Press Releases

May 13, 2009

74 Secondary Schools To Participate In Direct School Admission Exercise

This year, 74 schools, 8 more than last year, will be participating in the Direct School Admission Exercise (Secondary) (DSA-Sec) for admission to Secondary One in 2010. The DSA-Sec Exercise promotes holistic education by giving participating schools greater flexibility in selecting students while holding to the key principles of transparency and meritocracy. For students, DSA provides them the opportunity to demonstrate a more diverse range of achievements and talents in seeking admission to secondary schools.

A list of the 74 schools participating in the DSA-Sec Exercise this year is at Annex A (124kb .pdf).

New DSA Secondary Schools

Specialised Independent School

This year’s DSA-Sec Exercise will be extended to the new School of Science and Technology, Singapore (SST), a Specialised Independent School that provides capable students with a strong foundation in both academic and applied learning. SST will start in January 2010. SST will offer a four-year programme comprising regular academic subjects and options in applied areas related to technology, media and design. SST students will sit for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level examination as their graduating qualification in their fourth year of studies. They can then progress to either the junior colleges or polytechnics before going on to university

Niche Programme Schools

In addition, MOE has also approved another seven schools to offer discretionary places via the DSA-Sec Exercise for admissions from 2010 onwards. The niche programmes for these schools are as follows:

School Niche
Bukit Merah Secondary Floorball
Chong Boon Secondary Environmental Education
Evergreen Secondary National Education
Pasir Ris Crest Secondary Fencing
Peirce Secondary Uniformed Groups
Seng Kang Secondary Hockey
Unity Secondary Basketball

Two new niche areas, National Education (NE) and Environmental Education (EE), will also be introduced this year. NE will be offered by Riverside Secondary School and Evergreen Secondary School, while EE will be offered by Chong Boon Secondary. NE emphasises community involvement and NE-related experience, while EE selections value students’ participation in environment-related projects at the National level. More details on the selection criteria can be found at the respective schools’ websites.

A list of the 34 niche programme schools is at Annex B. MOE will continue to invite applications from schools interested to establish niche programmes in subsequent years.

Student Selection for DSA Places

Each school has its own merit-based criteria for selection (academic and/or non-academic criteria), based on the students’ personal qualities and areas of focus (such as science, music, sports) that the school would like to emphasise. Information on the schools participating in the DSA-Sec Exercise, their selection criteria and their application and selection processes can be found on their respective websites.

DSA-Sec Exercise

The exercise will be conducted in 3 stages as follows:

Stage Stage Name Description Period
1 Selection Schools will conduct their own selection exercises, and inform students of the results (Confirmed Offer, placed on Waiting List or Rejected). 29 Jun 09 to 4 Sep 09
2 Exercise School Preference Students may indicate their school preferences during this stage, based on the Confirmed Offers they have received and schools which have placed them on the Waiting List. Offers not taken up will be considered as lapsed. They can indicate their preferences online or at their primary schools. 26 Oct 09 to 30 Oct 09
3 Results Release The results of the DSA-Sec Exercise will be released together with the PSLE results. Late Nov 09

Students who take up Confirmed Offers or Waiting List offers by schools during the DSA-Sec Exercise are still required to take the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Those who take up Confirmed Offers are guaranteed a place in the school that has extended them an offer, provided that their PSLE results meet the minimum requirement for a course [Express/ Normal (Academic)/ Normal (Technical)] offered by the school.

Similar to previous years, students who have been admitted through the DSA-Sec Exercise will not be able to participate in the centralised Secondary One Posting Exercise.

For Further Information

Students who are interested in participating in the DSA-Sec Exercise should approach any of the participating Secondary Schools or visit their websites for more details regarding the selection exercises.

Students/parents can also call the MOE Customer Service Centre at 6872- 2220 for further clarifications or refer to the DSA-Sec website for more information regarding the DSA-Sec Exercise.


MOE has been giving schools, polytechnics and universities greater flexibility in their admission of students to allow a more diverse range of student achievements and talents to be recognised.

Since 2004, MOE has introduced a phased plan to provide greater flexibility in the secondary and junior college (JC) school admission system. The plan includes:

  • allowing schools with the Integrated Programme (IP), NUS High School, School of the Arts and School of Science and Technology, Singapore full discretion in admissions;
  • enhancing the autonomy of Autonomous Schools (AS) and Independent Schools (IS) by:
    • increasing their level of discretionary places to 10% and 20% respectively, and
    • allowing them to adopt their own merit-based admission criteria for these places;

  • extending discretion on admissions, of up to 5% of intake, to mainstream secondary schools that are able to develop strong niche programmes; and
  • giving discretion on admissions to all JCs.