Direct Poly Admission (DPA) // Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) Guide & Tips

June 21, 2016

Hello all! I am finally back with a new post! I have seen some of you struggling on your write ups via twitter and I am sure this blog post can rather give you some of you tips! Other than that, I would like to share with you what DPA is like, and what are some of the things you should expect this year!

Some background story of me if this is your first time reading my blog - I am a Year 1 student currently in Ngee Ann Polytechnic majoring in Mass Communications! I got in the school via DPA in August last year.

Last year at this time trust me I was frantically searching all about MASS COMM DPA NP etc.

Here are some blog posts for you to know more about my journey!

  1. 600?
  2. DPA, again
  3. Direct Poly Admission & it's surprises
  4. O's Results and thoughts

Done reading? Now let's begin!

This year MOE has announced that both DPA and JPSAE (which is like dpa but happens AFTER you receive your O level results) will be folded into ONE exercise called "Early Admissions Exercise" which will take place during the usual DPA period.

So, please do not think that after your results you can still JPSAE to the school of your choice! It's either now, or never.

This post will be split into 3 parts!

The write up is part of the application form as it enables the school to know why did you select their course and will then shortlist people accordingly for the interview segment! 

Now, here's a tricky part. You only have 600 characters. Meaning? Your punctuation marks, spaces are all counted as part of the 600. 

Good news!! This year for EAE they have a new part where you have 1000 characters to write about your talents and achievements.
(But the 600 characters write up for the courses still remains!)

It may sound scary, but that's the magic of it.

That 600 will either impress the school, or it will just be seen as another write up about things that are not relevant enough! 

I will include a sample - which was the one I wrote last year as well but here are some general guidelines to follow! 

  • Write about accomplishments that are RELEVANT to the course. For e.g. - winning top 10 for sports day isn't relevant to the course of arts. So there is a no need for you to mention it at all. Instead, if you have taken part in some art competitions and won prizes; go ahead and mention! 
  • Show your aptitude by mentioning the AEMs you have attended (best if it's relevant to the course of study/by the institution you're applying) with the grade attained.
  • Talk about your CCA if it's related to the course & the achievements. 
  • If there is space, mention how can the school help you to achieve your career aspiration.
If you have no CCA/joined any competition, talk about what are the things you do outside of school, for instance working as a photographer for events or even making your own youtube videos etc. If it is related, JUST MENTION! 

Here is what I wrote last year and I used up all characters! 

"I have a strong passion for broadcast media and I love to talk, I feel that I am not only very eloquent but the best speaker in school as claimed by my peers and teachers. I have won awards in my competitions such as the YMCA PESA, where I won a bronze honour roll. Also I took part in the radio module AEM last year in NP and I got the highest grade which was A. I think that with my special voice I can definitely contribute to the broadcast media industry in future and NP's MCM is the right place for me to begin this lifelong journey. My passion is what it takes to be and do the best out of me."
I suggest you to not type on the application form itself as there is a timer where the page will auto log out, hence do plan your draft carefully and consult your teachers if you can! Or you can ask me as well via (Like my page then PM me from there :))  Facebook or (I don't have notifications so I'll try to reply ASAP!)

So after the application is closed, they will actually call you or email you regarding your interview! And here are some tips on what to prepare in advance, and the don'ts during the interview. 


Basically to show what are some of the stuffs that you have done that is related to the course, and more about your results and achievements.

Here are some of the must brings (no matter which course you are applying!!) as part of your portfolio!

Results slips are important, and if you look clearly... I had 2 F9s when I went for the interview, so please do not think that you're not worthy enough to apply for EAE! 

CCA records to show what are the activities that you have been involved, if your CCA grade is a D7 or E8 I do suggest that you don't bring if you feel that it may affect the impression of you towards the lecturers who interviews you.

AEM Certificates if any! Do bring along to show that you have indeed completed a relevant module that's related to the course. Trust me, this cert aids you A LOT!

If you have already taken your O Level Mother Tongue Examination earlier last year as you are taking Higher Mother Tongue, do bring along the certificate as well to show that you have already took one subject and you're more driven to do even better in your subsequent papers!

Testimonials are important as the lecturer can briefly read through what does the teacher think of you! I had 3 because I was kinda "kiasu". Testimonials from form teacher and CCA teacher is highly recommended!

Any school awards that proves your character!

These certificates will showcase the competitions that you have joined, especially if it's related to the course in a way or another.

Now that I have gone through the basic things to bring, I will now show you what else I brought since I was going for MCM's interview. 

