My Advice to New RP Students

It's been several years since I've graduated from Republic Polytechnic (RP).

This blog used to be so epic that we actually ranked on the second position in Google when people googled for "RP" or "Republic Poly". So imagine googling "Republic Poly" or "RP" you would see the official URL to the school, then at the 2nd you would see this blog. Impressive, isn't it?

Strangely, it was that very period (if I remember right) that RP suddenly started lots of blogs and social media accounts in the 2010-2011 period to try to bring down this website's rankings. Oh well, that isn't a concern at all now.

But do take note that those rambling posts that were made in the past were out of sheer frustration and anger at the school.The reasons... well, no point talking about it anymore. However, take note that this school is pretty much okay. The environment is beautiful and the facilitators (except Cynthia C.) are great. The food is great too. The only flaw is the system. But again, I've already graduated since (a old bird now) and I'm not sure if the system is still the same or has been improved in any way.

This post (after nearly 3 years since the last post) is more of an advice to "would-be" RP students.

Whenever it's after the O' levels, or when ITE students have graduated from their NITEC qualifications, I always hear this question being asked: "RP good or not?", "I heard RP got this unique learning system", .etc.

Whatever it is, here are my tips for 'gonna-be-RP-students" to get A grades:

  • First impression counts. Believe me. Facilitators (a.k.a: lecturers) will be the one giving you the overall grade for the day. So during your very first day of lesson, dress professionally and learn to impress them with your knowledge. Learn to "bomb" and talk a lot, and give the impression you're proactively participating in group or class discussions. So the first 2-3 weeks', do this. Fake it till you make it.  Once facilitators have a good impression of you, they are more biased to give you good grades in future regardless of how badly prepared your work will be in future. Believe me.
  • Learn to socialise with your facilitators! Take note this is not 'wayang' or brown-nosing. Instead, learn to greet your facilitators in the morning as they enter then have some small talk. Like "Good morning, faci, you look great today. So what will we be learning today?!!" Then maybe on lunch periods, ask if he or she wants any drinks then small talk again. Facilitators are your important ally!
  • Don't get hated by your teammates. Be a sport. Assist when possible even if they pisses you off because at the end of the day there's such thing as "Team Evaluation" and that accounts a little to your overall final grade of the day. So don't always argue, instead, debate lightly and friendly. In fact, you should get along with your classmates - every single one of them. Because every 4 weeks' or so (not sure if it applies now, but during my era) there will be team rotations. So you never know if you end up with your enemy and they will intentionally grade you badly in team evaluations as a sabotage. Always be resourceful and they will thank you. BUT do not share them with all the points you know during discussions as some of them will steal your points to gain all the credits during presentations! Keep the impactful and strongest findings and points to yourself to use during presentations.
  • Always act! During the first 20 minutes of period 1 and 2 (the problem discussion and worksheet discussion) always be proactive and seem to discuss a lot. Ask stupid questions or whatever! Just make yourself look busy! Facilitators will be eyeing every single one of you by taking quick glances. If your facilitator were to see you being very quiet they will just assume you're slacking off and that will affect your overall grade!
  • PRESENTATION. If there's one skill I've learnt in RP that would be "bombing". Talk big. During discussion bring up all the jargons and findings you've found out. You need to act confident because being confident while talking exudes professionalism - others will assume you're very knowledgeable in the topic.
  • Other Team's presentation. Yes, most of us will end up surfing Facebook or playing games like DotA thinking that our job is done after our team's presentation. No, you're dead wrong. Facilitators are still doing quick glances on their students to see if they're paying attention. So here's what you should do: play your games or while surfing facebook with a poker face - do not give that stupid intense expression when you kill your enemy or when you see sometihng funny in Facebook; and during your game breaks (say, your character dies in DotA and you're waiting for a respawn) pretend to pay attention to other team's presentation. Just focus on their slides blankly and pay blank attention to the people talking.

