9 NUS Hacks From Your Seniors – Campus Shortcuts, Cash-Earning Lobangs and “Hidden” Study Spots

NUS campus hacks

Getting into university is hard, but getting through it is where the real challenge lies. Besides having to figure out your timetable yourself, you’ve probably gotten lost once or twice trying to find where your tutorial is in the maze that is NUS.

From hidden study spots to short-cuts across campus, here are 9 NUS hacks that’ll make your 4 years in NUS much easier to go through.

More on life in University:

1. Download past year papers using NUSMods Exam Paper Tool

Unlike our secondary school and JC days, 10-year series papers aren’t as easily available on Popular shelves. If you’re looking for some extra practice before your exams, download past year papers on Exam Paper Tool so that you’ll enter the exam hall with peace of mind.

All you’ll need to do is simply download the software and key in your module code and student details to get access to these papers.

2. Install Endnote to help with formatting your citations

Image credit: EndNote

One of the first few things you’ll learn when you enter NUS is that proper citations are a must – or risk getting marked down. To save yourself the misery of harping on the could-have-been ‘A’, install EndNote for free from this NUS Software site with your NUS account to help you sort out your citations in seconds, saving you both your time and your grades.

3. Take the bus at Ventus instead of CLB to avoid peak hour crowds

Image credit: The Cinnamon Roll

Most of the time, getting on a bus towards Kent Ridge MRT involves deliberate planning. You’ve got to position yourself at the correct spot to be one of the first few to squeeze on the bus. To avoid the crowd, here are a few hacks for travelling around NUS during peak hour.

A useful NUS hack to get around is to simply find an earlier bus stop to catch an emptier ride
Image credit: NUS

If you’re waiting for your bus opposite CLB, walk over to the Ventus bus stop instead for a higher chance of getting on. For those headed towards the West, you can take bus 201 from Kent Ridge Terminal that passes by Clementi MRT instead of squeezing with everyone on bus 96 at CLB.

During peak hour, the crowd at the UTown bus stop can often be seen from Fine Foods. To avoid this crowd, consider taking the public bus from the UTown bus stop along Dover Road instead, or crossing the road to Aft Clementi Ave 1 bus stop. Both stops have buses that bring you to Buona Vista and Clementi MRT station. 

4. Save money by taking NUS buses to MRT stations

Image credit: An Nagib Bin Salam

Of all the shuttle buses available, you’ll rarely see BTC1/BTC2 crowded because it mainly caters to the Law students studying at the Bukit Timah campus. But if you’re looking for a quick and cheap way to get to town, take BTC1 from the Kent Ridge campus towards Bukit Timah – it’ll make stops along the way at Botanic Gardens MRT for you to drop off at. 

5.  Save time with the secret route from Kent Ridge to Science

Shortcuts to the Deck

Image credit: NUS

The Deck has one of the best mala stalls on campus, but getting there can prove to make you sweat even more than a da la given the many, many steps you’ll have to conquer to get there. If you’re headed to The Deck from AS3, walk down the carpark and take the lift at AS5 to the 4th floor. Walk through the air-conditioned psychology labs and The Deck will be on your right at the other exit.

For those headed here from Kent Ridge or Sheares hall, you can cut through the ICube building and Computing Faculty to enjoy some air-conditioning as well.

Cut through Arts to Business through Computing

Image credit: NUS News

If you’re rushing to get to class from FASS to Business, take a shortcut through Computing instead of waiting for the bus to make its round there. All you’ll need to do is exit FASS from The Deck which will lead you to Computing.

Cut through campus from Business to Science

Image credit: Chun Kiat Wong

If you follow the bus route, Science and Business are right at the opposite ends of campus. To save time, cut right through campus from Business to Science through Imagen Holdings behind BIZ 2. There’s even a video that shows the exact route.

Walk to Science Faculty instead of taking the bus from Kent Ridge MRT

Cross this sheltered walkway between NUH and MD11 on your way to Science
Image credit: NUS

For Science students, walk to campus through NUH from Kent Ridge MRT instead of taking the shuttle bus. Not only will you save time, but you’ll be able to give the space to students from other faculties who may need the shuttle bus more than you do. 

Follow the yellow ceiling for a sheltered route to lessons

Image credit: Chue On It 

If you ever get lost in the maze of buildings and staircases in older faculties like Science and FASS, just look up and follow the yellow ceiling – NUS very own yellow brick road. Not only do they connect to other faculties, but they also provide a sheltered route for you to get to lessons too.

Print at AS7 computing lab instead of CLB

Print your A1 project boards at Xerox located in West Coast Plaza
Image credit: Nestia

Ask any NUS student where to print notes and the first place that they’ll tell you is CLB. But if you’re looking for alternative places to print to avoid the queue or get your notes printed for cheaper, here are some places you can consider:

If you need to print large A1 size boards for your project or presentations, the nearest place to get this done is Xerox Press at West Coast Plaza. For an A1 board with mounting, it’ll cost around $25 before GST. 

Even though it may be slightly pricier than other places like Sunshine Plaza, you’ll save money on travelling down and time too – especially when you’re trying to chiong a presentation out in under 6 hours.

