Those who want to get into medicine, which path? JC or poly?

The age-old debate of whether to opt for a polytechnic or junior college education never ends. And it has given a lot of students and parents headaches. So which one path to choose? Especially if you are aiming for medical school (Singapore)?

I think this exercise is very similar to card counting in black jack games in Casinos or technical analysis in stock trading. The whole point of it is to increase the chances ahead of other applicants.

Having been involved in both the polytechnic and junior college scenes in my teaching career, I would see the JC as having the highest chances of entry. Despite that, there are still many articles trying to persuade students to opt for polytechnic education instead.

Remember in such situations, the odds are against an average student who will top the polytechnic cohort and fight with the other polytechnic top scorers to gain the prestigious admissions. The cohort percentage of polytechnic entrants? 2%. For junior college students, everyone studies and give it their best shot right at the end of the exams. For polytechnic students, the feat of doing well is a consistent effort with formal exams repeating 6 times throughout the 3 years. It typically includes a whole variety of modules and there will be some subjects of interest and not the rest. The odds is stacked against the polytechnic student no matter how enriching and colorful the curriculum (applies to the NUS high diploma as well although the percentage of admission varies).

There are other factors that influence the chances of gaining medical school admissions. Though is will likely continue as a topic of conversation in my classroom! COMMENT.


  • On May 16, 2016