Q: Are there college counselors in ACSI?
A: Yes there are! There is a COG (Career Opportunities and Guidance) Department in our school which handles university admissions, including holding talks/sessions to brief students on university applications. There are different teachers who specialise in applications to universities in different places (local, Australia, UK, US, etc), and you’re free to email them to ask for advice! Their contact can be found at http://sites.acsindep.edu.sg/cog/Contact.php
Q: How many girls are there in a class ?
A: The overall ratio for the batch of 2015 is roughly 2.5 to 1. Logically speaking, this means you’re likely to get much fewer girls in a class compared to guys. Depending on the subject combination of the class, the number tends to range from 4-9 in a class of 20+ students.
Q: What are intact and non-intact classes?
A: Intact classes are classes that have students with all (roughly) the same subject combination as you, so you’ll most probably not be moving around for classes expect for lectures to the lecture theatre. Non-intact classes have students with many different subject combinations, so you move around different classes for your lessons. You’ll be meeting many people from other classes, and sometimes you don’t even see your own classmates outside of PE/Contact Time/TOK.
Q: Are there a lot of cliques in the school?
A: Of course there are; you’d be hard pressed to find a school that doesn’t have any. That being said, the proliferation of cliques in our school seems to be a lot less common (and with less politics) compared to other JCs, if anecdotal accounts are anything to go by. People in ACS(I) are generally very welcoming, and you’ll most probably find people you’ll fit in with.
Q: Is there discrimination on the basis of your wealth in the school?
A: My personal experience has been that there’s no explicit discrimination based on whether you’re rich/poor – no one teases each other based on that, and nobody rejects others as friends based on their social class. ACS is a rather accepting community regardless of your socio-economic background in terms of the way that everyone is treated.
That being said, there are still some situations in which the school culture might (unintentionally) exclude some students. For example, eating at Star Vista or other higher-end eateries tends to be common among some social groups, which makes for awkward situations if they happen to be outside your price range. In addition, there might be conversation topics that tend towards the interests of those who happen to be richer (like on tech gadgets?). These are present in any place where there happen to be more people of a higher socio-economic status (and ACS tends to be such a place). These form the minority of circumstances though, and if you’re worried about being looked down on because of background there’s really nothing to worry about.
In addition, the school makes it a point to ensure that bursaries and financial subsidies are readily available for students who need them.
Q: What are the school rules pertaining to shoes worn in school?
A: Shoes (technically) have to be ~70% white.
Q: Are there overseas school trips ?
A: During Year 5 there’s something called WOW (Windows of the World) which you’ll go together with your class. You go to destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, China, or Nepal, mainly to do overseas community service. This can take the form of activities like teaching school children english, donating food supplies, washing their hair, teaching them hygiene, painting the school etc. This is mostly conducted in May before the June holidays, unless something happens in the country you’re going to like a riot (or infectious disease outbreak) which will mean your trip is postponed till August. Before leaving for WOW, you and your class will have to fundraise towards the trip to help out wherever you’re serving. Apart from CCA/HSP trips, it’s the only trip you’ll get in the 2 years in IB.
Q: Do we need to bring/use our own computers to school in IB?
A: It’s not compulsory to do so on normal school days, but you should have a convenient access to a computer at the very least at home. From IAs (Internal Assessments) to your Extended Essay, much of the work you’re assigned requires you to access the internet, do research, and type out reports. However, some people do bring their laptops to lectures to take notes (along with the occasional youtube/movies watching, killing time during free periods etc). However, there are days where you have to bring a laptop to school such as TOK days, and EE days which you could technically use the school library’s computers for, though it’s generally wiser to bring your own.
Q: Can laptops/handphones be used anytime in the classrooms or lecture? Do the teachers care about what you are doing during their lessons (listening to music, surfing the web etc.)?
A: For lectures, teachers generally allow you to use laptops (and to a lesser extent handphones) to copy down notes. Use of phones/laptops in a class setting is highly dependent upon who the teacher is. And no, teachers don’t usually allow you to listen to music during their classes. Surfing is frowned upon by teachers, if they do catch you doing it.