Have I regretted going the Polytechnic path rather than the JC path?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Looking back 4 years ago, I made the decision to take the polytechnic path.

As a 16 years old girl, I thought studying psychology would be cool. What else could be more fun than sitting in the room, counselling patients? And since Temasek Polytechnic offered me the course of my dream, I gladly accepted it.

My parents were really supportive in my decision. I somehow convinced them that since I've already decided that I wanted to study psychology, I might as well jump straight into it rather than spending an extra 2 more years studying things that I didn't like or enjoy (apparently that's the same reason I used to validate my choice of university). And then, from my polytechnic life, I will study real hard to hop into the university I wanted.

I'm pretty sure they wanted me to go the JC and finally graduate from university. But I guess they realized that eventually, I'm the one studying and I should pick something I liked. They probably thought it was also cool for me to sit in the room and counsel patients. Moreover, studying abnormal behaviours have always been my mother's dream.

I had people around me telling me that this route was going to be a bad decision (coincidentally, they are the same group of people telling me that my choice of university was a bad decision too). When I shared my worries about not being able to study psychology if I were to enter junior college and fail it, they told me that psychology was an arts course, thus it was going to be really easy to enter.

I guess I was stubborn and just wanted to study psychology. And I was sick and tired of mugging my way just for a final exam that will determine my entire future.



So I took the unconventional path to university - the polytechnic route.

I spent 3 years of my life exploring what psychology really was in polytechnic. It was there that I realized that there were so much more to psychology than counselling. I learnt what people who study psychology do. I began to fall in love with research. I began to see myself studying things that I can apply to my everyday life. I began to like what I was studying.

But life in the polytechnic was not a bed of roses. This route clearly was not as simple or easy as what others perceive. People who said studying in polytechnic was slack, easy, and no biggie clearly haven't been in polytechnic or didn't put any effort to score well.

The competition in the polytechnic courses is incredibly tough, especially for courses with a very low cut off point. At my year of admission into psychology studies, the cut off point was L1R4 of 8 points. Every single student in my course could have gone to a good junior college.

Well, the only time I was in the top 10% of the cohort was probably in semester 1 when I scored a GPA of 0.03 away from the perfect GPA. I've never been on the director's list/dean's list, nor was even close to it. Yes, it was really competitive in my course of study. I'm sure it's the same for every course because I actually have friends scoring near perfect GPA in other courses.

When it came to the time when everyone was talking about university admissions, I started to worry about my GPA. My GPA was definitely more than 0.10 from the 90percentile for both NTU and NUS psychology but I was so afraid of not being able to be admitted into the two universities since my other course mates were also scoring such high GPA.

True enough, when NUS sent me their acceptance letter, I didn't receive any from NTU. I was devastated because I didn't receive my first choice. I saw course mates receiving letters from NTU and saying how happy they were. At that point of time, I probably regretted going the polytechnic path and trying to snatch for the little spaces universities provided for polytechnic students.

I realized how difficult it was to jump from the polytechnic path to the university path. Even though there are more places reserved for polytechnic graduates in local universities these days, the grades to enter the universities are increasing tremendously every intake.

After a month since NUS sent the acceptance letter and enrollment package, I had given up all hope on receiving NTU's letter. And that was when they decided to drop a surprise in my letterbox.



My guess is that NTU probably only sent me the letter after they've finished accepting the JC students. But still, I'm really grateful to receive the acceptance letter. I know of one of my course mate who scored a mere 0.01 GPA lesser than me and she didn't get any letter from NTU. I guess, I barely made the mark for NTU.

In the end, my polytechnic path sure did work out well. My aim was to get into an university to continue studying psychology and I achieved it.

But having been through this tough path,
I would seriously NOT recommend using the polytechnic as a jumping stone towards a local university.

Personally, I have not regretted my decision. I've learnt so many valuable things in polytechnic life that I would see as more useful than what I would study in the JC. Polytechnic really exposed me to many different things that I see as more practical and useful in my future life. Things like conducting research experiments, interviews, surveys, and of course my precious experience working in a research laboratory as a research assistant.

But at the current education state our country is in, it is much wiser to go to a JC and then be granted a space in the university. The thing is that even if you scored a diploma with merit, it would not guarantee a spot in the local university. The JC path is definitely easier than struggling and fighting for the few spaces allocated to polytechnic graduates by the local universities. I'm not saying studying for the 'A' levels will be easy and you will definitely get into the university, but there are definitely more spaces for the JC students than the polytechnic students.

Check out my latest post: 6 Myths About Studying Psychology

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137 comments

  1. Hey Michelle, I just by luck came across your blog. I just finished by 'O' and I am very interested in Psychology. I am not sure if I should go to a JC or poly. I have some questions or you:
    1. Did you go to TP/NP psychology?
    2. Is Psychology a subject where you can score if you study? Is it possible to get a GPA of 3.7 and above for Psychology if you study?
    3. How is Poly life in general?
    4. Did most of your schoolmate or shall I say classmate taking Psychology manage to get into a local uni? If not where are they in now?
    5. Did NTU give you any advance standing or exemption?
    6. Are you studying in NTU now? If you are, do you think the Psychology diploma has made it easier studying Psychology in Uni?
    Thanks. I would really really appreciate it if you could answer my questions! Thank you so so much! :)

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    1. Hi,

      1. I went to TP.

      2. Well, I won't say it's difficult to score 3.7 as long as you study really hard. But you have to also make sure that you are really consistent throughout the 3 years of study. Psychology involves a lot of memorizing and understanding of theories. And it involves a lot of statistics.

