A-Levels, IB, or Polytechnic- which route will work best for you?

While your high school graduation is one of the most memorable milestones of your life, nothing beats the excitement of getting into a junior college. It does not matter whether you are a top scorer or just a mediocre student. Junior college is a big deal and so are the choices you have to make. These are the choices that define your academic career which, in turn, shapes your future.

Especially if you are living in an academically competitive society like Singapore, choosing the right path of study isn’t any less serious than a matter of life or death. That’s because the life or the death of your future depends on the choices you make about your educational journey today!

What are your options?

As a fresh high school graduate, you might find yourself pondering over your options for higher education. To tell you the truth, there are three options for you to choose from, each one with its own unique sets of pros and cons. These options are A-Levels, IB (International Baccalaureate), and Polytechnic.

A-Levels and IB are the ideal options for students preparing for university. Either of them can be the right call for you if you want to get higher education. However, Polytechnic, as its name suggests, focuses more on technical skill development and adult learning. Students are given the option to choose whichever pathway suits their preferences and circumstances. Here’s a brief overview of what each of these options is about. For more reference, do check out this enlightening article comparing A Levels and IB.


A-level, or “Advance level” program, is a two-year course. The subjects are divided into three classifications, i.e., H1, H2, and H3, based on the level of depth and the intensity of the topics covered therein. However, the majority of the Junior College students will only be familiar with the H1 and H2 subjects. H3 is more of a treat for the learning enthusiasts, i.e., the over-achievers.

The course requires you to get an in-depth understanding of the subjects you study. Without getting a clear understanding of what you are studying, you won’t be able to ace your exam no matter how hard you work for the exam. A deeper understanding of your subjects would allow you to apply that knowledge to the questions you’ll be asked in the exam to attempt. It will help you build a stronger foundation for further specialization at the degree level in the future.

International baccalaureate”

The IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, also known as IB for short, is a highly advanced study course and the perfect higher secondary education program for students planning on going to a top-ranking university later on. Although not much popular initially, the IB diploma program has become one of the most sought higher secondary education programs in Singapore over the past few years.

That being said, please note that the IB program is not for the faint of heart. Only students with the highest levels of intellect and dedication have the potential to succeed in completing this program with decent grades. It with six subjects divided into two groups of higher level (HL) and standard level (SL) subjects.

The basic elements of this program are the theory of knowledge, the extended essay, and CAS (creativity, activity, service). Moreover, if you choose to go for tougher subjects like economics, you might want to consider applying for Economics tuition just to make sure you pass your IB exams with flying colors.


If you do not plan on going to a university and want to get practical training or develop some technical skills, Polytechnic is the right choice for you. That’s one of the best things about education in Singapore. You get to choose what you want to learn, be it knowledge or skill.

The Polytechnic option offers a wide range of adult-learning programs that can help you gain a significant level of hands-on training in your chosen field. It will also improve your level of skill and expertise in your preferred Polytechnic program.


The truth is, whether you opt for A-Levels, IB, or Polytechnic depends solely on where your interests lie. While the world may divide each academic, professional, or polytechnic program based on how challenging it can be, the truth is, nothing in this world is easy. Your success or failure, regardless of the field you choose, depends on your dedication to the subject.

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While some subjects may require you to put in more effort than others, they aren’t really impossible to master. Moreover, students tend to do better in subjects that interest them. So, our suggestion would be that you go for the option that suits you best.

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