Should My Son Choose FCE or POA for Sec 3?

So, a question came in this week over a whatsapp group chat from a Parent:


My son got 63/80 for math and 31/40 for FCE…

So… He needs to choose between POA and FCE…

Is POA very similar to Math? What is a better option for him? POA or FCE????


I’ll start with similarities and where my viewpoint comes from.

I top my class in Home Econs back when I was in Sec 2 but only took Accounting in Uni.

Both are great as lifeskills. Back then Home Econs taught a bit about budgetting.

Accounting teaches financial literacy. I teach my students abour CPF and home loan arbitrage to maximise retirement savings when they are on the chapter on accounting for long term borrowings

In terms of usefulness, both subjects are great to pick up useful skills.

In terms of differences, i’ll point out the common misconception for POA with math and then i think you can decide

He didnt do well for psle but he cope better in sec sch, possibly because not much new syllabus in sec sch.. So im thinking of poa will be better but afraid fce will be easier to score…

Accounting (POA) is a business language. The objective of the syllabus is not to make them workforce ready at O levels but to develop a logical thinking process for sound decision:

  • is this financially viable
  • does it make sense.

At the core, accounting is a business language. It is used to communicate activities in a standardized fashion.

The only math required is +-×/. To illustrate how it’s language based, getting to a local uni for accounting requires an A for GP vs just a B3 for Amath in Secondary school during my time. I didnt take math in JC at all.

Calculator is allowed and the bigger math portion forms less than 10% of the syllabus

What’s similar about POA with math is how a student excels.

Both subjects requires a strong foundation in concepts and practice to mastery. No amount of textbook reading will help except for soms theory aspects.
FCE’s drawback is course work, which requires consistency to finish by deadline. It can be v time consuming so it’a good for students who love the subject.

POA is changing syllabus next year. The emphasis will be more about understanding decision making and less of what the computer can do. They have removed quite abit of ledger preparation.

For example, there will be new questions like, where should inventory be stocked from. Answers will be around considerations for price, delivery, storage, reputation of supplier etc. Moving away from just journal entries and ledgers. If English (not math) and writing is his cup of tea, POA way to go.

If cooking and baking is his passion, FCE is the way to go.

Hmm…… Poa needs strong English foundation? He is not very strong in English…… Is 60+ strong enough????

60+ is good enough for POA. If struggling to pass English then English tuition more impt than POA tuition.