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Secondary School Tuition



Tuition Still a Treasure During Secondary School Transition

Once parents and students are liberated from the stress of PSLE, the next phase of their educational journey awaits them: secondary school. Secondary schools in Singapore are seen as the gateway to their choice of tertiary institutions. With the diversified pathways in the educational landscape, the subjects and choices they make have a direct bearing on students’ careers and trajectory in life. As such, parents are acutely aware of the importance of maintaining the momentum and continuing tuition in the secondary school phase.  


5 Major Reasons Why Parents Continue with Tuition 

The most crucial four to five years in the education system is spent in secondary school. These are important foundation-building years for students. Parents are fraught with different concerns regarding their child’s progress in secondary school. Some of these include:

  • Poor academic performance of children stemming from poor primary school foundation.
  • Fear Of Missing Out – parents realise that other parents continue to rely heavily on tuition.
  • Inadequate school preparation for children for the national GCE ‘O’ and ‘N’ Levels.
  • Insufficient time and proficiency to improve their academic standing.
  • Inability to cope with the introduction of more subjects and an increased workload.  
  • Concerns over their GCE ‘O’ and ‘N’ Levels results affecting their admission into the tertiary institution and course of their choice. 


The highly demanding education system in Singapore spurs parents to hire private tutors for their children. By investing in a good private secondary school home tutor, parents give their children a competitive edge over their peers. 


Good Grades Open New Gateways 


secondary school tuition



With the Ministry’s introduction of Subject-Based Banding (SBB), secondary school classes in the future will be re-organised. According to a 2019 Press Release, the Education ministry will merge the Express, Normal (Academic) and  Normal (Technical) courses by 2024, phasing out the labels of these courses and thereby removing some previously-held social stigmas. This essentially means that students will be taking subjects that are pitched at their capability and calibre. The subjects that students do well are usually early indicators of the types of tertiary institutions and courses that they can apply for in the future. Having secondary school tuition allows your child to be promoted to a higher band. 


More Subject Offerings in Secondary Schools

Subject offerings in secondary schools in Singapore remain wide and varied. Other than the staple subjects – English, Elementary Mathematics and Mother Tongue languages – students have the options of cherry-picking the subjects that they perform well in. However, this is also where the struggle lies. Creating a competitive combination of subjects is important as it will determine the tertiary institutions and courses that students can enrol post-secondary school. 



English is a staple subject and is required for the computation of L1R4/5 and ELMAB3 aggregate. The syllabus for secondary school English focuses on essential skills such as reading, writing, comprehending and editing. There is a notable emphasis on language use for impact questions, requiring students to demonstrate a greater awareness and understanding of figurative language and literary devices. Having secondary school English tuition will allow students to detect and decode intricacies in the English language that is imperative if they wish to excel. Given the importance placed on the subject, parents should consider investing in a good secondary school private tutor. 


Mathematics (Elementary and Additional)

Like English, Elementary Mathematics (or E. Math) is also a requisite subject. Additional Mathematics (or A. Math) is an optional subject, focusing on algebraic manipulation skills and mathematical reasoning skills. Competence in Elementary Mathematics sets the foundation for technical and science subjects such as physics and chemistry. Having a dedicated and well-trained Secondary school Mathematics tutor that emphasizes crucial concept understanding, fundamental techniques and applications will give students a competitive edge. 


Mother Tongue 

Mastery over a Mother Tongue language – whether it is Chinese, Malay or Tamil – not only contributes a better overall aggregate but improves the student’s future employability. Higher Mother Tongue is especially useful because it can be used to deduct a point from the total aggregate score. Mother tongue can be a challenging subject to teach in an environment where English is the predominant medium. This makes it all the more important to invest in secondary school mother tongue tuition. This will provide more speaking and writing practice to improve your child’s overall command of the language.  


Science (Pure and Combined)

Science is a subject that requires deep understanding of concepts taught in school. It is deemed as one of the more difficult subjects. In secondary school, science is split into 3 different specialisations: Physics, Biology and Chemistry. While most students have to choose 2 out of the 3 science subjects for their Combined Science examinations, there are several students who take these specialisations individually as pure subjects. Science tuition helps students familiarise themselves with important keywords and phrases, the understanding of processes as well as the application of scientific concepts. 


Humanities (Pure and Combined)

The Humanities include Social Studies, History, Geography and Literature. Students have the option of studying History, Geography or Literature as a pure subject (individually) or they can combine any of the aforementioned with Social Studies. Private Secondary School tuition in the humanities offers better answering techniques for source-based case studies and structured-response questions.


