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  • Writer's pictureDarrell

Choosing your JC? - Ultimate Guide (2021)

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

Congratulations! You are done with your 'O' Levels!

Take a moment to celebrate before reality dawn upon you that upon receiving your 'O' levels result on 11th Jan 2021, you will only have 5 calendar days to submit your application via JAE to the Junior Colleges (JC) of your choice.

Feeling stressed and unsure which JC to head to?

Not too sure what to look out for when choosing your JC?

Curious how your choice of JC affects your tertiary education?

Fret not because we are about to bomb you with the most comprehensive 'Choosing your JC' guide you will ever find on the internet!

Let's jump straight into it.


Knowing your L1R5

You can't choose your JC without knowing how your L1R5 works.

You can refer to our previous article 'How to calculate your L1R5 or L1R4 for your 'O' Levels' for a comprehensive breakdown on how to tabulate your 'O' Levels score.

Assuming you know your L1R5, the next step is to survey your options, eliminate those that are out of your L1R5 range and shortlist your top 5 most suitable JCs.

Junior College (JC) cut off points (2020):

*Typically, the cut off point will vary by +1/-1 but for most years, it stays constant.

You will need to apply through the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE), which will be from 3pm on Monday, 11 January 2021 and ends at 4pm on Friday, 15 January 2021.

It will run for 5 calendar days.

You may submit your application online through the JAE Internet System (JAE-IS).

After applying through the JAE & after eligibility is confirmed, all these factors will be taken into consideration.

  1. Your net aggregate score (L1R5 with bonus points)

  2. Your choice of courses

  3. Vacancies available in the courses


Factors for consideration - Choosing your JC

Picking your JC is not the easiest thing to do when it is going to drastically affect your next 2 years and how you might perform for your 'A' levels!

We have narrowed down the 5 most important factor for consideration!

1) L1R5 eligibility

2) School culture & resources

3) Distance

4) CCA

5) Friends

If you are not too sure what to expect in JC yet, check out our article on '7 Hard Truths of JC Life in Singapore."


1) L1R5 Eligibility

After calculating your L1R5, eliminate those JCs which are out of your eligibility range.

If you are just one point short from entering your dream JC, our most sincere advice is to NOT choose that as your first choice but rather, select the best JC that you can definitely enter and appeal to your preferred JC afterwards.

The goal here is to secure your placing in a JC that you can definitely enter first. If you choose to be overly optimistic and put your dream JC as your first choice, you risk not being able to secure a spot in the best JC you actually qualified for.

You do not want to end up in a dumpster fire where you get neither of the two JCs you wanted.

A simple tip for appealing: Ensure that you have something to contribute to the school, beyond just your L1R5 coming really close. There will be tons of students that are just like you, being 1-2 points short of making it. To really distinguish yourself from the rest, you need to showcase that you have other talents (CCA, leadership etc...) that makes you a good fit for the school. Sometimes, they also take into account your prelim results to evaluate your academic performance before 'O' Levels (in case you say you choked).

All appeals are done on a case-by-case basis so ensure that your 'case' has a good chance of standing out by highlighting areas outside of your academics that you are good at.

If you know the CCA teacher/coach/instructor of your CCA, it might be a good idea to speak to them and see if they are able to recommend you which will greatly improve your chances!

Make sure the CCA teacher likes you hoho...


2) School culture & resources

"Small fish in a big pond or big fish in a small pond?"

If you ever wondered whether to take the leap of faith and enter a top JC, even if you will be at the bottom of the barrel, if you are eligible for it, go for it!

Darrell (Founder of OVERMUGGED) and Emmanuel (OVERMUGGED H2 Physics tutor) went in depth to break down this debate on their weekly podcast. You can listen in on Spotify for free!

The understanding here is that the top JCs do have better resources to help their students excel. Putting yourself with high calibre students will also help to push yourself to work harder too. This will also be the group of friends you will grow up with in the future!

Surrounding yourself with high achievers and a school with a strong culture can push you out of your comfort zone and help you to excel further is never a bad choice!

The typical top 5 JCs include:

1) Raffles International

2) Hwa Chong Instituition 3) Nanyang JC

4) Victoria JC

5) National JC

Special mention to Eunoia JC too! New campus is always nice!

A word of caution though! While pushing yourself is good, learn to manage your stress! If you think that you are going to burn out at a top JCs, know that you can still do equally well in the JC of your choice!

Striving to enter a top JC is great but that does not mean that the other JCs are bad. Each JC has their own strengths and more importantly, it is up to the student to put in the effort in order to excel.