Guidelines on choosing secondary schools

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.

If your child has special learning needs, choose a school with specialised facilities or resources that can support them.

Learn about how you can have this conversation with your child here.

2. Other considerations

Based on your child’s strengths, interests, and learning needs, you may want to think about:

Programmes, subjects, and CCAs offered

Secondary schools offer various programmes, subjects and CCAs to develop your child 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.

To explore secondary schools based on location and the programmes, Co-curricular Activities (CCA) and subjects that they offer, visit SchoolFinder.

School culture

Visit school websites and open houses to get a sense of the school’s culture, ethos and environment.

Location and transportation options

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


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.

3. Shortlisting schools

  1. Consider your child’s PSLE Score against the schools’ PSLE Score ranges from the previous posting exercise for the respective Posting Groups.
  2. Find out how you can journey with your child to find suitable schools based their strengths and interests.
  3. When submitting school choice:
    1. Use all 6 options with a range of Cut-Off Points (COPs) so that you are more likely to get into a school of your choice.
    2. Consider at least 2-3 schools where your child's PSLE Score is better than the school's COP.
  4. Refer to SchoolFinder for information and to shortlist schools that meet your child’s learning needs, knowing the CCAs, programmes and subjects they offer. Parents may also refer to the secondary schools' websites and visit their open houses.
  5. Ranking your preferred school higher in your school choice order will increase the chances of your child being posted to that school, if they need to undergo tie-breaking.
  6. Do note that school’s PSLE Score ranges can vary from year to year, since they depend on each cohort’s performance and choice patterns.

PSLE Score ranges for individual secondary schools

  • The PSLE Score ranges for individual secondary schools are generated from students’ PSLE results and school choice patterns at the previous year's S1 Posting Exercise. They reflect the PSLE Score of the first and last student who have been posted into each school under the AL system. Slight fluctuations in schools' Cut-Off Points (COPs) can happen from year to year and would typically be by 1 point.
  • Students and their parents can use the PSLE Score ranges as a reference when shortlisting secondary schools that would be a good fit for the student's overall learning needs, alongside other factors such as the schools' programmes or initiatives, Co-Curricular Activities, ethos and culture as well as home-school distance.
  • Schools' PSLE Score ranges from the recent S1 Posting is available on MOE SchoolFinder.

Read this list of commonly asked questions and answers on indicative PSLE Score ranges.

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Last updated: 24 Nov 2023