RI vs Hwa Chong – What’s The Difference?

RI vs Hwa Chong

You’ve just received your ‘O Level’ results, and you must have done pretty well to be considering the top few JCs in Singapore! 

Some of these JCs include RI and Hwa Chong JC, and here’s an in-depth comparison between them:

Travelling time and distance

Depending on where you live, you might find that the long commutes may wreak havoc on your sleep schedule – having to wake up extra early for school would take a toll on your body. 


Raffles Institution is located at 1 Raffles Institution Ln. 

The nearest MRT is Marymount on the Circle Line, and it is only a stone’s throw away – just 4 minutes away from the MRT station. Alternatively, you can alight at Bishan MRT, which is further away and requires around a 13-minute walk.

These are the bus services that you can take:

On the other hand, Hwa Chong Institution is located at 661 Bukit Timah Road.

The nearest MRT station is Tan Kah Kee on the Downtown Line, similar to National Junior College (NJC). It is a short 4-minute walk from the MRT station, which makes it really convenient. 

Prefer to take a bus instead? 

There are a couple of buses that you can take:

Entry requirements

Here are the cut-off points for both JCs during the 2022 Joint Admissions Exercise(JAE):


The cut-off points of both junior colleges are rather comparable, since they are both considered very prestigious schools.

DSA requirements

If you have any special talents or abilities, you can consider applying for both junior colleges through the DSA scheme. 

As for RJC, their DSA pathways are slightly different from Hwa Chong, with a greater emphasis on performing arts.

These pathways include:

  1. Sports(eg. Basketball, Squash)
  2. Performing Arts (eg. Chinese Orchestra, Raffles Symphonic Band)
  3. Academic Talents (eg. Maths / Science Olympiad, Malay Language Elective Program)

Hwa Chong JC has many DSA pathways for prospective students:

  1. Academic (English, Chinese, Maths, Science, Infocomm-Programming or Robotics, Bilingualism)
  2. Possessing leadership qualities such as: “Resilience in improving oneself”, “Passion for serving the community” and “Experience in leading student organisations (eg. School body or CCA etc)”
  3. Students who have shown passion or exceptional abilities in these sports as well as those who have competed at zonal, national or international levels(list not exhaustive):
    – Badminton
    – Canoeing
    – Chinese Weiqi
    – Track and Field
    – Volleyball
    – Water Polo 
    – Wushu


According to Kiasuparents, Raffles JC is affiliated to Raffles Girls Secondary School as well as Raffles Institution (Secondary), whereas Hwa Chong JC is affiliated to Hwa Chong Institution (Secondary). 

Integrated programme

Both schools offer the Integrated Programme(IP) under their respective affiliated secondary schools. 

Hence, you can enter both schools as a Secondary 1 student (Year 1) via the DSA route or the Secondary One Posting Exercise.

Subjects offered

These are the subjects offered by RJC and HCJC:

Knowledge and Inquiry
Further Mathematics
China Studies in English
Chinese Language & Literature
Tamil Language & Literature
Malay Language & Literature
Literature in English
English Language & Linguistics
Foreign Languages
China Studies in Chinese
Translation (Chinese)

Both JCs do not offer Triple Science due to MOE’s regulations.

The subjects offered are pretty much the same, except that Raffles JC offers Music and Malay Language and Literature as well as Tamil Language and Literature. On the other hand, Hwa Chong JC offers China Studies in Chinese and Translation(Chinese).

H3 subjects

Here are the subjects offered at the H3 level in Raffles Institution and Hwa Chong:

Literature in English
Chinese Language and Literature
Malay Language and Literature 
Tamil Language and Literature

You can find out more about H3 Chemistry here.

 Special programmes for Raffles JC

MOE Special Programmes-Music Elective Programme (MEP)
-Malay Language Elective Programme (MLEP)
-Art Elective Programme (AEP)
Raffles Special Programmes-Raffles Humanities Programme
-EWBIS Research Programme
-Raffles Academy
Non-academic programmesBusiness Leaders Programme
-Governance and Civic Engagement
-Raffles Ecological Literacy Programme

Special programmes for Hwa Chong

H3 subjects offered by local universities-NUS H3 Programme – Geopolitics: Geographies of War & Peace 
-NTU H3 Programme – Molecular Biology
-SMU H3 Programme – Game Theory
H3 research programmes-NUS-MOE Humanities and Social Sciences Research (NUS-MOE HSSR)
-NTU-A*STAR-HCI H3 Science Research Programme
-NTU-MOE Nanyang Research Programme (NTU-MOE NRP)
MOE Special Programme-Language Elective Programme (Chinese) (LEP)
-Art Elective Programme (AEP)
-Bicultural Studies Programme (Chinese) (BSP)
Hwa Chong Special Programme-Science & Math Talent Programme (SMTP)
-Gifted And Talented Education Programme (GATE)
-Computing Talent Programme (CTP)

It seems like Hwa Chong JC has a huge focus on academic-related activities and programmes whereas Raffles JC offers a more holistic experience.

