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Normal (Technical) course for secondary school

Normal (Technical) is a 4-year course leading to the N(T)-Level examination in Secondary 4.

Overview Subjects

Normal (Technical) course at a glance

Course length

4 years

Subjects at lower secondary

Students are exposed to a wide range of subjects at the lower secondary level to:

  • Help them make informed choices on their subjects at upper secondary level and beyond.
  • Prepare them to cope with these subjects at upper secondary level.

The subjects offered are:

  • English Language
  • Mother Tongue Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Character and Citizenship Education
  • Social Studies
  • Computer Applications
  • Design and Technology
  • Food and Consumer Education
  • Physical Education
  • Art
  • Music
  • Project Work

Compulsory subjects at upper secondary

English Language, Mother Tongue Language, Mathematics, Computer Applications and Social Studies

Options and electives

  • Eligible students may take some subjects at the Normal (Academic) or Express course levels through Subject-Based Banding (SBB)
  • Elective programmes available

Certifications offered

  • GCE N(T)-Level (Secondary 4)
  • GCE N(A)-Level (Secondary 4) for subjects offered at N(A)-Level
  • GCE O-Level (Secondary 4) for subjects offered at O-Level

Next educational level

Nitec Programme offered by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

or

Normal (Academic) at Secondary 4, if eligible

Taking Normal (Academic) course subjects

Lower secondary students can take certain subjects at the Express course level through Subject-Based Banding (SBB).

  • Your child can take subjects at the Express course level if:
    • they scored an A* or A for that subject at the PSLE.
  • Your child can take subjects at the Normal (Academic) course level if:
    • They scored a B, C at Standard-Level or 1 at Foundation-Level for that subject at the PSLE.
    • They do well in the school-based examination, and their schools find them suitable after starting Secondary 1.

Your child may also be eligible to take certain subjects at a higher course level in Secondary 3.

From 2024, all secondary schools will adopt full SBB. Learn more about it.

Transferring to the Normal (Academic) course

Your child may transfer to the Secondary 2 Normal (Academic) course at the end of Secondary 1 Normal (Technical), or Secondary 2 Normal (Technical).

Transfers are based on student performance, and the professional assessment of their teachers and principal. Speak to your child’s school for more information on transfer criteria.

GCE N-Level examination

In Secondary 4, your child will sit for the GCE N-Level examination. Most students in the Normal (Technical) course take between 5 and 7 subjects.

If your child is taking any Express or Normal (Academic) course subjects, they may sit for the O-Level or N(A)-Level examination in that subject.

After Secondary 4

After completing the N-Level examination in Secondary 4, your child will:

  • Continue to ITE for a 2- to 3-year National ITE Certificate (Nitec) course, potentially going on to polytechnic afterwards.
  • If eligible, transfer to the Normal (Academic) course and take the N-Level examination for N(A) subjects in the following year.

Specialised Schools for Normal (Technical) students

Crest Secondary School and Spectra Secondary School are Specialised Schools for Normal (Technical) (SSNT) students. These schools offer an alternative pathway for Normal (Technical) students who prefer a more hands-on curriculum.

SSNT students take the core subjects of English Language, Mother Tongue Language and Mathematics at the Normal (Technical) course level. Students are also given the opportunity to specialise in an ITE Skills Certificate (ISC):

  • Hospitality services
  • Facility services
  • Mechanical servicing
  • Retail services

Depending on their performance, eligible students can also take:

  • Science at the Normal (Technical) level.
  • Mathematics at the Normal (Academic) level through Subject-Based Banding.
  • English Language at the Normal (Academic) level through Subject-Based Banding.

Students graduate with the GCE N-Level and the ISC, which are recognised for admission to ITE Nitec courses.

You can apply to Crest Secondary School and/or Spectra Secondary School directly. Use the SSNT Application Form, which is available from the respective schools’ websites.

Students applying to SSNTs will still need to participate in the Secondary 1 posting process.