Dear readers, this post is dedicated to those who are considering what electives to take in NTU and would like to read reviews of some of the electives I have taken.
BU8501 MARKETING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Taken: AY17/18 Semester 1
Grading components: 2 presentations (20% each, total 40%), mid-term quiz (MCQ, closed book, 10%) finals (open book, 50%)
Review: Initially, I took this module because it was assigned to me as I wanted to obtain a minor in Business. This module consists of three presentations as well as lectures and seminars. For those of you who have not taken any business courses, seminars are like mini-lectures with consist of group works. During the first seminars, the table of people you are seating with will be your group mates for the rest of the semester. Presentations will all be conducted during seminars. The first presentation is not graded which wants you to compare between different businesses. The next two presentations are related and graded. The two presentations require you to introduce a business, what are their current marketing strategies, as well as what new marketing strategies your group recommends. During mid-term, there will be an MCQ quiz at one of the computer labs at NBS. Lots of memorization is required to answer the questions. Finally, finals is open book. However, it is better if you have created your own concise notes as the lecture notes have too many contents. The examination lasts for 2 hours. Strong understanding is required to answer the questions which are mostly case studies.
BS8001 HUMAN BODY FUNCTION & DISEASE
Taken: AY17/18 Semester 2
Grading components: Mid-term quiz (MCQ, closed book, 40%), finals (MCQ, closed book, 60%)
Recording: Lecture and tutorial
Review: This module is one of the hardest electives I have ever taken. I took it with the intention to S/U and chill, thinking how hard can it be to pass since it is all MCQ. Oh my, I tell you. I felt that I nearly failed this elective. Despite having only O levels biology background, almost all of the content is new to me. The content is really a lot. Those who took A levels biology might be a recap for them. I would definitely not recommend anyone to take this elective unless they have a really good memory.
HP8003 ARE YOU OKAY? MENTAL HEALTH IN SINGAPORE
Taken: AY18/19 Semester 1
Grading components: Mid-term quiz (MCQ, closed book, 40%), finals (open book, 60%)
Review: This elective is really fun and interesting. The lecturer is an actual psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). The way he teaches is really engaging and he often likes to crack jokes. The content is not a lot but the main thing is to understand it well. I got a B+ for the mid-term quiz and decided not to S/U, feeling that I did not bad for finals. It turns out to be a bad choice as I got a B which pulled down my CGPA. Its final examination is made up of case studies that require you to diagnose and recommend the cure/treatment for it. Make sure you prepare for it well.
CM8003 FROM ALCHEMY TO CHEMISTRY
Taken: AY18/19 Semester 2
Grading components: Mid-term quiz (MCQ with a few SAQ, closed book, 40%), finals (MCQ with a few SAQ, closed book, 60%)
Review: This is a very famous elective as it is pass/fail by default. Meaning you do not have to use your S/Us. Most people will try to apply for this elective to save up their S/Us for other electives so the chances of getting this elective are pretty slim. The lectures are very interesting as it talks about this history of chemistry where it starts as alchemy. The content is like a timeline. From the Greek days to modern chemistry with basic quantum physics at the last two chapters. This elective is most about memorization with little understanding. They will ask questions like the year oxygen was discovered and the options are like 1772, 1773, 1774, 1775). They will also ask questions like the discoverer of an element’s name, etc. Therefore, you have to memorize well. There are people who actually failed this elective. The mid-quiz was pretty hard. The final examination was even worse. If you screw up your mid-terms, good luck with your finals because it is way way harder. I got an A for the mid-term quiz but I couldn’t answer a majority of the questions in the finals.