      3. Poly life, I guess it's really different from secondary school. There's no specific fixed time schedule that you have to follow. I had a 4 day school week for most of my semesters. There would be lectures and tutorials for you to attend. And projects to do. I guess, the most important experience I gained from polytechnic is learning how to do research projects and internship. This skills will definitely put you ahead of jc students.

      4. My course has approximately 80 students. I think probably about 15 of us entered into NUS/NTU. I have friends who went NIE, SIM, and some even went overseas to pursue further studies. A couple of my friends switched courses though.

      5. If you were to go overseas to study, there will be 1-2 years of exemption. However, in NTU/NUS, you are only exempted half a year. And the subjects you are exempted from are electives out of Psychology course. So, it meant you still had to take introduction to psych and other basic modules.

      6. Yes I'm currently studying psychology in NTU. Having previous knowledge from my polytechnic days have definitely helped and enhanced my learning. Some of our textbooks are the same so we are actually learning about the same things, just that in university, we might go more in depth. :)

      I hope the answers helped you! :)

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    2. First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to reply me! Really appreciate it. :)
      I have two more questions that I forgot to ask.
      1. Which do you think is better? TP/NP psy? The COP last year was 9 for both.
      2. Do you reccomend me to go to a JC/take poly psy course?
      I predict my L1R5 will be ~14-2=12, L1R4 will be ~11-1=9. With 12 pts for L1R5, I will most probably have to go to TPJC. So is as good as TPJCvsPoly psy course. The IGP for NUS FASS/NTU Psy is BBB/C or 3.7 for GPA. Which is easier?
      Thanks again!!!!!!!!!! :))))))

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    3. Oh sorry but one last question.
      How do they count GPA (as in like weightage of like test, exam, project etc) for psy studies?

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    4. Hi, I'm in no position to say which polytechnic course is better. It all depends on what you want to study as both course structures are slightly different. The reason why I chose TP over NP back then was because I felt that NP psychology was more focused on social services, whereas TP offered more variety in terms of psychology electives such as forensic psychology and human factors psychology. Therefore, it boils down to what you want to study.

      For my psychology course, different modules have different weightage of marks. Some modules have assignments, a mini project and a final exam, while some other modules have midterms, mini project and final exam, and there are also some project based modules where we do research and the majority of marks are based on that research project.

      If you want to eventually study Psychology in a local university, I would say it's a lot easier to go with the JC route. But it's not impossible to get into a local university from polytechnic too. I can't recommend which route because I've never been in the shoes of a A level student but it's probably a lot easier to get into local universities with A level resutls.

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  2. hi I would like to ask, whether I should go poly phycology course or go to jc if I plan to study phycology in uni ? wouldn't it be difficult to catch up if I were to study phycology only at uni ?

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    1. Hi I'm so sorry I only saw your comment now. I guess you would have already made your decision. But no, it would not be difficult to catch up in university. That's the path majority of the students are taking afterall. :)

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    2. Hi (: I do not know how to use this so idk if I'm commenting on the right place but just a general question, it is worth it to go to a poly far away from home (lile at the west side and i live in the east) for the course i want?

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  4. hi i know i'm late

    but i'm in psychology now, TP and currently is in my first year. what's your overall GPA? and did you have any cca or outstanding non-academic achievements?

    thanks

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  5. hi..
    so you would recommend me to go to jc instead of poly if I wanted to enter nus?

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    1. In my opinion, I do think it's better to go to the JC. But it's your choice so you do have to think about it carefully.

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    2. Hi, Michelle. I'm a JC student and I'm aiming for NUS as it's nearer to my home than NTU. May I know why you did not want to go to the former? It is alright to forgo prestige for passion, but doesn't NUS provide higher quality education in Psychology than NTU, since it is one of the leading global universities and the top Asian university?

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    3. Yes, I agree that NUS is more prestigious with regards to its recent rise as the top Asian university. NUS is ranked at #28 for the subject psychology, while NTU, a mere 10 positions lower, at #38. The ranking should not be followed blindly and taken at face level. I believe researching on the modules available and knowing the structure of the major is important too.

      The main reason why I chose NTU over NUS was due to the course structure NTU psychology offered. NTU offered a 4 year direct honors program whereas, NUS did not. Moreover, NUS Arts and Social Sciences required students to undergo a year of general studies before selecting your major, which is also dependent on your then GPA and availability. Psychology is a more popular FASS course, which meant more competition and since I did Psychology in polytechnic and wanted to continue in university, I wanted a more secure road that can guarantee me a spot in Psychology.

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  6. Hi Michelle,

    I just happened to stumble upon your blog while randomly surfing the net. Thanks for the very insightful post on Poly life and sharing your experiences with those who are graduating from sec school. I'm sure you've helped many unsuspecting students along the way. It's great that you managed to get into your first choice college in the end. God bless and see you next year in NTU.

    Samuel Chan
    TP Psycholgy (Graduating Batch of 2011/2012)

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  7. Hello, I am wondering how many years do you study in NTU for Psychology?

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    1. NTU Psychology is a 4 years direct honors course.

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    2. To become a psychologist, you will have to further your studies to achieve Masters before you're certified to be a psychologist according to the Singapore Psychological Society

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    3. Then what are the job opportunities after graduating from NTU?

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    4. There are many job opportunities a Psychology degree can give you. Psychology is a very general subject which allows you to branch into many different fields. You can go into the research, business, education, health fields etc etc...

