Integrated Program in Singapore
IP Programme leading up to the A Levels
Most of us would be well-acquainted with the Integrated Programme (IP) by now. First launched in 2004 by Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Girls High School, Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls School, Dunman High School and River Valley High School, the number of participating schools has since expanded, including, to name a few, National Junior College and Victoria Junior College.
Accepting only the top 10% of the graduating PSLE cohort, its no secret that admission into an IP school is highly coveted and pretty competitive. Generally speaking, it appears that the most attractive highlight of the IP scheme is the ability to skip the GCE “O” Level examinations. Instead, students are able to ride the “through train” directly to sit for the GCE A Level examination at their 6th year.
Besides eliminating a rather huge source of stress (aka the dreaded O Level), this programme also frees up more time for students! This means greater opportunities to explore and develop new interests. IP schools also have the liberty to introduce additional enrichment programmes that serve to further develop students not only academically but also character-wise. Students also have the flexibility and freedom to choose their combination of subjects. Some IP schools also have subjects that are usually not taught at the secondary school level (e.g. Economics), effectively giving students a head start for their Junior College life. Additionally, as some IP schools started out as Junior Colleges, the teachers and management understand the rigorous demands of A Level thoroughly. As such, the kind of teaching and training throughout the 4 years of secondary education is often well geared towards helping students excel in their later penultimate and final years.
Why do some IP students struggle?
However, the IP programme is not without its drawbacks. The main area of concern for students and parents would, quite ironically, be the main feature of attraction: the fact that you skip “O” Levels. While this certainly reduces stress and allows more time for other development, this also means that you don’t have an officially recognised certificate for your secondary school education. Effectively, you’d only have an “A” Level certificate, so the pressures to perform at JC are monumental. In the unfortunate case that you do not well at the A Levels, you’re quite literally left with only a PSLE certificate. Just the thought of this is certainly anxiety inducing.
Moreover, as IP schools typically only accept the top 10% of the national cohort, successful admission to one of these schools usually come with the assumption that you’re a bright student who is able to keep up. Syllabus in IP schools are generally accelerated. Secondary school in itself is already quite a big jump from primary school. What more, an accelerated curriculum! Thus, some IP students may find themselves struggling.
Furthermore, as IP schools usually have the liberty to design curriculum which they find to be the most effective, their syllabus usually do not follow typical O level syllabus perfectly. This makes it hard for IP students to enrol in general tuition classes as such classes typically cater to the mainstream express curriculum. Assessment books are also tailored for the fixed O level syllabus, making it hard to even find proper practices for IP subjects. This hence makes it difficult for IP students to get the help they need somehow.
IP Tuition Can Help!
Fortunately, all hope is not lost! While typical group tuition classes at tuition centres may not be the most useful, IP students can still get help from private IP tuition.
Lessons Completely Tailored to Your Needs
Private IP tutors are not restricted to fixed curriculum set by the larger agency. Hence, they can tailor classes to fit exactly what you are learning in school. IP students are able to get their specific questions answered and explained in depth.
Develop Examination Skills
Surprisingly, there’s more to excelling at exams than just cramming information into your head. While content knowledge is definitely important, examination techniques are equally important! Time management, knowing how to calm your exam jitters, ability to write succinctly and concisely – these skills can make a difference between a B and A student. As IP students don’t take the “O” Levels, they may actually be at a disadvantage in terms of exam skills for “A” Levels, compared to students who had experience sitting for national exams. Our private IP tutors are able to help you develop these crucial examination skills so you are not caught off guard years later when you finally sit for the A Levels.
Stay Ahead of Peers
IP tutors can help you stay ahead of your peers by introducing Junior College content to you earlier on. In fact, some IP schools do introduce snippets of JC content in their secondary school syllabus. IP tuition can help to reinforce these knowledge as well as go more in depth. IP tuition can also provide the rigour needed for the eventual A Levels, so students can gradually get used to the challenging demands of JC life over the 4 years of secondary school. With this, they might not get such a huge shock when they finally enter the JC system. Such better adaption and realistic understanding of what’s expected for A Levels would definitely put these students at an advantage.
Increase Your Chances of Admission into Top Universities
Aiming for entrance into an Ivy League university? Admission into top universities can be notoriously difficult. Competition is very stiff. Stellar A Level results can be said to be merely the basic requirement in order to even get past the first stage of selections.
IP tuition can help you work towards that ultimate goal. By setting a good foundation throughout the first four years, students are more ready to take on the gruelling 2 years of JC education. Moreover, IP tuition can tailor lessons in a way where there is continuity from the four years of secondary education to the last 2 years of JC education. Essentially, this means 6 years of prep instead of the usual 2!
Nanyang Academics Helps You to Excel in the Integrated Programme and Preps You for A Levels
At Nanyang Academics, we are proud of our team of dedicated IP tutors. Our tutors are specialised in their subjects and are committed to helping their students excel. Prepping for A Level doesn’t need to start in Junior College. Supplement the 4 years of secondary education with IP tuition to give your child a stable foundation for excellence in their future A Levels.
The Integrated Program (IP) is an infusion of upper secondary and JC education that gives Secondary students the option of proceeding to JC without taking ‘O’ level exams. In schools offering IP, both the academic and non-academic curriculum for students are greatly stretched.
The attractive aspect of the IP program is that you are able to skip the O level exams, which many students would love. However, it’s not all milk and honey for the students who choose this path as it puts even greater pressure for them to pass the ‘A’ level exams. Your child risks getting only a PSLE certificate in the event that they don’t pass these exams.
For your child to perform well in the A level exams, they should have mastered the basic knowledge from secondary school. The child should have constant good performance track record because if they lag behind they will be incapable of tackling the A level exams.
Many parents who have their children undertaking the IP program will opt for private home IP tutors. An IP tutor can help keep your child on the track so that they don’t laze around in the comfort of not having to take the ‘O’ level examinations.
Although most students that undertake the IP program were considered high-performance in their secondary school stage, the opportunity to proceed directly to Junior College is not supposed to decrease their performance ability. The IP syllabus is a lot more brutal and complicated although this may depend on individual IP schools.
Why do IP students in Singapore need tuition?
The rigorous nature of the IP syllabus can be challenging for most students. Without a qualified and experienced IP tutor, your child can get over stressed with the work load and lose focus on the overall goal of the IP program.
Tuition for IP students have the option that they can be offered both privately at home and through group tuition in the School. The tuition plans for individual tuition subjects are always tailored specific to the individual learners needs. Your child can explore the syllabus to greater depth since they have more time and space.
Having an IP tutor assist your child from home gives the child freedom to interact more with the teacher, and together they can identify specific problematic areas. Even better, your child is at liberty to explore all their curiosity on the different subjects. With an IP tutor, your child will have all the support they need through their journey through the IP program, and they won’t be left behind in class work.