Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Qs)

Insworld Institute is a private school based in Singapore. Since September 2000 we have aimed to provide the highest standards of education, whilst caring for the needs of each individual student.

Insworld encourages students to be active participants in their classes, engaging with their learning while maintaining a clear focus on academic achievement.

The school promotes the core values of Integrity, Diversity, Social Responsibility and Leadership. These will help our students to become rounded and resourceful young people, equipped to make a positive contribution to society.

Insworld offers a range of academic courses in preparation for exams set by Pearson Edexcel, a fully accredited UK exam board and awarding body.

Insworld also teaches an English Language programme (English for Academic Study) designed to prepare students for progression to academic programmes taught in English.

International Advanced Level / GCE Advanced Level

A-Level programmes prepare students for entry to university. Leading international universities in the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada and most other countries require students to take 3 subjects. Universities in Singapore normally require good passes in 4 subjects.

International GCSE (International GCSE)

Insworld students normally take 6 subjects at International GCSE level. These must include English and Maths, which are compulsory. They may then select a further 4 from the range of choices that is available.

Edexcel International Tuition Programme (an International Lower Secondary Programme)

This programme typically focuses on 6 subjects, covering the sciences, arts and humanities, as well as English and Mathematics. There are also options to study Art and Chinese on this programme.

  • Insworld teaches only in small groups (4-12 students per class). This allows us to practice student-centred learning and adapt what we teach and how we teach it to meet the needs of each individual student.
  • Insworld can adapt the length and structure of its programmes to meet students’ specific needs. Our students come to us from many different educational backgrounds, and have different levels of knowledge and understanding in each subject. We always try to evaluate and acknowledge prior learning, and use this to inform us about the best way to  help our students to learn.  We can organise a specific programme for each student based on what they already know and what they need to know in order to realise their ambitions.
  • Insworld has four main intakes per year (January, April, July and October), but can accept students at other times.
  • Insworld Institute can teach a full A-Level or International GCSE programme in 18 months instead of the standard two academic years taken by most schools.
  • Insworld is committed to working closely with parents and guardians. The school communicates weekly test scores and reports to parents, and encourages parents to contact the school whenever they wish to discuss academic progress or any other matter.
  • Insworld is a diverse, multi-national and multi-cultural community. Currently, there are students from over 20 different countries studying together. Our students are interested, engaged and friendly. The small size of the school means that we do not have many of the social problems that affect students in larger institutions.

Insworld is committed to its students’ social, cultural and moral development. The school is a place where every student’s background, culture and traditions are respected and valued. Insworld promotes mutual respect, integration and integrity in all its activities. This is evidenced in the atmosphere at the school, which is receptive, friendly and inclusive.

Insworld teaches a British-based curriculum leading to International GCSE (O-Level) and International A-Level or GCE A-Level qualifications. All Insworld academic programmes use specifications developed by Pearson Edexcel, a fully accredited UK exam provider, and lead to qualifications (International GCSE and A-Level) that are recognized internationally by leading universities around the world.

What are the differences between ‘international’ A-Levels and GCSE exams, and those which are taught in England

Pearson Edexcel international qualifications (International GCSE and IAL) are benchmarked to the same standards determined by the UK Department of Education as GCSE and GCE A-Level exams. Consequently, they are recognised by universities and employers in Singapore, the UK and internationally as having the same academic weight and as indicating the same levels of academic potential and achievement.
The main difference is that International GCSE and IAL programmes and exams are designed to be more accessible to the international learner.

A-Level qualifications are recognised by universities in the UK, Singapore and worldwide as valid indicators of academic achievement and potential. Good grades at A-Level will qualify students for entry to leading universities in Singapore, in the UK, and internationally.

This October, Insworld graduates will begin their studies at leading universities in the UK such as University College London, Durham, Warwick and Bristol to study subjects such as Law, Engineering, Environmental Science and English Literature.  

An Insworld 2017 graduate is now studying Engineering at Oxford University, ranked by Times Higher Education 2019 as the best university in the world.

Other Insworld graduates have gone on to study at Imperial College (London), National University of Singapore, University College London, the University of Edinburgh, Sydney University and many other prestigious international institutions. See here for the academic achievements of our graduates over the past years.

Insworld chooses to teach International A-Level exams provided by Pearson Edexcel, a fully licensed and accredited UK exam board. These A-Levels are modular, not linear, in design. Each subject is divided into discrete units (modules) which are examined and marked separately. Students may take exams in January and/or May/June each year. The final grade is based on the aggregate of the marks achieved in all the different modules.

Modular exams have many advantages for students. Students can delay taking an exam if they feel they need more time, as it is possible to take exams in specific modules in any exam session. Only the best mark achieved in each module will count towards the final grade. The modular approach allows the burden and pressure of exams to be spread out over the duration of the course. This reduces the level of stress students feel about exams, and helps them to deal with exam nerves and anxieties. Students are also able to assess their progress by looking at real exam results – the most authentic type of feedback.

