GCE O Level Important Dates

Understanding GCE ‘O’ Level

Taking the O Level examination is probably one of the most important academic milestones for a student. Getting good scores in this particular examination is something many hope to achieve, as it determines a student’s academic journey for the next two to three years.

The O Level examination is offered to students from mainstream secondary schools taking the Secondary 4 Express or Secondary 5 Normal Academic course. Meanwhile, private candidates who have met the eligibility criteria can also sit for the examination. Upon completion of the O Level examinations, candidates will receive an O Level certificate.

The joint examining authorities for the O Level are The University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), the Ministry of Education, Singapore (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).

According to the SEAB website, the O Level is based on Singapore’s curriculum and syllabus, designed by the MOE. Below are the roles each examining authority plays in the O Level examination:


Examining Authorities


The University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

  • Set and mark the examination papers (except Mother Tongue language papers), curriculum standards and learning objectives

Ministry of Education (MOE) 
  • Determine the assessment standards of the subjects and determine the grades that should be awarded PSLE scores
  • Set, mark and grade Mother Tongue languages

Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB)


After the O Level examination, some students might choose to undergo a path that takes them to Junior College, others will opt for Polytechnics or the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Each education path has its merits and serves to prepare the students well for the future.

Throughout Secondary School, which lasts for 4 to 5 years, teachers and parents work towards preparing the student for this annual national examination. It is important for both parents and students to know everything there is to know about the examination, starting with the scoring system, exam format, syllabus and exam dates.


About the examination

The GCE O Level Examination is typically segregated into four to five parts.

  • Oral Examination (language subjects only)
  • Listening Comprehension Examination (language subjects only)
  • Written Examination
  • Coursework (selected subjects only)
  • Practical Assessment (selected subjects only)

Depending on the subject combination that is taken, some students may sit for additional papers, or have to be evaluated based on their coursework through the final year of study. Coursework assessments are typically meant for subjects where students are expected to produce an output after a period of time, such as Art, Exercise and Sports Science and Music.

For Science subjects, practical assessments are also part of the overall examination. The practical assessments seek to assess students in several skill areas such as planning, measurement and observation, presentation of data and observation as well as analysis and evaluation.


GCE O Level Examination 2022 Schedule

It is important for students and parents both to take note of the various examination dates, ensuring that there is enough revision time allocated for each subject and that the student is on track. Check below for the dates of some of the commonly taken examinations:

Oral Examination
6 July to 1 August

Listening Examination
5 July

*Mother Tongue examination has two different sittings in a year for students to attempt twice in a year. The student can choose to take a 2nd sitting if he/she is not satisfied with his/her grades in the subject.

Written Exams

  • 30 May or 8 November:: Mother Tongue (Chinese, Malay, Tamil)*
  • 17 October: Mathematics Paper 1
  • 18 October: English Paper 1 and 2
  • 20 October: Mathematics Paper 2
  • 26 October: Additional Mathematics Paper 1
  • 27 October: Science Paper 3 (Physics/Chemistry, Chemistry/Biology), Chemistry Paper 2
  • 28 October: Additional Mathematics Paper 2
  • 31 October: Science Paper 2 (Physics/Chemistry, Physics/Biology), Physics Paper 2
  • 1 November: Science Paper 4 (Chemistry/Biology, Physics/Biology), Biology Paper 2∙
  • 9 November: Physics Paper 1, Science Paper 1 (Physics/Chemistry, Chemistry/Biology, Physics/Biology)
  • 10 November: Chemistry Paper 1
  • 11 November: Biology Paper 1

Practical Exams

  • 3 October: Physics
  • 6 October: Science (Physics/Chemistry, Chemistry/Biology, Physics/Biology)
  • 11 October: Biology
  • 13 October: Chemistry

Find the full O Level Examination schedule here.


Marking Days

Unlike the PSLE, there are no marking days for the O Level examination as majority of the exam scripts (with the exception of Mother Tongue languages) will be shipped off to the Cambridge examiners for marking. Nevertheless, students and parents can heave a big sigh of relief when the O Levels examination period comes to a close and reward themselves for the hard work for the past year.


Tentative Result Date

Days leading up to the O Level result day will always be one of anticipation. Students and parents alike wait expectantly for the examination results that can determine their next path in education. On the result day, the results will be given to the students in their respective classrooms. Usually, the collection of results begins at 2 pm.

Private candidates will be notified of their individual results by post. The results will be mailed on the results day to the address provided to SEAB. Private candidates can also view their results online via the SEAB Candidates Portal.

This year’s result dates are tentatively in between Thursday 12 January 2023 and Monday, 16 January 2023. The exact date will be announced via media channels closer to the date, so do keep a close eye on it!

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