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Is CCA Compulsory in JC and Poly?

Do you find yourself running out of time as a student? Cramping lessons, homework and tuition in a week, you wish you can drop CCA so you can better focus on your grades.

There is a growing concern among parents and students alike with regards to CCA’s inclusion to junior college and polytechnic curriculum. Some believe it should not be made compulsory considering that it was already compulsory for secondary school.

Others say there is nothing wrong with making it compulsory and it will give students something to look forward to outside all the academic work. 

Below is our analysis of how junior college and polytechnic schools view CCA’s importance and whether CCA is a necessity or a hindrance to your studies.

The importance of CCA

To ensure students don’t just focus on their grades, co-curricular activities or CCA is included in many school curriculums.

They allow students to discover their hidden talents and passions, whilst helping them develop values and skills they need when they join the workforce.

Focusing their efforts entirely on academic achievements will disable them from developing other skills like teamwork, which they need to adapt to the adult world.

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It also dissuades them from making friendships because they cannot meet other people who share the same interests as them easily.

It also opens opportunities for students to meet other students who share the same interests as them and learn all about it together.

CCA also a great way for students to develop a sense of inclusion not just in school but also for the world.

Is participation in CCA compulsory?

For both junior college and polytechnic schools, CCA participation is not compulsory but they do encourage students to take part in one.

They see CCA as a great way to cultivate a student’s skills that they can’t easily do in a classroom set-up. Schools also recognize it as a great way for students to uncover talents they didn’t know they have, especially for their chosen niche. 

CCA participation is crucial if you intend to study overseas or seek scholarships

How important is a student’s participation in CCA viewed by the universities?

Student participation in CCA is important if you plan to enrol in schools such as NUS, SMU or NTU.

These schools add CCA participation as part of their discretionary admission scheme. With this said, they look into the student’s performance if they have the attributes necessary to help them qualify for their chosen field.

Other universities may not use CCA participation as part of their admission criteria. However, students who have CCA participation will definitely find it easier to adjust to university life since it opens opportunities for them to build life skills and discover their passions. 

Is CCA counted in the computation of marks for admission into the University?

Since NUS, SMU and NTU include CCA participation as part of their discretionary admission scheme, they will look at the student’s record during their CCA.

They will see if the student was able to understand their chosen CCA and developed the right skills. This, alongside their academic performance, will be used to see if the student should be admitted for their chosen course. 

Students can also check with their chosen universities’ website or their admissions office. 

How can I manage my CCA with academic life? 

If you are considering joining a CCA, you may be worried about how you can manage it without affecting your grades.

Some of us may not be able to juggle both at the same time, which may reduce its effectiveness in helping us grow. Others may be able to do so, especially once they figure out their rhythm on how they can do both without sacrificing the other.

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Here are some tips you can try out so you can manage your CCA with your academic life:

1. Always prioritise your academics first

While co-curricular activities are good, you should always remember that your academics must always be first in your mind.

Your academic grades can help you get your chosen course and understanding your lessons will help you get through the material you will use. There will be time for co-curricular activities after your academic responsibilities. 

2. Don’t pick all the co-curricular activities available

When choosing a co-curricular activity to help you with your college application or add to your experience, don’t select something that is easy. It must be something that you like to pursue and offer more opportunities for you to succeed.

If you don’t want to overload yourself with activities, pick two to three activities and see how far you can grow with it.

3. Plan your schedule

To balance a lot of things on your plate, it is important that you have a schedule in place to help you prioritize.

Your timetable must give you an idea of which tasks must be finished first and focus on it before you move to the next task. Do your best to follow your timetable and ensure that there are times you can take a break from your busy schedule.

4. Make sure to stay healthy 

Despite your packed schedule, you should always remember to stay healthy.

Get enough sleep every day to help you recharge from a busy schedule and eat appropriately. You should also get rid of procrastination because it eats away precious time you can use somewhere else. 

5. Get the advice of your teacher or senior

Finally, you can also speak to your teacher or a trusted senior to help you adjust your schedule while having co-curricular activities on the side. They can help you sort out which activities you should do without worrying about your grades.


Co-curricular activities may sound like an extra burden once you consider your demanding workload in school. However, these activities may assist you in understanding your chosen career and sometimes, lead you to discover skills you never knew. It may also open doors for networking and new work opportunities.

Even if your chosen junior college or polytechnic school doesn’t require it, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Check out what is offered and see where it can help you. You never know what you will discover.

 To help you to score a place in your chosen university, here are some tips:

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Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.