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Rejected and planning your appeal SMU, NTU, NUS or SUTD?

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* I’m working on an update on this post to provide more detailed information. If you’re looking to gauge your chances of applying for a course normally, I recommend reading this: So you have just gotten your A level results and trying this tool: University Admission Score Calculator.

If you’re reading this now, you probably have already been rejected by one of the local universities. Don’t worry though! There are still many things that you can do to increase your chances during the appeal stage (or even if you’ve already been rejected after appealing).


I’m a male “A” Level student (from one of the lowest ranked JC) who was rejected by all 3 local universities for 3 years (That’s about (3 (normal applications) + 3 (appeals each year) ) x 3 years = 18 times!) before I finally decided to do things out of the norm and try my luck.

My A-Level grades were:
H2 Phy: C
H2 Math: B
H2 Econs: B

H1 GP: E
H1: Chem: S

CCA: Just some club thing. No competitions or activities. Almost non-existant.

As you can notice, I failed my H1 chemistry which I was told was a huge deal breaker because it was vital to the computation of your UAS (University Admission Score).

I did retake my chemistry in my second year of service which was 2 years after I took my “A” levels and do well. Only managed to get a D which wasn’t as bad as finding out that you can only join your certificate if the subject is taken within a year of the previous one so in the end it was of no use to me. Just take note of this if reconsidering retaking any of your modules.

EDIT: Please note that by right only the H1 content-based subject, H1 Project Work (PW) and H1 Mother-Tongue Language (MTL) subject can be of a different sitting. Computation of your UAS will take into account grades for GP/KI and 3 H2 subjects attained at 1 sitting of the A-level examination.

How to appeal 

1. Do your research!

The most important thing to do before appealing is to do your research! This involves reading local forums such as Brightsparks or the Hardwarezone Degree Forums (More Active) so that you can gauge the competition each course faces, subject requirements,  rough UAS required to gain admittance and how many are likely to drop them for another course. You can also buy research papers online cheap to get a good idea what sort of work you are expected to do once you are there.

2. Appeal Normally 

After you have done sufficient research and  chosen a course that you wish to appeal, appeal through the school’s portals normally. Most of them require that you write essays and some like NTU just require you to write a short paragraph. For my NTU appeal, all I wrote was:

I would really like to be a part of NTU and as a creative, hardworking and dedicated student; I feel that I would be an asset to NTU. I would be glad to participate in an interview to better present myself and discuss how my talents can be of value.

Remember that they already have your grades so don’t waste your precious characters putting them in. I had no special talents but if you do, it would be wise to add it in. For universities that require essays, you can write personal statements to show your passion. I have included my own for the other universities in the attached zip file below. If you’re appealing to other courses and need more samples, click here.

3. Appeal with help from your Member of Parliament

Your constituency most likely has meet the people sessions fortnightly. Take this opportunity to meet with them and get them to assist you in writing an additional appeal to all four schools. Remember to bring everything you deem will be useful in writing your appeals such as your academic transcripts, letters of recommendation (any have) and personal statements (see attached zip file) if you’ve already written one.

Remember to come prepared. Have a clear goal of the courses you would like to appeal and how you would like to go about doing it for each of them. If you can draft the letters yourself, it’s better.

4. Individual letters of appeal

This may seem rather extreme but it’s something I feel may have helped me (and the rest who have tried it) the most. This step involves tediously searching through the school’s contact directory for head of departments, deans etc. who are directly linked to your course in some way and mailing them letters of appeal with your personal statement attached (see attached zip file).

Although some may consider just e-mailing these professors, I would strongly advice against it. Email’s are easily forgotten and ignored. Take the time (and money) to send personalized letters to them. An example of such an appeal letter would be (included in zip file):

Your Name


Associate Professor Chua
Division of Engineering Mechanics
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Office: N3-xxx-xx
50 Nanyang Avenue
Singapore 639798

Dear Associate Professor Chua,

I am writing this letter to appeal the outcome of my application to the School of Mechanical Engineering. Although I understand that my grades, XXX/X for Mathematics, Economics, Physics and Chemistry respectively may not be up to par with the with the rest of the students, I believe that I have the aptitude necessary to become successful. Should my application be reconsidered, I will do my best to meet and exceed the expectations required by the students attending your college.

Attached is my personal statement which outlines my desire to study at the School of Mechanical Engineering as well as my other accomplishments and interests that I feel may be of value to your faculty.

Realizing the limitations of a written page, I would welcome the opportunity to participate in a personal interview to answer any of your questions and to better present myself and my qualifications and how they can be of benefit as a student of the School of Mechanical Engineering. Should you need to contact me, I can be reached at 9xxxxxxx. 

I thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to a positive reply from you.


Your Name
Application Number: A00000000

5. If your appeal has already been rejected, RE-APPEAL!

This is for those whose appeals have already been rejected. Although I’ve not personally tried this, I have heard of a few cases of people who have re-appealed (by emailing the admissions department directly) and gotten places in courses such as NTU’s Business Administration. Usually these people have more supporting documents in their re-appeal such as testimonials from their polytechnic or JC tutors, current employers etc.

Please feel free to use the attached sample appeals for your reference. More information regarding its use has been included in the read me file in the zip. Here’s to wishing you all the best in your appeal!

Attached Files:
Appeal Tools –

– Contains sample appeals for NTU and NUS Engineering, SMU Information Systems and SUTD. There are also sample personal appeal letters to professors.

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867 thoughts on “Rejected and planning your appeal SMU, NTU, NUS or SUTD?

