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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    (Original post by Knogle)
    We're clearly talking about different things. I was referring specifically to the Medicine admissions process.

    It'd be nice to implement similar admission practices accross the board, but that just isn't feasible.

    (I'll get round to responding to your individual points in a bit. I'm not crusading on behalf of NUS, btw. :p:)
    Lol, ok.
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    1. So medicine has two interviews? Was it for different stuff (like general and subject interview)? Law had one, and less than 15 minutes. They asked typical interview questions that everyone expects and I suppose the interviewers would have received typical interview answers. No problems with that but its not enough to gauge a student. I would support interviews for any course for students who do not meet the academic criteria and opt to appear for the interview. Different interviews for general and subject matter would be better, and perhaps a third interview for borderline cases. Maybe a small chat session to get to know the student better or find their communication skills. And not everyone would have to appear for every interview. Candidates who have clearly proven themselves in the first two interviews, for eg. I don't see why there's such a shortage of time. University doesn't begin until what - July?? This isn't even May yet.
    Yes, Medicine applicants are shortlisted for 2 interviews. I've spoken to a couple of friends, all of whom said that one interview (the one conducted by the profs/docs) was significantly harder. I don't think any was specifically subject-oriented or general in nature though. 2 interviews probably to ensure a just admissions system and avoid biasness. Now they can't wait until July to release offers because people may have other plans. Some people (alvin for example) will only stick around in Singapore if he gets an offer for NUS Medicine. If they only get back to him in mid-July, and it turns out to be a rejection, he will have a tough time scrambling to organise his life for an overseas education. There's a reason why they try to make decisions by the end of May.

    2. I'm not talking about medicine only. Candidates who might not meet the grades for certain courses such as Economics, Law etc... and can provide written work to show their abilities could be allowed to do so to give the admissions officers more material to make their final decisions. I agree, it would increase the workload and give them more headaches, but it will improve the system, like I said. The marks are not so important since different teachers adopt different standards but such written works would be a good indicator of the students performance during term. Promising candidates can be discovered by their school work. I don't know if the Singapore system would allow for students who appear quite promising but lack the final grades, but I would like to see this change.
    Would be nice, but not feasible considering the IMMENSE amount of work this will involve. Who knows, it might be a reality one day when the competition really heats up and they desperately need to differentiate students, all of whom have inflated 'A' level grades with straight As.

    3. PEARLS has been removed, yes. I support that. People with good CA records even without the neccessity to have any points will shine out in interviews. Of course, I would hope they don't make it a fixed judging criteria that everyone knows of because it would defeat the purpose. A person with better chances of becoming a maths researcher should not be displaced by one holding less promise of success in maths but with greater (say) basketball and debate skills.

    I hated the PEARLS system. It defeated the purpose of CCAs. People didn't join CCAs because they enjoyed it or were interested in it or wished to succeed in it but because they were kiasu.
    I see where you're coming from. While the PEARLS system does produce dark wolves or "whores" (for the lack of a better word), it does give due credit to people who have spent countless hours, days, months on their CCAs. CCAs are a very important part of your JC education, and they expose you to many things that academia cannot. Organisational skills, leadership, teamwork, communication, etc. Cliche, but true. I think JCs still keep track of CCA achievements or records though, which can be used in support of your university/job application. Better then nothing at all I reckon.

    4. PW is too dependent on the individual ST and the groupmates one has. Well, I had a horrific experience with my groupmates. I had to contribute 3 articles to every other group member just to make sure the difference in number of articles between me and them was not so stark. And my ST told me off for not being with my group to their visit to a farm (heck, I had gone home to India in june) choosing to ignore how much I had contributed over email and MSN to the group. The difference in standards adopted by STs is a factor that makes PW less credible in my opinion as a university placement factor. I think it counts for something, not much, but still it does. I think it should be used as SAT scores are used.
    Yes, valid point about the difference in standards of STs. But isn't the final presentation evaluated by a panel of external judges? PW really teaches you about the working world. Well, somewhat. How to give both others and yourself credit when credit is due. It'd be foolish to do a lot of work but not have it properly documented to published - this is how it works in the real working world too. Because PW stretches out over a couple of months, the slack ones will tend to show cracks towards the middle and the end. It's generally easy to tell people who couldn't give a hooters about the project or the team, and people who are determined to make the project stay its course and guide it through to completion. It sounds like you didn't make your contributions known well enough. What did your score for PW, btw?

