Category: Commentary

Please Mind the Platform Gap – Changing Your Subject Combination

By Valerie Tan (20A01E)

Maybe you haven’t thought much of your matriculation form since the day you submitted it. Or maybe there’s been a persistent nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach since you confirmed your subject combination as a JAE student. Either way, you’re presented with a shiny new timetable and class one day in February, and are informed that you’ll have to stick with them for the next month or so.

You go to your Physics lecture for the first time and zone out to the lecturer’s rambling on measurements, wondering what on earth you’re doing here. You think back to that form you submitted during JIP, or filled in during your JAE exercise. H2 Physics, you’d written, thinking that all would be well. What a fool you were! For now the only connection you feel to Physics is that it makes you physically ill, and you want out.

Sounds like you? You’ll be glad to know not all hope’s lost just yet, with the help of an appeal form that’ll appear on the student’s portal towards the end of February. You’ll then be free to change your subject combination—subject (haha) to the timetable committee’s ability to fit you in somewhere, of course.

But of course, decisions should never be made rashly. Changing your subject combination has the potential for regret, too. There are a few things to consider before you decide to do so.

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Please Mind the Platform Gap: Choosing Subject Combinations – The Hybrid Combinations

By Kelly Leong (20S07C)

All opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and are no substitute for formal academic advice.

Ah, selecting a subject combination: a time of great distress for those not yet certain of their aspirations, or those with so many passions that selecting just four subjects becomes a daunting task. Many will be familiar with the two distinct streams, Arts and Science, and might even be torn between both, but few would stop to consider staying in the middle.

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Once Upon(d) A Time: Y5-6 Raffles Biodiversity Pond (OH2020 Print Edition)

Not too far away from the Marymount Gate sits the oft-ignored Biodiversity Pond, known only for its half-faded sign that heralds the “testicle-eating” pacu. Few actually stop to wonder—exactly what goes on in and around the pond? Raffles Press is here to fill you in on those questions, including the pond’s very own caretaker, Mr Lim Bah Hock. 

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Hybrid Subject Combinations (OH2020 Print Edition)

Many will be familiar with the two distinct streams, Arts and Science, and might even be torn between both. However, few stop to consider staying in the middle.

Hybrid combinations are essentially combinations that comprise two science subjects and two arts subjects. The two sciences would consist of Math and either Chemistry or Physics, coupled with H2 Economics and another arts subject (though you can request for special combinations if you think H2 Economics is not for you). It is worth noting that while RI treats the hybrid combinations as part of the science stream, people will often understand you better if you just said “hybrid”.

Unfortunately, BMEX is not offered as a combination as Biology has to be offered together with Chemistry to allow for the widest university course options.

While the hybrid combinations stray from the traditional science or arts combinations, they definitely offer a unique mix of numbers and frantic scribbling that may be enjoyable for some. It’s a nice balance that is suitable for those who have some aptitude for both skills—this is because you get to hone them simultaneously.

In fact, this balance and versatility comes in handy when applying for university! Hybrid students are situated comfortably in the middle of two vastly different streams, giving you the flexibility to take a science course (e.g. environmental engineering or pharmaceutical chemistry) in certain universities, while still having some background in the humanities subjects should you choose to study liberal arts further down the line.

Some may assert that hybrid stream students won’t have options in university, but this is verifiably untrue as options are only marginally limited.

It’s obviously scary to realise that you might be selecting your future career with this choice, but little can beat passion when you’re thrown into the intense rigour of JC life. After all, with so much happening, some students might find it challenging to derive happiness and enjoyment from their endeavours. Therefore, you can avoid being one of them by simply choosing what you truly want to do, but remember to do your research and look into potential courses in university that you might want to pursue.