    Also, I can't stress this enough, during other team's end of presentation you should NOT ask difficult questions. You may think asking difficult questions will shoot them down and that will impress your facilitators and you will get a good grade. NOPE! You will be hated and the INDIVIDUALS in the team will do the same to you in future. Even if other teams does this to you you should not retaliate - don't start a bloody war - you guys should be friends and the system is your enemy. Instead of asking difficult questions, you can ask the other team, "Hmm... sorry, can you explain again this term ***** again?". Yes, such simple questions then just give a nod and say, "Ok thank you, sorry I was confused just now but you've explained well." OR my most favourite of all, "Can you please go back slide 3 (or whatever slide number)?  *pretend to read for 5-10 seconds*  Hmm... okay, thanks. No questions." Doing this will give the impression that you've been listening and paying attention, thus your facilitator will give you a good grade. Heck, you can even get an A easily.

Hope this helps. That is how I got an easy GPA of 3.8. I could've gotten 4 but due to a few biased facilitators (because I failed to create a good first impression - especially this Cynthia C. facilitator as explained in an earlier post. Dammit I'm still pissed and annoyed whenever I think of this biatch) my grades was dragged down to 3.8.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a slacker or a faker with good grades. I actually did work for it but even a hardworking student can be misunderstood and be given a C grade. You just gotta outsmart the system. 

Republic Poly SUCKS

Still a terrible school that needs massive improvement. A fail school with a majority of horrible students.

P.S: My GPA was 3.8 by the end of year 2, but I fucked it all and focused on my business till I graduated with just a GPA of 3.4 (lots of absentism and 'cha-bok', but with lots of A grades and Aces for FYPs.). However, I'm happily managing my business and living life without a day-to-day job. So please don't come commenting that the person whom started this blog is prolly a 'stupid student'.

The Irony of Republic Poly

As explained in one of my previous post, all Republic Poly students learn the same subjects/modules during their year 1 period.
In one of the module, you are taught about motivation theories (Maslow's Hierachy, Motivating Employees, .etc). Students are taught on how to motivate their team, employees or people under them in a positive, and compassionate way without any fear-inducing motivation.

Now here's the irony of Republic Poly.
Why aren't they applying what they taught us on their students?
Most RP students will agree with me that they will lose their motivation once they're in year 2.
You do not care about grades as much; you do not care if you're late; you would simply plagiarize someone's work (renaming someone else's PPT as yours or copying over their slides); all it matters is just getting a "C" grade at the end of the day.
This matter has been brought many times to them, but they did NOTHING about it.

Finally this year (2011), they did something!

"Absent for 4 or more lessons without LOA or MC in one module, and you will be barred from UT3 (the final exam that contributes nearly 25% of your module grade)"
Republic Poly


Also, RP seems more likely an abbrevation for REPUTATION PRIORITY.
Whenever an incident occurs, like a fight or the infamous scandal of the topless RP student, all students will receive an email urging them not to approach to any reporters, or contribute to it (whether is it online blogging, facebook, .etc). If not, they will be dealt severely by them.

Many readers have asked me the sole objective of this blog. Most of them have the misconception that I'm "Anti-Republic Poly" or "Hate Republic Poly".
No. That's not true. I'm creating this blog to bring up awareness.
I do not want new students to enter Republic Poly only to lose motivation and loiter aimlessly.
I do not want hardworking and dedicated students to come to Republic Poly only to end up as slackers or demotivated students whom lost their dedication and hardworking traits (that's what happened to me - not boasting here).
Republic Poly should improve on themselves than simply silencing complains.
(Read up: - notice the comments by organlike and applecom threatening the author to remove the post).

To Republic Poly:
You have received many achievements and publicly boast about it.
Now prove it. Show us that you truly deserve them.
I hope it isn't some fake front like a hypocrite simply to get achievements you DO NOT deserve.

Republic Polytechnic - a public or private school?

All public schools should know that providing education is their number 1 top priority.
So regardless if one pays their school fees or not, the public school should NOT discriminate or bar the student from education, unless if it is a private school.

But is Republic Polytechnic a public school?

RP relies heavily on IT (info-tech).
Laptops are compulsory for all students. If a student couldn't afford one, he/she needs to apply for a laptop loan which requires lots of paperwork and verification. If not, the student has to go to the IT helpdesk every morning to lend the laptop for the day and return it at the end of the day.

