GCE A Level Scoring System

GCE A Level Scoring System

The Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A-Level) examination can be daunting. Understanding its scoring system may seem intimidating too. However, calculating rank points is not tough once you comprehend how to convert the subject grades. You as a student or parent can then set the ball rolling on applying for universities based on the Rank Points and other prerequisites.


Rank points and more

To learn how to convert your GCE A-Level grades, you first need to know what rank points are. Simply put, GCE A-level examination grades get converted into Rank Points. To understand better, first take a quick look at how the subjects are graded at GCE A-Level:
 

Level

Grade

H1 and H2 Subjects


A (highest)
 
 

B
 


C
 

D
 

E (lowest)
 

Mother Tongue B subjects
(Chinese B / Malay B / Tamil B)

Merit
 

Pass
 

 

At H1 level, all students must take the compulsory subjects: General Paper and Project Work. If a student has taken Higher Mother Tongue language in secondary school, they may be excused from taking Mother Tongue at the A Levels. However, if they have not attempted the subject, they will have to take the Mother Tongue subject in Junior College.

 

For H1 and H2 subjects, candidates may also be awarded a Grade S (Sub pass) or Ungraded, both of which indicate that the student has failed to pass the subject. Similarly, students who have failed to pass in H3 level subjects will also have their results shown as Ungraded. Students must also note that Mother Tongue B is not considered an A-Level subject.

 

How are A Level grades calculated?

Grades are calculated by adding the total marks secured by a student in various subjects. Marks secured in H1 and H2 are graded between A to U. Now each grade, in H1 and H2, is allotted rank points from 0 to 90, the latter being the highest possible score. For example: ‘A’ grade in H1 has 10 points while in H2 it has 20 points. ‘B’ grade in H1 has 8.75 points while H2 has 17.5 points. Check the chart below and you can easily gauge that A is the highest while U is the lowest.
 

Grade

H2 Equivalent

H1 Equivalent

A 20

10

B 17.5

8.75

C 15

7.5

D 12.5

6.25

E 10

5

 

Keep the above chart ready as we take you through some score calculation examples based on the subject combination.

 


Scenario 1: All 4 H2 subjects without H1 and MTL

Ram opts for 4 H2 subjects without H1 and Mother Tongue Language.

Subjects taken: 4 H2 subjects, 1 H1 General Paper and H1 Project Work

His grades: AAAA/AA

(where the grades before the backslash refer to the H2 subjects, and grades after the backslash refer to the H1 subjects)

Subjects calculated: 3 H2 subjects + 1 H1 subject (weakest H2 score converted as H1) + 1 H1 GP + 1 H1 PW

= 20+20+20+10+10+10

= 90

Ram's Rank points would be 90 out of a total 90 points.


If Ram did not fare too well in one of the H2 subjects, his score calculation will change to:

Subjects taken: 4 H2 subjects, 1 H1 General Paper and H1 Project Work

His grades: ABBC/AA

(where the grades before the backslash refer to the H2 subjects, and grades after the backslash refer to the H1 subjects)

Subjects calculated: 3 H2 subjects + 1 H1 subject (weakest H2 score converted as H1) + 1 H1 GP + 1 H1 PW

= 20+17.5+17.5+7.5+10+10

= 82.5

Ram's Rank points would be 82.5 out of a total 90 points.

 

Scenario 2: 3 H2 subjects with H1 and MTL

Now suppose Ram takes 3 H2 subjects, 1 H1 subject and a Mother Tongue Language (MTL), on top of H1 General Paper and H1 Project Work. The rank points will be calculated differently. The total score will be divided by 100 and multiplied by 90 (as 90 is the highest rank point that can be possibly scored)

Assuming Ram achieved A grade in all the subjects and B grade in one of the subjects:

Subjects taken: 3 H2 subjects, 1 H1 subject, 1 H1 General Paper, H1 Project Work and H1 MTL

His grades: AAB/AAAA

(where the grades before the backslash refer to the H2 subjects, and grades after the backslash refer to the H1 subjects)

= (3 H2 + 1 H1 + H1 GP + H1 PW + H1 MTL) / 100 x 90

= [ 20+20+17.5+10+10+10+10+10 / 100 ] x 90

= 87.75

Ram's Rank points would be 87.75 out of a total 90 points.


But what happens if Ram gets B grades in two H2 subjects and one H1 subject? Then this is how his score will be calculated:

Subjects taken: 3 H2 subjects, 1 H1 subject, 1 H1 General Paper, H1 Project Work and H1 MTL

His grades: ABB/BAAA

(where the grades before the backslash refer to the H2 subjects, and grades after the backslash refer to the H1 subjects)

= (3 H2 + 1 H1 + H1 GP + H1 PW + H1 MTL) / 100 x 90

= [ 20+17.5+17.5+7.5+10+10+10+10 / 100 ] x 90

= 83.25

Ram's Rank points would be 83.25 out of a total 90 points.

 

Scenario 3: 3 H2 subjects without MTL

Now Ram’s friend Jackie has opted for 3 H2 subjects without MTL. This is how his scores will be converted into rank points:

Subjects taken: 3 H2 subjects, 1 H1 subject, 1 H1 General Paper, H1 Project Work

His grades: AAA/AAA

(where the grades before the backslash refer to the H2 subjects, and grades after the backslash refer to the H1 subjects)

= (3 H2 + 1 H1 + H1 GP + H1 PW)

= [ 20+20+20+10+10+10 ]

= 90

Jackie's Rank points would be 90 out of a total 90 points.

 

Importance of rank point calculations

It’s worth spending a few minutes to understand the A-level grading system. We say this because it makes it easier for you to narrow down the universities you could like to apply to. Different universities offering varied courses have separate entrance eligibility in terms of rank points. So being able to calculate it gives you an added edge.

 

What happens after A-level 

Once the students get the A-Levels examination results, they can choose to either pursue a degree or consider a gap year and get on-the-job experience before deciding on an education path.

If a student has decided to pursue a degree after receiving the A-Levels examination results, there are two options: a local or private university. In Singapore, there are 6 local universities to choose from, namely:

  • National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
  • Singapore Management University (SMU)
  • Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

Private universities include Curtin Singapore, James Cook University, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and Kaplan Higher Education, among others. Alternatively, those having a keen interest in the arts can consider embarking on a degree programme at the LASALLE College of the Arts or the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).


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