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  8. Hi Michelle! There is a course in Temasek Polytechnic that I'm very interested in, but I have the intention to enter a university eventually. Would it be a wise choice to choose my interest over the more direct route to Uni- JC?
    Hope you can give a little insight, thanks!

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    1. If you're looking at local universities, do take a look at the IGP of the school (google IGP nus/ IGP ntu). It shows the minimum GPA you have to achieve to enter the university for each particular course. It will help you make a better decision because there are a few courses requiring quite a high GPA. You can make a comparison if the JC grades or the Poly GPA is more attainable.

      I chose to pursue a polytechnic diploma over a A level cert because I was really interested in taking up the course. It worked well for me but you'll have to work hard and ensure your grades are consistent. But I guess, either JC or poly, you'll still have to work really hard. I would recommend you to take a look at the IGP for your ideal university course and decide from there.

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  9. Very insightful personal experience and advice shared. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Hi Michelle,
    Do you know if there are any student from biomedical science that went on to pursue psychology? This question is because I got posted to biomedical science, however, I am still interested in psychology at the same time. Hence I was wondering if it is possible for me to hop to psychology in Uni from biomedical science

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    1. Yes. One of my close friend doing psychology in NTU now was from a science course in SP. There's no need for your polytechnic course to be related to Psychology. The GPA required to enter psychology course will be the same, regardless of your course, Thus, you can even be from engineering and if your GPA meets the cut off, you can still hop to psychology.

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  11. Hi, great post about JC vs Poly! I just want to ask a few questions...
    I am going to graduate from SP this year and I am highly interested in taking up Psychology in NTU. However, since you are a NTU student, I would just like your opinion on this. I know that Singapore has not accredited any local universities for psychology. So, I would want to know if:
    1) Overseas accredited universities (masters) would accept a bachelors degree from a non-accredited university for admission?
    2) Are there any cases where NTU graduates had been accepted into accredited universities for masters?
    3) And if so, what are the few common universities NTU graduates go on to to further their studies?

    Sorry for being so long winded. I am just really scared and am not sure if I should go overseas (not that I have the budget to do so :/ ). Thanks in advance for your help!!!

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    1. Hello, I'm not very familiar with the questions you're asking so I can't really answer them. NTU has its own masters course, but you can also go overseas (as to which uni, I'm not sure on that). I do know some seniors who have graduated from both NUS and NTU, who are currently pursuing or have already graduated with a masters or PhD. One of them graduated from NTU and is pursuing her PhD in one of the Australian universities. Hope that helps!

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    2. Yes, it helped a lot! Thank you so much for replying!! :) I really really appreciate it that you took the time to reply to me. Really, thank you so so so so much!

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  12. Hi, I chanced upon your blog while I was searching about universities and I'm wondering is it difficult to get into NTU if you're studying a Diploma in Biomedical Sciences? I chose to go into poly because I study/work better in that environment but I'm afraid that I won't get a chance to enter a local university.

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    1. Hello. you'll have to maintain your GPA in poly. The admission to local university is 80% based on your GPA and 20% based on your Os results. I would recommend you to take a look at the IGP for your ideal university course (google "IGP nus"/"IGP ntu") to find out what's the GPA needed to get into your course.

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    1. Hello, I'm not sure how I am supposed to help you in this though. It's not too late to switch schools but it all depends on how you view it. However, are you going to risk disappointing your mom because of your decision? Or can you simply finish 2 years in JC and then score well enough to pursue psychology in university?

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  14. I would like to thank you for sharing this piece of experience with us. I am currently in Sec2 this year. I am planning to study psychology in poly and uni. however not really sure of which subjects to take. Any recommendations? Thanks for sharing:)

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    1. Hello. Well, the subjects you choose in secondary doesn't have a huge impact actually. My advice here is to take subjects that you can score as your grades are the one that guarantees you good results to enter wherever you want to go. If I were to pick a subject that is closely related to psychology, it will have to biology and math. But of course, it's not a must to take either (I was a chem/phy student)

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  15. Hi, the only reason I want to go poly is because I want to take up a new language like French or Spanish, and would love to go for internships. But I heard from my seniors that many of their friends cried during the internships, because the people there treated them like "dogs". Moreover, I want to go to International Business in SP, so I suppose there will be very competitive... I really want to go university, do you still think I should go for a poly or jc route? Please reply, I've been thinking about this questions for 4 months, and still have not make up my decisions... :/ - Pat

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    1. This is a tough decision and I am in no position to tell you which path is better for you. However, if the only reason why you want to go poly was because you want to take up a new language, I suggest you to take up a language course outside instead. The reason does not seem strong enough to substantiate your choice for going to a poly over a jc, in my opinion. I suggest you write out a list of pros and cons for both jc and poly and then decide from there.

      With regards to the internship experience, everyone as a different experience. My teachers have been really supportive and helpful during my internship days, making sure whatever we did at the industry partners' side were relevant to our courses. But regardless of internship or not, when you are out working, you can't always expect to be treated nicely. That's how I view it.

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  16. Hello! I am currently a secondary 3 student and i am very interested in taking up psychology courses, your post did help me a lot in understanding more about it. However i still have a few queries. Firstly, I'd researched and know the kind of psychology courses TP is offering and that's the type i want, more on forensic and studying about human. Furthermore, you stated that you would suggest going to a JC than Poly to have a higher chance to enter an university. I really want to know which JC offers the kind of psychology courses TP is offering? My aim is always to go to an university and thus i felt that it would be better if i have an A level cert so that it will be safer for me to enter an uni. Secondly, is the courses very expensive? I am a Singapore PR and my family is not that well-off and so I'm quite worried. Thirdly, u said that to successfully become a psychologist, we have to further studies and you have senior or friend who is currently studying in an Australian uni and i would like to go there too. What are the criteria to achieve this result?