So what do I mean by relevant information? I actually took part in an audition to be 987's be the one but failed (which I believe is due to my age :p) but I did well during the audition and got in round 2 and had comments from Kimberly and Gerald that they both liked my voice a lot. So since MCM does radio production etc and they were also involved in the audition, I decided to include to show them that hey! I am passionate about broadcast media and so I joined to prove myself.

That instagram post was really, crazy. I showed them how much I wanted to be part of DPA//MCM. That post was posted right after my test during AEM (which I done well) and it's sort of like a testimony//evidence of my goal. If you look closely, one of my lecturer actually commented as well and yeap, I am here!

I have been blogging for a long time and since in MCM we also learn about marketing and reviewing I decided to show some of the ads and reviews I did. I included my most viewed post which was the Owndays post as well with it's statistics printed on top.

As dumb as I could be, I only started having adsense (after rounds of application and missing letters from google) on May 2015! Which explained why were my earnings lesser as compared to today.
By showing them my adsense earnings I can say that readers to click on ads on my blog that allows me to do what I like while making money.

I joined the competition CNOS last year, since it was related to social media I decided to include it as well, after all "mcm".

And I mentioned about the opportunities I had for e.g. being emcee for a while to promote my stuffs and getting good comments from Soo Wei who is also a part time lecturer in NP MCM. Xiaxue, prominent blogger also commented that she liked my confidence a lot! *fangirls*

Lastly, I actually included a viral video which I did. I decided to private it as it was getting too much attention and I had people adding me on facebook/messaging me etc. so yeah! However, since youtube is sort of related to MCM as well, might as well?

Yup, so those are the things that I included in my portfolio! Don't worry if you do not have many stuffs to show because quantity isn't everything!

Here are some of the don'ts to do during the interview!

  • Do not be late! (Being late gives the interviewers a bad impression of yourself)
  • Do NOT wear too revealing/inappropriate attire. Such as high slit skirts and low v tops. Or even jeans, shorts. The best attire? School uniform! 
Try to get permission to leave school earlier so that you don't have to rush for your interview. Just be calm, be YOURSELF and you will do well for the interview! 

Here are some of the questions that the interviewer asked me - this is just a guide, they may not ask you as it is according to what you wrote in your application form! 
  1. How can you contribute to this course?
  2. Why did you put MCM as first choice and Law & Management as second? (I had a second choice which was not relevant to MCM at all hence the question was posed)
  3. Why do you want to be in MCM?
  4. Have you considered about practising media law instead? 
I also explained the documents that were in my portfolio to the lecturer who was looking at my portfolio. 

For question 1) I actually mentioned about how I was as a person, and what I do best which is talking hence I said with the modules like radio I can contribute my voice to it - somewhere along that line. 

2) I told them that I actually struggled to choose because all the odds were against MCM as TP was nearer to my home, the EL requirement wasn't strict, COP was higher as well but I eventually had MCM as first choice as it's truly what I want. Then I told her that I would like to either go to NUS WKK School of Communications to major in Communications or University of Melbourne to major in Law. That MCM is the basic of all and I cannot give this a miss. (This showed that I had already thought of what path I would want to go - giving them a better impression of me) 

3) Passion. Basically I told them the story of how I was into a JC so much and I never researched for poly courses before until AEM and I totally set my eyes on entering it via DPA etc.  

4) This question was posed in a sense that I actually impressed the interviewer in the end. It happened that she was the lecturer for media law who had bachelors in law too.. So I answered, yes I would want to venture into media law and I know that in year 3.1 we will get to learn it so I am definitely looking forward. I hope that in year 3 I will be able to take Presentation Skills in Chinese, Advanced Radio Production and one more which I haven't decided. 

The interview took about 10 minutes for me I guess! It was rather quick as I was the one talking all along the way.. 

The waiting stage was definitely stressful but eventually I got in! There were about 128 people who applied, 33 who got shortlisted for interview and 11 got in the through the interview :) 

I believe as long as you are able to show and tell them what you got for their course, you will definitely get in. Trust me, at that stage your results won't matter as much because getting your DPA is akin winning half of the battle in O Level. 

I am not sure if for EAE 2017 there will still be Ngee Ann or any poly's preparatory programme that will take place for 8 weeks but I am going to show you my DPA Life and who are the people you'll meet and the things you'll do! 

