FRESHMEN GUIDE 2017/18 COHORT

Welcome to NUS. This is a post I created with links that may help freshmen as these were some of the links I went through during Freshman Year searching for stuff. Please comment if there are other useful things that you believe can be added in here. (:

Academics

Modules? Bidding?
YES. You pay to come into the school and you pay again by credits that will be given to you. Here is how it works.

Program and General Accounts

You have two accounts, the P – Programme Account, and the G – General Account. 
Program account is for your faculty, business, arts, science, etc, and General Account is for modules that are General Education Modules, Minor requirements and UEs outside your faculty. 

Each module is about 4 MCs and you will take about 20 MCs which is 5 modules/semester. Some faculties like Engineering tend to overload as they have more to cover etc. For FASS you are not allowed to underload (take less than 20 MCs) in latter semesters so unless you are doing a double major please kindly not overload, it’s madness.

UEs:

UE is Unrestricted Electives. Take whatever pleases you THAT IS NOT FROM YOUR MAJOR. If you declare a minor, the modules would take up the space of the UE mods. You need to take a minimum of 7 UEs,  5 UEs for Engin students.

If you were to take more modules under your major, more than the requirements, then these excess modules would be counted to your CAP and MCs. They would be then classified under major requirements in GAPS too. GAPS stands for Graduation Academic Planning System – the place where you plan your modules and classify them at the end of every semester when results come out

General Education Modules cohort 2017/18:

The General Ed mods are divided into 5 pillars, and you have to take one from each pillar

a. Thinking and Expression (mods are coded GET)
b. Human Cultures (mods are coded GEH)
c. Quantitative Reasoning (mods are coded GER) – there’s only one mod so it’s compulsory it’s called GER1000
d. Singapore Studies (mods are coded GES)
e. Asking Questions – this pillar is going to be set up under the code GEQ 
NOTE: all mods coded as SSA, SSE, GEK, GEM are not applicable to this cohort, only bid for things with the codes mentioned above. 

Anymore FAQs:

To search all GEMs follow the instructions here
FASS FAQ
GEM FAQ

For FASS (or any other faculty), if you want to know more about the modules available, check their respective websites – google <major-faculty>, e.g. <literature fass>.

HERE IS THE MODULAR SYSTEM FOR FASS 2017/18 cohort – a module system lists what your graduation requirements are, what you need to take to fulfil a major/minor/most academic stuff
CLICK IT –> LINK

Major/minor? (Specifically for FASS)

What’s that? A major is what you choose to specialise in – like you take a Bachelor of Arts, you specialise in English Literature, or Political Science or Geography, etc.
A minor is what you choose to do alongside your major, given that you fulfil the requirements which you can google and find – different majors have different requirements and number of different difficulty modules that you have to complete before you can finish the minor.  Your minor consists of 6 modules, and they are counted in the UE (Unrestricted Electives) basket.

Bidding:

Each semester, your Programme account will be credited with 600 points and your General account will be given 400 points. (For Engin students, 750 P and 250 G).You’ll bid for your modules and for more information, click here. The most important website you will be introduced to is CORS.
Bidding for lecture slots/modules is based on supply and demand. If the number of places for the class is less than the number of people bidding for it, then each slot becomes more ‘expensive’ and you’d have to bid higher. Likewise, if the quota is more than the number of people who want the slots, then everyone gets it at one point each. Check nusmods.com for bidding history and to plan your timetable before you bid for your modules. 
DO check what’s the date for bidding and when the window opens or closes. Year 1s have protected bidding slots where you are ‘protected’ against the seniors who have more points and which would put you at a disadvantage. 

Check bidding schedules here

For detailed information on which rounds to bid for which mods, click here and here.

Please note: DO NOT be annoying and mad and keep pushing the bid points up unless you need to if the min bid goes up because if everyone keeps doing that the minimum bid becomes very high unnecessarily. Only raise the bid if there is clearly a huge difference between the quota of spaces allocated for the module and the number of people who want it – meaning that if the people who want > spaces THEN you raise your bid points. If it is clearly demand < supply please don’t raise it unnecessarily.

Please note also: for most faculties apart from Arts, you have allocated modules that you have to complete for the different courses. So the bidding applies more to the mods that you aren’t allocated and therefore bidding is required. Allocated modules do not require bidding. (E.g. Business mods are all allocated up to year 2, 4 mods allocated per sem, so business students bid for one elective per sem)

  • bidding tips:
    • please don’t put classes back to back (if you have to travel like UTown to engin or science to arts) unless you have no choice, it’s crowded on the buses and it’s not fun to be late for classes, I mean it’s always nice to not have to rush
    • have a back up plan – what if you don’t get a module, or that class slot, figure out how to replace it.
    • learn how to email professors if you need slots in a certain class/tutorial/lecture slot and you cannot get it because either you don’t have enough bid points or you got balloted out of the slot etc, FIND their email, google their departments and find the STAFF tab or something like that, or IVLE – find the module and the module coordinator, usually the link is there on their name just click on it and you get their email.
    • make sure exam dates/times don’t class

THE S/U Option:

So basically what this is. S stands for Satisfactory and U for Unsatisfactory. You get to make a decision after the final results are over for that semester – you decide which module grades to keep (thus you will label as Satisfactory), or not keep (Unsatisfactory) in the overall calculation of your CAP (Cumulative Average Point, something like a GPA).

