Changes to direct school admission scheme: What you need to know

From next year, all schools offering Secondary 1 places through the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme will use a centralised online portal which means that students only need to fill in one online form to apply to multiple schools.

Application through the portal will be free-of-charge, to remove financial barriers for any student and to encourage students, regardless of background, to apply for places under the scheme.

Here’s what you need to know about the changes:

1. Why are students limited to three choices from the 2019 DSA-Sec exercise?

Over 90% of students applied to three or fewer schools in previous DSA-Sec exercises, so this is a reasonable number. It encourages students to consider their DSA selection judiciously, and manage the time and effort participating in multiple DSA trials and interviews.

2. If a student applied for two talents area in one school, and is suitable for both, will he/she receive a confirmed offer or waitlist for each of the talent areas?

If a student applies to two talent areas in a school, and is found suitable for both, the school will issue the offer (either confirmed or waitlisted) for what it assesses to be the more suitable talent area. This means the student will receive only one offer from each school.

3. Are students still required to submit hard copies of documents to the secondary schools?

No hard copies are required for submission. MOE has simplified the application form and reduced the number of data fields for manual entry. For example, information on the student’s P5 and P6 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. This removes the need for students to submit multiple copies of documents to different secondary schools.

4. Can Secondary Schools still accept direct applications during and after DSA-Sec application period?

Secondary schools will not accept direct applications during and after the DSA-Sec application period. This is with the exception of 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.

5. With applications being centralised via the DSA Portal, how much flexibility is given to schools to select their students?

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.


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