Start of 2019 Direct School Admission-Secondary (DSA-Sec)

Published Date: 06 May 2019 12:00 AM

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Students interested in applying for Direct School Admission (DSA) to secondary school for admission in 2020 may do so from 8 May 2019.

Direct School Admission-Secondary (DSA-Sec)

2. DSA provides a pathway for students to gain direct entry to secondary schools based on their talents and achievements that may not be demonstrated at the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). Upon admission, students can develop these talents further in their secondary schools. There are 146 secondary schools participating in the 2019 DSA-Sec.

3. Students participating in DSA-Sec are still required to take the PSLE. Students will be informed of the outcome of their DSA application, and if successful, they will need to decide whether to take up the offer before their examination results are released. A student who takes up a DSA-Sec confirmed offer is guaranteed a place in that secondary school, provided his/her PSLE result meets the minimum requirement for a course [Express / Normal (Academic) / Normal (Technical)] offered by the school.

DSA Commitment

4. In accepting an offer of admission through the DSA-Sec, students are expressing a commitment to study in that school, to develop their talent in the chosen area, and should honour this commitment. Students successfully admitted to a school via DSA-Sec will not be participating in the Secondary 1 Posting Exercise (S1 Ex). They will also not be allowed to transfer to another school after obtaining their PSLE results.

5. Thus, students should carefully consider their DSA application, based on their aptitudes and strengths, the school’s academic and non-academic requirements, and the programmes available to develop their talents.

DSA-Sec Application

6. As announced in November 2018, the DSA-Sec application process has been simplified and streamlined. All secondary schools1 will follow a common application timeline. From 8 May till 4 June 2019, students and parents may submit applications via a centralised online portal2. Applicants only need to fill in one online form to apply to multiple schools/talent areas, and their details will be provided electronically to the schools they apply to.

7. The application form has been simplified. For example, information such as students’ Primary 5 and Primary 6 academic results, Co-curricular Activities (CCA), and school-based achievements/awards will be automatically shared with the secondary schools that students apply to. Therefore, students will not be required to submit any certificates, transcripts, or testimonials with their application form.

8. Application through the portal is free-of-charge, to remove financial barriers and to encourage all students with the talent and potential, regardless of their background, to apply for DSA. Application through the portal requires one parent’s SingPass to login, for authentication purposes. Parents who do not have SingPass access can approach their child’s primary school for assistance.

9. Each applicant can indicate up to three choices in the application form. For each choice, applicants will need to choose a secondary school and a talent area offered by that school. For a student with more than one talent area, he/she can indicate a different talent area for each of his/her three choices, and a maximum of two choices may be used for the same school. Examples of possible choice combinations can be found in Annex A.

Financial assistance schemes

10. MOE provides financial assistance and sets aside resources such as the Opportunity Fund to ensure that underprivileged students are not deprived of developmental opportunities. There are also scholarships such as the Edusave Scholarship for Independent Schools (ESIS) awarded to academically strong students to help defray the higher fees in Independent Schools (ISes).

11. With effect from April 2019, MOE has introduced the new UPLIFT Scholarship for Independent Schools, for eligible students from low-income families. The Scholarship provides a cash award of $800 per annum for two groups of students from low income families: (i) students with talents in specific areas admitted to ISes through DSA, and (ii) academically strong students who are recipients of ESIS. Students from families with Gross Monthly Household Income (GHI) up to $2,750 or Per Capita Income (PCI) up to $690 will be eligible for the scholarship.

12. The tenure of the UPLIFT Scholarship will be for the full duration of studies in the Independent School, starting from year of entry and is subject to the student meeting the renewal criteria3. More information can be found at:

Further Information

13. More information on DSA-Sec is also available at the following website:

14. Details on the start of the 2019 DSA-JC will be made available next week.

  1. Students interested to apply to the Singapore School of the Arts (SOTA) will continue to apply directly to the school because of its unique admission requirements.

  2. The link to the portal will be available on ( and will be activated on 8 May.

  3. For students on ESIS, the UPLIFT Scholarship is tenable for the duration of the ESIS award, starting from the year of the award.

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