The Students’ Guide to JC Subject Combinations

As you stand at the crossroads of your educational journey, the puzzle of JC subject combinations in front of you can seem daunting.

You’re not alone if you feel a mix of excitement and unease, wondering if your choices will open doors to your dream university course or close them before you even get started.

The pressure to make the perfect choice is palpable, often leading to sleepless nights filled with brochures and endless advice from well-meaning but sometimes conflicting sources.

We understand the mix of apprehension and anticipation that comes with selecting your JC subjects.

In this guide, we embark on this journey together with you, simplifying complexities and transforming your concerns into confidence as you step into the next exciting phase of your academic adventure!

 

Understanding JC Education

Junior Colleges in Singapore offer a two-year pre-university education. This period is crucial, bridging the gap between the broad-based learning of secondary school and the specialised knowledge required to meet university admission criteria.

Subject Levels

In these two years, you’ll encounter a variety of subjects categorised under different levels of study:

  • H1 Subjects: H1 subjects cover the essentials, are less rigorous and require fewer curriculum hours than H2 subjects, contributing a maximum of 10 points towards your Rank Points, also known as University Admission Score (UAS).

  • H2 Subjects: H2 subjects are more in-depth and have more classroom hours, contributing a maximum of 20 points to your UAS. H2 subjects are for those who wish to pursue related fields in university, as they form the core of their academic specialisation and are usually pre-requisites for certain courses.

  • H3 Subjects: H3 subjects are advanced courses taken by students with a high interest and aptitude in a subject. They don’t help UAS but boost your academic record.

Rank Point Calculation

Your Rank Points/UAS is calculated based on your performance in three H2 and one H1 content-based subjects, along with H1 General Paper, H1 Project Work and Mother Tongue Language.

Thus, the minimum requirement when it comes to A-level subject combination requirements is three H2 subjects and one H1 subject (on top of the three compulsory subjects).

Students may choose to challenge themselves with four H2 subjects, whereby the poorest performing subject will be considered as H1 during the final A-level score tabulation.

Starting from 2026, a perfect score will be 70 rank points (instead of 90). According to the Ministry of Education, JC students will not need to count their fourth content-based subject in their university admissions, unless it improves their score.

What JC subjects are there?

JCs offer a diverse range of subjects, allowing students to tailor their studies according to their interests and future aspirations.

Compulsory Subjects

  • General Paper (GP): This H1-level subject focuses on developing students’ essay writing and comprehension, with an emphasis on current affairs, critical thinking skills, and general knowledge.

  • Project Work (PW): Also an H1 level subject, PW involves students working in groups to complete a project, fostering teamwork, research, and presentation skills.

  • Mother Tongue Language (MTL): Students can opt to take MTL at H1 or H2 level, or ‘Mother Tongue Language ‘B’ (MTLB) for those who have met specific criteria. However, students who obtained D7 and above for Higher Chinese are exempt.

Arts Subjects/Humanities Subjects

  • Economics: Offered at H1 and H2 levels, covering microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics.

  • History: Available at H1 and H2 levels, focusing on international history, Southeast Asian history, and thematic studies.

  • Geography: Offered at H1 and H2 levels, covering physical geography, human geography, and geographical investigation.

  • Literature in English: Available at H1 and H2 levels, involving the study of prose, poetry, and drama from different periods and cultures.

Science Subjects

  • Mathematics: Offered at both H1 and H2 levels, covering topics like calculus, algebra, and statistics.

  • Physics: Available at H1 and H2 levels, delving into mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics.

  • Chemistry: Offered at H1 and H2 levels, focusing on physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry.

  • Biology: Available at H1 and H2 levels, covering cellular biology, genetics, ecology, and human physiology.

  • Computing: An H2 subject that focuses on computer science fundamentals, programming, and data management.

  • Further Mathematics: An H2 subject for students with a strong aptitude in mathematics, covering complex topics like advanced calculus, linear algebra, and proof-based mathematics, ideal for those pursuing math-intensive university courses and careers.

What type of subject combinations can you take?

Subject combinations often fall in either the Arts stream or the Science stream. Regardless of which stream you choose, there needs to be one contrasting subject.

For instance, if you choose the Arts stream, you will study Math and three humanities subjects, while those in the science stream will enroll in two sciences, Math and one humanities subject.

