5 little known facts about NUS

Have you ever wondered what happens to your exam scripts after your lecturers have graded them? Or if the garish yellow ceilings seen in some parts of NUS were just because of somebody’s poor colour taste? Read on to find out 5 little known facts about NUS!

1. Module feedback by students have zero impact on your grades

A lot of students are afraid to give honest feedback for a module as they believe this might affect their grades. Well, guess what? IT DOESN’T. The feedback is only given to the lecturers AFTER they have submitted the student grades, and what makes you think your lecturer can identify your comment from the tens or hundreds of anonymous ones? Of course, this doesn’t mean you should take that opportunity to blast a lecturer / tutor you don’t like – they may not be your friends, but they have feelings too, so don’t be mean.

2. Follow the yellow ceiling for a sheltered path through NUS

Yes, it’s more than just somebody’s poor taste in colour! Back in the 70s, when the Kent Ridge campus was built, the yellow ceiling was meant to act as a visual indicator of the sheltered path through the entire campus. While this is still mostly true, a few of the yellow ceiling paths end abruptly as some of the newer buildings do not follow this (looking at you, UTown!)

Remember this tip the next time you need to get from one faculty to another when it’s raining and the shuttle bus is taking forever!

3. Your exam scripts are not returned to you, but they’re not thrown away either!

NUS policy states that exam scripts have to be kept for at least a semester in case an audit needs to be done. Once the semester is up, the lecturers are free to shred all the scripts to oblivion.

While there’s no way for you to get your scripts back, here’s a tip for those of you who want to learn from your mistakes: a lot of lecturers now release an exam summary discussing the solutions and common mistakes. Some even allow you to view your graded script in their office, so check with them they’re willing to go through your script with you.

4. Most students graduate with a CAP of around 3.5

The median grade in NUS is a B, based on the bell curve, which undergoes rigorous checking to ensure consistency across faculties. With the grade free first semester, this is likely to get skewed upwards slightly, but ultimately, it still means most students will graduate with a second lower (assuming you do honours). So the next time you complain how all your friends seem to be getting As, remember that there are just as many students getting CAP 3 and below.

For more information about how NUS applies the bell curve, check out this post by the Provost.

5. Around 20% of NUS undergrads are international students

NUS prides itself as a global university, so I was quite surprised when I discovered that we have such a low percentage of international students. Having more international students isn’t a bad thing – our foreign friends add to the diversity of perspectives and cultures which we enjoy in NUS, and even prepares us for our working lives.

Granted, a lot of them tend to “spoil market” and appear on the Dean’s Lists, but that probably has something to do with how they’re admitted to NUS on much higher criteria than us locals. Give them a chance and you’ll find out that most of them are really nice people!

Know any other interesting facts that we missed out on? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sarah Tan
Sarah is a recent NUS computer science graduate and an occasional blogger. As student, she participated actively in both her hall (Eusoff Hall) and faculty (School of Computing) activities. Sarah is especially passionate about all things concerning her faculty, and was well known in SoC to both students and staff (and maybe is still?). Her hobbies include giving advice to her computing juniors, reading about the coolest new things in the tech industry, and wowing people with her nail art. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University in the States.


  1. Hi, I would like to ask what the pros and cons are to S/U? Would it be advisable to use the S/U on B+/B grades? I had head that the more S/Us used, the CAP is calculated over a smaller denominator, as such allowing future greats to skew the current grade more strongly. For example, an A+ could increase CAP more while a C could decrease the CAP more as compared to when no S/Us have been used.


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