Our International A-Level program usually lasts 18 months (rather than 2 academic years). This can represent a significant saving in time and money.  There are two main exam series each year (in January and in May/June). As Pearson Edexcel International A-Levels are modular (not linear) in design students may take exams at different times over the course of their programme. This means that they will be able to show real results to universities, not base their application on predicted grades or subjective evaluations. This is appreciated by universities, and can lead to favourable conditional offers from universities.

Admissions Office personnel will assist students with all aspects of the university application process. We have experience of helping students gain places at universities all over the world. We are able to offer general guidance about selecting courses and selecting universities, as well as assistance with the particular requirements of applications such as writing personal statements.

Students who study for the IB are required to study at least 6 subjects, including a second language, Maths and Sciences.

IB assessment is based on a combination of internal and external assessment, with written exams and marked coursework contributing to the final award. This programme works well for students with a wide range of abilities who enjoy the challenge of producing coursework across multiple disciplines.

IB is a linear programme. Students take exams at the end of two years of studies. Should a student want to re-take any part of the exam, they would need to wait one year for the next examination session.

International A-Levels offer a different approach. IAL students study fewer subjects (usually 3 or 4 subjects), but at a greater level of depth. Students can choose the subjects which interest them the most, and which will provide them with the most focused and relevant preparation for their university level studies. Students will not need to spend time and energy getting grades in subjects they do not enjoy, that do not interest them and which will have no relevance to their further education.

A-Levels are not just about acquiring information. They also emphasise the importance of being able to accurately apply information across different contexts. Success at A-Level requires students to have a secure and extensive understanding of each subject, but also the ability to analyse and evaluate, and think critically about a range of problems. These skills are essential for successful study at leading universities.

Pearson Edexcel International A-Levels are modular. Each subject is divided into discrete units which are examined and marked separately. Students normally take exams in January, May/June each year. The final grade is based on the aggregate of the marks achieved in all the different modules.

Students can delay taking an exam if they feel they need more time to prepare.

It is also possible to re-take exams in specific modules at any exam session. Only the best mark achieved in each module will count towards the final grade.

This allows students to plan their further studies based on their actual progress and real exam results.

Singapore-Cambridge A-Level exams are designed to assess the learning of students in the Singapore state education system. Appropriately, there is a greater focus on matters of importance to Singapore in subjects such as History and Geography.

Singapore-Cambridge A-Level exams also put a high premium on being able to memorise and recall a lot of information.

Singapore-Cambridge A-Level students are expected to take 6 subjects, including a compulsory General Paper and a mix of science and humanities subjects.

Singapore-Cambridge A-Levels are linear. Students take exams at the end of two years of studies. Should a student want to re-take an exam, they would need to wait one year for the next examination session.

Students who opt to study for International A-Levels typically study 3-4 subjects. Fewer subjects mean that they can study in greater depth and with a sharper focus. IAL students can concentrate on the subjects which interest them the most and which will provide them with the best academic and intellectual preparation for studies at the university of their choice.

Pearson Edexcel International A-Levels are modular. Each subject is divided into discrete units which are examined and marked separately. Students normally take exams in January and May/June. The final grade is based on the aggregate of the marks achieved in all the different modules.

Students can delay taking an exam if they feel they need more time to prepare.

It is also possible to re-take exams in specific modules at any exam session. Only the best mark achieved in each module will count towards the final grade.

This allows students to plan their future studies based on their actual progress and real exam results.

International A-Levels have been developed to evaluate the understanding of students from a wide range of cultural and educational backgrounds. Consequently, the format and presentation of exams are intended to be accessible and clear, and designed to test the student’s knowledge and understanding, not exam technique and memory. IAL programmes focus on extending subject knowledge, but very importantly also develop  students’ critical thinking and evaluative skills.  Students are tested not just on what they know, but also on how they can apply this knowledge to a range of different situations.

IAL students are encouraged to think for themselves, and develop as independent learners. They learn how to explore ideas and evaluate and analyse information. These skills are essential  for university level study.

The school sends weekly reports regularly to parents/guardians. In addition we have formal parents’ meetings every term, and send a comprehensive report at the end of each term. We also encourage parents and guardians to contact the school about any matter that is concerning them at any time. We believe in close cooperation between the school and parents and guardians. Openness and transparency help everyone to understand what is happening and to be in a position to find effective solutions to problems.

Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor, whom they meet every week. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss any academic or other issues that are concerns for the student or the school. This is an important opportunity to give and to receive feedback which can help the student to stay on track and can help the school to understand and address any problems that are raised.

Students are also given formal tests regularly in each of their subjects. This allows them to practice exam-style tasks under exam conditions and helps their teachers to know how well they have understood particular topics or concepts. The students get accurate feedback on their academic performance as well as the opportunity to improve their study skills through working under time pressure in a formal setting. The results of these assessments are sent each week to the student’s parent(s)/guardian.