Arts Stream

  • GELM (Geography, Economics, Literature, Math)

  • HELM (History, Economics, Literature, Math)

  • GHEM (Geography, History, Economics, Math)

In the arts stream, you can also replace one of the humanities subjects with Music, Art, China Studies, Theatre Studies, or English and Linguistics. However, it’s advised not to take History and Geography together due to their intensive workload.

Science Stream

  • PCME (Physics, Chemistry, Math, Economics)

  • BCME (Biology, Chemistry, Math, Economics)

These common subject combinations are considered ‘safe’ choices that balance workload and eligibility for almost all university courses. You may replace Economics with another humanities subject or include Computing as a science subject.

Hybrid Stream

Interested in learning both streams? It’s possible though only in some JCs, and the subject combination would be this:

  • 2 Arts and 2 Science Subjects (e.g., Math, Chemistry, Literature, Economics)

  • GEMP (Geography, Economics, Math, Physics)

  • HEMC (History, Economics, Math, Chemistry)

However, the hybrid stream is less common due to scheduling complexities and may limit eligibility for science courses which require three science subjects (e.g., NUS Chemical and Environmental Engineering Courses require As in Math, Physics, and Chemistry).

In fact, some junior colleges don’t allow students to take hybrid combinations due to these challenges, so make sure that you research properly and check before applying to your chosen junior college!

 

How do you pick the right JC subject combination?

Assess Your Interests and Strengths

What subjects spark your curiosity? Do you enjoy debates, solving complex problems, or conducting experiments?

Think about the subjects that naturally intrigue you, be it the world of literature, the mysteries of science, or the dynamics of economics. Your passion for certain subjects often mirrors your inherent talents.

Also, reflect on your secondary school performance – the subjects where you excelled can offer clues to your academic strengths.

Often, we do see Economics being a top pick amongst students as it is a new and exciting subject.

Consider Your Career Aspirations and University Courses

Linking your subject choices to career aspirations and university courses is equally crucial. Consider where you see yourself in the next 10 years – are you an aspiring doctor, engineer, or artist?

Different career paths often require specific subject foundations laid down during your junior college life. Additionally, research the specific admissions criteria of university courses you’re eyeing. Some courses mandate certain JC subject prerequisites, making your JC subject combination pivotal for your higher education journey.

For example, these are the general bare minimum requirements for common majors in Singapore:

  • Engineering courses: Pass in H2 Mathematics, H2 Chemistry, and H2 Physics

  • Science courses: Pass in H2 Biology/Chemistry/Physics, and Pass in either Mathematics or Further Mathematics

  • Business courses: Pass in H1 Mathematics or O Level A Math

  • Humanities, Arts and Social Science courses: Good grade in H1 Mathematics and General Paper

  • Medicine: H2 pass in Chemistry and Biology/Physics

  • Law: At least a B grade in H1 General Paper (GP) or a good pass in H2 Knowledge and Inquiry

The specific requirements would depend on the university and course you pick, and you should check with the university for the most up-to-date information.

Seek Consultation and Advice

Consultation and advice from those who’ve navigated this path can be invaluable. Engage in conversations with teachers, career counsellors, and JC seniors. Their insights can shed light on how different combinations might influence your academic path and career opportunities.

Furthermore, participating in JC open days and career talks can broaden your perspective, offering real-life experiences and practical advice to help you make an informed decision.

 

Embrace Your Academic Potential with LevUp: Where Passion and Excellence Meet

As you venture towards selecting your JC subject combinations and embarking on this pivotal phase of your academic journey, remember that support and guidance are just around the corner.

At LevUp, we have a proven track record of nurturing top-distinction students in Economics, Geography, Mathematics and General Paper.

Our seasoned tutors employ a unique teaching style that melds subject mastery with skill development and real-world application. With a personalised, discussion-based approach and one-on-one consultations, we cater to the individual needs of each student.

This means our students don’t just succeed; they excel, with 70-80+% achieving A/B grades. This is backed by our curated study materials, perfectly aligned with the latest JC curriculum.

And it’s not all rigorous academics; our fun, caring environment, complemented by welfare perks, makes learning enjoyable!

Contact us today and take the first step towards a confident and successful academic journey at JC!

 

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