One of the biggest challenges secondary school students face when applying for the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) is the application write-up.

I always tell my students that they have to submit a good write-up. After all, polytechnics receive thousands of EAE applications a year. If your write-up is shoddy or unimpressive, then chances are you are not going to make it to the interviews. What’s more, they are going to base their selection solely on your application (after all, they don’t even know you in person so you can’t really blame them). This is sad but true.

Welcome to harsh reality.

In this second-parter to the EAE (click here for the first-parter which amassed an impressive 15,770 hits as at today), I’m going to discuss how you can perfect the EAE application write-up and secure your place at the interview.


#Tip 1: Share Your Passion

Almost everyone will claim they are interested in the course. Therefore, be a maverick and write something different. This is a powerful strategy that I find lacking in most of the EAE application write-ups I have seen.

Share how you discovered your passion for that particular field or industry. For example, if you are going to apply for the Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management, then you could share how you were impressed by the warmth and service extended to you during your oversea hotel stays on family vacations…letting you have a feeling of a home away from home. And in turn, you want to be able to do this similarly for others to brighten their days.

If you are applying for the Diploma in Early Childhood Education, then share how you helped to babysit young pre-schoolers or toddlers (they could be your own little brother/sister or your neighbour’s kid)…and by doing so, how you learnt about the different behaviours that children exhibit and the basic skills needed to handle them competently.

If you applying for the Diploma in Aviation Management, then write something along the lines of how passionate you are about flying an aeroplane as you always marvel at the fact that aeroplanes take off and land smoothly. Perhaps also include the fact that you play the flight and air traffic control simulator as your hobby and see yourself as a future pilot sending passengers safely to and from the arms of their loved ones.

Vis-a-vis my three samples on how passion guided my choice of polytechnic course, I hope you are able to see how crucial it is to include this in the EAE application write-up.

The bottom line is to choose only courses that you are truly passionate and not because you have to fill up the three options. It is perfectly fine to list only one course if that’s what you really like.


#Tip 2: List Your Accomplishments That Are Relevant

Besides sharing your passion, you should also list your accomplishment(s) that are relevant to the course so to demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest.

For example, if you are applying for the Diploma in Information Technology, show how you dabble with codes, the number of downloads you have on GitHub, the actual websites that you've built.

If you are applying for the Diploma in Media and Communication, then you should showcase your Youtube video productions, the number of followers you have on social media platforms such as your blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Remember, the accomplishment(s) has to be relevant to the course.


#Tip 3: Show Your Aptitude For Applied Learning

The focus in polytechnic is all about applied learning. Have you attended any activities or courses that show your aptitude for this?

For example, if you have attended Advanced Elective Modules (AEM) or entered competitions, it would be great to list them to demonstrate your flair.


#Tip 4: Include CCAs That Are Relevant

Co-curricular activities (CCAs) are there for a reason. The worst scenario is to join a CCA just to collect CCA points. If you belong to this category, then I really don’t know what to say.

Students join CCAs because they are interested in a sport, club or uniformed group. Make full use of your participation in your CCA to show relevance and connection to the course you are interested in.

For example, if you are applying for the Diploma in Mass Communications, then you should mention you were the school’s newsletter club editor and your actual contributions.

It is better to join one CCA and run for a leadership position (e.g. president, treasurer, secretary etc) instead of joining a bunch of CCAs and become a sleeping member.


#Tip 5: Keep To The Character Count

As painful as it is, you have to keep to the 600 character count. This means that every alphabet, punctuation and spacing is just as important.

With a limited number of characters, don’t waste them. Therefore don’t include generic stuff like “I love this course very much” or “please accept me”.

It is best to start drafting your write-up on Microsoft Word and then do a character count before copying and pasting it into the online EAE application form.

With a 600 character limit, it is good to go way past the 500 character limit. This will be a safe range. Consider elaborating if you fall short of the character count. If you have exceeded, then you have to be more terse in your language.


The EAE application write-up is a good gauge of one’s maturity in summing up the last sixteen years of your life. Therefore you have to be succinct yet impressive. If you start thinking, researching and preparing early, I believe you will be successful in your EAE application write-up. All the best!



I’m sure you know some people who have the ability to walk into a crowded room of unfamiliar faces and act with self-assured confidence...while the rest of us will require a little more effort and a bit more push to get there.

Sounds familiar? 

The good news is you are not alone.

We know confidence is essential. It will get you places, introduce you to new (and influential) people, and open opportunities you never would have come across if you just chose to stand in a corner, fold your arms, keep your opinions to yourself, or refuse to step up to a leadership role.

At the root of it all is the issue of confidence.

Confidence is all about feeling self-assured.

And interestingly, there are some things one can do to project it. And in time, as you continue to fake it, you’ll become it.

Here are 3 tips you can use to boost your confidence.


Tip #1: Pick A Role Model

We all have someone we admire for his or her specific characteristics. That someone could be a friend for his sense of humour, a colleague for her wit, or an idol (like Ryan Gosling) for his style. And we all know someone who has that confidence and charisma that everyone responds to.

Your job is to be like him.

What are his mannerisms that make him seem confident?

Does he stand tall? Does he speak clearly? 

Identify his confident traits and incorporate them into your own.

Just as how novice artists look to other people’s artwork for inspiration for their own, finding your own confidence needs a booster as well.


Tip #2: Look Good, Feel Good

>I know inside my wardrobe, there are several go-to shirts or pants that will never fail me because I will receive compliments from even my Mum.

How many times have you put on your favourite dress shirt or top and felt so good?

Because when you look good, you feel good.

And when you feel good, you become more sure of yourself.

It doesn’t have to be a new wardrobe. Rather, find something that fits you so well and doesn’t make you look like a slouch. And while you’re at it, get a new haircut, start an exercise routine and follow your timeless advice to “stand tall with chest out, stomach in”.


Tip #3: Maintain Eye Contact

When talking to someone or in a group, keeping constant eye contact makes you come across as confident and interested – even when you are not.

You don’t have to stare (that’s rude). But when you are speaking or are being spoken to, look at the person straight in the eye and show that you are keen in the conversation.


Remember:  At the end of the day, if you want to feel more confident, you have to act more confident. 



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