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JC: Where do these Streams lead

In the past weeks, during our tutoring sessions, we had two sharings on life in JC, on both the Science and Arts streams, and experiences of what JC is like in general. The video below documents the sharing by Zi Xuan(One of our founders>.<) and his journey in the Arts stream of JC. Enjoy!!

From the two informative sharings, we had several takeaways, which we will be sharing today.

JC Arts vs Science Stream

In JC, subjects are mainly grouped into 2 categories, Arts and Sciences. The subject combinations students select have to have a mixture of both categories, but usually would lean one way or the other.

For the arts stream, it focuses more on academic independence and definitely requires self research to excel in it, as the content required and tested is not always found in the notes provided to you. The good thing about the arts stream, is that it trains up your analytical skill, which is transferable over most of the arts subjects. Developing how to unpack a text, to pull out the relevant points from the paragraphs of content can easily be done for various subjects, allowing you to grow your proficiency in each subject just by focusing on that skill.

For the science stream, there's a greater focus of the mastery of concepts and their relevant applications. This also has to be supported by consistent practice, to identify what concept each question is asking for and the best or most appropriate way to tackle each part, to link it back to the relevant concepts.

JC is similar to secondary school(in school structure and content)

The content and subjects covered in JC is honestly very similar to those covered in secondary school. It is in a way a stepped up version, and a more in depth version of what was taught previously. There are many of the same subjects but depending on the schools, there may be more niche subjects offered that cater more towards interest rather than just academic book content. The difference would be what you do with the content learnt. In JC it feels like there is more inference and application as compared to the content structure in secondary school. Merely memorising is no longer a viable option, but going in depth to properly understand the concepts and ideas behind each point and topic is required to tackle the questions you will be given.

Sadly, there is less of an emphasis on practical skills.

In the end, JC still places more focus on content and touches less on the hands-on aspect of the subject. After all, it is somewhat a stepping stone prior to university, to build up your content bank to cope with the challenges ahead in university. For the science stream, apart from the occasional lab-work, there is little else that places you in situations mirroring that of the workplace, which is not always ideal. Overall, it does not exactly prepare you to enter into the working world directly, but is more of a long term journey of equipping to prepare you for the next stage where the practical side comes into place and in a more specialised and targeted format. So go in with the mindset of the long term goal ahead, and don’t be swayed by the lack of practicality in the work you do or the things you study.

As mentioned above, JC is a stepping stone into uni.

To be very honest, the path after JC kinda has to be university, as with a mere JC cert, the conventional options in the working world wouldn’t be very available to you, especially given the competitive nature of the working world. These two years give a sort of buffer time to decide on the course you would want to do and be invested in for at least the near future. It would expose you to the various subjects that can narrow down into courses of study and give you a taste of the broad concepts to see which smaller parts you prefer. So explore what you want to pursue, and what is out of the picture for you in the two years in JC to shape your future ahead. But do note that the subjects you take in JC can limit you to certain courses so choose wisely and don’t get trapped where you don’t want to be stuck in.

Is a JC Certificate better than a Poly Certificate?

It would be hard to quantify the value of each with respect to each other as each has its pros and is more based on what id the next step in mind for you. A poly diploma is more useful in the sense of entering the workforce. As compared to an ‘A’ level cert, a diploma can actually land you jobs in specialised fields for long-term job opportunities. On the other hand, a JC cert is more useful if the end goal is uni. It is not that a poly diploma can’t get you into university but it would definitely be harder, as it is a more competitive environment with a higher bar to cross, which also requires consistent performance to ensure a spot. This is contrasted in JC where there is a larger range of scores that would allow one to enter into at least some courses in uni. Ultimately, it’s about what you want to do after schooling that would determine the usefulness of each certificate.

But most importantly, Zi Xuan’s quote, ‘Fit is King’. Whatever fits you is the best. It doesn’t matter if a path gives you better career prospects or a better paying job. What should be important is whether it fits you and is something you like and want to do. Remember this as you go along your journey:)


Do note that these points are also slightly based on personal opinion and experience and may not be accurate in all cases.

If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment here or DM us on our Instagram page.

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