CORS1001: Guide to NUS Module Bidding

Are you lost about module bidding? Maybe you’re a newly matriculated freshman, without knowing any seniors to guide you for module bidding. Or perhaps you’re still unsure about our NUS bidding system, even as a returning student (year 2 and above). No worries, here’s a simple step-by-step walk through on the bidding process to guide you along.

Step 1: Check the module bidding schedule

Look up the NUS CORS webpage shown below and click on “Schedule & Module Info“.

bidding 8.PNG

You will find 2 types bidding schedules. Look for the “Open and Closed Bidding Periods” as shown below.

bidding 9.PNG

You will notice that there are many rounds under both open and closed bidding. Now these 2 types of bidding are where you actually fight for the modules that you want. In open bidding, everybody is able to see the current bidding status for any module, while during closed bidding this information will no longer be available. You will see what I mean in a short while.

I’ll also explain what each round means later. For now, just know that if you are a new student, you will only be able to bid from Round 1C. If you are a returning student, you can bid in all rounds.


Step 2: Log in to CORS

When the bidding period is open, proceed to the CORS homepage and click the large “Login Here” button as shown below. You will be unable to access the login page if the bidding period is over.

bidding 11.png

bidding 12

Enter your matriculation number and password provided to log in. You will then see the home page shown below.

bidding 1

Take your time to check your personal data and read through the various tabs.


Step 3: Minor Declaration

Now to proceed, select the “Declaration” tab on your left.

bidding 13.PNG

You may proceed to declare any minor or second major that you are aiming to take up, or can decide not to remain without any at this point of time. Note that the latest you can declare a minor is usually your 4th semester (do check with your faculty department about this to be sure).


Step 4: Adding your modules

Now click on “Module Management” and you will see the screen below.

bidding 2

Modules that you have currently chosen (in this example, none) are shown under “Selected Modules”.

Modules that you have already won from previous rounds or are pre-allocated by your department will be shown under “Allocated Modules”.

To start bidding for a module, you need to add it first by clicking “Add New Module”. You will then see the screen below.

bidding 3

Under “Module Category”, you can select the category of modules that you are looking for then click on “Retrieve Modules”. This will produce the list of modules available for bidding in this semester under that category.

A blue module title means the module is unavailable for bidding in the current round. The number in brackets after the each module’s title is explained at the bottom of that page, indicating the module type such as UEM, faculty requirement etc.

After selecting a module, you will see the screen below.

bidding 4

Highest bid points (HBP) and lowest bid points (LBP) show the current bidding status of this module, which is both 1 in my example above. In open bidding, the information of HBP and LBP is constantly updated and will be made available to all. However in closed bidding, only the final result of HBP and LBP from open bidding will be reflected with no further updates.

Vacancies shows the number of available slots left and number of bidders shows how many people have placed a bid on this module. This information will always be available in both open and closed bidding.

Once you have chosen the module you want, click on “Add Selected Module.” You will then see the screen below providing details about the module such as exam date and lecture time.

bidding 6

There will be nothing about tutorial yet. Click on “Submit” to confirm your module selection. Note that if your chosen module has a timeslot that clashes with any other module that you have already won / been allocated, you will be unable to select the module. You have to email your department to request for a waiver on the clashing restriction.


Step 5: Module Bidding

Now that you finally selected your modules, you may begin bidding. Select “Bidding Management” on the left and you will be directed to the screen below.

bidding 7

This page shows the amount of “Programme Account” and “General Account” points that you have as well as lets you place bids on added modules. If there is a module that you are bidding for in the current round, you will be able to see the current bidding statistics in open bidding OR the final bidding statistics of open bidding when in closed bidding.

