He was a persistent truant but his vice-principal gave him permission to stay home for three days last year - to think about his future.
Those three days changed Muhammad Danial Haiqal's life.
The Normal (Technical) student from Bishan Park Secondary went back to school and had a 100 per cent attendance record after that.
Danial, 16, had a pleasant surprise when he received his results on Thursday.
He passed all five subjects, scoring an A in his best subject, Design and Technology (D&T), and qualified for his dream course in ITE - mechatronics. Danial had been skipping school since Primary 1, attending classes two to three times a week on average.
After he skipped his Continuous Assessment tests in Sec 3, he was called up by his school's vice-principal Shue Pei Yan and told to take three days off.
The school's student well-being team had been working with his family to get him back in school for two years but to no avail.
But something Mr Shue said changed Danial.
"He told me that he saw potential in me," recalled Danial.
These were the first words of affirmation that Danial had received in a long time, and a turning point for him.