How to ace your Early Admissions Exercise interviews

Applying for polytechnics through the EAE route might help you score your dream course before taking the 'O' Levels.

Nadia Illyana Foo
Nadia Illyana Foo

Published: 10 July 2019, 11:42 PM

If you are reading this, you are probably sitting for the GCE ‘O’ Level examinations soon AND have your eyes set on the polytechnic route.

But if you are uncertain about how you would fare, do you know that you can increase your chances by applying through selected polytechnic courses via the Polytechnic Early Admission Exercise (EAE)?

Here are five things you can do before going for your EAE interviews. All the best!

1. Read up on your preferred courses  

By now, you should be familiar with the various EAE courses offered by the five polytechnics – Ngee Ann PolytechnicSingapore PolytechnicTemasek PolytechnicNanyang Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic.

After shortlisting the courses that you are interested in, make a list of related references to show your genuine interest.

For example, if you are applying for an early childhood course via EAE, you can share your knowledge about recent developments in Singapore’s pre-school industry.

Prepare a list of recent news or developments related to the course you are applying for. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/NADIA ILLYANA FOO

Another way to potentially ace the interview is to know more about your interviewer, who tend to be lecturers of the course you are applying for.

Search for more details about these lecturers – you might discover common interests you can bring up during the interview!

2. Talk about your different involvements in school   

This is the time for you to share your current or past achievements from your co-curricular activities (CCA) or other school activities.

For example, if you were the president of the student leader body, talk about a school event that best demonstrated your leadership skills. This shows the interviewees that you are keen to learn and reflect from your past experiences.

Even if you did not win any awards in school or from your CCAs, you can always share about your involvement, no matter big or small. You can talk about the learning points you have gained from the experience.

3. Prepare your portfolio 

We recommend providing hard copies of your achievements in your portfolio for your interviewers to look through. This is also an opportunity for you to impress them with your school progress.

Display your achievements chronologically in your portfolio. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/NADIA ILLYANA FOO

Some prominent awards you can include are Edusave Awards for Achievement, Good Leadership and Services (EAGLES) and Good Progress Award. You can also include non-academic certificates, including your humble Certificate of Participation, to show that you are an all-rounder.

Testimonials from your teachers can value add to your portfolio as it gives credibility to your conduct and reputation in school.

If you have time, create a digital portfolio to impress your interviewers. Websites like Wixsite and WordPress allow you to share your resume, projects and awards in a single page.

4. Brush up on your written and spoken English   

Allocate some time to practise speaking good English. Make it a point to converse in proper English. Eventually, speaking in good English could help you sound natural during the interview.

You can prepare by having someone to ask you the questions or by practising in front of the mirror.

Speaking to yourself in the mirror helps in presenting yourself better in front of the interviewees. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/NADIA ILLYANA FOO

For courses with written tests, the ‘Point, Example, Elaboration and Link (PEEL) format you learnt during English lessons will come in handy. This format ensures that your essay has a clear structure, which could help the assessor better understand your content.

Pro-tip: Avoid using too much Singlish as it might turn off your interviewers!

5. Most importantly, sell yourself well!  

Do not be afraid to brag about yourself. By selling yourself, your interviewers will know more about your passion and why you are interested to get into your dream course in polytechnic.

All in all, you should still study hard for the ‘O’ Level examinations. It is good practice not to be complacent, even if you have managed to ace your EAE interviews.

Good luck!

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