Sri Lankan GCE A/L not recognized by NUS

Posted on January 2, 2008  /  5 Comments

NUS or National University of Singapore is a premier university in Asia with school leavers form all over the world competing for places.  NUS admit school leavers from India, Malaysia, Pakistan and other countries on the strength of each local  public examination but  Sri Lankan  students, even those with the 3As that we felicitate here, have to submit scores for SAT examination conducted by Education Testing Services in USA..

In South Asia, Sri Lanka join the ranks of Bangladesh and Burma as countries whose school leaver exams are not recognized by  NUS. American high school diplomas are not recognized by NUS either but the high school diploma in America is not meant to be a  universal university entrance qualification.

In Sri Lanka students are coached from primary school to take on increasingly academic examinations the culmination of which is the GCE (A/L). If an Asian institution such as NUS can not recognize that exam, it is a sign that the Sri Lanka GCE (A/L) has some serious problems.

The Education Forum would like to do a comparative assessment using the recognition of the Sri Lanka GCE (A/L) by other international ranked universities. If any of you who applied for a foreign university had the experience of having to do additional examinations (other than for English) please let this forum know so that we get a better idea of the problem before we go full steam.


  1. Any particular reason for those exams in the mentioned countries [including SL A/L] not to be recognized by NUS?

  2. To the best of my knowledge, not even Cambridge A-Levels are recognised by NUS unless you do the optional GP unit. Perhaps we should do away with the whole Sri Lankan Advanced and Ordinary Level examinations. Public education after grade 6 should only be in English, and students should sit examinations conducted by Edexcel, Cambridge University or International Baccalaureate. We’re a small country and we don’t need all these local exams that no one really cares about.

  3. Justmal,
    Who is going to teach these students in English, in a country where 70% GCE O/L students fail in English!!!
    We got to teach English as a subject plus Tamil or Sinhala. For SInhala students make Tamil as a second language v.v.

  4. sanjeewa dissanayake.

    can i give the a/l maths sylebas for school?

  5. Regarding this article, I don’t think that it is a matter of foreign universities recognizing our A/Levels. Education standards differ from country to country. Most universities, especially in the USA, you are required to submit SAT even if you are applying for undergraduate studies. They also require you to submit TOEFL score in addition to the SAT score. In some Asian universties, submitting your SAT score is optional and tend to only ask for a students TOEFL scores. If you are planning to do your postgraduate studies in abroad, universities ask you to submit scores like GMAT, GRE etc.

    Therefore, it’s not a sign of our A/Level has lost its value abroad, it’s just that different institutions have different criteria when recruiting students due to the variation of the education levels in different countries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *