You have to read and reread the SEAB guidelines. Most of the questions I get from students who want to retake is explained in the SEAB FAQ page. Even so, I guess people will feel better if a real person is explaining these things to them.
Firstly, when you retake, you have the option of taking 3 H2 subjects and GP at one sitting. Or, you could add your H1 subject if you think you can improve that as well. But the minimum is 3 H2 subjects and GP to re-sit. There is no need to retake your SPA (Science Practical Assessment) as it is valid for 2 years. It is going to be painful, but don’t think too much and just pay up first.
Next, you have to apply to universities to try your luck. If you get accepted, you can email SEAB and get full refund of your money. If you don’t, you can still get back half your money if you change your mind about retaking. I retook in 2015 and I paid $640 ++. My sister was initially confident about getting into university and when she didn’t, she had to scramble and beg SEAB to allow her to retake in July! July is too late if you are sitting for exams in November. Still, she managed to successfully retake in measly 4 months and got into NTU’s English Literature programme. So now you know. It is possible to still only start retaking in July. But why would you if you can start the process earlier? So I would advise that you apply today and slowly start gathering resources and recapping syllabus. Once you know for sure you need to retake, you can go full force.
I can guess what you are thinking now. ‘but was your stream arts or science?’ Doesn’t that make a difference?’ ‘Were you doing NS?’ ‘Were you working?’
It doesn’t matter about the stream. My sister was in arts stream and I was from the science stream. We both retook. The stream does not matter. What matters is you and your conviction. I was not doing NS but I have heard about friends retaking while in NS. Unfortunately, I have yet to hear a success story.
I personally, was working, but I was not doing a full time job. Just part time serving pizzas. The rest of the time, I spent was for tuition and doing revision.
The importance of UAS
Most important thing now is: did you calculate your University Admission Score (UAS)? Don’t fall for the ruse of Indicative Grade Profile (IGP). Your IGP translates into UAS and that is what universities look at. This is straight from the horse’s mouth (a lecturer from NTU). UNIVERSTIES LOOK AT UAS. Not your grades. So, head over to ZUEET to calculate your UAS. And make sure that when you apply, you follow the 2.5pt difference rule like it’s the word of god (if the course you want to apply to is 80pts, the minimum they will accept is 77.5). This is not a joke. It is hundred percent vital that you put your first choice as something that will guarantee your entrance into uni.
You may have concerns such as, 'What if I don’t like it?' 'What if I hate Physics but it is the only course I can enter with my grades?'. Honestly, everybody has their own philosophy when it comes to pursuing university education. Mine is: get your ass into university, change your major later. All things considered, you could end up loving your major or worse come to worse, if your GPA is high enough, your university might let you change your major. I was told by NTU that 10% of their student change their major in first year. Albeit that not being a lot, you could be part of the 10%. So yeah, if your UAS is borderline 68pts to 70pts, you have to consider retaking as a viable option. If you are not careful in the order of your course choices, you might not get it in at all.
I put NUS’s Project Facilities and Management as my first choice although their UAS cut off was 72.5 and my UAS was 70. Guess what? They called me on the 30th June. That’s right, the absolute last day of all universities are supposed to get back to us. So I say, just try.