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    1. Hi,

      Firstly, the subjects taught in JCs are generic and similar to the subjects you have in secondary school (math, physics, geography, economics, etc). The reason why there is a higher chance of entering an university through JC is because there are more places allocated for JC students. Whereas polytechnic students have to be in their top 10% (approximately) of their cohort in order to qualify for a place in local university. If you're looking to find psychology-related subjects in JC, I'm afraid to say but our JCs do not provide it. The closest subject you can find is biology.

      Secondly, which courses are you referring to? JCs are definitely a lot cheaper than polytechnics. University courses will be expensive and you'll be able to find their prices on their websites.

      Thirdly, yes, if you want to be certified as a psychologist, you need to further your studies. To be eligible, a good honors bachelor is normally required.

      Hope these answer your questions and doubts. :)

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    2. Hi sorry for the very late reply. I'm so happy to see your reply, thank you so much!!!! Jiejie so if I were to go to a polytechnic I can take an actual psychology course, but if it's JC, biology course is a must? I don't take biology in secondary though, will it affects me in pursuing psychology courses?

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    3. Hi, biology is not a must. I didnt take biology either. Dont worry about it.

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  17. Thank you very much for the sharing btw! :) I appreciate it a lot.

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  18. Hello, i was wondering if additional math is required to get into tp psychology. My subject combi is El, Mt, EM, AM, CORE LIT, combine sci(chem phy) combine humans(geog and SS). Im thinking of dropping Amath and the deadline is tomorrow. What's your opinion?

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    1. It is not required, but it's always recommended. I think you'll have to take an additional math mod if you dont take amath. Not too sure on that.

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  19. Hi, I'm a sec 2 student that is about to choose her subject combination. I was wondering if Biology is required to take Psychology courses in Poly and Uni?

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    1. And what subjects do you recommend me taking so I could be able to take Psychology courses in the future?

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    2. There's no requirement. Just make sure you do well for the subjects of your choice.

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  20. Is it advisable to take the polytechnic route if you want to go overseas like australia to study psychology? Is is better to go to a local uni to study that course or overseas? Ive heard poly lecturers saying going overseas is better but im not sure. And lastly, may i ask if ntu is a better uni for psychology that's why you didnt want to accept nus?

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    1. I am not in a good position to advise you on this matter as I didn't study abroad and have no knowledge on that. However, if you were to take the polytechnic route, universities overseas may give you more exemptions. Thus, you may graduate a lot faster than in a local university. The reason why I chose NTU over NUS was due to personal preference. NUS Psychology is under FASS and one has to take a year of general FASS subjects before majoring. Therefore, I picked NTU instead.

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  21. Hi michelle,
    I just want to thank you for your blog post. It definitely made me more certain about my choice. What I'm worried about is that I Am not very strong in my language, will that be a problem if I choose to study psychology?

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    1. I believe if language can be learnt and as long as you read more, you should be able to be proficient in your language. There will be a lot of written work in Psychology so it is advisable for you to try to improve your language.

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  22. Hi Michelle, I see you've helped so many people and I hope you can help me too! I've been accepted into TP's psychology course and I'm really hoping to do extremely well for the next few years in this course as I want to be able to make it into NUS. Do you have any tips or advice to study & to cope with the different projects? Like was there any specific methods you used to do well? Thank you and I really admire your determination to succeed :)

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    1. Congratulations on being accepted :) I think it's really important to study as hard as you did during Os. There will also be group projects so pick your groupmates wisely! I wish you all the best.

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  23. Hi! Sorry I know this was 3 years ago , but can you please share where are you now ? Are you still in uni or already working ? Do you know what are the jobs studying psychology in uni can get ? And studying psychology in poly , what can courses can you study in uni ? Lastly , what type of group work do you do in poly , like what do psychology students do actually thanks (:

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    1. Hi! I'm currently still in university. Psychology is a very general degree that pretty much gets you anywhere. However, most have to get a postgraduate education in order to actually be called a psychologist. The course you study in poly doesn't affect the course you can study in uni. The uni admission only looks at your GPA in poly, regardless of your course in poly. The group work varies according to the module you're taking. Some may require presentation skills, some require report writing. Hope that helps.

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  24. Hi Michelle, chanced upon your post while researching for uni admissions. Would like to ask you more about NTU psych course in general, how was your experience so far? I got accepted into NTU psych but have some doubts over whether I should try applying for FASS and give myself another option. I heard various debates about the pros and cons between NUS and NTU psych; I'm sure being a NTU psych student yourself as well as having friends in NUS psych, maybe you could share some advice on the differences of the psych curriculum between the two schools? Or other aspects like campus life and the profs would greatly help too. Wishing you all the best in your studies and thanks in advance!

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    1. I can't be a judge for the curriculum of NUS because I didn't experience it. When I was making this decision, I chose NTU over FASS because of how you only get to decide on your major for FASS after the first year. Do take a look at the subjects offered by both universities to make a more informed decision.

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  25. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing ;)) I'm a Sec 4 student and I want to know how Psychology courses in Poly are conducted. How are practicals/hands on activities conducted?
    What are the main components/criterias for us to score an ideal GPA score?
    Also, what are the chances for us to gain the opportunity to go study overseas through scholarships? I'm a PR though.

