There’s a saying, “The rich gets richer” . Do you know that the same principle is true in university ? Of course, we are not talking about being rich with cash since the biggest currency here is GPA. Being rich in the context of university life simply means bagging a high GPA. So why does the rich get richer? For that, we have to understand some of the nuances of the local university system.
Exclusive Exchange Program
There are many programs in university for students to take part in – most are available for everyone but there are few of them that are merit-based due to its limited slots. One example is the Singapore Universities Student Exchange Program(SUSEP), otherwise known as local exchange program. Being part of this program entitles you to spend one semester in a local university outside of yours. So you can choose either NTU, SMU or NUS. Not only do you get to experience the culture of another school and to widen your network, you get to maintain your GPA ! During the time that you are on exchange, you will not be graded and all your modules you take are on pass/fail basis, but the credits will be transferred back to your host university towards attainment of your degree. The best part is, you will be able to clear many of your core modules during the local exchange as the universities in Singapore are pretty homogenous in their course offerings. In other words, you breeze through the semester while getting your most difficult modules out of the way.
Due to scarcity, priority for entry to local exchange programs will be given to students who have high GPA AND have not gone on exchange before. So the trick here is to apply for local exchange before you go on overseas exchange program, if you intend to travel. This is because overseas exchange program is much easier to get into with the availability of several hundred slots in dozens of countries. If you plan it well, you will get into a local exchange program followed by an overseas exchange program and that means that you have no worries about GPA for one whole year! You will see your friends mugging frantically throughout the term while you take things easy. Such is the privilege of students with high GPA. What GPA is considered high then? Anything above a first class honors is considered pretty decent.
S/U system ( For NTU and NUS students only)
S/U means that you have the option to render an elective module immaterial towards your GPA. You are only required to score above a ‘C’ for that module for it to count towards your credit units requirement. This is almost similar to taking modules while on exchange, except that this one applies only to elective modules.
Having a high GPA means that you can max out your S/U options and choose modules that you like instead of those that you can score well in. Many students are unwilling to exercise their S/U options because they need to pull up their GPA and choosing easy modules allow them to do so. If you have a high GPA, you can afford to S/U a module and focus more of your effort on core modules to get an ‘A’. On the other hand, many of your peers have to spread themselves across many modules, having less time for core modules. Some of the dates of their papers for their electives are even very close to those for the core modules, resulting in them having lesser time to study for core modules. This gives ‘rich’ students an unfair advantage over their peers in scoring well for modules.
What can you do ?
As financial planners will tell you, young professionals are encouraged to put in the extra effort to work hard and save up money so that the power of compound interest can work in their favor over the long run. Ultimately, when their bank account statement has enough zeros, they can have an early retirement, travel around the world and enjoy life. Those who decide to strive only in their later years will find out that they have to work much harder than their peers who start early. This mantra holds in university life as well, except that the effect is more pronounced with the above 2 reasons. This means that you have to work doubly hard in your 1st one or two years of university and score a higher GPA so that you can ‘retire’ early and enjoy the rest of your university life. Other than that, of course you have to be in the know of the various university opportunities that you can tap on in order to flourish in school. For that, Digital Senior strives to serve you with more secrets on maximizing your university life. Even if you are not the top student, fret not, there are many things you can do to allow you to stand out. Stay tuned.