Struggling with Subject Combinations –  Handpick the Humanities or Select the Sciences? 

This leads us to the all-important question of what subjects should your child take. There are multiple factors involved here, and it requires your child to balance their interest and ability. Ideally, to perform well, your child should have equal interest in all the subjects they take up. From there, their subject competencies can be raised and their results improved. 


What are the Secondary Subject Prerequisites for Tertiary Institutions & Courses?

Confused by the cryptic acronyms (like ELMAB3) used to determine entry in various educational tertiary institutions in Singapore? Here are some clarification!


For Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute 

L1R4/L1R5 –  1 Language and 4/5 Relevant Subjects (Total: 5/6 Subjects)


secondary school tuition rates


LIR4/L1R5 is an aggregate type used for the application into Millenia Institute and Junior Colleges. The relevant subjects are used to enter the arts, science or hybrid streams in junior colleges. 


For Polytechnics 

ELR2B2English Language, Relevant 2 Subjects and Best 2 Subjects (Total: 5 Subjects)

Student’s GCE 'O' Level results or the equivalent are ranked according to their aggregate of English Language, 2 Relevant subjects and 2 other Best subjects. The table below provides the classification of different secondary school subjects for the application of different diploma disciplines.  


secondary school tuition rates


As evident from the table above, there are multiple ELR2B2 types, ranging from A to D. Different diploma courses are grouped under the aggregate types and these are some matches of the different ELR2B2 types to a prospective polytechnic course.


ELR2B2-A: Communications & Humanities Courses

Relevant Subjects: History, Literature, Geography

Prospective Courses: Mass Communication, Psychology Studies


ELR2B2-B: Business & Management Courses

Relevant Subjects: Principle of Accounts, Combined Humanities

Prospective Courses: Marketing, Accountancy & Finance, Law & Management


ELR2B2-C: Engineering and Science Courses

Relevant Subjects: Combined Science, Biology, Physics

Prospective Courses: Aerospace Engineering, Food, Nutrition & Culinary Science


ELR2B2-D: Design Courses

Relevant Subjects: Art, Design & Technology

Prospective Courses: Interior Architecture & Design, Product & Industrial Design 


For Institute of Technical Education (ITE)

ELMAB3 English Language, Mathematics, and Best 3 Subjects (Total: 5 Subjects)

This grade computation is used mainly by the local Institute of Technical Education (ITE) for NITEC offerings. The combined numbered grades of 5 subjects are added together to form the student’s ELMAB3. According to the Singapore Examinations Board (SEAB), the ELMAB3 aggregate is also used for considering eligibility for both the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP) and the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP)


ELB4 & ELR1B3 (Total: 5 Subjects)

This aggregate type is used for the consideration and admission to ITE’s Higher NITEC courses. Like with the ELR2B2 aggregate type, ELR1B3 contains subclassifications ranging from A - C. Type A, B and C represent courses in the Business, Media and Engineering, respectively. Refer to page 80 - 83 of MOE Admissions Guide 2020.


5 Benefits of Secondary School Tuition: From Woe to Wow!

It is vital to ensure that your child continues to excel in secondary school. No matter what subjects your child gravitates towards, Nanyang Academics can immeasurably help with:

  • Providing quality and effective tuition. This will compliment and fill in understanding gaps, ensuring that students do become indifferent and apathetic to topics that they are weak in.
  • Meeting raised expectations. Adapting to the changes in environment and curriculum means thriving under it. Our tutors will prepare your children for the increasing levels of complexity in all subjects to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Providing personal time for greater academic inquiry. Secondary school students have questions which may be left unanswered during curriculum time. Personal tutors can help students answer these numerous questions without fretting. 
  • Being available and flexible with the schedule. Our tutors are available during holidays as well and provide comprehensive revision sessions for the students to further reinforce their understanding of what has already been taught.
  • Giving progress reports. Our tutors are open and communicative and easily share with parents the progress made with their children. This allows both parents and children to dedicate more time and effort to particular areas of weakness.


Nanyang Academics: Your Solution to Secondary Tuition!

Nanyang Academics is the trusted name in private home tuition. Our secondary school tutors will be able to successfully incorporate lesson plans to aid your child in his studies. We have a range of private tutors that specialises in both lower secondary and upper secondary subjects such as English A.Math, E.Math, Chinese, Tamil, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and the Humanities. With our help your child can realise their fullest academic potential!