School is cool

School is cool
Tommy Cheong (middle) (top left), Juliana Chia (top right), Raphael Ng Shea (bottom left) and Nurul Suhaila Mohamed Saiful (bottom right).

Nanyang Polytechnic's second-year Industrial Design student Tommy Cheong was confused when he first saw a number beside the "Current Grade Point Average (GPA)" on his results slip.

Tommy, 19, who scored 3.66 in his first semester, said: "My former classmates now in ITE, which also uses the GPA system, told me that I did well, but I didn't realise why at first."

The GPA, a grading tool used by polytechnics, may seem foreign to new students.

A graduating student's academic performance is assessed by a Cumulative Grade Point Average, which is calculated based on all graded modules taken over three years.

This means that students who want to do well have to perform consistently in their studies.

"It allows three years of effort to contribute to your final results, but it also helps that one exam won't screw up your final score," said Raphael Ng, 19, a biomedical science student at Singapore Polytechnic.

Project work and course work make up a large percentage of the grade.

Juliana Chia, 19, a communications and media management student from Temasek Polytechnic, admitted that she was worried about the emphasis on projects at first.

"I'm good at memorising, but I'm not sure if I'm as proficient at the technical stuff. But it turned out okay because I enjoyed the subjects and course work that came along with it," said Juliana.

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