What's the ideal subject combi or course for me?
With the recent release of the N and O level results, I thought I'd create a post to share my thoughts on how you can choose the ideal subject combination or course in college.
This post is primarily catered to students who are at the crossroads of choosing the suitable subject combination. In writing this, I'm making a couple of assumptions. First, I'm assuming that you're currently moving on to Secondary 3 or Post-Secondary education. Second, I'm assuming that your aim is to opt for Polytechnic/ ITE or University as part of your pursuit for further education.
The journey of choosing the ideal subject combination is not easy. So here's my 2 cents on how to select the most suitable subjects at these various stages of your formal education.
Work backwards with the end in mind.
If you are keen on further education, your choice of subjects plays an important role in determining whether you can pursue that particular Polytechnic or University course that you are interested in.
My advice? Be forward looking and find out the entry requirements of the courses that you find interesting, then choose your subjects based on these entry requirements.
It's more practical to choose your subjects based on these entry requirements, than to simply go blind and choose your subjects based on where your grades can bring you. You don't want to be in that position to regret in future when you realised that your subject combination did not fulfil the entry requirement.
Find out what interests you.
Ever heard of advice like "just choose the subjects that you have passion in!" or "follow your heart!"? Well, the reality is most 14, 16 and even 18 year olds don't quite know what they are passionate in. So what now?
Try searching for the syllabus document of the different subjects, and have a look at the content overview and the examination skills that you'll have to learn. The information are all out there. Go do some research and choose the subjects based on your level of interest and your ability to cope with the subject demand.
Don't follow your friends.
This may sound a little offensive to some but what I meant over here is to never choose your subject combination because your good friends are taking that particular subject combination as well.
Following your friends may seem like a good idea since you will have familiar company and you can study together in future. However, if the subjects that your friends are keen to take on does not appeal to you, you'll definitely find it a struggle to cope.
You got to be practical and learn to make decisions based on your own preferences and needs.
Shrug off the stereotypes.
In the Singapore education scene, it is not uncommon to hear comments like "Triple Science is the best", "Just choose BCME for your JC subject combination", "Just apply for the JC/ Polytechnic course with the lowest cut-off point".
These are some stereotypes that may hinder your ability to choose the most suitable subject combination or course. Shrug off these stereotypes based on societal pressures and ideals, and focus on your strengths and interest. This is probably the best advice that I can give. I truly believe that it is only when you learn to focus on your own unique strengths, then you can be an effective contributor to the society.
Hope these pointers are useful for anyone who needs it. All the best!
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