About Poly/JC

What is the difference between JC and Poly?

Diploma courses offer training for industry with emphasis on hands-on experience through projects and internships.Broad-based academic subjects
The 3-year diploma courses comprise about 40 bite-sized modules which build upon one another.Goes very deep into a few subjects
Curriculum is developed by each poly. Similar sounding diploma programmes across polys may have similar learning objectives but the actual curriculum could be different.Curriculum is centrally developed by MOE
Polys use the Grade Point Average (GPA) which is the culmination of grades of all the modules done in poly. So consistency of performance is important.The ‘A’ level exam would represent the academic ability throughout JC regardless of the student’s academic performance prior to the ‘A’ level exam.


How do I decide whether my student should go for the JC route or the Poly route?

Areas to noteSuggested approach
Passion, interest and strength in an area/sPassion: If you can discover what your student’s passion is, he will naturally do well because he is motivated.
Strength: What were his strong subjects in secondary school?
Interest: Ask your student for his area of interest and determine whether his understanding of it is superficial. Explain to him the reality of the particular industry which he may be interested in.
Personal learning preferenceDoes he prefer to learn by being hands-on? Or does he prefer the academic way of learning?
Long-term career goalsIf your student is clear about a career and very motivated by it, that means that he may be ready to pursue a diploma in that area. But if your student is unsure about what to do, then the JC route might be an option for your student.
Advice from othersEncourage your student to talk to their seniors who have gone to poly and JC to understand what it is really like.

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 student has an ELR2B2 aggregate score of 7 and puts down as his third choice SP's Diploma course in Biomedical Science which has a JAE ELR2B2 of 8, he stands a better chance than his classmate who has 8 points but puts it as first choice.

Will the order of choices as listed determine whether my student gets into a particular course? 
The way your student 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 student lists a particular course, for example the Diploma in Biotechnology as his third choice, but another student lists the same course as his first choice, will this applicant then take precedence over the first student for entry to this course, despite having a worse aggregate score than the first student? 
No. The first student will still have precedence if his ELR2B2 aggregate score is better than the second student. Therefore, if the first student is unsuccessful for entry to his first and second choice of courses, he will be posted to the Diploma in Biotechnology as this is his third choice (subject to vacancies).

If my student does not have the minimum English Language grade for the course he wants, can he still apply for the course? 
Your student 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 student 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 student 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 student'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 a student use combined results? 
Yes, your student may combine his GCE 'O' Level results of any two years.

Is it possible for my student to change his course after studying in SP for a few months? 
Your student 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 student 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 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 and a semester vacation of four to six weeks in September-October.

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 8am and most classes end by 5pm. 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 student go for advice on choice of 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 United States, and community service programmes in Vietnam and 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 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 have a variety of instructional sports electives like aerobics, canoeing, jogging, squash, tennis and swimming to choose from. 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 fees payable for a Singaporean student for Academic Year 2018/2019 is $2,890.55. The tuition fees and tuition grant are subject to revision every year. Refer to Course Fees & Fees Payable for the most updated fees.

What if a student has financial difficulties? 
Various financial assistance schemes such as scholarships and bursaries, tuition grant schemes, tuition fee loan schemes, study aids, Mendaki tuition fee subsidies etc. are available to full-time students. Students can visit the Student Service Centre at T16 Level 1 or call 6772-1707 or 6870-8220 to make an appointment to see the officer-in-charge of financial assistance. Remember, no child will be denied an SP education because of financial difficulties.

Relevant Contacts

Diploma coursesContact the respective school
General EnquiriesTel: 6775-1133
Operating Hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5.30pm
Full Contact ListingContact Us Page
SP Sustainability Matters