* 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.
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):
Associate Professor Chua
Division of Engineering Mechanics
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
50 Nanyang Avenue
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.
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!
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.