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    1. Most of my courses in Poly involved lectures and sometimes tutorials. There will be projects and assignments on top of the examinations. I'm not sure what kind of practical or hand-ons activities you're expecting to receive in a Psychology course. Psychology is really a lot of research work so yes, you do get a lot of research experience. There's no fast rule to getting an ideal GPA. It's really a lot of hard work.

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  26. Hello! May I know the available spaces for both the NTU and NUS courses?

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    1. Hi there! I apologise for the late reply but I am unsure of the vacancies for both courses. You might want to try dropping the respective faculties a mail to ask about that!

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  27. May I know how you fare in NTU? This will help me to decide if I should choose the poly route.

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    1. I am uncomfortable with sharing my grades on the internet but if you wish to know, you can drop me an email! I'll reply you as soon as I can. However, I believe if you have the passion for the subject, grades will come naturally.

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  28. Hello Michelle, thanks for the blog post it's really insightful. I am thinking of entering psychology in poly merely because I am interested in it. My family does business and eventually I will have to take over which I am perfectly fine with it. But, I want to learn more about business and on how to run it too. Are there any suggestions on how I can achieve on learning psychology and doing business?

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    1. Hello! Business and Psychology actually do overlap, especially when it comes to Organisational Behaviour. If I were you, I would take a business course in poly and probably take up introduction to psychology as an elective while I'm doing the business course. I think business would definitely be more relevant to your future career. You can always pursue something different if you decide to further your education, but of course it's all up to you and how much you actually enjoy what you're studying. Hope that helps in your decision.

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  29. hi Michelle, im really interested in taking up psychology but alot of people told me not to as they said psychology in poly isnt what i think it is. will you be kind enough to summarise what you learned in TP psychology? thank you!

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    1. Hi, I am not really sure what do you mean by psychology in poly isn't what you think it is. Honestly, the kind of subjects I did in poly was similar to what I did in uni (except in uni, it was more in-depth). However, it is important for you to understand what psychology is really about before applying for the course because the media tends to portray a really unrealistic image of psychology. Feel free to contact me if you need more help! :)

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  30. Hi Michelle, I'm thinking of doing this particular course however i graduated from Nitec - as well as did a short course on fashion not quite sure if it's possible to even get into TP. What are your views?

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    1. Hi there! I apologise for the late reply. If you're really passionate about this course, you can always give it a try! However, do think about what you can really achieve with a diploma from this course :) It's always good to have a final goal in mind!

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  31. Hi Michelle, if you dont mind could send me an email? It would be really great if I get an advise from you about my poly result and entering local uni as I also feel uncomfortable to post my result on internet. My email address is myeongbfe0912@gmail.com. thank you and your post was impressive and helpful.

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  32. Hi Michelle, sorry to bother you. I want to go to an overseas university but I want to go to a poly to study psychology as I am very interested in it. Do you think JC would help me secure a place in a overseas uni better?

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    1. Hi there! There are actually a lot of partnership programmes that polytechnics have with overseas universities, with many offering exemptions. Check out which universities you are interested in and see if there are any partnerships or affiliations with the polytechnic of your choice!

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  33. Hi, i'm planning to go to a jc. Are there any subjects i must take to get into psychology in nus, or are there no requirements other than just the grades of the subjects i took? Because i'm thinking of taking bio+chem+maths+lit. Since i have to take a general year in arts in nus, do i need to get more humanities as my subject instead of sciences?

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    1. Hello, there are no particular requirements for subjects :) Have fun and all the best for your studies :)

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  34. Hi , I'm wondering what will you be learning about for psychology at poly ? And if entering JC , does that make my chance of getting into a university higher ?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi michelle, I just got my o levels results this year and was hoping to go to TP's psychology course to go on further to pursue law. Hence, do you have any advice to gve about the psychology course and is having a psychology diploma good for getting into a law school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Unfortunately, nobody I knew went to do law so I'm not too sure if it is possible. Most law schools have a strict criteria and they might not recognise psychology diploma as relevant. However, as I am not too sure about this, you can try emailing TP Psychology relevant staff to find out more about opportunities in law in the future.

      Delete
  36. Hi Michelle, i'm another student who has just received her O levels and i'm really interested about psychology. Will cca points be deducted from my l1r4 for this course? I've heard that cca points can't be used for some courses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I do believe your cca points will be deducted :)

      Delete
  37. Hello Michelle , chanced upon your blog post as I was researching about whether should I pursue psychology via the JC route or the Poly route . I'm currently in secondary 4 and I kind of want to have a clear goal in mind so as to aim accurately and know what I want . As a alumni of a poly school , do you recommend JC or Poly, because Im quite confused and lost at this point in time would really appreciate if you would give me a genuine opinion! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! I understand that this is a really confusing as different people have differing opinions, and this is a huge decision to make when you're 16. There may be some advantages if you study the same course in poly and uni but you also do have to note that it is difficult for a poly grad to get into a local uni. JC and poly have two different teaching styles so my recommendation is to take the route which suits your learning style.

