One of the major decisions of your school life is deciding where to go after O levels. You may have a dream school in mind or a place that you aimed to enter. But for some students, the decision isn’t quite so clear, and they take a ‘see how’ approach.
If you are still clueless about whether JC is the right choice, or which JC you should choose, this article is for you! Once you get your O level results, you can also make a better decision based on what you have shortlisted.
Do your research early
You shouldn’t wait until your O level results are out to start researching. That’s because the timeframe given to submit your school applications is usually quite short – usually less than a week!
Based on your past performance in school, you should already have a rough idea of what to expect. Use this to narrow down the schools you think you can get into – with some wiggle room in case your results turn out better or worse than you expect. Not sure if your L1R5 is good enough? Check out our explainer for L1R5 and JC cut-off points here!
Is JC right for you?
While we won’t delve deep into the whole JC versus Poly debate, do ask yourself a few questions before deciding on applying to JC!
- Are you going to JC just because everyone tells you it is a ‘better’ choice, or is it really what you want?
- Are you more of a hands-on, experiential learner, or a book-smart student?
- Is going to university a big priority for you?
- Is there a poly course that can provide you with the skills and experience to get a foot in the industry you want?
There is no universally-correct answer, as it all boils down to your goals, preferences, and style of learning! If you still aren’t sure of which decision to make, do speak to trusted adults who know you well, like your parents or teachers, or even seniors you know who have gone through that decision.
Narrow down your choices
Once you receive your O level results, you can further narrow down your choices to the ones that are right for you!
Here are some rough steps to follow:
- Eliminate the choices that are out of your score range. If you want to take the risk, you can select schools up to those that are max 1 point less than your net aggregate score.
- From the remaining options, select the top 5 schools that fits your needs and preferences, based on criteria such as academic performance, school culture, location, subjects offered, and CCAs offered.
Factors to consider
Do you prefer to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond? While brand-name schools are known to be highly competitive, some schools with higher cut-off points can have very nurturing environments.
Don’t just make your choice based on cut-off points alone! Speak to current students or students who have just graduated from these schools to find out about the teachers who are there and the academic support available.
School culture can be difficult to pinpoint, but it is an important part of selecting the right school. Elements like the type of students they attract, the heritage of the school, the locality of the school, and school management can all affect the general vibe of the school. These aspects trickle down to students in the school activities planned out for them, non-academic support, type of friends and influences they will be exposed to, and school environment they study in.
You may get a glimpse of school culture through open houses, but having the opportunity to get a sense of the ground from past and current students will also be immensely beneficial to obtain some unfiltered opinions.
There is no doubt – JC students are very busy! On some days, classes can end in the late afternoon or evening, and because of that, many CCAs start only in the evening and end at night.
Thus, choosing an accessible school with reasonable travelling time will be a wise choice! Bear in mind that the location of the school will have a bearing on the time you have to wake up every weekday, and what time you can get home. Your time and energy are so precious, so consider carefully!
Alas, don’t make the mistake of entering a JC, only to realise it doesn’t offer the subject combination that you wanted to study. This will have serious consequences, if – for example – you are aiming to get into a particular university course which calls for that particular subject requirement.
While most JCs offer the common subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, and Economics, only some will offer more niche subjects like Art, Music, Computing, China Studies, and Theatre Studies and Drama. So, make sure to check before applying!
This may not be a priority for everyone, but it could be the deciding factor for some. Students who wish to continue the same CCA from their secondary school days, or learn a particular skill through a new CCA will find it particularly important to explore the CCA options available in the JC.
If you are someone who wants to take your skills to the next level or compete seriously, don’t just settle for a school with the CCA; you may even take into consideration the school’s track record, CCA coach, and training facilities.
Choosing your JC is a major decision, yet you have a tight deadline to lock in your choice! With the above as a guide, we hope you can arrive at the best arrangements for yourself with no regrets.
Worried about studying in JC? While we can’t help you make the decision, we can help you once you are in JC! We provide tuition classes such as JC Physics tuition and JC Chemistry tuition for both A Level students as well as IB students (for selected subjects). With our expert tutors at hand, you will have less to worry about when it comes to mugging for the A levels!
For now, we wish you all the best for your JC applications!