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How to choose secondary schools

Every child has different strengths and abilities. Find out more about choosing a suitable school for your child.

1. Talk to your child about their strengths, interests and learning styles

Beyond academic results, help your child find out:

  • What they are good at (their strengths).
  • What they like, value and enjoy (their interests) by observing how they spend their time.

Explore schools that offer courses which suit your child's learning pace. Look at the opportunities and programmes to develop their talents, strengths and interests.

Learn more on how to begin this conversation.

2. Based on your child's strengths, interests, learning styles and PSLE results, you may want to think about:

School culture
School culture

Visit schools' websites to have sense of the different schools’ culture, ethos and environment.

Courses
Courses

Depending on your child’s PSLE score, they will be offered a course option. If your child is eligible for only 1 course, they are not allowed to choose another course. If your child is eligible for 2 courses, either Express and Normal (Academic) or Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical), they must choose 1 course before submitting their school choices. The selected course will apply to all the school choices.

Programmes, subjects and CCAs offered
Programmes, subjects and CCAs offered

Secondary schools offer various programmes, subjects and CCAs to develop students in various areas. Choose schools which offer CCAs and learning programmes that can nurture your child in their areas of interest and develop their potential.

Location and transportation
Location and transportation

Think about transportation options, such as how your child will get to school, and the travelling time.

School type
School type

Choose a school type (for example, government, government-aided, independent, etc.) that suits your child. If your child is a Singapore Citizen, financial assistance and scholarships are available to help them attend the school of their choice.

Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools
Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools

SAP schools aim to deliver a bilingual and bicultural education through a learning environment steeped in Chinese culture and language. If your child has taken English and Chinese language as subjects in the PSLE, they may opt for SAP schools.

Affiliated schools
Affiliated schools

For priority admission to the affiliated secondary school, your child must indicate that school as first choice. However, admission is not guaranteed as it is still subject to the availability of places. Some secondary schools may also have additional qualifying criteria for their affiliated primary school students.

For dual-track schools offering both Integrated Programme (IP) and O-Level Programme, affiliation considerations will only be given for the O-Level Programme.

Note: At least 20% of the places in each course, i.e. Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical), will be reserved for students who do not benefit from affiliation priority.

Special needs
Special needs

If your child has special needs, for example, hearing loss, visual impairment, or physical disability, choose a school with specialised facilities or resources that can support them.

3. Shortlisting schools

You should have a list of 6 schools ready before submitting your choices in the Secondary 1 posting.

When shortlisting schools, consider:

  1. Prioritising schools with programmes and CCAs that match your child’s strengths and interests.
  2. Your child’s PSLE score against the schools’ previous score ranges for their chosen course — for example, Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical). As the schools' cut-off points are based on previous cohort's PSLE scores, you should include at least 2 choices where your child's score is 5 points or more above the school's cut-off points. This will increase their chances of being posted to one of their shortlisted schools.
  3. Using all 6 options. This will increase your child's chances of being posted to a school of their choices. If your child does not get into a chosen school, they will be posted to a school with vacancies near your registered address.
  4. Listing the affiliated school as the first choice when applying to a school affiliated with your child’s primary school. This will give your child priority, but it does not guarantee admission.

Explore and shortlist suitable schools.