GAP YEAR & OTHERS
What’s a gap year?
It’s a bigger break between your pre-university studies and university.
Most A-Level students finish A-Levels in December and start university around August (for universities in Singapore, US, UK) the following year, so even without National Service they’d have a break of about 8 months – pretty long already! An A-Level student who takes a gap year would start university one year after most of their JC classmates, so they’d have a break of about 20 months.
What can I do on a gap year?
Apply/reapply to university
GapyearSG has an Instagram, Telegram Group, and mentor-matching programme for gappers in Singapore
Should You Take a Gap Year? by SIM
Commentary: Forget uni for now. After the A-Levels, get work experience first by Grace Yeoh. Here are some excepts:
[...] I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study in university. So I informed my parents I would take a gap year. They were concerned that waiting an extra, needless, year to apply for university would mean I’d face greater competition, not least since places were already limited for polytechnic students. But I held my ground: A gap year was essential to me. I needed to unwind from the last three years of intense pressure and figure out what I really wanted to do outside of other people’s expectations of me.
For JC students who don’t get work experience as part of the JC curriculum, a self-sourced internship or traineeship before university shows your initiative and enhances your existing theoretical knowledge in relevant fields.
Job sites show the availability of many digital marketing, customer service and even human resource internships suitable for A-Level graduates as they don't require an applicant to have a degree or diploma. [...] Even if you don’t end up working in these fields eventually, these jobs require a certain level of public engagement, honing your emotional intelligence.
For one, my gap year exposed me to various sorts of characters in the workplace. I worked with supervisors who were laid back as well as those who were more exacting in their demands, giving me applicable EQ skills I couldn’t simply have learnt from a business etiquette module.
Taking a gap year fundamentally changed my perspective on paper qualifications. My grades, as much as they may have made my job application stand out, were irrelevant to the job. No one cared that I once scored straight A’s in a semester, only whether I was able to copy-edit a 100-page report within the day. So, my gap year made me rethink how I wanted to experience university.
Gap Year Starter Pack: Should I take a Gap Year? How can I plan for a Gap Year?
Open and make a copy of this guided decision-making and planning worksheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NC5R4Fo2NufESyVCalXoms4JNcv8Pux8hriiXA6nXIU/edit?usp=sharing
Should I take a Gap Year?
Weigh both sides
Planning my Gap Year
Polytechnic after A-Levels
Read Straits Times article: I failed my A levels twice, but it wasn't the end. Here are some exerpts:
"My mother then suggested that I enrol in a local polytechnic to pursue media and communication studies. After all, as my JC form teacher had reminded me after I failed the first time, not all hope is lost. Although I was reluctant, remembering my childhood dream of becoming a reporter made me take the leap of faith. I took my mother's suggestion and, for the first time, I liked what I did in school."
"Having a clear goal of becoming a journalist also gave me a strong motivation to do well. It was more meaningful to me than blindly wanting to do well in tests for good grades. My A-level journey, which lasted three years, had felt like an endless marathon in a dark tunnel, but my polytechnic journey made me feel like I had reached the light at the end of the tunnel."
Foundation Year Programme after A-Levels