    5. Then I suppose only Medicine uses it. Law didn't require it of me. I suppose the best judge of a student would be his tutors from the last two years. Why choose to ignore their valuable feedback?
    Testimonials have to be read and accepted with caution. Two people of the same quality can have vastly different testimonials depending on the writer. There's a lot of room for biasness to play its tricks in these testimonials, and they're extremely subjective. Quite often you may see an incredible student having a relatively weaker testimonial compared to a more mundane or dull student. Besides, every other person has flowery testimonials these days.
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    (Original post by Knogle)
    Yes, Medicine applicants are shortlisted for 2 interviews. I've spoken to a couple of friends, all of whom said that one interview (the one conducted by the profs/docs) was significantly harder. I don't think any was specifically subject-oriented or general in nature though. 2 interviews probably to ensure a just admissions system and avoid biasness. Now they can't wait until July to release offers because people may have other plans. Some people (alvin for example) will only stick around in Singapore if he gets an offer for NUS Medicine. If they only get back to him in mid-July, and it turns out to be a rejection, he will have a tough time scrambling to organise his life for an overseas education. There's a reason why they try to make decisions by the end of May.
    I don't see how one extra interview can cause a delay from end of may to mid july, especially since it would be one for a considerably lesser number of people. As you say, they have either decided about most people if they're cut out for it or not. Its those very few people of whom they are still unsure that I think the admission process needs refining. So lets say 1 more day for the final interviews (well, law interviews took 2 days in its entirety) and add one more week for processing. It still remains roughly may end - early june. I suppose the people who get called for the third time and yet get rejected will feel slightly annoyed. But for the sake of those who get their places, is this a decent trade?

    Would be nice, but not feasible considering the IMMENSE amount of work this will involve. Who knows, it might be a reality one day when the competition really heats up and they desperately need to differentiate students, all of whom have inflated 'A' level grades with straight As.
    See, I'm just trying to say what could be done to improve a current system. It can hardly be achieved using the same inputs and efforts as previously. The work will be immense, definitely, but its use should be discretionary, as for the thrid round of interviews. Not everyone would need it, only the borderlines. Ok, I think the best change that nus can have is by taking greater consideration of borderlines and giving people more chances to prove themselves.

    I see where you're coming from. While the PEARLS system does produce dark wolves or "whores" (for the lack of a better word), it does give due credit to people who have spent countless hours, days, months on their CCAs. CCAs are a very important part of your JC education, and they expose you to many things that academia cannot. Organisational skills, leadership, teamwork, communication, etc. Cliche, but true. I think JCs still keep track of CCA achievements or records though, which can be used in support of your university/job application. Better then nothing at all I reckon.
    Aah... again, not really. On surface it appears so, but there are so many cases where people who have worked harder and deserve more and probably would in most places without PEARLS systems get beaten by those who work "smart" and care two ****s about their ccas or are pathetic at it. Of course, CCAs are important. Remove PEARLS and you'll find really who are good and deserving. I have nothing against CCAs but a lot against the PEARLS system in university admissions. But its changed. So, good.

    Yes, valid point about the difference in standards of STs. But isn't the final presentation evaluated by a panel of external judges? PW really teaches you about the working world. Well, somewhat. How to give both others and yourself credit when credit is due. It'd be foolish to do a lot of work but not have it properly documented to published - this is how it works in the real working world too. Because PW stretches out over a couple of months, the slack ones will tend to show cracks towards the middle and the end. It's generally easy to tell people who couldn't give a hooters about the project or the team, and people who are determined to make the project stay its course and guide it through to completion. It sounds like you didn't make your contributions known well enough. What did your score for PW, btw?
    Band 1. External judges? I had three teachers, one of whom lectures me for GP, the others lecturing subjects I don't take. There was a panel of external judges which graded around 1 group in every class or so (ok, not a very reliable estimate, but you get my drift). Fair, I suppose to a great extent, but this is only the oral presentation. The ST affects your written report to a great deal with his suggestions and recommendations. Ok, I don't mind the concept as such and I agree with all that it is supposed to teach students. But why not have it as part of the promo grade rather than university admission? Since we both agree that it can have a lot of positive influences on the student while at the same time could allow bias to creep in.

    Testimonials have to be read and accepted with caution. Two people of the same quality can have vastly different testimonials depending on the writer. There's a lot of room for biasness to play its tricks in these testimonials, and they're extremely subjective. Quite often you may see an incredible student having a relatively weaker testimonial compared to a more mundane or dull student. Besides, every other person has flowery testimonials these days.
    Agreed to a great extent. All these things (interviews, personal statements, testimonials) are not perfect indicators of the student's abilities due to some reason or otehr and yet they are in use because they are the best indicators we do have currently. I don't see why NUS chooses to vastly ignore these testimonials when almost every decent university elsewhere requires some sort of teacher's reference. These references could influence some decisions either way. Why not take it into consideration? Of course, more hard work for the admissions officers, but heck, increase their pay, hire more, whatever, but if you cannot not change an old system and improve it at the same time.