DPA was kicked off by a 3D2N camp where we will meet our VERY FIRST group of friends!! I was in group one - derful and I met really great friends! One of the DPA alumni who's also my CUL in camp had a quote; DPA Friends are like four leaf clover, hard to find but lucky to have. 

Reason being, your DPA friends can be the most "real" people you will ever know through out your polytechnic life. 

Those fake people you often hear about? Yes, they exist. 

Yay to the kick off! 

17 of us in total! We were all from different faculties and courses. Good to also build your network, you never know when you need help!

Taken during day 2 with our CULs. They were the most amazing seniors ever, they bought huge dominos pizzas for us, we had heart to heart talk sessions where more stories about polytechnic life was told. Well, what happens in loft stays in the loft!

Other than my orientation group mates, I also met lovely girls who stayed in the same apartment as me! They were from other courses too, so yeap!

That 3D2N was one of the most memorable camps I had! It was definitely a good way to kick off DPA. 

Many people have the misconception that during DPA, we take modules earlier and be ahead of the JPSAE and JAE people, truth is NO!

We take IS (Interdisciplinary Studies) modules like Mindworks and Sports and wellness along with service learning during the DPA period. 

Mindworks is like psychology while S&W is just like Poly PE and Service Learning is just like VIA/CIP in secondary school with the only difference that we are the ones who plan and execute! 

IS is compulsory in NP as it allows us to go beyond our courses, e.g. Business to arts or engineering to media. 

The next group of people that I met were my S&W mates! 

It was such a "fun" session if I could ever go back to those days where all our body and muscles ached from the Chinese New Year work out, Poker cards workout etc. Burpees X10? HELL.... no. And how fun was it to play with the TRX straps and medicine balls.  

I chose Gym because I wanted to learn more in depth regarding the equipments and work outs that I can do. My instructor/lecturer was a very nice guy as well. We also had the privilege to use the gym even earlier than other DPA students! 

Lovely class, couldn't ask for more! 

Then finally the last group of people I met in DPA, my tutorial mates who were all from FMS (my faculty) with 3 of my APR/VFX school mates who were in another tutorial group :( But other than that all FSV and MCM students were together!

And yup, we were called shadow warriors! 

One thing about the tutorial mates you meet in DPA is that, they will and are the nicest bunch of people you can ever know in school. So, cherish them!

 After 8 weeks, it was closed by a memorable overseas trip to Koref Malaysia.. followed by that final moment we all yearned for.

Graduation came eventually, remember how we were all strangers to each other on the first day of camp in music box? Where it started shall be the place that ends! 

With some of my onederful group mates, my very first group of friends.

In fms we do things differently!

That was my DPA journey in short. 

Right now, I have started school officially and one semester is almost over! Glad to have my classmates and ecg class for the next 3 years as well. 

I hope most of you would have thought of what to write and what to expect for DPA//EAE! 

It was a dream come true for me when I knew that I was accepted into the course earlier, I never regretted signing up for DPA and being part of it. 

If you feel that you're not good enough, remember - this girl here had 2 F9s in her result slip during Sec 4 MYE, 34 for L1R5 and 22 for L1R4.. 

If you're brave enough nothing can ever stop you..

Remember it's EAE - they look at your overall profile not just the number of As you have. 

And I wish everyone BEST OF LUCK! If you have any questions regarding write ups or even your portfolio when you're called for an interview, buzz me at (no longer active as of 2018 but I do check) or Instagram @thirteentuesday and I will be glad to help you! 

(Update: 2018 - This post is still going strong, thank you all for the messages! All the best :))

Sign up for EAE @ :) Application starts on the 22nd of June and ends on the 29th! [full-width]

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  1. Nicely written and very informative. Keep it up and all the best!!

  2. hi there! chance upon your blog when i was searching for tips on EAE interview. Your post was certainly very useful and informative! Can I know if I need to bring photocopies of my certificates and result slip beside the original ones? Thank you....

  3. Thank you for sharing all of these helpful tips and information. This really helped me prepared for my interview for Nanyang polytechnic. Thank you so much

    1. You're most welcome! Hopefully you have gotten in :) Cheers.

  4. hi,how do I reply when asked why I chose this particuar course as my 3rd option instead of first?

  5. ahh , I am trying out for EAE this year for NP' MCM as well! Damn you are really talented, I barely had anything related for MCM TT, does this lessen my chances of getting in?:(

    1. Hello my dear! So sorry for the late reply, all is good and how’s everything for you? Feel free to reach out to me via my Instagram @thirteentuesday and I wish you the very best for your Os!