Due to the unfortunate suspension of Freshman Orientation Week camps, kind souls on NUSWhispers [#22833, #22905, #22964, #23086, #23153] have emerged to share their tips and experiences with incoming freshmen who missed their opportunity to seek advice from their seniors. The admins of NUSWhispers have decided to collate them into a single post for easier reading, along with some nuggets of wisdom from their many years of experience in school.

CORS / Module Bidding / Timetable Planning

  • Use NUSMods to plan your semester timetable. It’s your lifesaver! [NUSMods]

  • Learn how NUSMods can help you become a smarter bidder from this article. [NUSMods]

  • Utilize NUSMods to achieve higher productivity! Read about it here. [NUSMods]

  • NUSMods has many module reviews of Level 1000 and 2000 modules. Do check them out to get a better idea of what the module is about. [NUSMods]

  • When you’re bidding, try to hold your horses till closed bidding. Or else, you’re most likely gonna see that minimum bid rise and rise along with your blood pressure. [NUSWhispers #22964]

  • Feel free to arrange classes conducted in different parts of the campus next to each other. Lecturers usually release the class 35 mins earlier for you guys to travel to the next venue - unless you’re damn suay, and the lecturer goes on and on. For people having to travel to Utown for classes from other faculties, I’ll say 35mins will still be rather tight for you (overcrowded shuttle buses) but not impossible. Try to put lectures after tutorials, rather be slightly late for lectures than tutorials! [NUSWhispers #22964]

  • Plan your lectures such that you don’t travel to science faculty then Arts faculty then back again… You won’t like taking shuttle bus really… [Ten Wei Peng]

  • For bidding, they will refund you the points if your bid is higher than the lowest successful bid. [Angelina Wee - Lauises Puah]

  • Plan modules from highest to lowest level. Because higher-level modules can only be read by unlocking lower levels, plan your modules from highest to lowest level. Then check the schedules. [Donovan Cheah]

  • Double-counting, triple-counting of modules: check what modules you may be reading that can satisfy multiple requirements so that you have more flexibility over what you may want to read. [Donovan Cheah]

  • If a module seems too pricey for you, try bidding for it in Sem 2, chances are it’s not as oversubscribed. [Hazel Cxe]

  • For those thinking of changing courses, do not hesitate and do it early. Having good grades and recommendation from a Prof would help in your appeal. There is a cutoff deadline for switching courses and it’s around recess week. [Tay Yang Shun]

Study Tips

  • Know who the Dean’s Listers are and make friends with them. They can help you in your assignments and projects. Look up Dean’s Listers using NUSMods Hall of Fame. [NUSMods]

  • Download NUS Exam Papers easily via NUSMods’ Exam Paper Downloader Tool. [NUSMods]

  • Buy your senior’s cheatsheets and study notes on Paperbaton. [NUSMods]

  • [Nicholette: I think this NUSWhispers post is really well-written so I’m going to re-post it in its entirety. Thank you OP of post #22905!]

Hi Freshies of AY2016/17, Here's a few handy tips for surviving in NUS: 2. http://libportal.nus.edu.sg/frontend/index...

Posted by NUSWhispers on Saturday, July 30, 2016

  • Get the Proxy Bookmarklet installed on your laptops/desktops. The instructions for installation on both Windows / Mac devices can be found here. Once installed, if you ever come across a journal article in an academic journal that you wish to access, just go to your bookmarks and click on the proxy bookmarklet to gain free access to the article by signing in with your NUSNET ID. These articles help to complement your learning, and also help one with writing good essays/assignments. [NUSWhispers #22833]

  • Get EndNote! This is a referencing software that helps you to manage and format your citations when you are writing your assignments and essays. They have a ton of reference styles uploaded within their database and you’ll never need to type out your references manually ever again. Without EndNote, I would have never finished my thesis. Instructions for installations are found here. [NUSWhispers #22833]

  • If you don’t wish to splash out money on a new textbook, search the used textbook forum in IVLE or just use the RBR copy. [Han Ming Guang]

  • Here is how you get access of textbooks legally without spending extra money:
    1. Go to NUS library website (google “NUS library”).
    2. Type in the name of the book and Authors on the search bar.
    3. If you found the book and it the word “available online”, then congratulations, free book! If not, then too bad. But it should work for most textbooks though. [Goh Koon Tong]
  • Reading lists are usually up before CORS closes, so if you’re certain to get a mod, you can go grab the required text before everyone else. [Hazel Cxe]