Choose the module that you wish to place a bid on and remember to submit your bid. Note that our NUS bidding system works in the following way:

  1. Every academic semester, each student will be granted a certain number of P and G points depending on their faculty. Engineering students will receive 750 P and 250 G points per semester.
  2. When you first bid, you will pay points according to your bid from either the P or G account. If you are the new HBP or LBP, this will be reflected in that module’s bidding statistics. During this period before bidding ends you can continuously change the amount of bid points that you wish to use.
  3. When the results of bidding is released, everybody who won the bid will be allocated the module.
  4. If the number of vacancies is sufficient for everybody, everybody will pay the LBP and you will be refunded the excess. Eg There are 100 vacancies and only 50 bidders. The LBP is 1 and HBP is 100. The winning bid is thus only 1 point. If I bidded using 50 points, I will be refunded 49 points.
  5. If the number of vacancies is insufficient, only the top bids will win according to the number of vacancies. If there is a tie, the winner is decided on a first come first serve basis of the earlier bid at that winning cut off bid point. If there is any excess, it will again be refunded.
  6. Any excess module vacancies will then be carried forward to the next round for you to bid again with your remaining points.
  7. If you foresee that you won’t be able bid in a particular round cause of reasons like travelling or want to be the first bidder for a module in future rounds, you can place an advanced bid. The bid will automatically register for you once the appropriate bidding round has started. This however does not necessarily mean that you will win the bid.
  8. Pro tip: The CORS system will prevent you from overloading (more than 23 MCs) if it is still round 1 or round 2. To save yourself some points, ignore your 1 point cores and bid for the extra modules that you want first in round 1 or round 2. THEN later in round 3, go bid for these 1 point core modules again. You’ll save points plus you’ll still get to overload the semester.

Step 6: Tutorial Balloting

Later in the first week of the semester, you will be required to start balloting for your tutorial slots. First check when balloting of tutorials is to begin from the second schedule “Tutorial Schedule”. This can be seen below.

bidding 10.PNG

As you can see from the description, Iteration 1 is for Electrical & Computational Engineering (ECE), CFG and level 1000 physics modules. However it also includes balloting for some CN core modules too. Iteration 2 is for all other modules. To be safe, you should always just log in to check if you can ballot for your tutorial.

During Round 1A, you can log into CORS and this time you will click on the “Tutorial Registration” tab. Choose to update your rank preferences and you will see the screen below.

bidding 15

In my example, I can ballot for CN4122 but not HR2002 or MA3264 in this round. Select the tutorial slots that you wish to ballot for then click “Submit”.

bidding 16

You are then required to rank your tutorial slot preferences for all the modules which you have selected. When balloting for multiple modules, your ranking will rank all of the selected tutorials of each module together. As such please rank based on priority of the module and timeslot.

After the results are out, if you are unsuccessful you will ballot again in Round 1B. If you are successful but are unsatisfied with your balloted choice, you can choose to add, drop or swap slots with another person for a different tutorial slot during the “Online add/drop/swap” phase. If swapping, you will put your tutorial slot up while indicating your preferred slot. If another person sees this and is willing to, they can swap slots with you.

And that’s it. You’re done with module bidding and tutorial balloting. Hopefully your managed to get the modules and tutorials that you want. Otherwise, better luck next semester~


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do the different bidding rounds mean?
Round 0 – For advanced bids. This helps you to submit your bid for any module once the module is available for bidding.
– Use this if you won’t be able to access CORS during the actual bidding period.
Round 1A – To bid for core faculty modules (Your major). So you can start bidding for core modules which aren’t pre-allocated to you. Typically pre-allocating ends when you are in year 2.
– There is protection bidding this round where only students of your faculty are able to bid for the modules listed without competition from other faculties.
– Engineering students will use P points in this round.
– Only Returning Students may bid in this round.
Round 1B – Exactly the same as Round 1A. Hence this round is for students who did not get the faculty modules they wanted in Round 1A / want other modules.
– Protection bidding.
– Engineering students will use P points in this round.
– Only Returning Students may bid in this round.
Round 1C
(New students can start bidding)
– You can bid for for core faculty modules (Your major), and non-core faculty modules (non-major).
– Protection bidding.
– Uses P points for any faculty module, G points for non-faculty modules.
– All Students may bid.
Round 2A – You can now bid for faculty modules (Your major), none-core faculty modules (non-major) and GEs/UEMs.
– No Protection bidding for Returning students, Protection bidding for New students.
– Uses P points for any faculty module, G points for non-faculty modules.
– All Students may bid.
Round 2B – Exactly the same as Round 2A. Hence this round is for students who did not get the faculty modules they wanted in Round 2A / want other modules.
– No Protection bidding for Returning students, Protection bidding for New students.
– Uses P points for any faculty module, G points for non-faculty modules.
– All Students may bid.
Round 3A – All leftover modules can be bidded for.
– This is the period for you to overload after having an approved module overloading request.
– You can also drop modules to quickly replace with another now.
– No Protection bidding for all students.
– Uses P points for any faculty module, G points for non-faculty modules.
Round 3B – Exactly the same as Round 3A. All leftover modules can be bidded for.
– This is the period for you to overload after having an approved module overloading request.
– You can also drop modules to quickly replace with another now.
– No Protection bidding for all students.
– Uses P points for any faculty module, G points for non-faculty modules.

