Direct School Admission 2019 changes and important dates every Singapore parent needs to know

April 12, 2019
  • 1 / 8

    From 2019, students applying for admission to Secondary 1 places via the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme will use a centralised online portal.

    Second Minister for Education Indranee Rajah announced the change on Nov 8 at the Arts Education Conference. Here’s what you and your child must know about the DSA changes, and the important dates to note.

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  • One form for all schools
    2 / 8 One form for all schools

    With the new portal in 2019, students no longer need to apply separately to different schools for DSA admission.

    Some schools used to charge for DSA applications, but applications under the new portal will be free, to encourage kids of all backgrounds to apply.

    Related: 66 Singapore schools will get new principals in 2019

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  • Choose up to 3 schools 
    3 / 8 Choose up to 3 schools 

    MOE says that over 90 per cent of students applied to three or fewer schools in previous DSA exercises for secondary school. Limiting the number will encourage students to choose well as they have to manage their time and effort during multiple DSA trials and interviews.

    Related: Secondary school affiliation: 20% of places for non-affiliated students from 2019

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  • Students will only receive one offer from each school
    4 / 8 Students will only receive one offer from each school

    If a student applied for two talent areas in one school – say, hockey and track and field – and is suitable for both, the school will only issue one offer.

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  • No hard copies needed
    5 / 8 No hard copies needed

    MOE has simplified the application form and reduced the number of data fields for manual entry.

    For example, information on the student’s Primary 5 and Primary 6 school results, co-curricular activities (CCA), National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) and Values In Action (VIA) records will be automatically shared with the secondary schools that the student applies to.

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  • You cannot apply directly to the school, except for Sota and Sports School
    6 / 8 You cannot apply directly to the school, except for Sota and Sports School

    Secondary schools will not accept direct applications during and after the DSAc application period for secondary schools.

    The exceptions: School of the Arts (Sota) and Singapore Sports School (SSP) which do not use the DSA-Sec Portal for application during their respective application periods.

    Related: Direct School Admission: Does it benefit rich kids more?

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  • Secondary schools still have flexibility in selecting DSA applicants
    7 / 8 Secondary schools still have flexibility in selecting DSA applicants

    Schools will still have the autonomy to select students based on their trials, application information and interviews (if any). The schools use a common set of principles from MOE to design their processes.

    The 2019 DSA-Sec categories and participating schools will be updated on April 1, to give students time to explore before the application runs from May 8 to June 4. Find out more here.

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  • More accepted through DSA in secondary schools
    8 / 8 More accepted through DSA in secondary schools

    Minister Indranee revealed that 3,000 Primary 6 students who applied for places through the scheme in 2018 received confirmed offers. This is 500 more than 2017.

    This is thanks to changes to the scheme that came into effect this year, including allowing all secondary schools to admit up to 20 per cent of their non-Integrated Programme intake via DSA. This is an increase from 5 per cent for schools with distinctive programmes and 10 per cent for autonomous schools.

    Concurrently, the ministry also refined DSA selection processes to help schools identify the potential in students, even if these students may not have had the opportunity to demonstrate their talent yet.

    For example, during the selection for arts, schools are assessing students on their potential ability – such as a sense of rhythm, an eye for aesthetics, or the ability to sing in tune – and place less emphasis on whether the student has gone for competitions or won awards.

    Related: Sota doesn’t want to be an elitist that caters only to the rich

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