For cohort 14/15 and 15/16, it is a gradeless free FIRST semester, meaning you can S/U up to 20MCs (which is equivalent for 5 modules worth of S/U)

BUT NEWLY for Cohort 16/17 ONWARDS, the S/U option is now extended to 32MCs in the freshmen year (which is equivalent to about 8 modules of S/U, given that one module is usually 4MCs). SO if in the freshman year, you do 5 modules per semester, that is 5 x 4 x (2 semesters) = 40 MCs, you can S/U 32 out of the 40 MCs.

The excess is then carries over to the next few years, up to a maximum of 12 MCs which is 3 mods.

This change is said to be brought about to continue to appeal to students in taking modules that would help them broaden their horizons and expand their interests and that are not solely from their faculty/specific course.

NOTE: The max number of S/U MCs in any candidature is still 32MCs, it is just that for the incoming cohort, they have the option of all 32MCs to be used in the first year whereas for cohorts 14/15 and 15/16 they only have 20MCs to use in the first year.

For a detailed read, here’s the Provost telling you more. 


CCAs/Halls/RCs:

Do check out the Student Life Fair that rolls around at the start of the semester where all the CCAs come out in full force to get you to sign up for their stuff. There’s a lot of things to do, from dance to sports, clubs and societies and more. CCAs provide you the opportunity to make friends, learn new things and explore sides of yourself you never knew you had. Halls and Residential Colleges allow for on campus accommodation especially if you live rather far from campus and also provide a very vibrant life, of course, you have to balance studies and other commitments on top of these. Ask your seniors if you wanna know more (:. 

Here are some links if you’re keen

  1. Sports in NUS: NUS Sports Club Website where all the links to the various sports clubs that come under them are. 
  2. Faculty Clubs: FASS | Law | Engin | Business | Science | Community Service Club 
  3. Residential Colleges: Tembusu | RC4 | CAPT | USP | RVRC
  4. Halls: Temasek | Eusoff | Kent Ridge | Sheares | Raffles | King Edward VII
  5. CCA List for NUS: here.  thank you digital senior 
  6. Comparisons of Hall/RCs? Here. Thank you digital senior again. 

To get around school:

READ THIS LINK: GETTING AROUND NUS

If you come from Clementi, take 96 into school. If you come from the Buona Vista way, take 95 into school. There’s also 151 that goes from Hougang, through Bukit Timah into NUS.

Kent Ridge MRT is the mrt stop you get off at for the shuttle buses A1 and D2 and it is the station closest to Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Take 95 from the bus stop outside the MRT to the rest of the faculties too.

Around school – there are a few bus apps that may save your life. For IOS: here. For Android: here.

This is the bus system. here.
(NOTE: D1 and D2 are loop services, A1 and A2 are not)


Other things to note:

  1. Uni is studies BUT there are other things to do besides that. If your priority is studies AND ONLY that, you may want to consider (if you have no other commitments) taking up CCAs and joining events. Trust me when I say this, you will not regret.
  2. Another website that will come in useful is IVLE – the place where all your academic stuff is stored. It will be your best friend.
  3. Every faculty has its own canteen. Good food in NUS include Engin canteen and Science canteen. There is a cafe called Butter My Buns at University Town and Waacow also in UTown that’s absolutely amazing..
  4. You can study all over school, wherever there is a bench and a socket, do so. UTown is a popular study place as well as Central Library. UTown is accessible with bus D1/D2 and Central Library with bus A1/D1.
  5. An amusing and occasionally entertaining site and side of NUS: here
  6. USE nusmods.com to plan your timetable. It is good, trusted and reliable.
  7. Sign up for FASS Guardians for help with bidding and getting to know the school if you’re desperately lost.
  8. Go for camps for the friends. It’ll be fun. Different camps give different experiences.
  9. Try InterFacultyGames, it is as the name suggest, games across the faculties. Go meet new people!
  10. ***Students who have matriculated should ensure to apply/activate the MOE Tuition Grant given to all Singaporean/PR students – links are here (activation guide) and here (website)***
  11. Bursary and financial related information – here
  12. get your textbooks from Carousell – saving money is good, textbooks are expensive. OR buy from seniors. 


Lastly, if you don’t know anything, ask. No one judges if you ask, we are nice people and seniors will help if you ask.

If there are questions you still have, feel free to contact me at esthery@u.nus.edu
Enjoy your year 1 (:

 

 

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