Do you feel like you can’t get into your dream poly course?
Well, you’re not the only one.
It’s a dream for many Singaporean students to enrol in a poly course of their choice so that they can further their education and learn something that they’re passionate about.

However, not many students are able to turn their dreams into reality.
There are quite a few obstacles that students need to overcome prior to getting their dream course.
Ideally, the whole application process needs to be spotless, which means there are other factors to consider apart from excellent grades.
But fret not, this article is for you.
I’ll be sharing with you 6 must-know tips to get into your dream poly course.

Read on to find out more!

Being Proactive in CCAs and Community Service
In today’s age, getting good grades alone is no longer enough.
Schools are looking out for students with exceptional performance in their Co-Curricular Activities (CCA).
Such students are prized because they can help win awards, competitions and gain recognition for the school.
This sounds very pragmatic, but it’s true.
Also, don’t neglect clocking up ample hours for community service.
Students with more Community Involvement Programme (CIP) hours are viewed as more well-rounded, with better soft skills as compared to students who only have good grades.
Hence if you’re looking to increase your chances of getting your dream course, I suggest that you sign up for CCAs that are related to your course or one that is highly sought after by the poly you’re looking to join.
For example, if you’re looking to join a course on Cyber Security, you should sign up for CCAs such as InfoComm Club or any cyber related.
If your secondary school doesn’t offer any cyber related CCAs, then I’d suggest joining a sport CCA that the poly of your choice is looking for to recruit new talents.
Another tip is to be part of your CCA’s competition team and try to win as many competitions as you can.
If your CCA doesn’t participate in competitions, climbing up the ranks is also something you should aim for.
This way, the poly you’re yearning to join will know that you have good leadership skills and talents.
You might even get a scholarship opportunity because of your good CCA and CIP records!

Prep Up your Portfolio
There’s a chance that you’ll have to go through an interview process to enter your dream course.
You might be asked to show your portfolio in your chosen field to prove to interviewers that you’re truly passionate in the course.
But how do you start building a portfolio from zero?
Let’s say you’re looking to enrol into a Graphic Design course.
You can start by being a freelance graphic designer and offer your services online via websites like
By offering your services, you can gain experience and hone your skills.
After finishing the projects, you can request for your employers to leave a review on the work you’ve done for them.
Lastly, add images of your graphic designs and the reviews into your portfolio.
This is how you add value into it!
When you create a portfolio that shows your experience and skills, seriously impress your interviewers and increase the chances of you getting accepted into your wanted course.
Remember that educators will be more than keen to give you the opportunity to learn and grow yourself if you show them that you’re doing whatever it takes to enrol into their course.
Time to start developing your portfolio if you have yet to!

Ace your Interview
Now that you know there is a chance of you needing to attend an interview, I’ll be sharing with you on how you can ace your interviews.

Before you attend the interview, it’s imperative that you do some research on modules, overseas opportunities, etc, the course of your dream offers,
Your interviewer will be impressed with the in-depth research you’ve done as it shows that you’re genuinely interested about the course.

Practice Interview Questions
No one likes to be lost when they are asked a question right?
Hence, it’s essential that you practice some common interview questions before your interview to avoid such embarrassing moments.
You can watch some videos online or look up on the internet on some common interview questions and how to answer them.
Afterwards, I suggest that you look at a mirror and rehearse your answer.
This way, you’ll be able to look at how your body composure looks like when answering questions.

Prepare Questions to Ask
This might sound ironic, but asking your interviewer questions is actually a factor that can affect the end results of your interview.
By asking your interview questions on your dream course, you may be able to learn some information that can’t be found on the school’s website.
Not only that, it’ll show them that you’re genuinely interested in the course you’re interviewing for.

Dress Code
What’s the first thing you’ll notice when you see a person?
Most of us will answer by saying the way they dress.
So that’s likely what your interviewers will first notice when you enter the interview room.
I suggest that you dress formally in a long sleeve button-up shirt with office pants.
This way you can leave a good first impression.
Now that you know how to ace your interviews, let’s move on to the next point, shall we?

Preparing for a 600 or 1000 Character Write-Up
Most students are actually unaware that sometimes, there’s a write up required to apply for courses.
The write up is for the poly to know more about your background, interests and motivations.
Since the write up is done online, the school’s first impression is solely on your write up.
Before you start on this write up, do note that it’s a 600 or 1000 CHARACTER write up,
This means you need to have self-awareness and be able to write about yourself in the best way possible while still being honest. (If you’re not honest, your interviewers might see through you.)
Here’s my guide on the character write-up:

600 Character Write Up
For this write up, you should be writing mainly on your aptitude and interest related to the course you’re applying for.
Try to refrain from getting too personal as there’s a 600 character limit.
Just stick to your interest and passion.

1000 Character Write Up
The 1000 character write up is actually not compulsory, however it doesn’t hurt to spend some time on it right?
Submitting it will surely increase your chances of getting accepted.
For this write up, you can be more personal and talk about how your interest for your dream course developed.
You can also highlight your academic and CCA achievements to let the school know that you’re a well rounded person.
That’s it, it’s that simple. Now, let’s move to the next point.

Attend Poly Open Houses & Talks
Attending poly open houses and talks is a good way for you to look at the school’s environment with your own eyes and immerse in it.
You’ll get a better sense of what the school has to offer with the facilities they have.
You can also ask the lecturers of your dream course on what being in that course is like.
This way you can better prepare yourselves before getting accepted.

Getting Advice from Seniors
Every poly student would have definitely gone through an admission process before their enrollment.
Hence, they have the freshest experience.
Get in touch with some of your seniors in your dream course to ask them on how they got accepted into the course, and what life is like as a student there.
It doesn’t hurt to know more right?

There you have it.
These are 6 must-know tips to increase your chances of getting into your dream poly course.
I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to get accepted after following these tips.
Before you know it, you’ll be a happy freshmen studying your dream course (and perhaps taking or giving diploma tuition as well)
With that said, I wish you all the best!

By Rum Tan

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