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What is the Direct School Admission-Junior Colleges

The DSA-JC allows students to seek admission to a junior college (JC) on the basis of talents and achievements that may not be demonstrated at the GCE ‘O’ Level Examination. The DSA-JC enables students to enter suitable academic and non-academic programmes in junior colleges that can develop the students in these areas.

Choosing DSA schools:
A step-by-step guide

Step 1:

Students should consider their strengths and interests, and discuss with their parents/guardian.

Guiding Questions
  • Is a JC education suitable for you?

  • What are your strengths and/or interests?

  • Which strengths or interests would you like to develop further through the DSA school?

  • Are you prepared to be committed to the programme and school if you take up the DSA?

Firstly, students will need to consider if a JC education is suitable for them. JCs prepare students by equipping them with the skills and knowledge required for universities or institutes of higher learning, with a focus on imparting a conceptual understanding.

Once students are clear that the JC route is suitable for them, students could then consider if they want to apply to a JC through the DSA-JC. Before doing so, students should ask themselves if they are committed to developing their talents in the chosen DSA area, in that particular school. In admitting students through the DSA, the school is committed to developing the student to his or her fullest potential in both academic studies and the area of talent for which the student is selected during the DSA-JC.

Students who are not ready to commit to developing their talents in a particular school may wish to consider the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) instead, in which students are admitted based on their GCE ‘O’ Level examination results. Students successfully admitted to a school through the DSA-JC will not be allowed to participate in the JAE or transfer to another school after the release of the GCE ‘O’ Level examination results.

For students who are Singaporean citizens, financial assistance and scholarships are available to help them attend the school of their choice.


Students can participate in the DSA-JC and Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) concurrently. However, they may accept only one offer, i.e. either a DSA-JC or EAE offer. Students found to have accepted both DSA-JC and EAE offers concurrently will be disqualified from these exercises, unless they cancel either of their offers before the end of the Acceptance Stage.

Step 2:

Students should shortlist junior colleges with DSA areas that match their strengths and/or interests.

Guiding Questions
  • Which schools offer programmes that can develop your strengths or interests? Consider visiting the website of schools participating in the 2019 DSA-JC to find out more.

  • What are the academic programme(s) offered by the schools i.e. GCE ‘A' Level, International Baccalaureate Diploma?

  • Considering the school culture and all the school programmes, which of the one or two shortlisted schools best suit your learning pace, aptitude and strengths?

  • Are there other factors that will affect your JC experience e.g. the distance of the school from home?

Students may consider applying for a JC through DSA-JC if they are able to identify a school that offers a talent development programme in their area of strength. If not, students can continue to participate in the JAE in January and be admitted to a school based on their GCE ‘O’ Level examination results. Majority of S4E/S5 ‘O’ Level students participate in the JAE.

Apart from considering whether the school can develop their areas of strength, students should also consider the pace of learning and the overall range of programmes offered by the school. Finding a good fit will help students enjoy their learning at an appropriate pace, and benefit from the school’s programmes.

Step 3:

Apply to individual schools.

  • Students are encouraged to obtain more details on the schools’ selection criteria by:
    • Visiting the schools’ website
    • Visiting the schools’ open houses

    Students are encouraged to consider applying to one or two schools that best cater to their needs. 9 out of 10 students participating in last year’s exercise applied to 3 schools or fewer.

  • Submit the DSA application form before the deadline. (Note: Please check the individual school website as the application period and procedures can vary from school to school.)

How do schools select students?

The selection process differs across schools, and for different DSA categories. Depending on the DSA area applied to, students may be asked to submit a portfolio showcasing their talents and achievements, secondary school results, CCA records, a personal statement and/or a character reference. Schools may also administer interviews, tests, or trials.

What are the possible outcomes of a student's application and what to do next?

The DSA schools will inform students on the application outcomes by 30 Jul 2019 for Phase 1 applications, and by 23 Aug 2019 for Phase 2 applications (see the next section for what the two phases are). There are two possible outcomes:


What does this mean?

What is my next step?


The student has a place reserved in the school and he/she will be admitted as long as he/she qualifies for JC admission based on the GCE ‘O’ Level examination results.

The student who wish to take up the offer will submit the acceptance form to the DSA school before the end of the Acceptance Stage.


The student has not been given a place in the school in the DSA-JC.


The student will participate in the JAE. If the student qualifies for JC admission based on the GCE ‘O’ Level examination results, he/she may still opt for the same JC that did not offer him/her in the DSA-JC.

When is the DSA-JC conducted?

The 2019 DSA-JC will be conducted in 2 phases according to the following schedule.


Print Version (74kb .pdf)

Important things to note

  • Students have a choice of whether or not to participate in the DSA-JC. If they choose not to participate in the DSA-JC, they will continue to participate in the JAE after the release of the GCE ‘O’ Level examination results.

  • Students should consider carefully before accepting a DSA-JC offer. Students who have accepted an offer from a JC are deemed to be admitted to the school, subject to students meeting the eligibility criteria for JC admission after the release of the GCE 'O' Level examination results.

  • Students who wish to withdraw from the DSA-JC must do so before the end of the withdrawal period.

  • Students successfully admitted to their DSA schools will not be allowed to participate in the annual JAE. They will also not be allowed to transfer to another school after the release of the GCE ‘O’ Level examination results. Students are expected to honour the commitment to the DSA school.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions may be found here.