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Applying for University? Common FAQs & Tips You Should Know!

March 02, 2021 | By Yi Xuan

Are you a JC student interested in planning ahead for your next academic milestone? Good on you! It is always good to know what you are getting yourself into! Especially when University applications come with a whole litany of new complex terms, subject and grade pre-requisites and more!

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! Let us help you breakdown some of the most common FAQ JC students have about applying for university – with a few bonus tips that can come in handy!

What Universities can I Apply to in Singapore?

Well, compared to JC students who graduated a decade ago, students today have more tertiary institution options with even specialized niche institutions to choose from these days

University Types of Undergraduate Courses They Offer
National University of Singapore (NUS) One of the more comprehensive local universities, NUS offers a wide range of courses from Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Computing, Design & Environment, Engineering, Public Policy and more.

They are also one of the earliest established universities to offer Law, Architecture, Medicine and Dentistry.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Similar to NUS, NTU is another long-standing local university, offering an equally wide range of courses from Accountancy and Business, Art, Design & Media, Communication Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Medicine, Social Sciences, Sports Science and more.

They are also the main university to offer Education courses – specially the NIE undergraduate programme which is the key course for aspiring teachers.

Singapore Management University (SMU) As the third local university to be established, SMU chose to differentiate with its focus on 8 undergraduate programs revolving around business and computing – includes accountancy, business management, economics, information systems, law, and social science.
Singapore University of Technological Design (SUTD) One of the niche public universities in Singapore, SUTD’s curriculum is primarily design centric. Its undergraduate programmes include architecture and sustainable design, design and artificial intelligence, engineering systems and design and more.
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) As the name suggests, SUSS is also another more niche public university in Singapore with programmes that have a stronger focus on social impact. Some of their courses include early childhood education, public safety and security, human resource management, social work and more.
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) One of the niche public university offerings in Singapore, SIT has a wide range of technologically related undergraduate programmes available. From Aerospace engineering, aircraft systems engineering, chemical engineering, computing engineering, computer science in interactive media and game development to food technology and more.
LASALLE College of the Arts and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) More interested in the arts? You can find not one but two specialised arts institutions that offer programmes in the visual arts and performing arts that you can choose for more creative expression.

As you can see from the options available, the sky is the limit when it comes to pursuing a higher education in any field!

What is the Difference Between a Double Degree, Double Major and Minors?

Having trouble with the new terminology? Here is a simple breakdown of what these common terms mean:

Double degree: A double degree means you will graduate with two degrees. For instance, a double degree in Business & Computer Engineering will give you two degrees upon graduation – each for the respective programme that you underwent.

Typically, double degrees are useful in giving you more versatility in career options in the future and not to mention an edge over someone who have only a single degree in either programmes.

The downside? You take slightly longer – usually 1-2 years more compared to single degree undergraduates.

Double major: Unlike a double degree, a double major will only result in one degree upon graduation. A major is another term for specialization, so a double major would mean you have 2 specializations for your degree.

For example, a Mathematical Sciences student could have a double major in both Mathematical Sciences and Computer Sciences – meaning they will focus on these two main areas of studies, compared to a single major Mathematical Sciences student who would only focus on one main area of studies.

Like the double degree, it gives you more exposure to different career opportunities, but at a lesser intensity and time taken – you will graduate within the normal timespan required for a single degree.

Minor: A minor, compared to a major, is a less intensive specialization in a particular area of interest. It is usually if you have special interest in a topic of study, but since the workload and time spent on it is not nearly as much as a major, you will probably be only scrapping the tip of the iceberg.

Usually this might be useful if you are not entirely sure about your interest in a particular field of study.

What are Subject Pre-requisites?

This is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a course. Apart from your personal interest, school fees, subject pre-requisites are one of the key barriers to entry into any particular course.

Depending on your choice of course, there could be lenient or strict subject requirements for entry into the course. This is to ensure that you have the necessary foundation for studying even more complex topics in those subjects.

Every course has different pre-requisites and may even differ across universities, so do make sure you do your homework before applying.

For example, for Medicine courses, you will need a minimum of ‘A-level pass’ in Chemistry and either Biology or Physics.

However, do note that pre-requisites are simply basic requirements to even apply, and not a guarantee that you can get a slot in the programme.

How to Know If My Grades Can Make the Cut?

Simply google for “Indicative Grade Profile” of the university you are applying to and check the grades of the students that got admitted the previous year.

While this may not be the most accurate indication for your year’s intake, it is one of the best indicators available. A good comparison would be the indicative “cut-off” points when you were applying for secondary school with PSLE grades.

Want to Help Yourself in the Competition for The Course You Want?

Here’s an example from NTU

Here’s an example from NUS

Here’s an example from SMU

Want to Help Yourself in the Competition for The Course You Want?

Want to up your game for H2 Maths, Physics or Chemso you can improve your grades to the best it possibly can be?

We can help you at New Dawn Learning Studio with our specialized Math, Physics and Chemistry tutors!

Our track record speaks for itself! Want to learn more? Feel free to contact us!

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