Integrated Programme

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The Integrated Programme (IP) is a scheme that allows high-performing students in secondary schools in Singapore to skip the GCE Ordinary Level (O-level) examination (typically taken by students at the end of their fourth or fifth year in secondary school) and proceed to sit for the GCE Advanced Level (A-level) examination, International Baccalaureate (IB), or an equivalent examination, after six years of secondary education. The A-level examination is typically taken by students at the end of their second or third year in junior college.


The programme allows for more time allocated to enrichment activities. That is, without the O-level examinations, the students have more time and flexibility to immerse themselves in a more broad-based education which will eventually lead to the A-level examination. In addition, the students enjoy more freedom in the combination of subjects. Generally, only the top performers are eligible to be part of the IP programme, do use to implement it, as it is currently regarded as experimental. Thus most of the main body of the students pursue their secondary education at the current pace by first completing a four-year O-level course before proceeding to a two-year A-level education.

A-level programmes[edit]

The integrated programme was first implemented in Hwa Chong Institution (formerly The Chinese High School), Nanyang Girls' High School, Raffles Girls School, Raffles Institution, Dunman High School, and River Valley High School in 2004.[citation needed]

The IP allows students to skip the O-level at secondary four and be admitted directly to junior colleges. All the schools allowed in the scheme accepts the top 10% of the national cohort. This ensures that students who are under the IP are able to cope with their A-level after bypassing their O-level.[citation needed]

Some junior colleges including National Junior College, Temasek Junior College, and Victoria Junior College, offer it independently. VJC is now offering it with Cedar Girls Secondary and Victoria School (more info below)

For the four-year IP, secondary two students from various schools are allowed to apply for this programme. These students have their secondary three and four education in the junior college itself, followed by the A-level course.

Dunman High School applied for the IP system in mid-2004 standalone, and the Ministry of Education approved the first batch to be enrolled in 2005, with Year 1 and Year 3 students, each having a cap of about 135 out of 380 students. Full IP was granted in late 2005, and the school went full IP at the beginning of 2006.

River Valley High School joined the IP system in 2006 by operating a six-year course standalone.

Since 2009, National Junior College has also accepted students who have taken the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), making it a six-year program.

Since 2012, Victoria School and Cedar Girls' Secondary School are offering the IP with Victoria Junior College which will build upon the four-year Victoria Integrated Programme (VIP) in the junior college. It is [called the VCA IP( Victoria Cedar Alliance Integrated Programme).

In January 2013, the Joint Integrated Programme, commonly referred to as the JIP, offered by Catholic High School, CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls' School and Singapore Chinese Girls' School, alongside with Eunoia Junior College, was established. The four schools are the newest additions to the Integrated Programme landscape.

The three secondary schools will continue to offer the 'O' Level track alongside the IP track, thus they are termed by the MOE as dual track schools. Such schools allow students to have the flexibility to switch to the stream that is better suited to the students' needs.

International Baccalaureate program[edit]

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and St. Joseph's Institution, the only IP leading to IB schools in the country, have allowed their students to abandon the British system and "go Swiss" by dropping the GCE examinations altogether and adopting the International Baccalaureate (IB), having been fully authorized as IB World Schools. The IB is generally regarded as a better track if the students have plans to study overseas in future. The IB allows students to take both arts and science subjects, philosophy courses and extensive research papers. Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and St. Joseph's Institution are currently the only secondary schools in Singapore to offer the IP, which leads to the International Baccalaureate examinations. Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) is regarded as one of the top schools in terms of results of the IB in the world, having averages as high as 42 out of a total of 45 points. St. Joseph's Institution started its IP in 2013.

NUS High School Diploma[edit]

The NUS High School of Mathematics and Science is a school which specialises in math and science, but also aims to develop all-rounded students through its diploma curriculum, which allows rigour and depth, or flexibility and breadth. NUS High School is also affiliated and very closely linked to the National University of Singapore (NUS). Students in this school graduate with the NUS High School diploma, which has been accredited by NUS, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Singapore Management University (SMU), and is still in the process of gaining more recognition from universities and colleges in other countries. For placement into overseas universities, they also take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and Advanced Placement (AP).

List of schools offering the Integrated Programme[edit]

Schools that offer IP leading to the International Baccalaureate Diploma[edit]

Schools that offer IP leading to the GCE Advanced Level[edit]

School that offers IP leading to NUS High School Diploma[edit]

Criticism of the Integrated Programme[edit]

The success of an IP student is based on an assumption that students are self-disciplined enough to ensure that they manage their time well and be diligent in their studies, so that they will remember all the core content taught to them and yet find enough time to engage actively in independent learning.[3]

However, this may be considered a utopian ideal. Without an important watershed intervening national examination to help them focus, students may simply let their guard down.[3]

Also, IP widens inequality[4] among students in Singapore. Most of the places in top Junior Colleges are reserved for IP students. This includes Raffles Institution and Hwa Chong Institution. As such, students taking the O Level track will face a tighter competition when they want to enter top schools in Singapore, compared to their IP peers.

This programme is allegedly for clearly university-bound students. It can thus be inferred that if an IP student under-performs in the A-level examination, a rare case, because the number of IP retainers is small, the student will face drastic consequences. For non-IP students who fail to perform well in the A-level, they still have their O-level qualifications, which act as a "safety net". However, in the absence of this "safety net", IP students who under-perform in the A-level will have only their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) certificate to fall back on. [3]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Secondary Education > Other Programmes > Integrated Programme". Ministry of Education, Singapore. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Implementation of Integrated Programme (IP) on Track". Press Releases. Ministry of Education, Singapore. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Sandra Davie (22 December 2011). "Some students fail to thrive on Integrated Programme scheme". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  4. ^ "Review Integrated Programme for Equality - SGEXAMGURU". SGEXAMGURU. 2018-07-23. Archived from the original on 2018-07-24. Retrieved 2018-07-23.

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