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1. Breathe a sigh of relief…or celebrate all together!
Yes, A-Level results are out. So did you get what you expected? Did you do better? Or is it best not to ask? Whatever you’ve got, I’m sure you feel relieved knowing that the sleepless nights you’ve had the past few days are all in the past.
2. Calculate your ranking points (University Admission Score (UAS))…or let us do it for you.
Counting your ranking points (UAS) is vital as it helps you to gauge the chances that you will be able to gain admission into a particular course. Each grade is assigned a particular number of points with the total giving you your ranking points. If you’re lazy, check out our handy tool that will automatically calculate your ranking points for you: A Level Ranking Points/UAS Calculator. Otherwise, you can check out the explanation below on how to calculate it on your own.
I’ll be taking the following grades to aid explanation:
H2 grades: A,B,C
H1 grade: D
To manually calculate your ranking points, take the grades for your best 3 H2 subjects (if you take more then 3), your H1 contrasting subject, GP and PW and match the grades in the table below to get their respective point value. If you don’t have a H1 subject, take your 4th best H2 grade as your H1 grade.
|Grade||H2 Equivalent||H1 Equivalent|
Total Ranking Points/UAS (without MTL) = H2 Grade Points + H1 Points + GP Points + PW Points = 20 + 17.5 + 15 + 6.25 + 7.5 + 10 = 76.25 points
To find your total ranking points with MTL, find your total points for your 3H2 grades, 1H1, GP, PW and MTL and then scale it down by 90%.
Total Ranking Points/UAS (without MTL) = 0.9 * (H2 Grade Points + H1 Points + GP Points + PW Points +MTL Points) = 0.9* (20 + 17.5 + 15 + 6.25 + 7.5 + 10 +2.5) = 70.875 points
Take the higher of the two as your UAS. This means that your ranking points/UAS is 76.25. This means that you should apply for courses with ranking points/UAS around 76.25 points or lower. In the next step, we’ll show you how to calculate ranking point range for safe application.
3. Basic Rules for applying
There are a few basic rules for choosing courses to optimize your chances of getting into university. These are:
For a safe application:
Your ranking points/UAS is at least 2.5 points above (i.e. 1 H2 grade) that of your chosen course’s UAS based on the IGP (we’ll get to the IGP later). This means that you *should* get in if you apply. In above scenario, this would mean choosing courses with a UAS less then 76.25 – 2.5 = 73.75 points.
For a borderline application:
Your ranking points/UAS is either 1.25 points above or below your chosen course IGP. Courses within this range could swing both ways depending on the demand and competitiveness of this years applications. However, if you’re passionate of a course within this range, it’s still likely to be worth trying. In this scenario, for a borderline application, courses you should consider range from 75 – 77.5 points.
For a dangerous application:
Your ranking points/UAS is 2.5 points lower then that of your chosen course’s ranking points/UAS based on the IGP. It’s likely that you won’t get in based on pure grades alone. In this case, if you really wish to apply, you should consider writing an appeal letter/personal statement or consider discretionary admission for NUS or NTU. In this scenario, you should refrain from applying for courses with ranking points/UAS greater then 76.25 + 2.5 = 78.75 points.
4. Check the Indicative Grade Profiles (IGP)
The indicative grade profiles show the 10th and 90th percentiles grades of applicants offered places in the previous years. The grade profiles for the three universities can be found here: NUS/NTU/SMU. By calculating the ranking points/UAS of the courses you are interested in, you can gauge your chances of entering that course. It can be very time consuming to have to calculate the ranking points individually. We recommend using our automated tool to speed up the process: A Level Ranking Points/UAS Calculator. It’ll also recommend if you should apply for the course based on your grades.
Note: In the IGPs, grades C are assumed for GP and PW though actual requirements may be higher in certain courses.
So lets say I’m interested in applying for NTU Mechanical Engineering. According to the IGP, the 10th percentile is CCD/C.
Converting this to the equivalent ranking points/UAS gives: 15 + 15 + 15 + 12.5 + 7.5 +7.5 + 7.5 = 65 points.
*Remember that grades for GP and PW are assumed as C in the IGP. Again, I recommend using this: A Level Ranking Points/UAS Calculator to make your calculations. You should also note that for some courses, the assumed grades of C for GP and PW may not apply (eg. Medicine, Law etc.).
Based on the above scenario, the difference in the ranking points/UAS is 76.25 – 65 = 11.25 which is much greater then the recommended 2.5 buffer. This means that it is safe to apply!
5. But wait! Did you check the requirements?
Just because you exceed the the grade requirements does not mean that you’ll gain admission for it. Most times, there are certain subject requirements that have to be met. Please check the school websites accordingly to see if you have met them for the courses that you are interested in: NUS/NTU/SMU/SUTD
Using the rules stated in step 3, you will now know your chances of getting into a particular course you’re interested in. Rank your choices wisely. Ensure that you place 1 or 2 safe choices in your application just in case there is a sudden surge in demand for one of your other choices that will cause these year’s requirements to increase.
If you’re still unsure of what courses to apply for, I recommend speaking to people who work in that industry. Most schools hold industrial/workplace visits. See if you can apply for one if you don’t know anyone working in the industry you’re considering. This will give you the opportunity to know what is in store for you after you degree should you choose to pursue that course. You may also wish to consider visiting open houses and taking to professors and fellow students. In this order. Schools will generally show you only the upsides only while students will likely make the course sound a lot more difficult then it actually is.
Now that you have made your choices, apply! All the best!
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