      Delete
  38. Hello Michelle, I'm a Malaysian student sitting for Cambridge A Levels this June. I'm interested to pursue psychology undergraduate programme in NTU but I am curious on what are the minimum requirements needed to enter( the website only mentioned 'good grades', so I was wondering how good will that be?), maybe if you have encounter coursemates who enter with Cambridge A-Levels. Also, when is the intake for the psychology degree programme?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! The grades changes from time to time due to the demand and students applying for it. Check out http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/oad2/website_files/IGP/NTU_IGP.pdf for the full list of 2015-2016 intake. Basically, the previous intake 10th percentile was ABC/B so use that as an estimate.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your kind response! Enjoyed reading your blog as well. God bless :)

      Delete
  39. What to you plan to do after completing uni? I'm interested in psychology but I'm not sure of what to do as a career

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Psychology is a very general degree. There are plenty of job opportunities as long as you are willing to venture and try them. Most of the fresh grads are working in the government sector (MinDef, MSFD etc..). Psychology can also be related to Human Resource, Market Research, Marketing, Project Management etc... I'm actually more interested in UX research and plan to venture into that after I graduate :) Take your time to explore!

      Delete
  40. Hey michelle, I'm aware this has been posted a while back but i just stumbled upon this while researching. And I'm wondering if psychology has like therapy covered? because i am interested in becoming a therapist that would like talk and help teens with mental illness or is that a psychologist? so sorry this is over the place, I'm just still very confused about this! Thanks so much :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. because if I'm not wrong that kind of therapy is not a course in poly right? Also did you have a cca? because i am quite interested in a few for when and if i go to TP but the timings are very long and late as i saw on the website, would it be difficult to cope with psych with a long and late cca?

      Delete
    2. Hello, it depends on what kind of therapist you're referring to. If you're looking at a counselling kind of job, there are specific diplomas for counselling. In Psychology, we do not really study about counselling. However, we do learn about clinical psychology, an area on assessment and treatment of mental illness. For that, a Master's is often required for you to be able to assess and treat mental illness. However, there may be less talking involved?

      With regards to coping with CCA, I think as long as you have the passion, it will not be difficult. :) I enjoyed both my course of study and CCA so it was pretty easy for me to cope.

      Delete
  41. Hello Michelle, i would like to ask, how hard did you study during your poly years for you to be able to get into the top 10% and enter university? Did you mug everyday? How many hours did you study everyday for you to achieve such good results?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I think it's very important to pay attention in class and lectures and study smart. By going for classes and paying attention, it helps a lot! I wouldn't say I've studied really hard. Maybe just more intense during exams period.

      Delete
  42. hi michelle! I've recently gone into a JC after my O level exams and interested to pursue Psychology in NTU in the future. but after about a month on in JC i am not used to the academic rigour and im thinking of applying to NP Psychology. do you think its a wise choice to do that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Justin! I think it's really hard for me to give you an advice on such an important issue. I think it's important to seek your parents' advice and make a more informed choice from there. I think both JC and poly routes are not be easy so whichever choice you make, you will have to work really really hard. It doesn't mean that you can relax and not study as hard when you transfer to a poly.

      Delete
  43. Hi Michelle, a friend of mine wants to apply for psychology for university but he isn't studying psychology for his poly course as he is in pfp. will this affect him in applying for psychology in university?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous! As far as I know, your poly course will not affect your chances of getting into the university course, unless the university specifically states that the course admission requirement only accepts students from particular courses.

      Delete
  44. Hi Michelle! I'm a Sec 4 student this year and would just like to ask about what you said before. You mentioned there would be a lot of report writing and thus had to be proficient in language. This only applies to English right? And not Mother tongue languages? Also u mentioned that if interested in Counselling related courses there are specific courses for that and not psychology, may I ask what are some of those specific courses?

    Sorry for asking so many things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lisa! Good to hear from you! Reports are written only in English (you wouldn't be using much of your MT language in poly). I believe you can find the certified counselling diplomas from: http://www.sac-counsel.org.sg/courses

      Hope this helps! :)

      Delete
  45. Hi Michelle :-) if im interested in becoming a psychiatrist, is taking Psychology in a polytechnic a good pathway for it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! I think the common misconception people have is the confusion between psychiatrist and psychologist. I would suggest reading up on the different occupation before making a decision because they require different qualifications. Though the work may seem similar, psychiatrist is a medical degree (so they're doctors). A psychology diploma may not get you there. On the other hand, a psychologist's job is different depending on the field. Do read up more and if you have any questions, let me know and I'll see if I can help!

      Delete
  46. Hey there, I'm a 16 year-old student that's on interest to this particular course! I've been leaving much thoughts onto it and it was pure luck for me to have been able to read your sharing entry which I would like tho thank you for sharing! I know your post have been pretty long ago since its been 4 years, however since you've been to a university by now, and if you do by chane see my comment, may I post to you a few questions; have you regretted your choices to pursue the psychological path? As well as how are the career aspects for a student that studied psychology in Singapore and had not considered travelling overseas? >.<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! It's my honour you're reading my entry :) Those are really relevant questions. I don't regret my decision to pursue psychology because human behaviour intrigues me. And I'm quite fortunate in the sense that my career aspirations are related to psychology.

      To be honest, the career aspects for a psychology graduate is not too good. There are limited options and majority of us enter into the government sector. Thus, doing psychology in Singapore instead of overseas do give you an edge when it comes to government related jobs.

      My advice is for you to think carefully about your career aspirations and see if it aligns with psychology. :)

      Delete
  47. Hi Michelle!Im currently taking my Os this year and im considering on becoming a school counselor in the future.Would a psychology course or a social sciences course be useful?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! Yes, psychology will definitely be useful. It may not be completely related to a school counselor's job, but there are some overlaps.