    Hang on, shall we call it a stalemate anytime soon?
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    nice little debate going... sunday guard duty sucks.
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    (Original post by soonalvin)
    nice little debate going... sunday guard duty sucks.
    I'm in camp on this wonderful Labour Day. :p:

    (Original post by feanor_telamon)
    Hang on, shall we call it a stalemate anytime soon?
    Sure.

    But just a couple of points. I'll keep it really short!

    PW should be recognised as a formal 'A' level subject because that's the only way to get people to take it seriously. I mean, many people don't give a hooters (especially in the weaker JCs) about their promos. Or even if they care about their results, they aren't disciplined enough to work. You could suggest that unis consider promo results when processing applications.... but that would be very unfair to the sportsmen/CCA-frenzy people, the late bloomers, etc. You'd probably have Raffles University of Singapore that way. You get my drift. :p:

    I agree that they should take into account testimonials, but of course with a pinch of salt. Especially so for the competitive courses like dentistry, vet science, law, and double degree programmes.

    Okay, back to work. :X
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    Question, how highly do you all rate the NUS Law n Econs DDP? If I manage to get it and fail for cambridge, I'm not sure if I shud pay my way through Imperial or just stay at NUS.
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    Personally I regard it very well; it's not easy at all to be admitted into a double degree programme at NUS, unlike SMU. AAAA isn't gonna guarantee you a place.

    With that said, you should still seriously consider an education at Imperial. It's more than the reputation - it's the entire overseas education experience, the contacts, the opportunities.
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    Yawn. Either way admissions are still gonna screw up one way or another. It's the definition of their job scope.
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    (Original post by schmetterling)
    Yawn. Either way admissions are still gonna screw up one way or another. It's the definition of their job scope.
    Very optimistic. :p:
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    (Original post by Knogle)
    Personally I regard it very well; it's not easy at all to be admitted into a double degree programme at NUS, unlike SMU. AAAA isn't gonna guarantee you a place.

    With that said, you should still seriously consider an education at Imperial. It's more than the reputation - it's the entire overseas education experience, the contacts, the opportunities.
    True. Well... ok, will get back to this discussion if I get it.
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    In my opinion, you should definitely pick Imperial... Unless, you'd rather do Law of course...
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    hey, how on earth do we get a certificate of good behaviour? from the police?
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    (Original post by myriadguy)
    hey, how on earth do we get a certificate of good behaviour? from the police?
    What? Who asked you for one? :p: Are you in the army?
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    From your kindergarten school teacher.
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    (Original post by feanor_telamon)
    Question, how highly do you all rate the NUS Law n Econs DDP? If I manage to get it and fail for cambridge, I'm not sure if I shud pay my way through Imperial or just stay at NUS.
    1. Would you rather do Law&Econs or whatever you're doing at Imperial?
    2. After university, would you rather work in Singapore or Overseas?

    Imperial is more well-known in the UK, Europe and US then NUS. and to make it clear, I'm NOT saying NUS is not as good as Imperial.

    Oh, and I agree with Knogle, that being overseas has its advantages.
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    (Original post by schmetterling)
    From your kindergarten school teacher.
    haha. not funny.

    no lah, imperial wants a cert of good behaviour, medicine admissions... and they're not replying my email asking them what on earth is that. so... do i juz walk into my nearest NPPto ask them for one?
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    Do they mean a reference letter? Or letter of recommendation?
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    (Original post by myriadguy)
    haha. not funny.

    no lah, imperial wants a cert of good behaviour, medicine admissions... and they're not replying my email asking them what on earth is that. so... do i juz walk into my nearest NPPto ask them for one?
    Get it from your unit's S1/AO.
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    (Original post by Zinc11)
    1. Would you rather do Law&Econs or whatever you're doing at Imperial?
    2. After university, would you rather work in Singapore or Overseas?

    Imperial is more well-known in the UK, Europe and US then NUS. and to make it clear, I'm NOT saying NUS is not as good as Imperial.

    Oh, and I agree with Knogle, that being overseas has its advantages.
    I would prefer a job at Ibanking for which I suppose both courses would be fine. Only that being in London would give me better opportunities. At the same time, taking a mammoth loan makes imperial sound less attractive.
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    (Original post by myriadguy)
    haha. not funny.

    no lah, imperial wants a cert of good behaviour, medicine admissions... and they're not replying my email asking them what on earth is that. so... do i juz walk into my nearest NPPto ask them for one?
    I suppose anyone who has known you for a decent period of time (say 2 years or more) and not related to you would be qualified to give you a cert of good behaviour. Your form tutor or school counsellor or employer(if you've been working somewhere parttime)?

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