Are you a student who have received their IBDP results recently, and are thinking of applying to the National University of Singapore?
While there is a lot of information out there about how to enter NUS based on A Level results, there is significantly less information about how to do so with IB results. However, NUS makes it clear that IB graduates are also welcome to the school, as long as they meet the requirements of the university and the course they wish to enter.
To give you a hand, here’s what we’ve found about what you need to enter NUS with your IBDP results!
When and how to apply
At the time of writing, NUS applications are open from 15 October 2021 to 21 February 2022. Generally, this is for students entering the school in August 2022 (unless you have a good reason to defer your matriculation, like National Service for the guys).
For online applications, you may easily do so at NUS’ admissions portal. Note that there is an administration fee of $10 to apply.
You should upload all supporting documents through the online application portal. All supporting documents must be submitted before the deadline for the application to be considered complete.
A step unique to IB students: You need to authorise the exam board, IB Organisation (IBO) to release your official IB transcripts to NUS.
- Inform your school’s IB coordinator.
- Key in your IB Personal Code into the application form so that NUS can verify your results from IBO.
Find out more about requesting your transcripts from IBO here.
Academic requirements for IB students
Across the board, you can apply to NUS as long as you have the IB Diploma (i.e., you passed the IBDP exams).
However, entry requirements for each course differs, and some courses are more competitive than others. You can view the requirements for each course in this link.
While there are no official indicative grade profiles for IB students, we can get a rough gauge from hearsay: for example, entry into ultra-competitive courses like medicine, law, and dentistry typically require 42 points or above. Read more about these estimates and why there is no IGP for IB students.
Quick disclaimer here: Meeting the requirements make you eligible to apply and be considered for a place. However, this does not guarantee you a place in the school (or course).
Mother tongue language requirements
As a nation with a bilingual language policy, Singapore requires their students to meet the Mother Tongue Language (MTL) requirements in order to enter university.
Mother tongue language requirements apply to you if:
- You are a Citizen or Permanent Resident of Singapore
- You are a local or international student studying in an independent school in Singapore (i.e. Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), School of the Arts, Singapore Sports School, St Joseph’s Institution)
There are a few ways to meet this requirement:
- Pass in MTL subject at IBDP
- D7 and above for O Level Higher MTL
- S and above for A Level H1 MTL, H1 General Studies, or H2 MTLL
- Pass for A Level MTL B
- Pass for MTL-in-lieu subject as approved by MOE
- Exemption from MTL approved by MOE
Applicants with a valid reason not to keep up with their MTL studies or a MTL-in-lieu (e.g. having studied overseas for a long time) can apply for MTL exemption when applying to NUS.
How to apply for exemption
MOE does not accept direct applications for MTL exemption. Instead, you should apply for the exemption as part of your university application process. The good news is, applying for MTL exemption will not adversely affect your university application.
If you are not exempted, and you have not met the MTL requirements:
If you cannot be exempted from MTL requirements, NUS requires you to fulfil the requirements during your course of study at NUS. You may do this via:
- Attending the MTL course run by NUS, or
- Attaining one of the required certifications at IBDP or GCE A Level as a private candidate.
For those who have yet to receive their IB results
What happens if you wish to apply to NUS for this year, but you are only taking your IB exams in May of this year?
You can still apply!
Your application will be considered using predicted grades by your school, until the actual results are released.
You still have to authorise IBO to release your official grades to NUS once the results are out. Make sure to let your school’s IB coordinator know that you are applying to NUS, and obtain your personal code for NUS’ verification.
After submitting the application
Selected courses require applicants to go for interviews and/or tests to further assess their suitability for the course.
These courses include:
- Landscape Architecture
- Industrial Design
- Some double degree/concurrent degree courses
Receiving the application outcome
For IB students who already have their results at the time of application, NUS will notify you of the outcome by the end of May 2022. For those who will be taking the May examinations, you will receive your application outcome by mid-July.
Checking on your application
Throughout the course of your application, until the end of August, the online application portal will be open for you to check on the status of your application.
Your application outcome will be released via an official letter through the online portal. Students who are offered a place will also be notified via SMS if a local number had been provided.
Finally, if you have already set your mind on applying to NUS, here is a quick checklist of things you would need to do as an IB applicant.
For even more details such as whether you can appeal the application outcome, change courses after receiving an offer, and matters about financial aid, you can refer to NUS’ FAQ document for IB applications.
Applying to university may seem nerve-wracking at first with all the steps you need to do, but the outcome of getting into your desired school is definitely worth it! Not to mention, NUS is not just Singapore’s best university, but also well-ranked in the world!
So with this, we wish you all the best in your university applications!