      Delete
  48. Hey there! Thank you for replying!
    Sorry for questioning again. Honestly speaking, the job aspect of mine hasn't really been draft out since what I've rover heard has always been counselling and other social jobs only. I've always been keen in psychology, however as for a job I'll be more interested for it as a profession. May I know that if I were to take psychology in Singapore, especially not in JC but in poly, will there be a high possibility of me getting a job as a profession or normally just a social worker?
    Also, if I were to take psychology in poly, is it difficult to follow up other courses in universities?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even with a Psychology degree, we are not qualified to be a social worker. There's a social work degree in NUS that specializes in that area. You can be involved in the social sector, and you can always take courses to help put you in a better position as a social worker. In general, psychology do not train you with the skills for social work.

      Delete
    2. And no, your diploma may not be related to your degree. It's how like sometimes, your masters may not necessarily be related to your degree too.

      Delete
  49. Hi Michelle, i am currently studying Child Psychology and Early Education in Ngee Ann Poly but NP has really bad school management and teachers, hence, many of my NP schoolmates and I would like to transfer to another Poly after the current semester has ended. However, we do not want to risk tranferring to a school that similarly has poor school system and lecturers. Therefore, may I please ask for your advice on how TP is? I have found out about SP and NYP from my personal friends but I do not have any friends from TP. Would you please kindly assist my friends and I in finding out more about students' real-life TP experience? Pleeeeeease~ Thank you very much Michelle, your reply would be truly appreciated.

    How would you comment on TP school rules and management?
    -were there any no late for class policy, or, no late assignment submission policy where the school will deduct your score?
    -did TP require you to submit your assignments and other ad-hoc documents twice — printed copy hand in to lecturer + soft copy submit online?
    -were there any other issues you have found inefficient or problematic (or irritating) about the school?

    How caring did you feel your TP lecturers and tutorial teachers were on a personal level?
    -were they kind and helpful, on a personal level, in terms of your academics?
    -putting academics aside, did you feel that they cared about your personal well-being (eg. Psychologically/emotionally)?

    Did you personally feel that the school management staff (eg. Faculty Director) and your lecturers/tutorial teachers were unbias toward students, giving you opportunities and grading your work without any prejudice or favouritism?

    Have you heard of any student being bullied by other students in TP? If yes, do you happen to know how did TP school management and teachers handle the situation or treated the victim being bullied?

    I'm extremely sorry for the long question list. My friends and I would be truly grateful for your help. Thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hailey, that's a very long list of questions! One point to note is that if you ask too many questions at a time, it is very highly likely that not all your questions will be answered. But let me go through it one by one.

      1. Well certain schools may be lenient with punctuality and lateness, lateness should not be cultivated as a habit and you should learn to be punctual. It's only fair that your grades are deducted if you submit late. You would not be able to get away when you're in uni or in the workplace.

      2. Again, handing in hardcopy and softcopy is a common norm across universities and polytechnics. Softcopies are mostly used to check for plagiarism and hardcopies are for the profs to read.

      3. Yes, there were inefficiencies. However, you'll face inefficiencies everywhere so it wasn't an issue.

      4. There are lecturers who are helpful and there are those who tend to be more distant.

      5. As tertiary educators, they tend to treat students as adults and may not be as involved as your teachers in secondary or primary schools.

      5. Hmm, it is innate in humans to have favourites and preferences (Read about Halo Effect). However, if you feel that the prejudice is strong, try voicing out to someone in the school. Sometimes, it can be unknowingly to the educators.

      7. I believe schools do handle such bullying situations. My advice would be to speak out to someone about such incidents and most often, actions will be taken.

      Polytechnics and secondary schools are very different. While JCs are very similar to secondary schools, polytechnics tend to follow the universities style. From what I've read, it seems to me that your expectations of how polytechnics are may not be similar to your experience and it might be due to the transition from a protected environment in secondary school to more autonomy in polytechnic. I may be wrong and if you would like to share more about it, you can always drop me a mail.

      Delete
  50. Hi Hailey! I'm Lisa and taking O Levels this year. I would like to ask you if you could share on the so school system and general management since you mentioned it in the comments. Any information would be extremely welcome! Since I am currently very confused as to which poly I should choose. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not exactly sure what you meant by the school system and management. The only main difference I notice in poly curriculum is how RP has a self-learning approach (I forgot the term for it). Otherwise, most polys follow the same system and teaching approaches.

      Delete
  51. Hi Michelle!! I'm Stella. I would like to ask for you opinion of my decision as I definitely would want and prefer to study music and arts. However I am not so sure If i should take higher art in JC or Design in Poly. I want to go to a University in the future however. The thing is, I'm 4, C or a fail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stella, portfolios are essential for design courses in universities (such as NTU ADM and SUTD). If you're really interested in design, I would advise to pursue it :)

      Delete
  52. Hi Michelle!

    I would like to know more about the modules a Psychology major would have to take in the first semester of year one. How are the lessons, mid-terms and finals structured? From what I heard from my friend, NUS actually has a portal that disseminates specific information on the modules (topics that will be taught) to freshmen. Is there a similar platform used at NTU?

    I believe NTU is using "Core Concepts" for Introduction to Psychology. Which are the chapters that the lecturers would delve into?

    Thank you so much for reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, you'll have to do intro to psychology and statistics in your first semester if I'm not mistaken (it's been so long). Those are the psychology related modules you'll have to do. Then there are other unrestricted electives which you can choose. I believe during the orientaito and induction program, someone will explain to you the course structure and what kind of modules you should be doing.

