Gearing up for Semester 1, AY18/19

5 minute read

Over the past 2 weeks, a lot of things have been happening related to university. From the initial exposure to the new faces that I will meet in school, to bearing the brunt of the administrative overhead in enrolling for modules, etc. It has only been 2 weeks, but lots of progress has been made, and I would like to highlight some of them in this post.

Orientation camps

Orientation camps are the highlight of the freshman year and is certainly not to be missed! It is probably the first chance that you will have in being exposed to the new environment and for you to form new networks with people that you probably have never met before. Here are some tips that I managed to gather along the way.

Tip 1: Sign up early

Whether or not you are working or have other commitments before university starts, it is advisable for you to find out the different faculty camps that are available for you to sign up. Some of the camps can start as early as June and if you have only started finding out about university life only a month before school starts, you would probably have missed out on a lot of opportunities to meet new friends!

Also, many of the camps are unable to accommodate a large number of people, so there will certainly be many people who will be placed in a waiting list if the response is great. Sign up early for the camps to guarantee your precious slot in the camp!

Tip 2: Be proactive

I have managed to encounter many different types of people along the way during my Freshmen Orientation Week (FOW) camp and along the way, I managed to make many new friends which would be of great help when school starts. Most people are shy to make friends at the start, so if you are not proactive from the start, you will certainly miss out on a lot of fun during the camp.

If you are naturally shy, just remember: you paid quite an amount for the camp, so make that money worth it! It’s not about winning the best OG or the best house, but rather it’s about having the most fun. My OG was the overall last OG in terms of points, but I daresay that we had the most amount of fun compared to the other OGs.

Tip 3: Prepare beforehand

Orientation camps are also a good time for you to ask more about university life. As your OGLs are likely to be seniors, they bring with them a good amount of experience with them. Ask your questions to them, find out what modules to take and what modules to avoid. Keep in touch to ask for their notes. Never be too shy to ask!

Module bidding

Approximately 1 week before you start school, you will be involved in the module bidding process. There are many other guides out there for you to have a look at with regards to the whole module bidding process of NUS, so I will not be repeating it here. However, here are some tips that I managed to pick up along the way and did not manage to see it mentioned elsewhere.

Tip 1: Avoid dropping your pre-allocated modules

This tip is especially relevant to people in NUS Business School. The modules that you will be allocated are in something called a basket. For illustration, I will place modules A to I in the following 3 baskets:

  1. Basket 1: Modules A, B and C
  2. Basket 2: Modules D, E and F
  3. Basket 3: Modules G, H and I

All the modules A to I represent the modules that you have to take as part of your core requirements. So, when the school pre-allocates you with modules, they will pre-allocate you with either Basket 1, 2 or 3. This means that you can be allocated modules A, B and C while your friend can be allocated D, E and F, but you cannot be allocated modules A, D and G because they are from different baskets of modules.

Hence, if you choose to drop the pre-allocated modules, you will have to bid for another module from another basket. As a result, in subsequent semesters, you will not be allocated the module that you have dropped in this semester, which means that you will have to bid for that module that you have dropped in subsequent semesters.

Also, core modules tend to get quite expensive as there are not many quota left after all the pre-allocation has been done.

Tip 2: Non-home faculty members got to actually bid for modules

This tip mainly affects people in the double degree programme. If you are taking a DDP in BBA and Computing and your home faculty is School of Computing, you will NOT be pre-allocated any business modules in your first semester of study. This is different from those DDP students with home faculty in business where they will be pre-allocated modules from business AND computing schools.

Simply put, if your home faculty is School of Computing, you will only see the computing modules being pre-allocated to you (wait until at least round 1C starts if nothing shows up for you). You will then have to bid for the core modules that you want to take (bearing in mind that some modules might get quite expensive). There might be some modules that are not biddable (such as GER1000 if you have not gotten it pre-allocated to you), then you will have to appeal through CORS.

Why is it like this, I have no idea. I managed to learn about this tip only when round 1C actually started, so hopefully this tip helps in reducing the amount of anxiety that you are facing.

Tip 3: You cannot overload in the first semester

I personally received a lot of questions on this even though I am a freshie myself. Simply put, you cannot overload in the first semester of matriculation, no matter if you are aiming to graduate in 3 years, or want to take up a double degree, etc.

The normal workload is 5 modules, total 20MCs. You cannot take a total of 23MCs and above if you are a single degree student in the first semester, so you technically can still take 6 modules if the 6th module is a 2MC module (yes, there are many of such modules out there). If you are a double degree student, you can take up to 27MCs in the first semester, but you cannot go beyond 23MCs until round 3A of bidding starts.


Hopefully this small amount of tips are able to provide some of the answers that are not commonly found on the Internet. These tips might also become irrelevant when the new module registration system kicks in during Semester 1 of AY19/20. If you still got any questions to ask, feel free to write to me in the comments below. Cheers.