Don't Give Up!

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).

Background

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
PW: C

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.

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
<<address>>

<<date>>

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.

 Sincerely, 

<<signature>>
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 – Zueet.com

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

Enjoyed the post? If you did, be sure to leave us a comment below!

If you have additional comments/suggestions, files, links or if you'd like to submit your own article, please feel free to comment below or email them to share [at] zueet.com!

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Zueet

If you have additional files, links or articles you would like us to include, please feel free to email them to share [at] zueet.com

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

  1. Hey zueet,

    I am retaking my 3h2s plus gp this year. So can this certificate which i will be getting be able to be combined with my existing certificate i had in 2012?meaning can i use my h1 results in 2012 to add on to my current cert?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Gavin!

      Yes you can! You can read more about it here. The last point is the one that you are probably looking for. :)

      Study hard Gavin! All the best! :)

      – Zueet

  2. Hi Zueet,

    I am a diploma holder, I would need your suggestion for my case. Could you please e-mail me your e-mail address?

    1. Hi LostJorney!

      I don’t have much experience with diploma holders but I’ll try my best to help! I’ve sent you an email already. :)

      – Zueet

  3. Hi Zueet,
    I am applying with UK A-levels, with grades A*AAC. I just got a rejection yesterday and I’m planning to appeal to NTU. Any Idea on what I should write in the appeal beucase 50 words seems too short to say anything vital. Also, is using proper english necessary, because using bullet point format will let me get more information in the appeal.

    Thanks

    Mehul

    1. Hi Mehul Sharma,

      Apologize for the late reply been pretty caught up with school lately.

      I hope this reply doesn’t come to you too late but while it is not requirement to use full sentences, it would be generally preferred. If you’re still looking for a sample appeal for NTU, I have mine attached at the bottom of the post. Hopefully it helps you with writing your own. :)

      – Zueet

  4. Hi Zueet.

    I’m a freshmen in NTU and I am thinking of switching course to CE/CS… I really under-estimated Mathematics in university… Therefore I need help in writing email to the admission office to request for course switch and would like to seek your advice/template on how I should go about writing it..

    Thanks!

    1. Hi XSL!

      I hope you realise that there is a significant amount of maths in all engineering courses including CE/CS. Also, you can also only apply to switch at the end of each semester. :(

      – Zueet

  5. Hi Zueet,

    I have a diploma from SP in EEE, Gpa 3.58.
    Applied, rejected, appealed and rejected for the past 2 years. (Once through discretionary admission and once not)
    What can I do this coming 3rd try to get in?

        1. Hi Johnny,

          While I do not have much experience with Poly applicants, it seems that you’re still well within the 90th and 10th percentile range. Perhaps you can consider some of the methods that I’ve tried when you apply next year. IF you need help with tweaking any of the letters that you’re planning to write for your appeal, feel free to send to me. I’ll try my best to help you if I can. :)

          Are you currently serving NS? A lot of applicants tend to get in on the year they are due to ORD so don’t worry just yet! :D

          Have faith!

          – Zueet

          1. Thanks for being so helpful!

            Yeah, im serving ns now, next shot will be in ord year.

            Appreciate the encouragement! AHHHHHH

    1. Hi Jennifer!

      I don’t :( but if you can describe to me how UK A level scores are counted, I should be able to write one for you. :)

      – Zueet

  6. Hi zweet!

    I’m taking a gap year and planning to go uni next year.
    My results are
    GP D
    Chem C
    Econs B
    Math D
    Bio H1 C

    Base on this set of grades, what would u apply to the respective local uni ?:)
    I know that I do not have many options but what would you apply for considering Singapore future career prospects and job demand(:

    Really lookin forward to your reply! Really need help!

    Kana

    1. Hi Kana!

      Wow, that’s a tough question. I cannot predict what Singapore’s future job market demands will be like but right now it seems like IT related jobs seems to have quite a high demand across all sectors in the industry. I can’t assure you that it will be the same in four years but it something I would consider taking based on personal interest and current demand if I had the chance to do a switch.

      What I’d recommend is choosing a course that you are passionate about. If you like it, you’ll do well in it and if you do well in it, jobs will automatically come looking for you.

      – Zueet

  7. Hey. I’m from ntu mechanical engineering. I am wondering if there is anything I can prepare for year 2 before school starts this August.

    1. Hi Jade,

      There’s not much you can do unless you plan to start studying the modules you have registered for before school starts. :) If you’re lucky, you might have a senior who has saved recorded lectures and you can use that to give you a better head start. :)

      If you need something, feel free to let me know. I’ll help if I can. :)

      – Zueet

  8. Hi! Do you have any advice for international applicants as well? Please drop me an email if you do.Just gotten rejected by NTU :(

    1. Hi Stella,

      Unfortunately I don’t have much experience with international applications. :( I can try to help you with your personal appeal if that’s what you need help with though.