      With regards to the chapters, ALL WILL BE COVERED. Just kidding. But it's true that almost all will be covered. Moreover, it depends on your professors because I have no idea who would be teaching that module.

      Delete
  53. Hello Michelle,

    At the moment I'm debating if I should go to poly or JC and in the end, enter a local university. From your post, I can see it's much easier-in a sense-to go to Uni from JC. However, there are some courses in Poly which will provide extra recognition amd experience in the field that people want to pursue in. I also heard Scholarships are much more easier to obtain in Poly than JC? With this, I would like to now that despite the extra credits one would get in poly, is it still better to take the JC route to Uni? Also, with the extra experience you learnt in poly, is it easier to understand what's going on at Uni?

    :)) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, I believe a lot have changed since I've written this. The percentage of poly students entering into universities is definitely higher now. And yes, it's true that you do get exemptions in universities if you did the same course in polytechnic. While you may have advantage from polytechnic, the depth universities go into with their academic syllabus is a lot deeper. One entire semester of polytechnic syllabus can be squeezed into one lesson in universities.

      Delete
  54. Hello,
    I'm a graduating student from ECS in Tp, do you think I may have the chance to get into psych with gpa merely 3.3/3.4 but I do have activities outside of school and my brother told me to consider appealing in. I've been considering SIM but I was skeptics when they told me ntu is looking more on experiences than results through appealing. Please advise me. I really wish to take up clinical psych in future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joey,

      There's no harm trying to apply and appeal into NTU Psychology. I'm not too sure about how the system takes in students now, but back in my days, GPA accounted for 80% while your 'O' Levels results accounted for the other 20%. You can also try applying via discretionary admissions into NTU which will look at your achievements beyond academics.

      My advice would be go ahead and apply and I wish you all the best! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you! (: But may I have your opinion in taking psych in simuow?

      Delete
    3. Hello, apologies for the late reply. Unfortunately, I'm no expert in SIMUOW to give any opinions on their curriculum.

      Delete
    4. No worries. Thank you for your reply. (:

      Delete
  55. Did you take child psychology or psychology studies as your course? :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hello,
    I am very interested in both biotechnology and psychology. Is it okay for me to take my biology course first in poly before pursuing psy in uni or will it be better for me to study psychology in poly b4 pursuing my biology couse in uni?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really depends on what you want to pursue in the future because your degree will be the stepping stone for your career (though not everyone goes into the same industry as their choice of course). Ask yourself, what do you intend to achieve out of biotechnology or psychology? And what do you aspire to become in the future?

      Delete
  57. Hello Michelle,

    I enjoyed your entry on Have I regretted going poly path. After reading, I would like to ask you: As a TP student, will NUS &/NTU consider accepting students who maintain a good GPA (from a different course and school - Business, to go into Psychology and have achieved 3 aspects of the CCA categories except A aspect?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, I believe the course and school does not matter when it comes to applying for your university. So someone with a GPA of 3.8 in Business and someone with a GPA of 3.8 in Psychology stand equal chances when it comes to university admissions.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for taking time to reply!(:

      Delete
  58. Hi, your blog is very informative. I'll be starting uni at NTU this August. Mind sharing some NTU Psychology lecture slides?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi, I learnt a lot from your blog and I'm glad I came across it... But I've got a few questions :

    Why was it difficult to get a good GPA when you were in TP?
    Was it because the course was difficult to score? If it was, what part was difficult?
    And do you have some tips for taking Psychology in Poly?
    From what you said (about Uni)from previous comments, If I we're to take something that is totally different from psychology like Engineering or Media in Poly will I still be able to get into Uni if my GPA was like 3.8 compared to someone taking Psychology studies?

    I'm afraid that I might be too dumb for the Psychology course and would get a bad GPA hence, I was thinking about taking an easy course but is it advisable?

    Also, from your experience.. I'm super scared to take this course because it sounds tough.

    ReplyDelete
  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi, I'm not sure if you will reply as it's been 5 years since you've posted this blog but I have questions and it would be wonderful if you could reply me :)
    so I'm currently sec 3 and aiming to get into TP Biomed course, and then going into med school and specialising in psychiatry.
    1. Would you advice me to take the poly path (I've heard only the top 3% of Biomed students get into uni)
    2. and is Biomed even the correct course to take if I want to specialise in psychiatry

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi! I am very glad to have chanced upon your blog.

    16 years old this year and currently waiting for my o’ level results.
    I am actually torn between choosing poly (Psychology course) or IB but I would like to wait for the release of my results to decide about that. I am very interested in abnormal psychology and I want to see myself as a psychologist (a Forensic Psychologist or a Research psychologist) in the future. Would like your advice on which pathway (poly or IB) is a ‘better’ choice for me? or a better choice to get out of Singapore, as I am quite keen on the idea of working overseas and thus open to the prospect of a foreign university.

    I would also like your advice about the courses in poly (should i choose that pathway) because i read that you and I quote: ‘Another alternative that I would recommend would be for you to pick up a more useful diploma – e.g. Business, Marketing, IT, design first before heading to university to pick up that Psychology degree. Your psychology diploma should be a mixed diploma with at least one other field so it should give you more options later on. ‘

    Would very much appreciate your advice!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Yo Michelle. Happen to be reading many people's post regarding University choices since i'm waiting to send my application to NTU Business.

    I just wanna say im very very impressed that you are still going strong in replying people's question after like what nearly 5-6 years HAHA.

    ReplyDelete

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