Starting school in NTU soon? Here are a few things you should take note of!
1. Basic University Mambo Jumbo
Academic Units (AUs):
Academic Units (or Modular Credits in NUS/credits in SMU) is the measurement of the amount of workload required for that module. Normally a 3AU module usually means that the module has three hours worth of lessons/tutorials in total though there are definitely many exceptions to the rule like lab(3 hours a week but 1AU).
When your module results are released at the end of the semester, each module will be assigned a grade. This ranges from A+ to F and each grade has a certain weight assigned to it as shown below:
If you S/U a certain module:
S : Satisfactory
U: Unsatisfactory – Which means you have not “passed”.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA):
To calculate your cumulative grade point average you’ll need to use the following formula:
GPA = (Summation of all [AUs x Grade Weights])/(Summation of all AUs of courses taken so far)
Note: Modules that have been S/U-ed will not be included in the computation of your CGPA. Your CGPA can also be found in your Degree Audit.
Once you’ve calculated your CGPA (or found it from the Degree Audit) you can then determine your current class of honours. The requirements for NTU students are listed below:
4.50-5.00: First Class
4.00-4.49: Second Class (Upper)
3.50-3.99: Second Class (Lower)
3.00-3.49: Third Class
2.00-2.99: Pass only
>2.00 : FAIL
2. iNTU portal
The iNTU portal is one of the most important links that you’ll need to remember. Primarily because it links to all the important functions that you will be using constantly throughout your life at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Although there is plenty to play around with, I will highlight the 5 most important functions as indicated by the red arrows in the image (click to enlarge) above.
1. STARS Planner
STARS (Student Automated Registration System) is NTU’s system designed to help you register for your modules. It helps you map out your timetable as shown in the image above. As a freshman, it is highly likely that your timetable will be empty. To fill it up, go to your STARS Planner and on the bottom right hand side click on “Check Course Registered” and a window should pop up. Select the relevant semester and a list of registered modules should show up.
In your main STARS Planner window, now select “Back to Main” and key in all your course codes (eg. FE1007) and click “Plan”. Then just simply match the index numbers of each module registered to you and your timetable will be shown. For a more in depth guide on NTU’s STARS PLANNER, please see the guide located here.
Note: When registering for your modules, it pays to know your course well. Some courses like NTU’s Mechanical Engineering programmers allow students to be streamed to either the Mechatronics or Design stream. Doing so changes your your academic requirements. In this case, a mechanical engineering student who chooses to be streamed to either one of the above programmers will be required to do 2 mandatory STS prescribed courses. He will loose his ability to do a General – prescribed course. Look into your course curriculum just to make sure.
Note 2: If you plan on taking a minor, please note that all the modules that you are required to take for your minor must be registered under your unrestricted electives. You will need to complete 15 AUs to complete your minor requirements so take note of this when registering for your electives.
This is the main system that registers your modules for you. After selecting all your modules and placing them in your STARS Planner, you can push them into STARS for registration. Here you can also drop courses, change the index number of currently registered courses and also change the “module type” (i.e. from General Prescribed to an Unrestricted Elective and vice versa). Pretty self explanatory.
Please note: Although your modules have been registered for you (and most likely will be next semester as well). Take note that the initial registration of courses (not the ADD/DROP Period) is based on a first come first served basis. This means that you will be competing with others in real time. So be be early and start spamming the “Add Courses to STARS” button a few seconds before your registration time.
3. Degree Audit
This page is pretty self-explanatory. It lists your AU requirements, GPA etc.
4. NTU Student Link
This contains links to more functions that are not so commonly used. Here you can apply for bursaries, choose your stream etc.
5. NTU Blackboard
This is also another VERY important link. You can visit the Blackboard by directly going to edventure.ntu.edu.sg. This is where your tutors will upload all your course materials, recorded lectures, tests and even put their announcements. Be sure to check this site regularly.