CCAs offered

Hwa Chong offers a total of 33 CCAs, comprising 6 cultural-related and performing arts-related CCAs, 8 clubs and societies CCAs, 15 sports CCAs and 4 uniformed group CCAs. The most interesting CCA would be the Youth Flying Club where students will get to go on “joyrides on RSAF aircraft”.

Raffles JC has a total of 70 CCAs, comprising 29 sports-related CCAs, 14 music and performing arts-related CCAs and 27 clubs and societies CCAs. Notable CCAs would include the Raffles Runway for aspiring fashion designers, the Raffles Press and the Writers’ Guild for budding reporters and writers. 

For those who love rock music, you can consider the Raffles Rock CCA.


The facilities that both schools offer seem to be very vastly different.

Here are some of the facilities that are offered by RJC:


  • OpenLabs
  • Cluster Labs


  • Hullett Memorial Library
  • Shaw Foundation Library


  • ARTSpace
  • Art Studio (Year 5-6)
  • Music Studio (Year 5-6)
  • Raffles Discovery Studio

Other facilities include the Raffles Guidance Centre, Raffles Leadership Institute and the Higher Education Office.

As for HCJC, they have a Science Research Centre which includes:

  • Ten Science Research Laboratories
  • The Theatrette
  • Field Station and Special Culture Rooms
  • Student-Centered Project rooms and Work Resource rooms 
  •  Preparation rooms for technicians, storage space for chemicals and equipment 
  • Computer network system

Hwa Chong also has a Jing Xian Library for JC students and the Kong Chian Library for Secondary school students. 

Hwa Chong’s Ong Teng Cheong Student Activities and Leadership Training (SALT) Centre offers a Leadership Training Centre, the Performing Arts Centre, the Clubs and Societies Centre and the Student Resource Centre. Moreover, they also have a multi-purpose hall.

The Holistic Education Centre has a student services wing, Guidance Centre and Learning Spaces as well as a three-storey high Indoor Sports Hall

Other facilities include the Kuo Chuan Centennial Art Gallery as well as vast open spaces for activities.

Additional features

If you are keen to stay on campus for a semester or two, both schools have boarding programmes as well. 

The Raffles Boarding Programme is compulsory for secondary 3 students but not for JC students, providing ”opportunities for personal growth and leadership development through workshops, talks, and experiential activities”. There are multiple amenities such as a minimart, computer, reading and games room and a laundry area(DIY and serviced). 

Meals are fully provided as well. For Singaporean students, the school fees will cost $1700 per term with an additional $150 for an air-conditioning fee.

As for the Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School, boarding is not compulsory. For existing students who are interested in joining the programme, they have to pay $219.29 per student per week as well as an additional registration fee of $53.50 and a security deposit of $200. In addition, the minimum period of stay “has to be at least 10 weeks” and “local students are required to return home on every Friday and/or Saturday to spend time with their family members”.

Amenities include a music room, a fitness centre and a fitness station. Students will get to take part in a wide variety of activities to “strengthen character, forge lifelong friendships, and nurture leaders”. 

Laundry and meal services are provided as well. 

School fees

For Singaporean students, RJC charges $335 per month while HCJC charges $350 a month as they are considered to be independent JCs. 

For those who are in need of financial aid, there are bursaries and subsidies available provided by Hwa Chong as well as Raffles Institution.


Here is a summary of these 2 JCs:

Nearest MRTMarymount
(Circle Line)
Tan Kah Kee
(Downtown Line)
JAE Score4 (Science) and 5 (Arts)4 (Science) and 5 (Arts)
Affiliated schoolsYesYes
Integrated ProgrammeYesYes
Subjects offeredSimilarSimilar
Elective programmes offeredLessMore
School starting time and ending timeUnknownUnknown
CCAs offered3370
Facilities offeredSimilarSimilar
Additional featuresLots of STEM-related enrichment programmes, rich Chinese cultureA lot of interesting CCAs, good for those who like the performing arts


In terms of academic rigour and excellence, RJC and HCJC are on par with each other. 

However, HCJC seems to have more elective programmes, especially those related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. If you are interested in pursuing a career in research or engineering, HCJC might be more suitable for you. 

RJC is more culturally diverse compared to HCJC which has a huge emphasis on the Chinese Language and culture as well. If you have an affinity for the performing arts sector or you prefer having a greater variety of CCAs, you can consider joining RJC instead.

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