      – Zueet

  9. Hi Zueet

    Thank you for this post!! Really helped me a lot. Was wondering if yu could also do me a fvour by dropping me a mail as well? I am really in need of terrible help T_T

    Thank you soo much!

    Regards!

  10. Hi Zueet,

    I am having thoughts on writing to the head assoc prof of SCBE for an appeal. Is it possible for you to help me? I kind of need a bit of help and would really appreciate it if you could drop me an email. Thank you!

    1. Hi Atyl!

      I’ve dropped you an email as requested. I’ll try to respond to your email as soon as I can. :)

      – Zueet

  11. Hi. I’m trying to appeal to a course in NTU, I was offered my 2nd choice. How did you manage to get it sent to the respective heads? I can’t find any address of the person anywhere. Did you send it to the admission office, and attention it to the relevant professors instead?

    And I’m interested to know how did your appeal went. Was the reason why you got in was through your individual letter of appeal? You mentioned that a professor was interested to talk to you, was the call the reason why you are in the course that you are in now? What were the questions the professor talked to you about? Did you had to go through interview.

    The appeal period is also done, I’ve submitted by online appeal, but have yet to submit my individual letter. Do you think I should still send it, since it’s rather late?

    Thank you so much for all your help, I’m sure it helped many of us :)

    1. Hi Please,

      I’ll number my responses in the order of your questions.

      1. If you visit the respective school websites, you’ll see a staff directory in the navigation bar. You’ll be able to get the contact information of each individual professor from there.

      2. The professor called me to interview me for the course that I had applied for. He asked a few general questions about my life, CCA, what I’ve been doing after the army and how I demonstrated some engineering skills etc during my work. (I was a customer service representative so you can guess I threw in a lot of BS here)

      3. You should! It takes long to sort them out within NTU itself so send them as soon as you can. :)

      Hope this helps! All the best!

      – Zueet

  12. NTU’s admission office responded my letter of appeal. They mentioned that my appeal wasn’t successful and they also mentioned that this is their final decision. should i give up?

    1. Hi Jay!

      I’m really sorry to hear that. :( Was this with regards to your personal appeal or your online one?

      I’m really not family with international applications so I really can’t gauge your chances. :(

      – Zueet

      1. both personal appeal and the online one with the limit of 50 words. i think i should start my plan B then, thanks btw. you guys really helped a lot.

  13. Hey Zueet,

    I am currently trying to appeal in Environmental Eng. This is my last year. What would you suggest to write in the online appeal text box? Kinda last minute here. Sorry.

  14. Hi Zueet, I’m making my appeals for NUS, NTU and SMU. Just wondering, did you carry out suggestion 3) appealing with help from your MP? If you did, may i know how they had helped you? Because if what they will do is write a recommendation letter, then i’m wondering if the testimonials from my JC tutors that I already have should suffice, hence I wouldn’t need to seek this method?

    1. Hi Dawntme!

      Everything written in this post is stuff that I did when I applied for university. They did just write a letter for me and submit it along with my testimonials, grades etc.

      It’s up to you if you wish to try this. I considered this because:
      1. I had nothing to lose by trying this. It’s free after all.
      2. They have to reply to the letter so it’s less likely to be ignored then something that I submitted on my own.

      Hope this helps.

      – Zueet

  15. Hi Zueet, may I know who do I address the recommendation letters to and where do I send the letters to after asking my teachers to write the letters? Is there an online platform that I can scan my letters or must I hunt down the dean’s email to send to him? Thanks a lot!!!!

    1. Hi Troubled,

      Are you referring to the online appeal? I believe that they have a slot for you to upload them online. :)

      – Zueet

  16. Hi, may I ask can I retake my 3H2 subjects and GP in 2015 and combine with my H1 subject which is taken in 2013 when I register to enter into university? Hope to be able to receive your email reply soon. Thanks!

    1. Hi DingDing!

      Yes, your H1 can be of a different sitting. Your best H1 grade will be considered for your application. :)

      Hope this helps!

      – Zueet

  17. Sir , i got a S grade for my Maths H1 , is it possible for me to combine my cert if i take maths during my first year in NS ?

    1. Hi 216,

      To combine your cert, yes, you have to take it within one year. Otherwise if you just wish to use it for your application, any year of sitting is okay.

      From NUS’s website:
      Only the H1 content-based subject, H1 Project Work (PW) and H1 Mother-Tongue Language (MTL) subject can be of a different sitting (if this is presented, we will use the grades of these 3 H1 subjects attained at the earlier A-level examination). However, if you decide to retake one or all of the H1 content-based subjects, H1 PW and H1 MTL, we will take the best H1 content-based subject, H1 PW and H1 MTL grade for the computation of your admission score.

