Press Releases

May 07, 2018

Start of 2018 Direct School Admission Exercises, Polytechnic Early Admissions Exercise and ITE Early Admissions Exercise

Students interested in applying for Direct School Admission (DSA) to secondary schools and Junior Colleges (JCs) for admission in 2019 may do so from today. Separately, applications for early admission to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics based on course-specific aptitude and interests will start in May and June 2018 respectively.

Direct School Admission-Secondary (DSA-Sec) and Direct School Admission-Junior College (DSA-JC) Exercises

2. The DSA exercises allow students to gain direct entry to secondary schools or JCs based on their talents and achievements that may not be demonstrated at the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) or the GCE O-Level examinations. Upon admission, students can develop these talents further in their secondary schools or JCs. There are 143 secondary schools participating in the 2018 DSA-Sec Exercise, and 18 JCs participating in the 2018 DSA-JC Exercise.

3. Students are encouraged to check the MOE DSA-Sec website and the MOE DSA-JC website for important dates and timelines, and to find out how the exercises will be conducted. The MOE DSA-Sec website also contains the full list of DSA categories offered and the secondary schools offering them. Interested students should visit the individual schools’ websites for more information on application periods and procedures plus selection criteria, which may differ across schools.

4. Students participating in the DSA-Sec or DSA-JC Exercise are still required to take the PSLE or GCE O-Level examination respectively. Students will be informed of the outcome of their DSA application, and if successful, they then need to decide whether to take up the offer before their examination results are released. Students who take up a DSA-Sec confirmed offer are guaranteed a place in that secondary school, provided their PSLE results meet the minimum requirement for a course [Express / Normal (Academic) / Normal (Technical)] offered by the school. Similarly, for students who take up a DSA-JC offer, their GCE O-Level results must meet the eligibility criteria for admission to the JC1.

5. As announced at MOE’s Committee of Supply Debate in 2017, all secondary schools will be able to admit up to 20% of their non-Integrated Programme Secondary 1 intake via the DSA starting from this year’s DSA-Sec Exercise. With this increase, students will have more options and opportunities to find a match between their strengths and interests and a secondary school that offers suitable programmes.

6. To better achieve the objectives of the DSA scheme, students will no longer be required to take general academic ability tests for their DSA-Sec applications. This means that secondary schools will focus on identifying students with specific academic talents, instead of those with general academic abilities. For students applying to DSA based on specific academic strength, the schools may continue to use a range of assessment tools to assess them for that specific academic subject area.

7. In accepting an offer of admission through the DSA exercise, students are expressing a commitment to study in that school to develop their talent in the chosen area. Students are expected to honour this commitment to their posted DSA school for the full duration of the programme they are admitted to. Students successfully admitted to a school via the DSA-Sec or DSA-JC Exercise will not be able to participate in the Secondary 1 Posting Exercise or the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) respectively. They will also not be allowed to transfer to another school after obtaining their PSLE or GCE O-Level results.

8. Since students must commit to their chosen DSA school, they are strongly encouraged to carefully consider and limit their DSA selection to one or two choices, based on their aptitudes and strengths, the school’s academic and non-academic requirements, and the programmes available to develop their talents.

Polytechnic Early Admissions Exercise (Polytechnic EAE)

9. Graduating O-Level and ITE students can apply for early admission into courses at the polytechnics2 through the Polytechnic EAE based on their course-specific aptitudes and interest. As part of the selection process, applicants may need to submit portfolios and undergo interviews and aptitude tests. Where relevant, the polytechnics may also factor in students’ talents and achievements in areas such as sports, arts, leadership and community service.

10. Successful applicants under the Polytechnic EAE will be given conditional offers before receiving their final examination results. For the conditional offer to be confirmed, they must meet the Minimum Entry Requirements (MERs) for the offered polytechnic course. More information about the timeline and MERs for the 2018 Polytechnic EAE can be found at

11. Students who have accepted an offer via the Polytechnic EAE and had their place confirmed, will not be eligible to participate in all other Polytechnic admissions exercises. They will also not be able to transfer to another course within or between the polytechnics. Students are expected to honour the commitment to their choice of polytechnic and course under the Polytechnic EAE.

ITE Early Admissions Exercise (ITE EAE)

12. Graduating N- and O-Level students can apply for early admission to ITE Nitec and Higher Nitec courses respectively through the ITE EAE, based on their course-specific aptitudes and interest. As with the Polytechnic EAE, applicants may need to submit portfolios, go through interviews, and take aptitude tests as part of the selection process.

13. Successful applicants under the ITE EAE will be given conditional offers before receiving their GCE N- or O-Level examination results. For their conditional offer to be confirmed, they must meet the MERs for the offered course. The MERs of the ITE courses and the timeline for the 2018 ITE EAE can be found at

14. Students who have accepted a place via the ITE EAE will not be eligible to participate in the JAE for Higher Nitec courses, or Joint Intake Exercise for Nitec courses. Students are expected to honour their commitment to their choice of course under the ITE EAE.

Further Information

15. Students interested in the DSA-Sec Exercise, DSA-JC Exercise, Polytechnic EAE, or ITE EAE should visit the websites of the participating institutions for more details. They are advised to do so before the start of the respective exercises. More information is also available at the following MOE websites:

  1. Please refer to for more information.

  2. All the five Polytechnics – Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic – participate in the Polytechnic EAE.