The Ministry of Education (MOE) has been giving schools greater flexibility in their admission of students to allow a more diverse range of student achievements and talents to be recognised.
This year, under the Direct School Admission - Secondary Exercise (DSA-Sec), 80 secondary schools will select some of their 2011 Sec 1 students earlier using criteria other than the PSLE results. These criteria are schools-based and seek to allow a greater range of student achievements and talents to be recognised.
PSLE students have a choice of whether or not to participate in this exercise. If they choose to participate in 2010 DSA-Sec, they should be aware of the procedures as listed below well before the start of the 2010 DSA-Sec. If they choose not to, they can continue to gain admission to secondary schools through the usual centralised Secondary One Posting Exercise.
What is DSA-Sec Exercise?
For the DSA-Sec Exercise, students’ talents and achievements in both academic and non-academic areas will determine if they will be selected for direct admission into a secondary school. Each school has its own merit-based academic and non-academic criteria for selection. These are based on the qualities, such as talent in science, music or sports, that the school would like to emphasise. To assess these qualities in applicants, schools may conduct tests, interviews or trials as necessary.
Information on the participating schools, their areas of focus, their selection criteria and their application and selection processes can be found in their respective school websites.
The 2010 DSA-Sec Exercise will be conducted in 3 stages between 28 June 2010 and late November 2010. Here is the list of Secondary Schools participating in the 2010 Exercise.
The 3 stages of the 2010 DSA-Sec Exercise are:
1.Selection Stage (28 June 2010 to 3 September 2010)
2.Exercise School Preference Stage (25 October 2010 to 29 October 2010)
3.Results Release Stage (late November 2010)
Selection Stage (28 June 2010 to 3 September 2010)
During the Selection Stage, the participating secondary schools will conduct selection exercises, which might include trials, interviews or tests, to assess applicants. By the end of this period, schools will inform their applicants as to whether they:
■have been given a Confirmed Offer; or
■have been put on a Waiting List by the school; or
■have not been successful in their application.
Exercise School Preference Stage (25 October 2010 to 29 October 2010)
On 25 October 2010, all students with Confirmed Offers or who have been put on the Waiting List of a school will receive a School Preference Form from their respective primary schools. The School Preference Form will clearly list down:
■all schools which have given the applicant Confirmed Offers; and
■all schools which have placed the applicant on their Waiting Lists.
During the Exercise School Preference Stage, students with School Preference Forms will be able to indicate their preferences for up to 3 schools. A student who indicates his preference for a school which had given him a Confirmed Offer will be guaranteed a place in the school, provided that he is eligible for a course (e.g. Express) which is offered by the school.
Results Release Stage (late November 2010)
The results of the 2010 DSA-Sec Exercise will be released in late November 2010, together with the PSLE results.
Successful DSA applicants will be informed of the school they have been admitted to through their primary schools. Since these applicants already have a place reserved for them in a Secondary school, they will not be allowed to opt for a school in the Secondary One Posting Exercise. However, they may still indicate their interest in a third language programme or specify the academic course they would like to pursue where applicable.
Unsuccessful DSA applicants will also be notified through their primary schools. During the Secondary One Posting Exercise, these students may still opt for the schools that had not been able to offer them a place under the DSA-Sec Exercise. Other than Integrated Programme (IP) schools, 80-95% of places in DSA participating schools will continue to be available to students under the Secondary One Posting Exercise.
How and when to apply?
As each Secondary school will have its own selection process, students may refer to the school websites for details on their respective application and selection procedures well before the start of the Selection Stage. View the flowchart showing the steps in the DSA-Sec Exercise.
Interested students may also refer to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information on the DSA-Sec Exercise, or call the MOE Customer Service Centre at 6872-2220.