EE8084 CYBER SECURITY
Taken: AY18/19 Semester 2
Grading components: 2 CAs (MCQ, closed book, 20% each, total 40%), project (groups of 3-4 people, 20%), finals (MCQ, closed book, 60%)
Review: This elective is pretty easy for those from EEE and SCSE as they already know most of the content in it since they learned it during year 1 semester 1 in their own major. The CAs require lots of memorization. The majority of the EEE and SCSE students might not do well due to complacency thinking they can somewhat answer the questions with their own knowledge. However, the answers required must be exactly from the slides. Therefore, memorization is a must for the CAs. The project requires your team to choose a limited set of topics such as detecting mobile malware. As long as you can do a very technical demo and throw in a lot of technical stuff in the explanation, an A is guaranteed. My group got an A+ for the project as 3 of us are from Computer Science and another guy was from EEE. The finals are case studies for each MCQ question so strong technical understanding is required. The majority of the EEE and SCSE students will be seen walking out of the exam hall after 1 hour so be careful of the bell curve if you do not have a strong technical background in computing.
SS9203 HOCKEY (FIELD)
Taken: AY19/20 Semester 2
Grading components: 1 CA (MCQ, open book), assessment (a few stations), final assessment (game play in full court)
Review: This is a very fun elective and the coach is very friendly. It is fine if you do not have any background as most people who attended are new to field hockey. During the first lesson, there was already a lot of physical training and warm-up at the start. Some students vomited as they have not worked out for years. So do exercise during the holidays before taking this elective in the coming semester. The first lesson will teach you how to dribble the ball with the hockey stick. Subsequent lessons will teach you how to block the ball, flick the ball, the gameplay, etc. The MCQ can be done anytime at home on your computer which I find the questions very tough. The assessment consists of different stations such as passing, obstacle courses as you dribble the ball, etc. Each lesson will end with a full match where you will join a team to verse another team. The location is at NIE pitch which requires you to walk a lot from North Spine. It is a really enjoyable elective I would say. I decided to S/U as there are a few pro hockey players and a few talented new players will probably take up the slots for A+, A, and A-. Feel free to take up this elective if you want to have fun and have spare S/Us.
EE8092 DIGITAL LIFESTYLE
Taken: AY20/21 Semester 2
Grading components: 2 CAs (MCQ, closed book, 20% each, total 40%), finals (MCQ, closed book, 60%)
Review: Digital lifestyle begins with camera and video before ending with mobile phones and networks. The chapter on cameras is very easy for those with a photography background as it is all about ISO, shuttle speed, aperture, depth of field, sensors, lenses, etc. However, there is a lot of content to memorize once you reach 2nd half of the elective especially on mobile phones and mobile network chapters. The two CAs are very easy so make sure you secure those marks. I got 26/30 and 22/30 for both CAs while the average score for both CAs by the whole cohort is around 20/30. The final examination is very hard. I could not answer a majority of the questions. You have to memorize everything and with a strong understanding. It is a mixture of memorizing and understanding. The finals consist of things you would not even expect to be tested. So make sure you study well for its finals.
ET9122 E-STARTUPS & SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES
Taken: AY20/21 Semester 2
Grading components: Class contribution (20%), individual assignments (report + optional presentation, 30%), group presentation (report + presentation, 50%)
Review: This is a very fun and interesting elective as it focuses mainly on digital marketing such as how to do marketing on Facebook + Instagram, as well as on Google. You will learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google ads, and Google Display Network (GDN). The lecturer is the founder of Mediafreaks Digital Pte Ltd and he was previously an alumnus of SCSE. His lectures are very interesting as he will talk to you all about his experience contacting local influencers and micro-influencers, the cost and benefits of it. You will learn about how to create ads on Facebook, track the customers visiting your website, did they make any purchases or registration, then you can automate the process of re-marketing to those targeted audiences. This will allow you to finally know why Facebook knows what have you recently bought and similar ads are being advertised to you. This elective only last half of the semester every Saturday. There are two batches. The first batch will have lessons every alternate Saturday until recess week where the last three lessons will be on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of your recess week. The lessons will last the whole day. More details of the schedule and content can be found on the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center’s website here.
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