      Hope this helps. :)

      – Zueet

    1. Hi Y,

      Sorry for the late reply! I’ll try to get back to you by the end of today. Sorry for sending you another email. I mis-read your post the first time.

      – Zueet

  18. Hi Zueet,

    Thanks for writing this article and helping us all! I have a few quick questions here regarding requesting appeal letters from your MP:

    – Is it okay if you don’t have a reference letter? I only have my school testimonial as concrete character evidence ):
    – If we’re writing the letter in advance for them, what should be included inside?
    – What else would be useful to keep in mind when going for the MPS?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi S,

      Sorry for the late reply! When meeting your MP (Member of Parliament) for the meet the people session, please remember the following:

      1. Your IC along (if you are under 21 your parents have to be present)
      2. Your transcripts/testimonials (they will make copies for you)
      3. A personal statement (optional but advisable – approximately one page long about your passion for your course, your hobbies and CCA)
      4. Your own appeal letter – They will write one for you but it is usually done by volunteers who are not very good in English so bringing your own that they can use as a template is advisable. (The MP is just there to sign the letter for you. He doesn’t actually write it himself or sit there and listen to you.)

      I received word from one other commenter that he wasn’t allowed to submit his own letter. This is the first I’ve heard of this and he hasn’t gotten back to me so I’m not sure which GRC this is for.

      Hope this helps.

      – Zueet

  19. Hi, I got straight Cs and two H1 Bs but I rly want to go fass (i know small chance) and my friends told me to appeal fac of science instead. my chances are alrd v little for both but i have little int in studying 4 more years of science and yet i have a slightly higher chance to get in but i rly want fass…. how? :-( hope you’ll reply asap!!

    1. Hi Tj,

      I highly urge you to choose a course that is much closer to your grade profile. :( Perhaps one of NTU’s humanities courses might appeal to you (assuming you meet the minimum requirements)?

      – Zueet

      – Zueet

  20. Hi, I just dropped you an email! Hope you can reply ASAP as the appeal period deadline is on 1st June and I need ample time to write a convincing one :(

  21. Hi! I came across your website while trying to find how to correctly write in for appeal. A background of myself. I’ve been rejected by NTU Accountancy as my results is quite weak. However, my GPA is able to enter Electrical and Electronic Engineering in NTU/ I’m just wondering how am I suppose to link both together to convince them the change from Accountancy to Engineering. I’m aware that both courses somehow linked in someways as there things like engineering accountancy and so on. How am I suppose to put my point across if I have leadership qualities as well as entrepreneur skills currently asd I have an online store on my own?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Michelle,

      I’m guessing that you’re a poly student? Is your diploma one that is related to EEE? Uni’s don’t just look at GPAs for poly students. They have to come from a related diploma (as listed by them) as well.

      – Zueet

  22. Hi Zueet!

    I’ve just emailed you on my Uni application. I kind of in need of help. I hope to get a reply from you soon!
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Queeness Keng!

      I’ve dropped you an email as requested. I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can!

      – Zueet

  23. Hi Zueet, thank you so much for your detailed post on re-appealing for University’s! It is indeed helpful! May i have you email too? Would like to further seek your advice on the re-appealing for NUS FASS. Thank you so much for availing yourself to helping us with our endless questions and queries! :)

  24. Hi! I am sorry for the trouble but i need your assistance. May I please have your help too?
    Thank you so much.

  25. Hi zueet,

    I am a poly graduate and my gpa is very slightly below the 10th percentile IGP..I was rejected by NTU recently..

    I am intending to appeal…

    Can i send u my personal statement and 50 words appeal so to help me vett ?

    If i want to send to the professor/dean of ntu, do i use the address of the admission office of ntu?

    and can i have your email?

    1. Hi JJLeen,

      I’m sorry for the late reply. :( I’m sure that you have already submitted your 50 words appeal by now. All the best! :)

      If you want to send personal appeals, you’ll need to get their personal addresses from the staff directory. :)

      Hope this helps!

      – Zueet

  26. Hi Zueet!

    I am appealing & I need some advices from you.
    1. Do you think attaching other testimonials from my lecturers in the letter will help?
    2. As for personal statement, is it refering to the 50 words appeal ? or the personal statement when we first applied on how much we want the course.

    Please email me!

    Many thanks :D

    1. Hi Cheng Yi Zhen,

      Sorry for the late reply.

      1. It depends really. Are you really exceptional in a certain area? A normal school testimonial usually doesn’t help much as everyone gets one of those. :(

      2. A personal appeal is one that you write and submit on your own. It’s not the 50 words letter of appeal that you submit on the NTU website.

