After O levels – JC or Poly?

The completion of O levels marks the start of the next stage of your education journey. Choosing which path to go next after O levels is often a headache.

JC or Poly?

Gone are the days where Junior College is deemed as the better choice compared to Polytechnics. With the changing times, getting into a course of your choice in polytechnic might even be way harder than obtaining a place in JC.

Both education institutions are great in their own rights and focuses on academic learning through fundamentally different approaches.


A comparison between JC and Poly:-

Junior College Route

Junior college lasts for 2 years and you will have to take the ‘A’ levels examination at the end of your JC journey.

JC curriculum is more academic-focused. It trains your child to have an analytical and sharp mind by drilling your child on content and analysis. You pursue standard subjects and compulsory project work.

In Junior College, the rules and regulations you are expected to follow are strict like those in secondary school. You have to wear a school uniform, have a black neat hair. Attendance to school is compulsory and there is a fixed arrival time every morning.

With only less than 2 years to prepare for ‘A’ levels, you spend a lot of time in school doing your studies. Stress level is higher and a lot of time and effort is required in the preparation of ‘A’ levels.

The percentage of students entering a local university as a JC graduate in Singapore is higher at about 70%. The ‘A’ level certification is almost worthless if you do not enter a university.

The school fee per month is low at less than $20 per month for most JCs (with the exception of independent JCs that charge higher)


Polytechnic route

Polytechnic will last for 3 years and you will be graded through your Grade Point Average (GPA) which takes into account your results across all your semesters.

The poly curriculum depends on the school and it is industry-relevant. It focuses on learning life skills and other development skills. The curriculum offers a fixed course of study. You are to select your choice of course and you will then be required to take modules relevant to your course every semester. These modules may be graded based on exams or project work.

Self-discipline is important for poly students. There is a lot more freedom in polytechnic. There is no discipline master catching you late for school. There is no set dress code for you and you can put on fancy hair of your choice. You attend school when you have lessons.

The academic load is less intense with more emphasis on project work and presentations.

In recent years, the numbers of polytechnic graduates entering a local university are increasing.

The good thing about polytechnic graduates is that you will still be able to secure an employment without going to university. Most employers won’t hire someone fresh out of JC, but that’s not the case for a diploma holder. Someone fresh out of polytechnic usually has a higher chance of securing employment compared to someone with only an A level certification.

The cost of polytechnic education is higher than Junior College. You are looking to pay up to $200-300 monthly.


With these, make your choice – POLY OR JC?

The key deciding factor should be which education path suits you best.

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