Frequently Asked Questions

About Joint Admissions Exercise

What is the basis of selection in the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE)?
Selection is based first on merit (which means the ELR2B2 aggregate score) and then according to the line-up of choices as listed in the JAE submission. Students who have better aggregate scores will have a better ranking and therefore a better chance of getting their first choice course.

For example, if your child has an ELR2B2 aggregate score of 6 and puts down as his third choice SP’s Diploma course in Biomedical Science which has a JAE ELR2B2 of 7, he stands a better chance than his classmate who has 7 points but puts it as the first choice.


Will the order of choices as listed determine whether my child gets into a particular course?
The way your child lists down his 12 choices indicates his preference. Depending on his aggregate score (and hence, ranking, in order of applicants), he will then be considered for each course, one by one, as listed in his order of preference. This means he will be first considered for his first choice, failing which, it will be the second choice and so on.

If my child lists a particular course, for example, the Diploma in Applied Chemistry as his third choice, but another student lists the same course as his first choice, will this application then take precedence over the first student for entry to this course, despite having a worse aggregate score than the first student?
No. Your child will still have precedence if his ELR2B2 aggregate score is better than the other student. Therefore, if your child is unsuccessful for entry to his first and second choice of courses, he will be posted to the Diploma in Applied Chemistry as this is his third choice (subject to vacancies).

If my child does not have the minimum English Language grade for the course he wants, can he still apply for the course?
Your child cannot apply for that particular course under the JAE as he is not eligible. However, he may apply through SP’s Direct Admissions Exercise (DAE), provided he fulfils the following requirements: he has scored distinctions in Mathematics and one other subject; has a minimum ‘B’ grade for the relevant subject (as stated in the course entry requirements) and has a good aggregate score. He is advised to also apply for the courses that he is eligible for under the JAE.

If my child did not take subject ‘X’ in the ‘O’ Levels which is relevant to the course that he is applying for, will his chances of getting into this particular course be lower than those applicants who have taken this subject?
As long as your child meets the Minimum Entry Requirements, it makes no difference which subject he has taken in the examinations.

What is the JAE ELR2B2 of a course?
This refers to the aggregate score of the student who fills the last vacancy of that particular course. For example, if the last applicant posted to a course in 2017 has an ELR2B2 aggregate score of 10, this will be the JAE ELR2B2 for the course. This means those before him either have an aggregate score that is better than or the same as his aggregate score.

What is the likely JAE ELR2B2 for a particular course for this intake?
Each year’s JAE ELR2B2 depends on the number and quality of students applying for each course and the corresponding number of course vacancies.

What are the chances of getting into a particular course, if my child’s aggregate score is higher than the previous year’s JAE ELR2B2 for the course?
We are unable to advise his chances of getting into the course of his choice. Even though his aggregate score does not meet last year’s JAE ELR2B2, he should still list the course that he is very interested in as his first choice. You never know what this year’s JAE ELR2B2 will be! However, it is advisable to include some courses that he stands a good chance of getting into.

Can my child use combined results?
Yes, your child may combine his GCE ‘O’ Level results of any two years.

Is it possible for my child to change his course after studying in SP for a few months?
Your child cannot change course once the semester has started. We advise applicants to consider a course transfer before the semester starts. Please note that applications for course transfer are based on merit and subject to available vacancies.

How many examinations are there in a year?
There are two semesters in a year and there will be an examination at the end of each semester. There are also regular in-course assessments as well as projects. For some courses, the students are assessed on projects instead of examinations.

How does SP’s modular system help my child in his studies?
Subjects are offered as modules. Upon completion of the module in one semester, the SP student will take an examination on the module. A key benefit of SP’s modular system is that a student needs only to repeat a failed module instead of all subjects. This can be done the following semester instead of waiting for one year. This system allows flexibility and helps students pace their learning.

How are excellent students recognised in SP?
Students who perform well are recognised in the Director’s Honour Roll. There are also prizes and awards given to top students every year, either by SP or by external companies and organisations. Every year, SP also honours achievers at the annual Excellence Awards.

About Poly and Student Life

How long is each semester?
The new academic session begins in April. There are two semesters of 15 weeks each. There is a short mid-semester break of two to three weeks in June and December. Semester vacations are five to six weeks long from September to October, and March to April.

How much time do SP students spend on campus each day?
As a tertiary institution, the timetable is flexible. There are no structured classroom lessons like in secondary school. Instead, students move from lecture theatres to tutorial rooms or from laboratories or workshops to classrooms. The first lecture of the day may begin at 8 am and most classes end by 5 pm. In between, there may be stretches of free time for students to read up on their work. Many of our students remain on campus after classes for sports, student club programmes and other recreational activities.

Where can my child go for advice on the choice of academic course and career?
You can go to SP’s Education and Career Guidance (ECG) Centre located at T16 Level 1, just a short walk away from the Dover MRT Station. It provides information on SP courses and entry requirements, local and overseas university brochures, accreditation database, career information and job vacancies. Our qualified staff will guide you in making an informed course/career choice. You can also email your queries to

Are there any opportunities for overseas exposure?
There are plenty of opportunities for SP students to travel overseas for educational, recreational, immersion or community service experiences. These opportunities are not confined to any particular course of study and could arise from various organised groups including SP’s student clubs, and even external, national or international bodies. For instance, there are exchange programmes to countries like Japan, Korea, and Thailand; overseas immersion and credit transfer programmes in China, Finland and the United States, and community service programmes in Vietnam and the Philippines. We have sent our students for international competitions in cities such as Bangkok, London and Berlin. Under the SP’s Credit Transfer Scheme and Overseas Industrial Programme, students have wonderful opportunities to broaden their educational experience in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Is sport or physical education a must in SP?
Every student is strongly encouraged to take part in sports and outdoor activities. If the student is not involved in any SP sports team, he can still choose from a variety of instructional sports electives like aerobics, canoeing, jogging, squash, tennis and swimming. These activities count towards his Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) points. There is also the NAPFA test which is compulsory for all final-year students. This also applies to those who have completed National Service and female students. SP has launched the Sports for Life programme which aims to gradually make physical education compulsory for all students. Under this programme, students can take up sports such as swimming, lifesaving, yoga, hip hop dance and rock climbing.

About Fees

What is the tuition fee like? 
A student’s full-time education is subsidised by the Government of Singapore. However, to help students pay part of the training cost, the government, through the Ministry of Education, provides tuition grants to all full-time students. The tuition fee for Academic Year 2024/2025 for Singaporean full-time students is $3,000.00. The tuition fees and tuition grant are subject to revision every year. Refer to Course Fees & Fees Payable for the most updated fees.

Student Support Services

Is there counselling and special needs support?

Yes. Counselling services in SP include:
  • Individual counselling
  • Group counselling
  • Referrals to external social agencies
  • Psychological assessments
  • Self-managing workshops
Refer to Counselling and Special Needs Support for more information.
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