Direct Polytechnic Admission Exercise

Frequently Asked Questions

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General FAQs

  1. What is the difference between the DPA and other Polytechnic Admissions Exercises such as the Joint Polytechnic Special Admissions Exercise (JPSAE)? The JPSAE also considers students based on their special talents and aptitudes.
  2. Is DPA available to all students?
  3. I am a sportsman and would like to gain admission to a polytechnic course. Does the DPA exercise consider sporting talents in its selection criteria?
  4. If I am really keen on a Polytechnic Education, why do I still need to take my O-level examinations? Can I proceed directly to the polytechnics?
  5. What are the selection criteria for DPA?
  6. Why is there a threshold requirement for DPA? Why is the threshold requirement set at “net ELR2B2  score of not more than 26 points”?

Application Processes

  1. Why do polytechnics conduct interviews?
  2. I have accepted my DPA offer, but I have changed my mind and wish to take up another course in the same polytechnic. Can I switch to a different course within the polytechnic and retain my DPA place?
  3. How long do DPA students need to remain in the polytechnic to graduate with the diploma?
  4. I have accepted my DPA offer, but when the GCE O-level examination results were released, I attained a net ELR2B2 score of more than 26 points and/or did not meet the Minimum Entry Requirements (MER) for the polytechnic course for which I have a DPA offer. What will happen to my DPA offer?

The Polytechnic Preparatory Programme

  1. What are the key benefits of the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme (PPP)?
  2. What is the fee for the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme?
  3. If I am accepted to a polytechnic course through the DPA, is the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme compulsory?

General FAQs

  1. What is the difference between the DPA and other Polytechnic Admissions Exercises such as the Joint Polytechnic Special Admissions Exercise ( JPSAE)? The JPSAE also considers students based on their special talents and aptitudes.

    The DPA focuses on admitting students who have demonstrated aptitude and interest in a particular area of applied learning in the polytechnics. The JPSAE considers students with outstanding talents and achievements in areas beyond applied learning, such as in leadership, community service and sports. Each polytechnic is allowed to admit up to 2.5% and 5% of its annual intake through the DPA and JPSAE respectively.

    Unlike the JPSAE, the DPA is conducted before the release of the GCE O-Level results, and allows the students to confirm places in polytechnic courses before taking the GCE O-Level examinations, and to benefit from the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme before the start of the formal polytechnic term.

  2. Is DPA available to all students?

    The DPA is available to

    1. Sec 4 Express and Sec 5 N(A) students
    2. Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident private candidates who have registered to sit for the GCE O-Level examinations in the year of the DPA admission exercise.

  3. I am a sportsman and would like to gain admission to a polytechnic course. Does the DPA exercise consider sporting talents in its selection criteria?

    If you wish to be considered for your sporting talents that are not relevant to what you are applying for, you should apply under the Joint Polytechnic Special Admission Exercise (JPSAE). The JPSAE considers other talents beyond those related to the area of applied learning, such as sporting talents. The JPSAE is conducted after the release of the GCE O-Level results.

  4. If I am really keen on a Polytechnic Education, why do I still need to take my GCE O-Level examinations? Can I proceed directly to the polytechnics?

    The GCE O-Level qualification is an important milestone qualification and provides a sound broad-based education to prepare our students for their post-secondary years. This also ensures that students admitted to polytechnics via DPA have the necessary foundation to cope with the rigour of a diploma education.

  5. What are the selection criteria for DPA?

    Each polytechnic has its own selection criteria, which can be found on their respective websites. The selection criteria would include school-based results, special talents of students, teacher recommendations, student aptitudes, performance at immersion programmes and interviews. Students’ participation and grades in Advanced Elective Modules (AEMs) and Applied Graded Subjects (AGS) may also be considered, as they reflect students’ interest and aptitude in applied learning.

  6. Why is there a threshold requirement for DPA? Why is the threshold requirement set at “net ELR2B2  score of not more than 26 points”?

    The threshold requirement is to ensure that students admitted via the DPA exercise will be able to cope with the rigour of polytechnic education. Students must meet the following requirements for their GCE O-Level examination results:

    1. achieve a net ELR2B2 score of no more than 26 points, and
    2. meet the Minimum Entry Requirements for the polytechnic course they chose.

    The threshold requirement of not more than 26 points is based on the highest cut-off point for most polytechnic courses in the past. Students who are given DPA offers should not have difficulty meeting the above requirements, as they have already demonstrated strengths in areas relevant to their chosen polytechnic courses.

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Application Processes

  1. Why do polytechnics conduct interviews?

    Interviews help polytechnics to better determine a student’s interest and aptitude in a particular area of applied learning. This gives students the chance to be heard, or show their portfolios if relevant.

  2. I have accepted my DPA offer, but I have changed my mind and wish to take up another course in the same polytechnic. Can I switch to a different course within the polytechnic and retain my DPA place?

    No, you will not be allowed to switch courses after accepting a DPA offer.

  3. I have accepted my DPA offer, but when the GCE O-level examination results were released, I attained a net ELR2B2 score of more than 26 points and/or did not meet the Minimum Entry Requirements (MER) for the polytechnic course for which I have a DPA offer. What will happen to my DPA offer?

    Your DPA offer will cease to be valid. The relevant polytechnic will contact you to inform you of your available options. These include applying to other polytechnic courses which you can qualify for based on your GCE O-level results and applying to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) through the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE).

  4. How long do DPA students need to remain in the polytechnic to graduate with the diploma?

    DPA students will start and complete their polytechnic course of study at the same time as their peers who enter through the JAE, i.e. they will be able to obtain diplomas three years after the start of their polytechnic course in April. Within these three years, however, DPA students may pursue advanced modules or Diploma-Plus programmes. This is possible because DPA students would have completed some first-year modules during the eight-week Polytechnic Preparatory Programme prior to the start of the polytechnic academic year

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The Polytechnic Preparatory Programme

  1. What are the key benefits of the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme (PPP)?

    Each polytechnic will have its own customised PPP, lasting about eight weeks from January to March. Each polytechnic’s PPP would comprise activities such as industry visits, leadership camps, as well as polytechnic modules. The PPP will enhance and broaden students’ learning experiences, and prepare them better for polytechnic education. As students in the PPP have taken some core and elective modules before the start of the formal academic year, this will allow them to pursue more advanced modules or cross-disciplinary modules during their polytechnic education.

  2. What is the fee for the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme?

    The PPP is heavily subsidised by MOE to keep fees affordable. The fees for admission to the PPP in 2013 were $150 per student for Singapore Citizens, $300 per student for Singapore Permanent Residents and $500 per student for international students. The fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change. The fees for 2014 will be announced later.

  3. If I am accepted to a polytechnic course through the DPA, is the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme compulsory?

    Yes, the PPP is a compulsory programme for all DPA students. The polytechnics will consider appeals on a case-by-case basis, only if there are valid reasons why a student is unable to attend the PPP.

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