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National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Admissions Requirements and Interview Requirements

NUS Medical School Interviews and Selections

NUS Medicine Interview

Yong Loo Lin Interview

Selection Process:

First round is by academic result ( 50%)

Second round is through Situation Judgement Test (SJT) and Focused Skills Assessment (FSA) – 50%

Candidates are also required to furnish referees and personal portfolio to support their application, if they are shortlisted. We know of a medical school applicant who had outstanding personality and a great portfolio comprising internships in various hospitals and clinics and healthcare-related volunteering projects through his secondary school and junior college but he was NOT shortlisted for interviews due to his academic results – he missed the cut-off just narrowly. So his entire portfolio was a waste of his time as it cannot be used at all. To all prospective medical students, please FOCUS on your academics as a matter of priority. The SJT and FSA are not that tough to handle once you are shortlisted. Although academic results account for only 50% of the selection criteria, it is the FIRST major hurdle to clear. The university admissions team look at your academic results first, then your CCAs, healthcare portfolio and community work, etc.

Warning!

Once again, the first cut is academic result and if you do not have the basic academic result, then you will not be shortlisted and the portfolio you have painstakenly built over the years will go to nought. Absolutely zero . That’s the harsh reality of life. If you are not shortlisted, you do not have to attend interviews and further tests. You can go on a nice vacation and plan your next move!

To be shortlisted, you must have good GCE A-level result, meaning A grade for all H2 subjects and H1 subjects. (Chemistry is a compulsory subject) In some instances, the NUS Medical Admissions Team can consider candidates with a B in one of their H1 subjects. Presenting a C grade in one of your H2 subjects automatically disqualifies you from further consideration, unless you apply through the EIS where the criteria is different.

For the medicine course, the typical University Admission Score (UAS) is about 88.75 or higher and the indicative grade profile (IGP) is : AAA/A . If you missed the cut, you may appeal for special considerations and as a matter of courtesy, NUS officials will engage with you politely but they cannot approve any special appeal. Unlike NTU Medicine, NUS Medicine does not have a waiting list policy. There are only early offers in May or late offers in June/July. You have to check your emails and phone for missed calls regularly.

For IB students, the academic cut-off is less onerous as the eligible student pool in Singapore is smaller, about 1800 students ( covering the local and international schools) , with ACS Independent accounting for about 450 students.

The IB cut-off is around 42- 43 points each year depending on the academic performance of the cohort. About 60% of ACS Independent students can meet this requirement easily.

A good strategy is to transfer your child out to IB school if he or she is not currently on the IB track. It is not fair but IB students have a better chance of being shortlisted for NUS Yong Loo Lin Medical School. Experienced teachers will tell you that it is not easy to score all As in the GCE A-level exams.

For candidates who do not meet the admission requirements but have a good story, you can apply under a scheme known as ” Exceptional Individual Scheme” or EIS. Examples of eligibility : (1) you must be a youth leader serving in Youth Executive Committee in a Community Club or a leader in grassroots organisations OR (2) represent Singapore in recognised international events and won some medals or awards , (3) an outstanding achievement recognised at national or international level eg founder of a successful NGO, founder of a successful social enterprise (ideally featured in national or international media), OR (4) a good story of world-class resilience and perserverance

Example: ITE and poly graduate Mr Nicholas Chan was admitted in 2019 to Yong Loo Lin Medical School on his second try, setting a national record for his achievement. He was admitted via the EIS (Exceptional Individual Scheme)

Each year, about 2000 students apply for admission to NUS Yong Loo Lin Medical School and only 850-900 applicants will be shortlisted to attend the SJT and FSA. Eventually, only 300 odd applicants will be selected. This means that a good number of the 1700 rejected students will flow to other medical schools in UK, Ireland and Australia. This additional demand forces the foreign universities to increase their academic requirements for medical school admissions. For example, top medical schools like Monash University Australia and University of Western Australia also require Singapore students to have an A grade in three H2 subjects, in addition to a good score in ISAT or the Internnational Student Admission Test of Australia.

Update: NUS Medicine has broadened its criteria to be more inclusive and diverse. About 40% of its new cohort are from neighbourhood junior colleges and about 5-6 students are from the polytechnics. NUS medical admissions say they look for values and skills, in addition to academic results and healthcare CIP portfolio. Therefore, there should be less places for the RI and HCI types.

In year 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the admissions assessment process was truncated to two stations covering scenario station and portfolio station. The SJT or Situation Judgement Test was exceptionally suspended for Year 2020 due to Covid-19.

As part of the national policy to assist overseas Singaporeans during Covid-19 in 2020, NUS and NTU exceptionally created additional places for Singaporean students in Australia and UK who are in their second or third year of medical school to come home to Singapore to continue their medical studies. Effectively, they were granted transfers to NUS YLL School l and NTU LKC School. According to anecdotal sources, less than 100 overseas Singaporean medical students participated in this special transfer scheme to local medical schools in Singapore as they have to dial back one year eg overseas Year 3 students must go back to Year 2 when they are admitted to NUS Med School or NTU Imperial Med School.

For some private nuggets about life in med school in NUS, read this informative personal blog: chasingfaithandlove.wordpress.com/category/med-school/