A-Level Results Day: A Game Plan

By the SMU Social Media Team 

The big day is coming. While some may call it “Results Day” and others “D-Day”.

But no matter the name, the purpose of getting that one slip of paper with your A-Level results is the same. On this day, you’ll finally know the fruits of your academic labour in junior college, and how they could determine the next chapter of your life. This snappy guide will tide you through the highs and lows of it all.


Pre-game: Share the load

Collection of results officially happens after 2:30 pm, so schools generally tell you to be in school by 2:00 pm. If you’re already feeling anxious tension in the morning, meet up with your pals in school earlier for a nostalgic get-together lunch! Why be worried and nervous alone when you can share those vibes together?

After sitting through a nerve-wracking half-hour of your principal revealing your cohort’s performance in the hall, it will finally be time to receive your results! Remember, no matter what letter grades you may see under your name on that result slip, you have tried your best. Don’t forget to give yourself due credit for all the hard work that took you this far.


What to do if: Your grades are better than expected

Kudos to you! Your diligence has paid off, and now it’s time to enjoy the rewards. Expect a stream of congratulatory well-wishes from your loved ones, and celebrate this joyful news as you feel the butterflies disappearing from your stomach.

After you allow time for the news to sink in, it’s time to start thinking about your next steps. Now that your results have surpassed your expectations, do you want to try for more competitive university programmes that you may not have considered previously? And if you already know the programmes you’ll be applying for, perhaps it’s a good time to rethink the order of your choices.

If you are unsure or facing a conundrum of choosing between your passion and courses that are thought to be more “reputable” or that offer better financial prospects, talk it out with someone you trust—your parents, your seniors, or even your teachers and counsellors in JC. Each person you talk to can offer unique insights, and help piece together a clearer picture of your future. Don’t rule out online forums, such as those on Reddit, where other students can offer their own takes on your situation. Who knows, you might even come across someone else in the same shoes as you! Check out our recommendations for some people and resources you can turn to for guidance.


What to do if: Your grades fell below your expectations

Sometimes the stars don’t align, but things will be all right eventually. It can be disheartening to find out that maybe your best wasn’t enough to get you the grades you wanted, and that you will have to figure out alternative routes to reach your goals. Take some time to decompress, so you can be more objective when evaluating your options, and explore how else you might be able to achieve your dreams.

A silver lining to consider is that grades are no longer the only benchmark universities look at when assessing applicants. With more emphasis on a well-rounded holistic education, universities are beginning to place more emphasis on aptitude-based admissions. Singapore Education Minister Ong Ye Kung explains: “To enable more porosity across pathways, our admission system needs to rely less on academic grades and more on other meritorious yardsticks, so that the full range of an individual’s aptitude and attributes can be taken into account.”

At Singapore Management University (SMU) for example, commits to a holistic admissions process, and assess applicants based on a range of attributes apart from academic grades, such as critical thinking, strong communication skills, intellectual curiosity, great attitude and perseverance, among others.

It’s also important to do some homework on the courses that you qualify for based on your grades. Find out what these programmes offer by reading through their syllabi, or contact relevant personnel for more information. Leave no stone unturned—who knows, you may wind up enjoying yourself in classes you didn’t see yourself in previously!

Above all, remember this: in the grand scheme of life, the A-Levels checkpoint is only a small part of your journey. Your results may be good or bad, but this too shall pass. The next step is to explore what is out there in the world for you. So be brave and make each day count as you work towards your dreams.


Keen to take the next step with SMU? Learn more about our undergraduate programme today.