If a student is having particular difficulties with any aspect of their programme and needs extra help, they will be given extra one-to-one tuition with their subject teacher. These sessions are free of charge.

Every student needs to achieve a minimum attendance rate of 75%, to ensure that they have attended enough classes to be able to complete the course successfully. If their attendance falls below 75% consistently they may not be permitted to take external exams, and risk being permanently excluded from the school.

All Student’s Pass holders must maintain a 90% attendance. If they do not, they will be reported to the Singapore authorities, and their Student’s Pass may be withdrawn, or may not be renewed.

New students may be asked to take a series of placement tests to allow us to assess their level, and have a better understanding of their academic strengths and weaknesses.

Students must meet minimum English Language requirements level in order to be accepted onto an academic programme;

  • IAL/GCE A-Level                IELTS 5.0 or equivalent
  • International GCSE           IELTS 4.5 or equivalent
  • EITP (Lower Secondary)   IELTS 4.0 or equivalent

Some universities will accept students onto their Foundation Programmes on the strength of their results at International GCSE.

A Dependent’s Pass (DP) can be granted only by the ICA (Immigration & Checkpoint Authority) of Singapore. Parents of international students can apply for DP after obtaining a Student’s Pass for the student. Insworld will provide the necessary documents for such applications. However, there is no guarantee that an application for a DP will be successful.

Insworld is not just about academic achievement. Extra-curricular activities are an important part of the school’s work. These can help students develop their social and inter-personal skills as well as enjoy themselves and have fun. Every year, students attend a specialist Leadership Camp to focus on developing the key skills of leading and working together in groups. Extra–curricular activities include multiple sports events ranging from basketball to futsal, as well as videography, photography, and the opportunity to visit museums and cultural events.

Our fees are calculated to be reasonable and competitive when compared to other International schools in Singapore. They also reflect the personal service that is given to each student, with our small class sizes, and detailed attention to the particular needs of each student. We also offer scholarships and discounts to deserving students. You can find out the fees in course fee section, if you have any queries on what the fees cover please do not hesitate to contact us at

After signing the contract, there is a 7 working days cooling-off period.  If the student withdraws within the 7 working days cooling-off period, the school will refund 100% of the fees paid.

If the student withdraws from the Course, Insworld Institute will, within seven 7 working days of receiving the Student’s written notice of withdrawal, refund to the Student an amount based on the following;

  • 100% if student’s written notice of withdrawal is received more than 30 days before the Course Commencement Date
  • 50% if student’s written notice of withdrawal is received before, but not more than 30 days before the Course Commencement Date
  • 25% if student’s written notice of withdrawal is received after, but not more than 3 days after the Course Commencement Date
  • 0% if student’s written notice of withdrawal is received more than 3 days after the Course Commencement Date

If a student withdraws during the study programme, he/she is not liable to pay the subsequent instalment of course fees.

Insworld is a multinational community. To date, students from 45 countries have studied with us. Our students learn to be tolerant, receptive and accepting towards people of different cultures and traditions.

No. Although both programmes are designed to prepare students for entry to undergraduate degree programmes at university, the A-Level option offers substantially wider opportunities.

Foundation programmes are usually designed for entry into a specific university. They are often designed and operated by one university. This university provides accreditation for its foundation programme, and is often the only institution which will recognise its validity. Frequently, if you complete a foundation programme run by a university, you will be qualified to join a degree programme only at that university. You may not be qualified to transfer to a different institution.

A-Levels have worldwide recognition. Leading universities internationally understand that A-Levels are valid and reliable indicators of a student’s academic ability and potential, and accept students on the basis of these qualifications. A-Levels have an established reputation for offering students excellent preparation for their further studies.  Universities appreciate that A-Level students have studied subjects in depth, and have been encouraged to develop the higher level critical thinking and evaluative skills that are essential for successful study at university.

A-Levels offer students the greatest range of options for study at university. You can choose the course that suits you best, at the university that suits you best in the country that suits you best.

Yes, Pearson Edexcel IAL is recognized by the national universities in Singapore. You may refer to programme entry requirements under international qualifications section.
Insworld Institute has a track record of students being accepted to NUS, NTU, and SMU.

A student who wish to enter Singapore National Universities would expect to have very good grades in 4 subjects.

At Insworld Institute we arrange career talks with selected universities from different countries. For example, webinars for our students were conducted by the following institutions: Cambridge University, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Royal Holloway, University of London, and EHL Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.

Each student has a Personal Tutor who will guide the academic development of the student. Weekly sessions are set with the purpose of reviewing the student’s progress towards individually set goals.

In addition, in the last year of studies, students will have individual sessions with the Admissions Counselor, who will help them to find the course and university which best matches their ambitions, as well as providing help with the application process.