Setting up notifications in Blackboard:
To set up Blackboard’s notification system (so that you can get e-mail alerts etc.). Log in to edventure.ntu.edu.sg with your NTU username and password and click on “Notifications Dashboard” as Shown in the image below:
Then select “Edit Notification Settings”. Your page might differ from the one shown below but you should see it somewhere in the page.
Once done you’ll be brought to another page. Look for the header “Bulk Edit Notification Settings” and select “Courses I am taking” and you’ll be brought to the page shown below:
Simply select the services you want enabled and you’re done!
*Note*: There is also a Blackboard App all almost all smartphone operating systems that comes in quite handy when you need to check announcements or download notes on the go. Search your devices app store for “Blackboard”.
3. NTU Email
This is the primary method by which most of your NTU related communications will be done. Although most professors will just post their announcement on the Edventure, some may choose to communicate via email to inform you of last minute class cancellations (you won’t believe how often this has happened to me) or upcoming test information. You may also risk loosing out on important announcements by the school such as subject registration information.
You can easily excess your email any time by going to
Office 365 but it’s always more convenient to use a client like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird or to even have your email synced to your phone. To do this, you’ll need NTU’s Email settings as listed below:
Server name: pod51003.outlook.com
Encryption method: SSL
Server name: pod51003.outlook.com
Encryption method: SSL
Server name: pod51003.outlook.com
Note: Your username is your full email address eg. email@example.com. They are required for both your POP/IMAP and SMTP settings. If you would like your mail to be synchronized across all your devices, opt for IMAP instead of POP.
4. NTU Campus Map
NTU’s campus map website is another very important website as it will avoid making you look like a freshman completely. Instead of walking around with the huge map that comes with your welcome pack, you can now use the on line version on your smartphone. You know the best part? Just like Google’s Map website, you can type phrases like “LT 1A to Tutorial Room xxx” to get directions!
There are a total of 11 canteens and 3 cafes in NTU. The two most important being Canteen A (North Spine near LT 1A) and Canteen B (South Spine near LKC LT). These are the two nearest canteens tot he Academic Buildings. Canteen A has a large number of fast food outlets on its ground floor and a huge food court on the second floor. However it is important to note that due to the large student population, it may seem impossible to get seats during lunch time (12pm to 1pm) for both canteens. Especially if you plan to eat with a group of friends. I would be wiser to either postpone your lunch break till after 1pm or head down to one of the cafes (The Palette is just opposite Canteen A) or hall canteens.
6. NTU Smoking points
NTU is actually a smoke free campus but there are a few more common smoking points that have become somewhat accepted as official smoking points. Please note that you can get caught for smoking and and you may be fined (about $50?) or face disciplinary action (unheard of). So keep a look out for the campus security guards(especially if they’re female).
Here the main smoking point is the one behind the canteen near the loading and unloading bay. The easiest way there is through the canteen itself. Head towards the drink stall then head towards the toilets nearby. Next to the toilets you should see and opening to the loading and unloading bay.
Here the main smoking point is also at the loading and unloading bay which is somewhat hidden. From canteen A, head towards the 7-11 store. Then turn left and walk to the end of that corridor. At the end of the corridor, turn left again and walk towards the lifts/air-conditioning units (you’ll see either one depending on how far down you walk) and head towards it.
Note: It is also common to see people smoking in the open aired areas at the NorthSpine. Especially the one closest to the library/canteen.
Can be quite difficult to smoke within the hall compounds as there is always someone there to stop you (NTU Staff. You won’t be fined but they will tell you to stop smoking) during the day. Your best bet is to travel to one of the near by bus stops and smoke somewhere there during the day.
7. NTU Bus Routes
There are many buses that operate both within and to NTU. More information on their routes can be found here. It is advisable to alight at Boon Lay instead of Pioneer to take the 179 to school especially so during peak periods. Although the service has an excellent frequency, it is normally always packed when it leaves Boon Lay Interchange.