Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level

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The Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (A-level) examination is held annually in Singapore. It is conducted jointly by the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) and the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).[1] Being a collaboration between the MOE and UCLES, the Singaporean A-level is a different version of the international A-level. The A-level certificate is a qualification recognised internationally and valued by universities and employers alike. It allows Singaporean students to gain entry into local and overseas universities to further their education.[2][3]

The examination is taken by students at the end of their second year for junior college students, and the third year for centralised institute students. Candidates are usually 18 or 19 years of age.

In 2010, the number of school candidates who sat for the examination was 14,280, out of which 90.8% of them scored at least three Higher 2 (H2) passes, with a pass in General Paper (GP) or Knowledge and Inquiry (KI).[4]


The Singaporean A-level curriculum was revised and took effect after replacing the previous system of ‘AO’, ‘A’ and ‘S’ papers. It was designed to emphasise multi-disciplinary learning, breadth of learning as well as flexibility, and it aims to prepare students well for the approaches being taken in university education, and for the demands of an innovation-driven world of the 21st century.[5] The Singaporean A-levels differ in exam structure and subject content from GCE A-levels in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Brunei, Seychelles, Pakistan etc.

Under the new curriculum, candidates select subjects from three levels of study, namely Higher 1 (H1), Higher 2 (H2) and Higher 3 (H3). Subjects are divided into knowledge skills and content-based subjects. Knowledge skills subjects include General Paper, Knowledge and Inquiry and Project Work; content-based subjects are divided into languages, humanities and the arts, and mathematics and sciences.

Subject combination[edit]

Students may opt to elect any combination and number of H1 and H2 subjects but are invariably required to sit for either H1 General Paper or H2 Knowledge and Inquiry.

Under the Ministry of Education's regulations, students sitting for the A-level in a junior college are required to take at least one subject that is from a contrasting discipline. They are also required to fulfill additional academic requirements of Singapore's education system, such as having to take Project Work and a Mother Tongue Language.[6] They may also opt to take maximum of two H3 subjects.


H1 and H2 subjects are graded alphabetically in the following manner.[7]

Grade Remark
A Pass
B Pass
C Pass
D Pass
E Pass
S Below Pass
Ungraded Below Pass


  • Candidates who pass at least one subject at H1 or H2 level will receive a Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level).
  • Grade 'S' denotes sub-pass.
  • Grades 'S' and 'Ungraded' indicate that the candidate has failed to obtain a pass in the particular subject. These two grades do not appear on the certificate but will be shown on the result slip.
  • Subject(s) taken by the candidate under special arrangements will be annotated in the certificate.

H3 subjects are graded as either Distinction, Merit, Pass or Ungraded.

List of subjects examined[edit]

Subject Language medium Level Notes
Project Work English H1
General Paper English H1
English Language and Linguistics English H2
Knowledge and Inquiry English H2
Literature in English English H1, H2, H3
Theatre Studies and Drama English H2
Geography English H1, H2, H3
History English H1, H2, H3
Economics English H1, H2, H3
China Studies in English English H1, H2
French French H1, H2
German German H1, H2
Japanese Japanese H1, H2
Non-Tamil Indian Languages Bengali / Gujarati / Hindi / Punjabi / Urdu H1
Mathematics English H1, H2, H3
Further Mathematics English H2
Physics English H1, H2
Chemistry English H1, H2
Biology English H1, H2
Art English H1, H2, H3
Music English H2, H3
Computing English H2
Principles of Accounting English H2
Management of Business English H2
Chinese language Chinese H1
China Studies in Chinese Chinese H2
General Studies in Chinese Chinese H1
Chinese Language and Literature Chinese H2, H3
Malay Language Malay H1
Malay Language and Literature Malay H2, H3
Tamil Language Tamil H1
Tamil Language and Literature Tamil H2, H3
Essentials of Modern Physics English H3
Pharmaceutical Chemistry English H3
Proteomics English H3

See also[edit]


External links[edit]