Preparing to Study in Singapore
International students seeking admission to our mainstream schools in Singapore should note that English is the medium of instruction. International students are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves before taking the centralised test. They should be familiar with the English and Mathematics syllabuses of the level preceding the one they are applying for.
International students who are successfully admitted to our mainstream schools are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves in advance for a new school environment where English is the language of classroom instruction, and to familiarise themselves with the relevant curriculum for their level.
Admission to Pre-schools, Private Schools and Post-Secondary Institutions
International students who wish to seek admission to a pre-school, private school or post-secondary institution (e.g. university or polytechnic) should approach the pre-school, private school or institution directly.
Age Criteria for Admission of International Students
The Right Age
International students are encouraged to seek admission to their age appropriate level. MOE does not recommend admission to levels where international students will be more than two years older than their classmates.
|Level seeking admission to ||Appropriate age |
(as at 1st January of year of admission)
|Primary 1 ||6 to 6+ |
|Primary 2 ||7 to 7+ |
|Primary 3 ||8 to 8+ |
|Primary 4 ||9 to 9+ |
|Primary 5 ||10 to 10+ |
|Primary 6 ||New students are generally not admitted at this level. |
|Secondary 1 ||12 to 12+ |
|Secondary 2 ||13 to 13+ |
|Secondary 3 ||14 to 14+ |
|Secondary 4 ||New students are generally not admitted at this level. |
|Secondary 5 ||New students are generally not admitted at this level. |
|Pre-University 1 ||16 to 16+ |
|Pre-University 2 ||New students are generally not admitted at this level. |
|Pre-University 3 ||New students are generally not admitted at this level. |
In accordance with the Immigration Regulations, a foreigner who wishes to study in a Government / Government-aided / Independent School requires a Student’s Pass, unless he / she is a holder of a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or an Immigration Exemption Order (IEO). For more details on Student’s Pass applications, including the requirements for local sponsorship, please refer to ICA’s website.
International students are required to provide their guardians’ particulars to the school. The guardian should be either:
- A Singapore Citizen / Singapore Permanent Resident above 21 years old, or
- The parent of the international student if the parent is working / staying in Singapore
It is a requirement for international students to have a guardian when they are studying in our mainstream schools. The guardian is responsible to account for the child under his/her care. The guardian must be contactable by the school and any change in guardianship must be reported to the school immediately.
Primary Level Admission
International students admitted at the primary level will be expected to complete the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) like all local students, before proceeding to the secondary level.
Exemption from offering Chinese, Malay or Tamil as a Mother Tongue Language
As part of the Singapore education system, all students are required to offer their mother tongue language as part of the curriculum. Exemption from the mother tongue requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis after admission to school. Application for exemption should be made through the school principal, who will refer the application to the Languages & Literature Branch, Ministry of Education, for consideration.
Monthly School and Miscellaneous Fees
The rates of school and miscellaneous fees payable are reviewed by the Ministry of Education and individual schools from time to time.
The current school and miscellaneous fees payable by Singapore Citizens are shown in the table below.
|Level ||Monthly School Fee ||Monthly Standard Miscellaneous Fee ||Monthly 2nd-tier Miscellaneous Fee* (Maximum) ||Monthly Total Fee (Maximum) |
|($) ||($) ||($) ||($) |
|Primary ||Free ||6.50 ||6.50 ||13.00 |
|Secondary ||5.00 ||10.00 ||10.00 ||25.00 |
|Pre-University ||6.00 ||13.50 ||13.50 ||33.00 |
*2nd-Tier Miscellaneous Fee is decided by the schools and is capped at 100% of the standard miscellaneous fee. Singaporean students can use their Edusave Accounts to pay the 2nd-Tier Miscellaneous Fee.
The school and miscellaneous fees payable by Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) and International Students (IS) from 2017 to 2020 are shown in the tables below.
|Level ||Nationality ||Monthly School Fee 2017 (current) # ||Monthly Miscellaneous Fee* ||Monthly Total Fee (Maximum) |
|($) ||($) ||($) |
|Primary ||Singapore PR ||130 ||13 ||143 |
|IS (ASEAN) ||390 ||13 ||403 |
|IS (Non-ASEAN) ||600 ||13 ||613 |
|Secondary ||Singapore PR ||200 ||20 ||220 |
|IS (ASEAN) ||600 ||20 ||620 |
|IS (Non-ASEAN) ||950 ||20 ||970 |
|Pre-University ||Singapore PR ||280 ||27 ||307 |
|IS (ASEAN) ||860 ||27 ||887 |
|IS (Non-ASEAN) ||1,300 ||27 ||1,327 |
# For Monthly School Fee Rate from 2018 to 2020, please refer to table below.
|Level ||Nationality ||Monthly School Fee 2018 ||Monthly School Fee 2019 ||Monthly School Fee 2020 |
|($) ||($) ||($) |
|Primary ||Singapore PR ||155 ||180 ||205 |
|IS (ASEAN) ||415 ||440 ||465 |
|IS (Non-ASEAN) ||650 ||700 ||750 |
|Secondary ||Singapore PR ||260 ||320 ||380 |
|IS (ASEAN) ||660 ||720 ||780 |
|IS (Non-ASEAN) ||1,100 ||1,250 ||1,400 |
|Pre-University ||Singapore PR ||340 ||400 ||460 |
|IS (ASEAN) ||920 ||980 ||1,040 |
|IS (Non-ASEAN) ||1,450 ||1,600 ||1,750 |
Students studying in Autonomous Schools are also required to pay Autonomous School (AS) fee. Please check directly with the schools on the actual amount of fees payable.
The school fees payable for Independent Schools vary from school to school. Please check directly with the schools concerned for the fees payable.