Direct School Admission
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Direct School Admission (DSA) is a program in Singapore introduced in 2004 for students who are studying Primary 6 or Secondary 4 to be guaranteed a place in a secondary school or junior college respectively. Another goal of this program is to allow secondary schools/junior colleges to have more autonomy in choosing their students. A student may receive "Confirmed Offer", "Waiting List" or "Rejected" as an outcome. All students who have applied for any school's DSA exercise are ranked according to the results of the DSA test held by the school.
The DSA scheme will be reviewed under two guiding principles, announced Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng in the Committee of Supply Debate in Parliament today (8 Apr). Minister Ng noted that while the scheme has benefitted many students, there was some unevenness in how different schools select students. The review aims to expand opportunities for students with specific aptitudes and talents by providing more schools with distinctive programmes. This will allow students with specific domain talents and achievements to be recognised – which was its original objective – instead of general academic ability.
The first few number of students in the ranking determined by the school are given a confirmed offer. Should a Primary 6 student receive a confirmed offer from any school, he or she will receive a School Preference Form in late October after his or her Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and will not participate in the S1 Posting Exercise. Although it is said that the student has been guaranteed a place in the Secondary School, he will lose the offer if he is not eligible for the lowest academic stream (Special, Express, Normal(Academic), Normal(Technical)) the school offers according to his PSLE results. In this case, he will have to participate in the S1 Posting Exercise
The following few students in the ranking also determined by the school will enter the waiting list. Those who are in the waiting list will fill up the vacancies after some students who receives a confirmed offer has decided to reject the offer. They will enter the school according to their order in the ranking until all vacancies for the school's DSA exercise has been filled up. The student will also receive a School Preference Form in late October after his PSLE. If he enters the school via DSA successfully, he need not participate in the S1 Posting Exercise. Like the students who received a confirmed offer, the student will lose the offer if he is not eligible for the lowest academic stream (Special, Express, Normal(Academic), Normal(Technical)) the school offers according to his PSLE results.
The students who are not ranked high enough in the school's DSA ranking will be rejected. If he does not have any other offers (including waiting list), he will not receive a School Preference Form and will have to participate in the S1 Posting Exercise.
Flowchart of DSA procedure
- Student gathers data on the schools he is interested in applying.
- Student sends in his application with all required documents through a way specified by the school (usually online).
- Student goes for all tests and/or trials on a day/days specified by the school. The school may ask the student to submit all/some documents on the test date. Some schools may also have students attend an interview after the initial placement or General Assessment Tests.
- Student receives the outcome of his application and fills in the School Preference Form (if applicable).
- "Direct School Admission - Secondary: Frequently Asked Questions". Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 17 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- Official Website for DSA-Sec exercise
- Official Website for DSA-JC exercise
- Official Website for Hwa Chong Institution DSA (High School) exercise
- Official Website for Raffles Girls Secondary School DSA exercise
- Resource for Preparing and Handling DSA Interviews
- Article on DSA by educationcube.com web portal
- Reference Guide Book on DSA
- Reference Guide for DSA Candidates
- Reference Guide on Writing Personal Statements
- Reference Article to DSA
- Reference article to Discretionary Admissions