      Hope this helps! Best of luck with your application! :)

      – Zueet

    1. Hi smilewei1!

      I dropped you an email as requested! Sorry for the late reply but I’ve been really busy recently. :(

      – Zueet

    1. Hi Melissa!

      I dropped you an email as requested! Sorry for the late reply but I’ve been really busy recently. :(

      – Zueet

  27. Hi Zueet, who should I address my letter to? Dean and CC a copy to admission office? or just any faulty professor? Would it create a bad impression to the professor?? Is it better to ask MP to forward on my behalf or?? thanks

    1. Hi Dee,

      I’m really really sorry for the late reply.

      You should address it to as many people as possible as you never know who might actually look into your case. As for the MP, they will only send your appeal letter to the admissions office. You’re not allowed to choose who your letter goes to.

      I hope this helps. :)

      – Zueet

  28. Hi Zueet,

    I had just emailed you yesterday, and I really need your help. Hope you would email me soon :(
    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi L!

      I’ll get to them as soon as I go through all the web comments (since everyone can see it and it’ll help a lot more people). I’ll get to them ASAP! Sorry for the delay. :(

      – Zueet

    1. Hi EN!

      I’ve dropped you an email as requested. :)

      I have many to go through so please give me some time to get back to you. I promise I’ll reply to everyone as soon as I can!

      – Zueet

        1. Hi EN,

          I’m really sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I’ll try to get back to you by the end of today. :(

          – Zueet

  29. Hey there, I applied for Mathematical science as my 1st choice and EEE as my last choice. I’ve gotten CDD/A (D for Math & Econs. C for Chem. A for geo) I did not take phy in A level. I studied combined science(phy/chem) for O level & attained an A2. Since both my chances of appealing to either MAS or EEE are slim, I just wonder if I should appeal to EEE because the IGP is closer to my grades. Although I am really interested in math, my A level grades shows otherwise. MAS seem to take in people with good grades instead of passion? I’ve read your personal statement & I feel that your message along with your passion for engi had convinced the engi prof to call you up for an interview. I am unsure if I should choose MAS or EEE for my online appeal. My friends suggested for me to appeal one course and write an appeal letter for that one course. I feel that if I appeal to MAS, I would be just chasing something impossible yet I want to give it a shot. However appealing to EEE may have a higher chance than MAS base on IGP? It would be wrong/weird to appeal online for EEE & write appeal letters to EEE & MAS right? :/

    1. Hi Delimma,

      I’d personally recommend going with EEE for 3 reasons:
      1. It has the biggest intake = Higher chance of getting in
      2. Your IGP is closer to it
      3. EEE has a ton of Math to satisfy your Math cravings. ;)

      And yes it would a little. I’d recommend just choosing one and going all out for it. :)

    2. Not true I believe mas is much easier and my grades are a grade away from zueet. I applied for engineering first but instead got chosen for other PHMS courses

    1. Hi G!

      I’ve dropped you an email as requested. :)

      I have many to go through so please give me some time to get back to you. I promise I’ll reply to everyone as soon as I can!

      – Zueet

  30. Hi Zueet, thanks so much for everything you have shared! I have some question regarding appeal to consult you. May I have your email pls?:)

    1. Hi Yvonne!

      I’ve dropped you an email as requested. :)

      I have many to go through so please give me some time to get back to you. I promise I’ll reply to everyone as soon as I can!

      – Zueet

    1. Hi J!

      I’ve dropped you an email as requested. :)

      I have many to go through so please give me some time to get back to you. I promise I’ll reply to everyone as soon as I can!

      – Zueet

  31. hi zueet i am quite keen on personally writing a letter to the head of department of NIE but im not too sure how to find the address and whether to write it to the administrative dept or which other dept so could you help?:( thank you

    1. Hi clarissa!

      I suggest looking through the staff/faculty directory for people to contact. Send to as many as you can as you never know who might just be willing to help you. :)

      – Zueet

  32. Hi Zueet,
    Ive a few questions
    1) I noticed u wrote the same personalised letter for the courses that u wanted to reapply, only changing the name of the courses, just curious whether the professors will find out and affect ur applying success rate?
    2)How many of the professors you wrote the letters to replied?
    3) Also, just got a rejection letter from NTU engineering and thinking of applying to EEE. Ive good leadership and CIP records but not sure whether the course require them..
    Sorry for asking so many questions!

    1. Hi Rouge!
      1) I doubt it’ll affect it at all since in any case, my appeal letter was original. However, it’s more important that you do not use one that might have been over used before. For example, if many people have been using my sample, then it’s likely that a prof which has read it many times before will just ignore it.

      2. I got one call from the receptionist from NTU saying that a professor was keen on speaking with me. It was just one call but I guess that’s all it took. :)

      3) If it’s just to put as part of your personal statement, then put it in! It’s never a requirement but it might help. :)

      Hope this helps! :)

      – Zueet

    1. Hi GY!

      I’ve dropped you an email as requested. :)

      I have many to go through so please give me some time to get back to you. I promise I’ll reply to everyone as soon as I can!

      – Zueet

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