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Coming August, 21-year old Darren Leong will be attending school at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine as a first year medical student.

A graduate of Biomedical Science at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Darren was aware that he was competing with candidates from top junior colleges to earn a place at NUS Medicine. He cast his doubts and fears aside and went ahead with his interview.

When he received the news on his acceptance, Darren had wanted to share this news with his mother, who lost her life to stage four ovarian cancer when he was at a tender age of 12. Darren took the PSLE examination that same year, and scored 156, barely making it to the Normal Academic stream. Through the support and encouragement of his family, Darren started to work hard in his studies and did well in his GCE ‘N’ levels. He went on to pursue biomedical science in polytechnic, scoring 3.92 for his GPA. Darren spent his free time during his polytechnic holidays shadowing doctors to prepare himself for a future in healthcare.

“I hope more poly students can enter NUS medicine... They would connect better with patients who didn't have a smooth pathway in life," shared Darren.

NUS Medicine offered six places to polytechnic graduates this year. The proportion of students admitted through Exceptional Individual Scheme (EIS) has increased over the years from 2 per cent in 2014 to 10 per cent in 2018. The Exceptional Individual Scheme takes into account candidates’ academic and non-academic achievements. In addition to EIS, polytechnic graduands can apply to NUS Medicine through the Polytechnic diploma route and assessment is based on the competiveness of their Polytechnic and Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'O' Level results.

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