askST: JC or poly? The next step after the O levels

​The Straits Times senior education correspondent Sandra Davie offers tips on how to decide between junior college and polytechnic.​
Senior education correspondent Sandra Davie offers advice on how to choose between junior colleges and polytechnics.
Senior education correspondent Sandra Davie offers advice on how to choose between junior colleges and polytechnics.ST FILE PHOTO

For students getting their GCE O-level results, which will be released tomorrow, an important decision awaits. How do they decide on the next step?

In the sixth episode of video series askST, The Straits Times' senior education correspondent Sandra Davie offers advice on how to choose between junior colleges and polytechnics.

For a start, students have to look at the basic entry requirements.

For junior colleges, your L1R5 (English and five relevant subjects) should not exceed 20 points.

For the polytechnics, your L1R4 (English and four other subjects) should not exceed 26 points.

However, for popular polytechnic courses such as biomedical science, and banking and finance, students need to score fewer than 12 points to stand a chance of getting into these courses.

If you qualify for both junior colleges and polytechnics but are still undecided on which route to take, think about your academic preferences. Are you strong in academic subjects? Do you love subjects like mathematics, physics and English literature, and love delving deeper into these subjects? How do these questions help you choose between junior colleges and polytechnics?

Ms Davie gives some tips in askST, a 13-episode video series where ST journalists answer questions sent in by readers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2017, with the headline 'JC or poly? The next step after the O levels'. Print Edition | Subscribe