How to Get Good Grades in a Singaporean Junior College

It is no debate. Studying in a Singaporean junior college (JC) is tough for most, especially when you are given only two years to prepare for the General Certificate of Examinations Advanced Level (GCE 'A' Levels) to be eligible for university admission. Fortunately, life as a JC student may not necessarily be all work and no play as most people speculate, but there will certainly be times where you will have fun, made some good memories and friends you can keep. Here are some strategies for doing well in a JC.


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    Go for First Three Months. The Provisional Admission Exercise (PAE) aka 'first three months' that lasts for 2 to 3 months before you receive your General Certificate of Examinations Ordinary Level (GCE 'O' Levels) result slips in March is a time where you could take a taste of life in a JC, gauging your L1R5 grades(L1R4 for Millennia Institute) for your school-based preliminary examinations prior to your 'O' Levels. Although optional, go for it! You would have fun in your allocated JC by making loads of new friends from different schools scattered all across the island, going for daily class outings, come to school late, et cetera, et cetera. However, do note not have too much fun and do take your tutorials and lectures seriously. During 'first three months', the classes would be taken at a significantly slower pace compared to the real thing, which gives you a head-start compared to others who chose not to attend 'first three months'.
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    Start post-JC plans. Which university and what course do you wish to take? It is better to have the answers for these questions in mind before choosing your subject combination, so you can consider taking subjects you can excel in or taking relevant subjects to a university course you aspire to take.
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    Get serious. JC is the polar opposite of 'first three months'. Do not fool around once you enter the real JC world. The pace would now be insanely fast due to time constraints. Take your tutorials and lectures dead serious and do not miss any classes. Take all your minor tests seriously and study hard for them, as they constitute your Continual Assessment (CA) marks, which could save you from being retained at the end of the year.
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    Be consistent. A great number of JC students have overlooked this aspect, preventing them from attaining good grades. Unlike studying in a secondary school, you cannot leave things up to the last minute before start revising your work before any major exam. You have to keep revising your work from day one so your knowledge is at your fingertips at any time, which can greatly reduce the amount of time you can spend studying for your major exams which you can shift more time to practicing.
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    Understand your work. Studying hard but remembering your facts wrongly will not help you. Some hardworking people have succumbed to this aspect and retained their first year in JC. Make sure you know that you have studied the right facts by consulting your tutors or academically strong friends.
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    Be realistic. Do not set goals that you can't reach. You will only disappoint yourself if you try to be something you're not. If you were always weak in your studies, don't immediately aim to be the academic leader for your next major exam, but keep that ultimate goal in view, so you can tackle one exam at a time, jumping one grade at a time to achieve it eventually.


  • Stay healthy. Drink plenty of water. Eat loads of fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. It is a fact that a healthy body begets a healthy mind to learn. Besides, you can't afford to miss classes.
  • Sleep early. Poor sleep before and after learning makes it hard to encode new memories. Data suggests a good night's sleep improves motor memory up to 30 percent after a lesson, such as piano. Leaving six hours between pursuits helps keep one skill from crowding out another.
  • Stay away from or play less of MMORPGs or any games that are highly addictive, like MapleSEA, DOTA or World of Warcraft. Play during the holidays at the very most, but it is not worth it.
  • Have fun! All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy. If you plan your time well and don't procrastinate, you will find you have free time. Do something you would enjoy, like a hobby. Go for class outings to boost intra-class bonding.
  • Study in a group with your friends. You will find that you will cover more than you do so by yourself. Don't talk too much amongst yourselves so you can concentrate on your work. Keep groups small (about 3-4 friends) to prevent this.


  • Do not neglect sleep to buy time to complete your tutorials! Sleep is important.
  • Do not study too hard. There are cases of students who developed schizophrenia or other mental illness caused by the stress induced by the demands of JC education. Unless you can take stress well, take breaks to make sure you don't overexert yourself.

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Categories: Improving And Maintaining Grades | College and University Study Techniques