Direct School Admission Exercise (DSA) Guide

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Direct School Admission Exercise (DSA) is one way to secure your spot in your preferred School before PSLE, O Levels.

Direct School Admission Exercise (DSA)

The DSA exercise allows Primary 6/Secondary 4 students to apply to some schools before taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), or GCE O Levels.

Students apply based on their talents in sports, co-curricular activities (CCAs) and specific academic areas.

Students who have taken up an offer through the DSA exercise will be guaranteed a place in the school. They will not participate in the Secondary 1 Posting Exercise/JAE and will not be allowed to transfer to another school after obtaining their PSLE/O Level results.

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Direct School Admission Exercise Changes

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

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.

DSA Application Process

Parents will only need to fill in one form via the online portal to apply to multiple schools and talent areas, and their details will be provided electronically to the secondary schools.

– Choose up to 3 Schools
– Receive only 1 offer from each School
– No hard copy student details/records needed

Securing Direct School Admission (DSA)

To Secure DSA, there are standards that schools look for in order to give your child admission.

Through Music, Performing Arts & Dance:

– Attained at least Grade 5 for Piano
– Represented his/her school in SYF Arts Presentation
– Won a minimum of Silver Award or Certificate of Accomplishment at the SYF Arts Presentation
– Proof of participation in any competitions is a bonus, winning is an added bonus, whether for clubs, schools, or national competitions.

Through Sports:

– Member of top 4 teams in National Inter-School Championship
– Member of Top 2 team in the same Championship
– Quarter-finalist in the National Age-Group Individual Championship (or any major Championship organized by Singapore Primary Schools)
– Proof of Participation in other competitions

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More accepted through DSA Exercise

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.

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