Mother tongue in university application

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Mother tongue in university application

Postby centralpark » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:46 am

How important is the mother tongue grade in the application process for local and overseas universities? Other than having to pass mother tongue for local uni. Not applying for any language related course. For admission to competitive faculties like law, medicine and business, does the mother tongue grade play a role when admission officials decide among candidates who are equal in other aspects?

What about for very good overseas uni? The Ivy League and top 10 in UK?

Thank you if you can share your experience!

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby kangjtan » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:49 pm

Mother Tongue is not essential for university applications. What is more important are your grades for H2 subjects and GP.

Overseas universities dont know what "mother tongue" is. It is called '2nd language' in most countries. Only Singapore calls it mother tongue for political reasons.

What is essential is your English Language ability if you are studying in US,UK or Aus. 2nd language is not needed.

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby kangjtan » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:57 pm

centralpark wrote:How important is the mother tongue grade in the application process for local and overseas universities? Other than having to pass mother tongue for local uni. Not applying for any language related course. For admission to competitive faculties like law, medicine and business, does the mother tongue grade play a role when admission officials decide among candidates who are equal in other aspects?

What about for very good overseas uni? The Ivy League and top 10 in UK?

Thank you if you can share your experience!


For competitive courses, interview, essay/tests matter more than MT. In fact, I would go to the extent to say that your MT grade is irrelevant unless you are applying for courses which require strong MT ability.

Interviews usually test how suitable the candidate is for the particular course and the level of passion the candidate has for that subject area

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby centralpark » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:32 pm

Thank you, kangjtan.

I have always thought that the very good uk unis require the candidates to get As even in the H1 subjects to show overall competency.

I'm glad it's otherwise for the second language.

Hmm.... Why are the IP students still spending so much time on mother tongue then? Since they don't need a good score at O levels to get into a desired JC.

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby centralpark » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:33 pm

Thank you, kangjtan.

I have always thought that the very good uk unis require the candidates to get As even in the H1 subjects to show overall competency.

I'm glad it's otherwise for the second language.

Hmm.... Why are the IP students still spending so much time on mother tongue then? Since they don't need a good score at O levels to get into a desired JC.

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby slmkhoo » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:30 am

centralpark wrote:Hmm.... Why are the IP students still spending so much time on mother tongue then? Since they don't need a good score at O levels to get into a desired JC.

I think that some realise that having a 2nd language (MT or not) can be useful in later life. Also, learning another language is a useful exercise for the brain. Some may just feel competitive, especially if they are trying to get a government-type scholarship.

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby centralpark » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:18 pm

Thanks, simkhoo.

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby jtoh » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:41 pm

centralpark wrote:Hmm.... Why are the IP students still spending so much time on mother tongue then? Since they don't need a good score at O levels to get into a desired JC.


It's MOE's policy. All students (mainstream and IP) need to score at least D7 in HMT at O levels to be excused from studying MT in JC. Most students would prefer to take one subject less at JC so as to focus on the remaining H2 and H1 subjects.

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby zbear » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:05 pm

jtoh wrote:
centralpark wrote:Hmm.... Why are the IP students still spending so much time on mother tongue then? Since they don't need a good score at O levels to get into a desired JC.


It's MOE's policy. All students (mainstream and IP) need to score at least D7 in HMT at O levels to be excused from studying MT in JC. Most students would prefer to take one subject less at JC so as to focus on the remaining H2 and H1 subjects.




On top of this exemption, I think if you do well in HMT, you can add the marks into your entry score to the local U. I remembered dd's principal mentioning this. Can anyone confirm this?

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Re: Mother tongue in university application

Postby jtoh » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:36 pm

zbear wrote:
jtoh wrote:
centralpark wrote:Hmm.... Why are the IP students still spending so much time on mother tongue then? Since they don't need a good score at O levels to get into a desired JC.


It's MOE's policy. All students (mainstream and IP) need to score at least D7 in HMT at O levels to be excused from studying MT in JC. Most students would prefer to take one subject less at JC so as to focus on the remaining H2 and H1 subjects.




On top of this exemption, I think if you do well in HMT, you can add the marks into your entry score to the local U. I remembered dd's principal mentioning this. Can anyone confirm this?




From NUS website:

Admission to Mother Tongue Language (MTL) Related Courses»

If you have done well in your higher MTL subject (Chinese, Malay or Tamil) or MTL subject (Chinese, Malay or Tamil) at the 'A' Level examination, you are eligible for MTL bonus points on condition that you pass the required modules in your respective MTL subjects; you are allowed to use the MTL bonus points earned to gain admission to the Arts & Social Sciences course for the following MTL-related concentrations:

Chinese Language or Chinese Studies
Malay Studies
South Asian Studies

The following MTL bonus points will be awarded:

Two bonus points for applicants who attained at least an E grade H2 MTLL;
One bonus point for applicants who attained at least an A grade in H1 MTL;
One bonus point for applicants who attained at least a B grade in H1 General Studies in Chinese; and
Students offering any combinations of MTL-related subjects are allowed to accumulate the MTL bonus points allocated for each subject, including a combination of H1 MTL and H2 MTLL.
The cap on bonus points will be three.
For more information, you can visit MOE’s website at: http://www.moe.gov.sg/cpdd/alevel2006/faqs.htm#Q29.

MTL bonus points will be added to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A' Level component for computation. The use of bonus points to gain admission to NUS is similar to the award of bonus points for admission to the Junior College Chinese Language Elective Programme.

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