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. 

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