3 or better in all subjects that make up their ELMAB3 aggregate. For entry into Group 2 courses such as accountancy, business, hospitality and tourism management, and marketing, they must have scored a Grade 2 or better in English.

CCA bonus points are not factored into the ELMAB3 aggregate used for considering eligibility for the foundation programme, but are taken into account for posting.

The one-year foundation programme at polytechnics offers a “practice-oriented curriculum” to prepare students for entry into the relevant diploma courses. After completing the programme, students will progress to their pre-selected diploma course, if they pass all the modules in the foundation programme.

About 1,500 places will be offered across the polytechnics, and applications will open in January 2022, when the O-Level results are released. Students who intend to apply for this foundation programme should first progress to Secondary 5 in January.

All N(A) and N(T) course students who have completed their secondary education may also apply to further their studies through the ITE’s Nitec programmes, said MOE and SEAB.

"Schools may also laterally transfer Secondary 4 N(T) students to Secondary 4 N(A) if they have obtained Grade A for both English Language and Mathematics, and Grade B or better for one other subject at the GCE N(T)-Level Examination," said the press release.


School candidates can consult teachers or Education and Career Guidance (ECG) counsellors in their secondary schools to help them plan their next steps, said MOE and SEAB.

Students can also make an appointment with a counsellor at the ECG Centre at MOE by phone, MOE_ECG [at] (email) or online.

They can also refer to the MySkillsFuture website to find out more about the education and career options available.

Artmotion Asia

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