Entering IP is not all smooth sailing, there is still much work to be done. Most IP schools will set a minimum criteria to proceed in the Integrated Program (i.e. skip ‘O’ levels). Those students who don’t make the criteria may be streamed into the ‘O’ level track.
A recent post from Kiasuparents summarized nicely the situation for the top 4 IP schools:
At the end of the day, it’s each sch’s perogative to set the IP promotion bar at a level it deems fit. For HCI/NYGH case, that bar was set at 65%, while RI set it at 60% and RGS at 50%. The R sch students also have the flexibility to choose the best subjects for GPA calculation (and not have to include all subjects).
Hence, basically for HCI/NYGH an average grade of B3 and above is needed to proceed in the IP track, while for RI it is B4, and RGS is just pass (50%). Note that IP exam papers tend to be tougher than usual, hence it is not as easy as it sounds to get B3 in an IP school, or even to pass.
While the ‘O’ level track is not bad in the sense that it provides an ‘O’ level certificate as a backup, the problem is that IP schools are so entrenched in the IP system, and so used to teaching IP syllabus, their teachers may or may not be proficient in teaching ‘O’ level material. See this news: RI’s O Level Scores: Only 1 student out of 10 made it to JC. Hence, there is always an inherent risk in being streamed to the ‘O’ level track.