Just Because its the ‘A’ levels Doesn’t Mean You’ll Get All ‘A’s…

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So the ‘A’ level results were released on Friday. Before that, you guys saw me burping out words like ‘acetylcholine’, ’2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine’, and ‘synapses’ and other stuff and probably assumed I was reaching for membership in an asylum. I was really being nonsensical and acting all smartypants so that I could conjure just a bit of confidence for the crazy exams. 

Are ‘A’ levels the end of the world? Well, yes. And no. Yes because the results were released in 2012 and 2012, as we all know, may be the actual end-of-the-world. Jokes aside (not funny, so jokes nonsence), ‘A’ levels are not the end of the world because you still have one-in-the-millionth chance to become the millionaire you aspire to be. You know, via investing in stocks, gambling (not encouraging this), stealing (its illegal– don’t do it), having rich parents, taking over your rich parents’ business, selling your grandparents’ expensive jewelry (also not encouraged), working hard, no longer aspiring to become a millionaire and blah blah blah.  

Now, steering away from my usually useless talk to slightly more ridiculous talk, here’s a brief summary of the grades someone as ridiculous as I would have. From lousy to good.

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1. I got a C for General Paper i.e. a subject testing you on how well you can use your vast linguistic capabilities to portray accurately your thoughts regarding real world issues (rather than crap). My grammar hasn’t exactly taken the hint to climb after Jack up his magical beanstalk since I exchanged James Patterson (the old pervert)’s books for thick and icky stacks of Biology 2 years earlier. I’m not grieving over this grade because the (very) few hundred of you who visit my website/blog everyday know I’m perfectly capable of stringing my thoughts into readable short ‘essays’ that are too impolite to be reciprocated during exams, and that should not be but is enough for the mini me. 

2. A B for Biology. You expected it. I expected it. It was bound to happen. I didn’t get a C (which was what I really expected considering my limited brain space. FYI, I like to say that my brain stores gigabytes and megabytes of information. Its an analogy. Why do so many people not get it????) I studied most for Biology. It took up 50% of my time. I completed every single question the teachers gave us to practice and reviewed every single one of them. I got E for my prelims and B for ‘A’ levels. I’m just grateful to God.

3. A B for Mathematics. I felt murderous after the papers, especially after the first. Complex numbers are way too complex for me. Real numbers have become a joy to my eyes. Math, to me, depends on luck. Its a question that you like that comes out or not. So, just my luck. I’m okay with it; when you’re mentally prepared for something, you won’t grieve (seriously, one should only grieve at non-academic stuff, like if your best friend/boyfriend/wife/husband dumps you or something). You’ll feel fine.

4. B for Higher Mother Tongue (Chinese). Chinese is too mysterious a language. Don’t push it. 

5. Now, to the As! An A for China Studies in English. I barely studied for this. With practically all my time squished around biology and chemistry, with the remaining desperately centred on Math, this subject must have felt neglected and pissed off. For the A, I really have to thank my teacher. It was also luck. 1/3 of the paper tested Taiwan-China relationship. If I didn’t get an A, I think it would be like, really, really, really, really weird, and disappointing. Plus an insult to my roots. Considering my dad’s family (my grandparents were born there) comes from Fujian, China and my mum’s from Taiwan (which, I repeat, is so NOT NOT NOT NOT part of mainland China) My dad says I’m partially a genius because I chose this subject instead of economics which is highly challenging and mind-blowing.

6. An A for Chemistry. I’ve screamed at Chemistry (in my mind), tore my notes, tried to pull out my hair (didn’t manage to pull them out because it kinda hurt just trying), crossed off all the questions in tutorials out of anger but I guess we kind of got along in the end after all. My parents and I were utterly surprised. It’s not something I click with.  Kudos to the absolutely terrific, most amazing tuition teacher I’ve ever had in my life. A truly amazing teacher who wowed me on the first lesson. And of course my many many chemistry teachers in school. I kept doing really bad at it and had no idea why but I truly loved the subject; I loved it so much I just couldn’t give up. It was thanks to these teachers (ALL OF YOU) that I couldn’t just hate Chemistry and stop working on it. Thank God. (not an expression. I literally thank God.)

7. An A for Project Work. Kudos to my group members! I’ve still not eaten ANY red meat in my life and certainly don’t plan to. Mostly because I think its icky but gggaaahhhh. You guys actually don’t have that much control over my life. ;-)

*Note: Mother Tongue was a subject taken for ‘O’ levels at age 16 and Project Work was completed in JC1 at age 17. 

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Have fun gleaming over getting better results than me; I’m happy for you. If you did worse, its not the end of the world. Its the beginning of a not-so-academic centered life that the vast majority of us will have and soon yearn not to have. If you’re from the grand America, Canada, France, Germany, or wherever else, just read this for fun. I’m not that boring. 

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6 thoughts on “Just Because its the ‘A’ levels Doesn’t Mean You’ll Get All ‘A’s…

  1. Hi Qiting,

    I am so curious about A levels. What do these exams mean? In the states, we have final grades for overall performance in a class. We also have specialized entry exams for professional schools. What would the A levels compare to?

    (Haha, Taiwan and China. I want to visit Taiwan so badly :)

      • Oh I see. We get assigned numbers instead of actual letters here. I wish they did not grade everyone like that. It is only really nice to know your score when you do really well! (My ‘science’ score dropped my average ACT score 2 points out of 36. Yeah…)

        • For once, the singapore education system seems to be better! Number grades are so much more degrading for students because the provide a wider basis for comparism. And that’s so scary! you should be proud of yourself for surviving that! :D

          • Thanks! You know what, you’re right. Surviving should definitely count for something! It is not like we really want to suffer through extreme comparison anyway. :)

  2. Pingback: A Year After ‘A’s | A Dessert Diet

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