  1. i wanted to enter ntu mechanical engineering, and failed my h2 math…, retook and now waiting for results, i’ve about 250 CIP hrs and was capt of tennis team, lets say if a get CDE, do i stand a chance to appeal in?

    1. Hi John Lee!

      It seems like the IGP for NTU’s Mechanical Engineering jumped quite a fair bit when compared to the previous years. It might be quite hard for you to get a place if you do end up with CDE. You might stand a much higher chance if you apply for NTU’s Physics/Applied Physics or Electrical & Electronic Engineering Programmes instead.

      I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      – Zueet

  2. Hi Zueet, i am trying to apply NTU but i know that i am in low gpa and may be rejected, so for the re appeal with the MP can i show the testimonial that i have to show to them? Will i have to bring all the cert and other achievement that is done by in from secondary school till now?

    1. Hi Roy!

      Yes, please bring all your certificates, testimonials and anything else that you feel might be beneficial to your application. If you’re willing to put in the effort, I highly recommend writing your own appeal letter since the ones sent out by the MPs are rather basic (some will even ask you if you have your own to submit).

      Also, please remember that if you’re under 21, you’ll need a parent to accompany you. They won’t let you meet the MP otherwise.

      All the best Roy! Have faith!

      – Zueet

  3. Hi Zueet, I have a passion in teaching, and after I graduated from Poly 2 years back, I applied for NTU/NIE, but got rejected without an interview. So, I took up the offer from SMU and I’m doing a major in Sociology now. I’ve applied for the outdoor teaching internship from NIE (I’m not sure if you have heard of it), but got rejected as well.

    Now that the application for MOE/NIE Internship 2015 has opened, should I try again? I know that they will not say why I was not selected, but getting rejected twice for something that I really want is making me lose my motivation.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi jingxin92!

      You have nothing to loose by applying again so please don’t feel dejected and give it another go! 🙂

      I spoke with my friend who is currently an NUS undergrad who is also aiming to be in the teaching profession. He thinks that perhaps your application does not show that you are motivated to be a teacher and recommends that you build your resume with more focus towards teaching. In his case, he volunteers for the CDC by tutoring kids once a week. Perhaps this is something that you can consider doing as well. 🙂

      I hope this helps! All the best with your application jingxin!

      – Zueet

    2. Hi Zueet, thanks for you sharing.
      I’m a UEC student from Malaysia. I just got rejected by NTU due to my bad results. I got 2A,5B and 1C for Chemistry. My co-curriculum was strong, I participated many events and activities, and I was the President of prefectorial board in my school. I wish to study Mechanical Engineering in NTU.

      1. Hi Kelven!

        Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the application requirements for foreigners (other than its much much higher than that for locals). 🙁 If you like however, you can still try writing a personal letter of appeal if you haven’t. Did you appeal though the official portal after you were rejected?

        – Zueet

  4. Hi I did my masters in NUS and got 3.38 cgpa. And also got master degree from India with distinction. I had been applying for PhD scholarships in almost all three universities. But my application got rejected. Pls advice me how to appeal. Whether iam eligilbe for scholarship. Coz iam having more than 5 years of working experience.

    1. Hi Sang!

      I apologize but I do not have much experience with PhD applications. Have you tried applying through professors directly? It’s usually easier then making a general application.

      Sorry I can’t help much.

      – Zueet

  5. Hi zueet,just want to ask,i got CDD/BB. Do you think i stand a chance in entering NUS common engineering? And would doing SATs help to improve my chances in entering NUS? Pls advise. Thank you!

    1. Hi mosquito!

      To be honest, it’ll be quite hard for you to get into NUS common engineering as your score is quite a way off from the one listed in the IGP ( You may wish to use this handy tool to calculate your ranking points/uni points ( to better gauge your chances.

      If you do well in your SATs then it should help. 🙂

      Hope I answered your question mosquito! Feel free to get back to me if you have any other questions!

      All the best for your application! 🙂

      – Zueet

        1. Hi again mosquito!

          You’re quite a far bit away from the 10th percentile of NTU’s common engineering IGP as well. 🙁 There are a few courses that you might want to consider but it depends largely on what modules you have taken previously. I recommend taking a look at the NTU IGP ( and then using this tool to see if the course of your choice is within reach ( If it is, then take a look at the course requirements to see if you have met all the subject prerequisites. Your grades won’t matter much if you apply for a course that you’re not even eligible to apply for. 🙁

          All the best for your application mosquito!

          – Zueet

  6. Hi Zueet, based on your years of experience applying to NTU/local uni. Do you have any idea if nut/s faculty of science requires 2 h2 science to get in? Cos my sub combi is H2(geo,econs and math) and i am really interested in getting into their math science course. their only pre-requisites is good grades in math but i am just afraid cos i dont have 2 h2 science…

    do drop me a email if possible 🙁

  7. Hey Zueet, I failed my H1 subject for 2013 A levels. Is it still possible to combine them with this year’s A level H1 results and apply for University next year?

    1. hi zueet,

      my gpa is about 3.5. do you think i stand a chance to apply for SMU business interview? my cca isnt that great either. please email me soon.

      1. Hi bloo,

        To be honest, your GPA of 3.5 is quite far off the 10th percentile of 3.72. You may not stand a very strong chance of being considered for an interview though there have been exceptions from time to time so I’d urge you to still proceed with your application if you haven’t already.

        Do you have anything else you feel might be beneficial to your application?

        – Zueet

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