Key considerations when choosing a Polytechnic


You are sure that you want to enrol in a polytechnic. But.. you look at the different polytechnics and the similar courses that they offer and start to wonder how you should make the best of your 12 choices during the Joint Admission Exercise (JAE).

For a start, there are five main polytechnics in Singapore to apply to: Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), Republic Polytechnic (RP), Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP). All 5 polytechnics are rather different in what they have to offer. Here’s a post laying out some key considerations to guide you through your decision-making process:

1. Your L1R4 score
The most important consideration is of course your L1R4 score. That is, if you did not apply through the Early Admission Exercise (EAE). Look at your L1R4 score with the Joint Admission Exercise (JAE) Booklet or the Joint Portal of Polytechnics in Singapore by your side, and pick about 8 to 10 courses of your interests that has cut-off scores that are the same as yours if not just a mark’s deviation.

2. Courses offered in the various polytechnics
Do some research on the courses offered at the various polytechnics via the information booklets or the polytechnic’s websites to find out more on the courses offered. Most of the polytechnics offer similar courses, but there are some like Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) that offer unique courses like Diploma in Veterinary Bioscience. Thus, take into the earlier factor of your L1R4 and your interests, paired with these courses offered to come up with a list of courses of your interest from the different polytechnics.

3. Opportunities offered
The opportunities offered in the polytechnics can also vary according to the courses in the different schools. Generally, students are provided with aplenty opportunities, with a great variety of CCAs offered and the opportunities to advance their interests through competitions, conferences, local and overseas community projects etc. On the academic front, it may vary accordingly. Some schools make it a compulsory requirement for students to take up an internship, and offer opportunities which may value-add significantly to a student’s learning experience and even their portfolio. Thus, do look up on the past programmes that the polytechnic has offered to their students and see if appeals to your interest and consider if they will potentially value-add to your education as an individual.

4. Proximity
The proximity of the polytechnic should also be a key consideration to take into account. Travelling to and fro school can come to take up a substantial amount of time – especially from one end of Singapore to the other. You would not want to be tired out from the travelling time and not be able to give your energy and time for your academics! Thus, be sure to take this into consideration when picking the choice of your polytechnic as well.

These are just some key considerations laid out for you to take into account when deciding on the polytechnic you should apply for. Of course, your interest in the course is of utmost importance. You are going to be spending 3 years on that path, so be sure to make the right decision for yourself! Go for the open houses to check out the campuses, attend talks, speak to seniors to find out more!

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.