Well, I know a few classmates who couldn't afford laptops, thus they have to loan it from the school. The weird thing about the school-property laptop is, the laptops are labelled with a rather huge attention-grabbing sticker: "PROPERTY OF REPUBLIC POLYTECHNIC".
I was awed by it. It is quite discriminating to them as anyone who sees that will know the student has loan the laptop from school, thus assuming that the student is needy/poor.
I have no negative opinions on that, but feel rather awkward.

And there were times when my classmates failed to pay their school fees in time, and they were later restricted from accessing the school's website (to download the materials to learn for the day) and internet. And since they are restricted from accessing the school's website, they could not download the required materials or do the necessary work for the day UNTIL the student pays the school fees.
Well, that's something I do not understand at all.
But don't get me wrong. I know that schools need to receive school fees from the students so that they can pay their administrative cost, bills, and so forth. But to bar a student from accessing the school's website and internet is quite unethical, in my opinion. I believe the school should not be doing this.

I know Republic Polytechnic is a public school, but why is the system behaving as if it's a private school?

What is your opinion?

Republic Poly - good school?

Republic Poly, in some ways, has its goods and bads (or rather, flaws).

I can proudly say that Republic Polytechnic lecturers (we call them Facilitators) are excellent. They are friendly, supportive, and knowledgeable. You will never get tired or bored with them, they know how to teach and communicate with their students (except for one facilitator whose name is Cynthia C. whom teaches database. She's one biased biatch whom doesn't grade by work or knowledge, rather by favouritism. She has graded several of my classmates and me a 'C' grade all because she had a bad impression of us despite we have never offended her and have worked hard in every lesson. Although I must confess she's beautiful on the outside, but not on the inside.)

And not to mention, the facilities - a huge library with all sorts of books you can find, musical instruments in the library, an Xbox and Nintendo Wii at a room for students to play, good cafeterias and cafe which you would definitely enjoy the food.
Yes, these are the pros or rather, good things of Republic Poly.

But if you would to ask me about the "bad side" or flaws of the school, there's a few.
Firstly, the school adopts the Problem Based Learning (PBL) system to teach their students. Basically, you will not be given a textbook where you would learn beforehand, memorizing everything, and using the knowledge you've acquired in exams/tests.
In the PBL system, you are first encountered with the problem, and you will learn to find information via the internet/library to get the solution. You will learn to think and create multiple solutions to a problem. Yes, that's good in a way.
But the flaw of the PBL system is, it's way too time-consuming.

If you're a student from ITE or other polytechnics like Temasek Poly, your time schedule varies. Your monday's time schedule could be 2pm-4pm, Tuesday's would be 9am-2pm, .etc.
But in Republic Poly, because we adopted the PBL system, the time schedule is fixed - 8.30 am to 3.30pm, or 9.15 am to 4pm, or 9.45am to 4.30pm.

And for just one whole day, you will only learn one topic of the module/lesson.

The other flaws that most Republic Poly students even raised is, PBL isn't appropriate for all modules. For instance in Year 1 students, regardless of the course you've took, you will be learning the same modules. One of the modules would be about programming (Computing). So it's quite absurd to use PBL in programming.
In my opinion, PBL is something very new to Singaporeans because, in my knowledge, Republic Poly is the first school to adopt the Problem Based Learning education system.
And Singaporeans has always been learning straight from the books (since Primary 1 till our O' levels or ITE graduates), therefore it could be an initial obstruction that first year students would face.
Republic Poly should have a semi-PBL system instead. Using PBL for certain modules (like Business), where students will learn to think and find multiple solutions; but use traditional learning ways to learn programming, mathematics, .etc.

But please do not let the above statement make you feel demoralized or avoid Republic Poly as your choice. It is still a good school, but this is a point that most RP students would raised. Still, you will learn something in the end of the day and be an independent learner.

Republic Polytechnic - sucks?

Is Republic Polytechnic a good school?
Yes, it is but only in some degree.

However is the school's system flawed?