CAP and Bellcurve
Understand the importance of CAP (Cumulative average point)
Be wary and keep an eye on your CAP, especially in year 1 (yes you read that right!). Believe it or not, it is the foundation of your graduation CAP and the modules are only going to get harder (to score also). Although CAP isn’t everything, a high CAP (>4.0) definitely opens you up to more opportunities in NUS, as academic merit tends to be a strong factor in many applications to programs (exchange, Industial Attachment (IA), internships etc). Since majority of these applications are likely to happen in the early years of your study, having a higher CAP till Y2S1 will definitely be beneficial.
Yes, Year 1 is the best time to explore and play, yes, there is Grade Free Sem (GFS), yes, you want to make the most out of your hall experience, BUT do keep in mind that many generations before you (and the GFS) have been able to achieve a good university life and yet maintained a decent CAP in year 1. You can too. It would be best not to use too many of your S/Us in Y1S1, it shows you are starting your uni right. Use it as a “oh shit I couldn’t adapt fast enough, thank god GFS gives me another chance” rather than “I’m just gonna play and make the most out of it since I have GFS”. Read the “To S/U or not to S/U” page for more details on how you should have enough credits to buffer your future semesters.
Refer to CAP Calculator
Understand the Bell Curve
The bell curve is also known as the normal distribution, and this is what it looks like:
The bell curve makes all grading a relative comparison to our peers' performance. However, NUS employs a recommended grade distribution in addition to the bell curve, the actual spread of the grades will be different from a standard normal distribution.