For those who hate queuing at CLB, head down to the computer lab at AS7 to print your notes. Alternatively, you can head down to your friend’s hall to print your notes to avoid the crowd – all you’ll need to do is borrow a printing card and top up your credits inside it.

Computing students are given a quota of 500 printing pages monthly – so be sure to make full use of this free service if you’re one. If you’re from another faculty, you can ask your computing friends to help you print for free if they don’t use their printing services often.

Xerox Press

Address: West Coast Plaza,154 West Coast Road #02-30, Singapore 127371
Opening Hours: 11AM – 8.30PM, Daily

Mug in “hidden” libraries instead of CLB

Medical Library

Image credit: NUS Library

Once midterms and finals roll around, it’s almost impossible to get a spot at CLB, especially after 12PM. If you’re looking for alternative places to get your work done, check out the Medicine LIbrary located at MD6. 

Affectionately named the medlib, this place is often frequented by medicine students – who often have different exam schedules from the rest of the school. This means more study spots for you.

Address: Blk MD6, Centre for Translational Medicine, 14 Medical Drive, #05-01, Singapore 117599
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8.30AM-6PM | Sat 10AM-5PM

Music Library

Image credit:

As one of NUS’ newer libraries, the Music Library located at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music is one of the hidden study spots across campus. It’s open from 9AM-6PM from Mondays to Fridays and is open to all students. A 15-minute walk away from UTown, it’ll be a good choice if you can’t find anywhere to study in UTown.

Address: Music Library, 3 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117376
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM

EA atrium  – aircon 24/7, not only during exam season

Studying at lesser-known spots like the EA atrium one of the most useful NUS hacks during the exam seasons
Image credit:

Engin has one of the most confusing campuses without a doubt – every engine student has gotten lost there at least once. But the EA atrium is relatively accessible and easy to find – all you’ll have to do is stop at the Engineering bus stop along Kent Ridge and follow the overhead bridge to get to this study spot.

Remember to bring your jacket along, because this study spot has its aircon blasting 24/7 – even when it’s not exam season. This place also has vending machines to fuel you through your late-night grind.

8. Join NUS Telegram chats for food delivery, shared rides & tuition assignments

Stay up to date with ongoing activities in school

Lost item found on NUSlostandfound

With all the functions that Telegram provides, one of the most useful ones is the channel function – many of us get notifications about deals or news through these channels. Well, now you can get information about events and other lobangs through these NUS Telegram channels.

If you’re on the forgetful side, make sure you’re subscribed to NUSlostandfound – people often post misplaced items that they’ve found here. From lost matric cards to misplaced AirPods, you’ll have a higher chance of finding your misplaced items here than approaching security guards.

Possibly one of the largest telegram channels in the NUS community is the NUS Chat – which you can use to get more information about events happening around school like movie screenings and interesting workshops. You can even use this channel to crowdsource for participants for your research projects.

Got a sudden craving for McDonald’s? You can get someone to dabao it for you when you make a request on NUS Food Buddy. It works similar to grab hitch – if someone is on the way to campus, they can help you make the purchase for a small delivery fee.

Earn quick cash and save on your dentistry bill

One of the useful hacks is to get NUS Dentistry students to fix your teeth at a lower price
Image credit: NUS Faculty of Dentistry

If you’re looking for discounted dentistry services, you can go to the SMILE Clinic at the Faculty of Dentistry. Year 3 and 4 students will perform procedures like fillings and Root Canal Treatment all at a fraction of the price – for even as low as $20. Don’t be worried about having a botched tooth job, all procedures will be under close supervision by specialists and practitioners. 

Planning your own timetable means more time for other activities like part-time jobs. For those looking for a tutoring gig, subscribe to NUS Tuition Assignments. They regularly post available tutoring jobs with location details – if it’s near you, it’ll be a convenient and easy way for you to earn some cash on the side.

For some quick and easy lunch money, take part in research recruitment programmes across campus. You’ll be able to find students crowdsourcing for participants on NUS Chat, or on individual faculty sites such as Yale NUS synergy labs and Faculty of Science. Most involve quick 20- to30-minute experiments that pay you $5 – more than enough to cover lunch.

9. Save on all-day parking at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory

The cost of parking your car in school can be expensive – leave your car in for a day and the cost of parking can even go up to $12. Most of us who drive already know that students and staff enjoy free parking on Sundays and Public Holidays at all car parks

But to enjoy pay-per-exit parking on weekdays, register your vehicle on the NPAS Portal and pay only $2.58 for parking at CP3 (which is at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory), CP3A and CP10B

NUS Hacks to get you through 4 years

Even with no one to hold our hand through university, most of us still manage to get through our 4 years with tips and tricks from seniors and the occasional rule-bending. For freshies that have been stuck in a bubble of online lectures and tutorials this whole semester, hopefully these NUS hacks will help you get adjusted to school when we get to go back again!

More on student life and NUS hacks:

Cover image credit: Chun Kiat Wong, The Cinnamon Roll

Sheann Neo

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