Important factors to consider when choosing a JC after O-levels

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You are done and dusted with the O-levels. You look at your O-level grades, wondering what the next course of action you should take. You know that you want to enrol in a junior college, but thinking .. which one should you apply for?
In case you missed out on the news of the junior colleges merging in 2019, these are the remaining options (in alphabetical order) that you can pick from:


2-YEAR COURSE
Anderson Junior College (AJC)Serangoon Junior College (SRJC) will be merged with AJC in 2019
Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC)
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) (ACSi)
Catholic Junior College (CJC)
Eunoia Junior College (EJC)
Hwa Chong Institution (HCI)
Innova Junior College (IJC)Yishun Junior College (YJC) will be merged with IJC in 2019
Meridian Junior College (MJC)Tampines Junior College (TPJC) will be merged with MJC
Nanyang Junior College (NYJC)
National Junior College (NJC)
Pioneer Junior College (PJC)Jurong Junior College (JJC) will be merged with PJC
Raffles Institution (RI)
St. Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC)
St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI)
Temasek Junior College (TJC)
Victoria Junior College (VJC)


3-YEAR COURSE
Millennia Institute (MI)
The JCs that will be absorbed into the site of the partner JC will not be taking in a new cohort in 2018 to reduce disruptions during the mergers in 2019. The merged JCs will also be taking on new names in 2019, which haven’t been released from MOE’s side.
Here are some considerations for you to take on when picking a junior college of your choice:

  1. Your O-level grades
    If you did not go through the Direct School Admission-Junior College (DSA-JC) route, your L1R4/L1R5 score will be the most important consideration. Look at your own O-level grades and compare them to the scores of the junior colleges in the JAE Information Booklet. Be rational and pick a school that has the same cut-off score as your L1R4/L1R5, if not just a mark’s deviation. See if your CCA grade can help to deduct any score off your L1R4/L1R5 too. For applications at the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE), usually every point is taken with great weight. So look at your score, consider and apply wisely to the right JC to maximize your chances of getting in to the school you applied for.

  2. Affiliation
    There are secondary schools affiliated to junior colleges that allow students to get 2 bonus points during their school application. Students must put the affiliated junior college as their 1st or 2nd choice during the Joint Admission Exercise (JAE) to be eligible.
    The affiliated schools are as follow:

Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC)

  • Affiliated to Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Fairfield Methodist Secondary School, Geylang Methodist Secondary School, Methodist Girls' School (Secondary), Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Secondary)

Catholic Junior College (CJC)

  • Assumption English School, CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh), CHIJ Katong Convent, Montfort Secondary School, St. Anthony's Canossian Secondary School, St. Gabriel's Secondary School, CHIJ St. Joseph's Convent, St. Joseph's Institution, St. Patrick's School, CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent, Hai Sing Catholic School, Catholic High School, Holy Innocents' High School, Maris Stella High School, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School

Nanyang Junior College (NYJC)

  • Chung Cheng High School (Main), Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)
    St. Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC)
  • Anglican High School, Christ Church Secondary School, Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School, Presbyterian High School, St. Andrew's Secondary School, St. Hilda's Secondary School, St. Margaret's Secondary School

Victoria Junior College (VJC)

  • Victoria School

  1. Proximity
    The proximity of a school is also an important consideration to take into account. Particularly with the heavy and packed workload in JCs, you will want to minimize as much time travelling to and fro your school and back home on a daily basis.
    To find the junior colleges closest to your place of residence, do use the OneMap tool.
    How to use the OneMap Tool:
  • Go to the OneMap tool.
  • Select the SchoolQuery service.
  • Click on the “Find Schools near a building”.
  • Enter the residential address in the “Find Location” box.
  • Select the desired building on the map. A list of schools which are within 1 km and between 1 km and 2 km from the selected building will be generated.
  • Click on the printer icon in the SchoolQuery dialog box you will see the final report.
  1. Academic Programmes offered
    Do some research on the academic programmes offered in each junior college before applying for them. There are two main routes when it comes to the junior college level – to take the A-levels or International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations.
    For the A-levels, students are required to minimally take 3 subjects at the H2 level and 1 at the H1 level, of which one subject has to be a contrasting subject. As for the IB programme, students are required to take six subjects, three at the higher and three at the standard level, of which includes maths, a science, English, and minimally one foreign language.
    Thus, pick the school of your choice depending on which route you prefer based on the academic programmes offered. Do check out the JAE Information Booklet to find out more on each junior college or refer to the respective school websites.

  2. CCAs/opportunities offered
    The co-curricular activities (CCAs) offered in the schools is important as well. This is not only referring to the compulsory CCA that you are required to take on, but other activities offered under the school. The junior colleges offer distinctly different CCAs and various opportunities, which can be beneficial in broadening your experiences and give you more exposure. These may also help to beef up your portfolio and help you in your university application.

  3. School fees
    Also, be sure to check out the school fees of the schools before doing your application. The school fees for government schools are generally low, but it is often higher for Autonomous Schools (AS), Independent Schools (IS), and schools offering the IB programme. Thus, do discuss with your parents on the cost factor, check out the financial assistance schemes available in the respective schools before coming to a decision.


These are six areas for you to take into consideration when picking a junior college. Hopefully this has helped you to narrow down on the number of choices and you are now more sure on which JC you want to enter. 😊 Do attend the open houses of the JCs to find out more and speak to the seniors there!

Geraldine Lee
Geraldine lives out of bubbles and dreams. When she’s not writing, she reads about kids and parenting matters. Her works have been featured on Singapore’s Child, theAsianParent and now, even yodaa.