2.  What modules should I bid for?

This is a difficult question. Always refer to your faculty recommended module schedule found on their webpage to make sure that you bid for the correct core modules. For CHBE students, I have also uploaded some of these recommended schedules in my collection of files.

For your electives, you should browse through the entire selection if you have time or ask for advice from friends and seniors. If possible, some of these could even be used for you to fulfill your 2nd major/minor requirements. So plan carefully.

Usually “easier” modules such as GEK1519/PC1327 Science of Music or GEK1505/GEH1036 Living with Mathematics will have a steep bellcurve where even a single mistake may result in the difference of an entire grade while difficult modules are, well, difficult. I would advise that you either aim to take modules that you’re confident in scoring, or take them out of interest.

3. What does the E or X at the end of some module codes mean?

An E at the end of the module code eg CN2122E indicates that the module is meant for Bachelor of Technology. Ignore these.

An X at the end of the module code eg. MKT1003X means that it is a protected module. You  will only take that module with others who are all not from that module’s home faculty Eg. MKT1003X will be taken with others who are all not from Faculty of Business. This means a different, “fairer” bellcurve and at times even a different testing standard as compared to the home faculty.

4. How much should I bid for a module?

This depends on the modules itself and the best way to judge is to check HBP, LBP and number of vacancies. If there are clearly sufficient vacancies, a simple bid of 1 or 2 points is sufficient. However if there are many bidders, you will need to judge for yourself what is considered a safe bet. If I badly need the module within this current bidding round, I would consider putting it as a safe number higher than the current LBP. The main thing you need to watch out for is closed bidding as that is when you no longer know what is a safe bid. You can look up CORS for past bidding history of your module to get a gauge of the usual winning bid for that module.

Just note that at times, a module might actually have a quota split among different faculties. Just because the module is overbidded for in this round does not mean that you have to compete with others too. If there are remaining vacancies from the other faculties, they would likely merge all the quotas together for another round of bidding in the next round. You would best check information on the module on CORS for the quotas per faculty as well as remaining quota after each bidding round.

5. Should I bid in open or closed bidding?

I would prefer to bid during closed bidding while using open bidding to estimate a safe bid for myself. If I know that a module definitely has sufficient vacancies (such as core modules), I’ll just bid 1 point during open bidding. But this is up to your preference.

6. I have too many P points and too little G points. Why is it so unfair?

I honestly feel the same way too. That’s just how it is for FoE students as compared to Biz or worse, FASS students who get up to 500 G points a semester. It makes bidding for highly demanded electives difficult as seniors will have accumulated enough points to “show hand” at the end of 4 years. You can only save up your G points and hope that one day you’ll be able to get the module.

Also, your P points will also get more useful once you start year 2. This will apply for lab modules. Although there are sufficient slots for everybody to take the module, they are evenly distributed among a few days in the week and you will need to bid for the slot that you want.  There will always be a popular slot that everybody will fight for. You also need these points for your Technical Electives (TEs) later in year 3 and 4 where will strive to fight for TEs of your interest, or evening TEs which will match well with your IA schedule. These are the ones that everybody will fight for.

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