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Home > Education > Will SIA take me with a degree + ATPL but only 4 "O" Levels?
Will SIA take me with a degree + ATPL but only 4 "O" Levels?
Pilot Career - Education
Tuesday, 20 March 2007 10:51
Dear Captain Lim,

I have been reading your website for the past year now and no doubt, I have to say that your website is among the best aviation websites I have ever visited and the Boeing 777 is my favorite too! I just have a few enquiries that I hope you can answer and email me back.

I failed my Combined Humanities (Social Studies & Geography), Elementary Maths and Combined Science for my GCE *O* Levels examinations which meant that I have just 4 *O* level passes out of 7 subjects. Thus, I went to the Institute of Technical Education College West to pursue a Higher Intec in Mechatronics Engineering for two years. I did well there and now, I am in Republic Polytechnic pursuing Diploma in Communications & Automation Electronics as a first year engineering student.

I have dreamt of becoming an airline pilot since my primary school days and I have since been training myself on how to fly via the Microsoft Flight Simulator software over and over and over again. Though at times I do try and pilot the heavy Boeing 777 in the simulator, I always use the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk for my virtual flight training till the point that I have a strong feeling that I can fly with confidence the real Cessna in the real world. My passion in flying is so strong that my room are full of airplane models ranging from the new A380 to the Boeing 737 and I have books on airplanes and how to become a private pilot, and rating Singapore Changi Airport as the most frequent place I always went.

Though I am an avid aviation enthusiast and that my belief in becoming an airline pilot one day is very strong, I still feel down at times. This happens whenever I think about my past GCE *O* Level results. I have always hoped to fly for Singapore Airlines in the future but when I looked at their basic requirements page for the cadet pilot program, I was disappointed. It stated that the applicant is required to have a minimum of 5 *O* level credits with passes in English, Maths and a Pure Science subject taken at ONE SITTING. I did not take any pure science subject and I failed my Maths during my first sitting.

Does that mean my chances of joining Singapore Airlines are slim if I were to apply after graduating with a diploma in hand?

But if I were to further my studies to a university and graduate with a bachelor degree and apply for SIA, do you think that my chances of getting into the cadet pilot program are still slim considering my past bad *O* level results?

I am considering on taking a Private Pilot License after graduation from my polytechnic studies and work for a while before continuing my flight training by taking the Commercial Pilot License with Instrument Rating, Integrated with a frozen Airline Transport Pilot License, from an academy in Malaysia.

If I were to have a CPL/IR integrated with a frozen ATPL, a university degree and a diploma but my *O* levels are still at 4 credits out of 7 with failure in Elementary Maths and Combined Science (Physics/Chemistry) taken at one sitting, do you think my chances of becoming an airline pilot are still slim if I were to apply for Singapore Airlines or any other airlines in the region?

I have eyesight of 6/60 without optical aid and 6/6 with optical aid. Do you think I can pass the Class 1 Medical Examination, considering that I am an outdoor person and I exercise regularly?

My belief in becoming an airline pilot is very strong that I am going all out now to make that dream a reality one day. I'd be the happiest man in the world if I were to ever pilot a Boeing 777 for Singapore Airlines in the future. I truly thank you for answering the questions as stated above, despite your busy schedule. All I just need is a little confidence from a pilot of an airline to tell me that I can and will be an airline pilot like him one day. I truly hope to see your reply soon.


Hi Asri,

If you look at the SIA webite, to apply for the position of Cadet Pilot in Singapore, you must have the following:

GCE *A* level, Polytechnic Diploma or Degree. In addition you must have obtained a minimum of 5 Credits in the GCE *O* level or its equivalent. These must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject, preferably Physics, taken in one sitting.

It says, in addition (to GCE *A* level, Polytechnic Diploma or Degree) you "must" have obtained a minimum of 5 Credits in the GCE *O* level.

Assuming you intend to pursue with your CPL/IR and a frozen ATPL, then you will apply for the position of co-pilot rather than as cadet pilot. Again, look at their requirement:-

Minimum GCE *A* level/Polytechnic Diploma or its equivalent. In addition you must have obtained at least 5 SPM/GCE *O* level Credits including English, Mathematics and a pure science subject, preferably Physics, taken at one sitting;
At least 1.65 m in height
Medically fit with visual acuity of at least 6/60 without optical aids, correctable to 6/6
Minimum frozen Airline Transport Pilot's License (ATPL) convertible to a Singapore License
Preference will be given to candidates with higher qualifications and some years of working experience

Looking at the requirements and based on the interpretation of the above, you would still be ruled out!

However, I am not absolutely clear as regards to the SIA recruitment policy when a potential candidate does not satisfy the basic requirements but has a frozen Airline Transport Pilot*s License (ATPL) and a bachelor degree from the University. Perhaps they may have a dispensation. I will post this in the
Singapore Airlines Forum and hope someone will be able to clarify on this issue.

If you are a Singaporean, your chances of becoming an airline pilot elsewhere are quite limited if you fail to get into SIA or other low cost carriers in Singapore. Air Asia is an option you might consider after your ATPL and a Bachelor degree.

As regards to your eyesight of 6/60 without optical aids, correctable to 6/6 with glasses, you should have no problem getting a Class one Medical Certificate.


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Mid Career Change
This website is very well maintained and informative. In fact i have lernt more from here in 10mins then I have surfing other sites the past week.

Good Job Captain
Alvin , 23 Aug, 2010
I'm working as security in airport for past 8years. Will SIA consider to take me in even though i didnt meet the education requirement?
Hanzzz , 03 Sep, 2015

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