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Last Updated: 06 March 2023

Express course for secondary school

Express has two programmes: O-Level and Integrated. The GCE O-Level Programme is a 4-year course leading to the GCE O-Level examination. The Integrated Programme is a 6-year course leading to the GCE A-Level examination or International Baccalaureate Diploma or NUS High School Diploma. Students in the Integrated Programme do not need to take the GCE O-Level examination in Secondary 4. The 2023 Secondary 1 cohort will be the final cohort being placed in courses, including the Express course.

Express course (GCE O-Level Programme) at a glance

Course length

4 years

Course eligibility

PSLE Score of 4 - 20*

* PSLE Scores of 21 - 22 are in the Express/Normal (Academic) Option Band

Subjects at lower secondary

Students are exposed to a wide range of subjects at the lower secondary level to:

  • Help them make informed choices on their subjects at upper secondary level and beyond.
  • Prepare them to cope with these subjects at upper secondary level.

The subjects offered are:

  • English Language
  • Mother Tongue Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Character and Citizenship Education
  • Humanities, such as Geography, History and Literature in English
  • Design and Technology
  • Food and Consumer Education
  • Physical Education
  • Art
  • Music
  • Project Work
Compulsory subjects at upper secondary

English Language, Mother Tongue Language, Mathematics, Science, Humanities (with Social Studies)

Options and electives
  • Elective subjects available at upper secondary
  • Elective programmes available
Certifications offered
  • GCE O-Level (Secondary 4)
Next educational level

Junior college, Millennia Institute, polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education (ITE)

GCE O-Level Examination

At the end of Secondary 4, your child will sit for the GCE O-Level examination. Most students in the Express course take 7 or 8 subjects.

After Secondary 4

After completing the GCE O-Level examination, depending on your child’s interests, strengths and learning goals, they can:

  • Attend a junior college or Millennia Institute and take the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or the GCE A-Level examination.
  • Attend a polytechnic for a 3-year diploma course.
  • Attend ITE for a 2-3 year National ITE Certificate course (Nitec) or Higher Nitec course.

Explore the different types of post-secondary education institutions.