  • For Poly students your first semester will be so theoretical that you will get a culture shock. You’ll need to work doubly hard to catch up with the JC peeps in this aspect. You’ll catch up after the first two semesters, don’t give up! [Ten Zhi-Yang]

  • You can get penalized a grade just for wrong fonts / line spacing used in reports so please read instructions 10 times before you submit.. [Ten Wei Peng]

  • Do your readings diligently, plan your assignments out weeks in advance to avoid the stress. [Ler Yi Poh]

  • The greatest learning and lessons in university is found outside of the syllabus and curriculum. Get involved in activities and events, internships and networking, competitions and conferences. You’ll learn far more than you would in classes. [Lauises Puah]

  • Don’t be afraid to study in a seminar / tutorial room. Just leave if a class is starting. [NUSWhispers #23153]. (NUSMods ProTip: Use the Venue Tool to look up a venue’s availability!)

  • This is Uni, not JC / Poly. You can do your best and still get a B or C. Just suck it up and start over next sem [NUSWhispers #23153]

  • You can study at CLB or the Chinese library (it links)! [NUSWhispers #23153]

  • When you have burnt out, just drink teh ping or go exercise. [NUSWhispers #23153]

  • SoC students can refer to Lynnette Ng’s awesome list of resources. [Tay Yang Shun]

  • Gradeless first year may seem like a lot of fun and chance to slack, but if you don’t build up good fundamentals you’ll have a hard time catching up in the following semesters, especially in SoC. Don’t take gradeless for granted. [Tay Yang Shun]

Travelling around the campus

  • FOS students, you can get to the Science campus by walking through / along NUH (5mins walk). Please don’t go and squeeze together with everybody else who legitimately needs the shuttle bus. [NUSWhispers #22964]

  • Here’s how you get from Biz to Science in under 10 minutes via a secret path. Check out this YouTube video.

  • At Computing / Biz bus stop, see which direction bus is going (PGP, KR MRT or Utown). [NUSWhispers #23153]

  • For SoC / FASS students, you may want to consider walking to Utown during peak hours to avoid being late as bus D1 will be really crowded. The walk should take about 15-20 minutes. [Nicholette]

  • Take the live bus timings with a pinch of salt, sometimes they suspiciously look like they are hardcoded (especially at night). [Nicholette]

  • Another useful tips for new undergraduates when it is raining: Look for yellow ceiling! Yellow ceiling means that it is connected to other buildings via shelter (may not work for new buildings). [Goh Koon Tong]


  • Send printing jobs from your laptop to the library’s network printer! Skip the queue for computers and go straight to the Print Release Station http://libfaq.nus.edu.sg/faq/71273. [NUSWhispers #22964]

  • Loan period for library books are 2 weeks, and the fines are 50 cents per day for overdue books. You can extend loan period by 2 weeks, thrice. But the 2 weeks start from the day you renew the loan, not from the end of the original 2 weeks. [Ho Chun Leong]


Cool Stuff!

  • NUS Academic Calendar http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/info/calendar/AY2016-2017.pdf

  • NUS Freshmen can visit NUS Hacks for Student Life Hacks!

  • If you’re a FASS freshman, someone recommended this blog for more insightful FASS freshman tips: https://weitheblur.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/freshie-in-fass-survival-guide-life-hacks/

  • LKCNHM (Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum) is free for all NUS students. Got dinosaurs bones inside, quite cool. If you have time, go in and have a look. [NUSWhispers #22964]

  • Eduroam: all NUS students can use eduroam. Eduroam is an international collaboration allowing for students to have Internet access across educational institutes around the world. Very useful when on SEP, summer programs e.t.c. [Donovan Cheah]

  • Facilities reserved for only the major: some majors have additional resources restricted to only them (Physics has physics computer labs, Math has their own too). If you can avoid fighting for study space or workstations, you might as well. [Donovan Cheah]

  • If you’re a SoC student, you have free printing quotas and free lockers for semester use (check with Comp Club for more info about lockers) [Nicholette]

  • Sitting at the bar seats along the windows of the Med Block Starbucks still give you access to the school much stronger wifi over Starbucks’ spotty wifi. [NUSWhispers #22833]