How to choose secondary schools

Every child has different strengths and abilities. Find out more about choosing a suitable school for your child.

1. Talk to your child about their strengths, interests and learning styles

Strength

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.

Explore schools that offer courses which suit your child's learning pace. Look at the opportunities and programmes to develop their talents, strengths and interests.

Learn more on how to begin this conversation.

2. Based on your child's strengths, interests, learning styles and PSLE results, you may want to think about:

School culture
School culture

Visit schools' websites to have a sense of the different schools’ culture, ethos and environment.

Courses
Courses

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.

Programmes, subjects and CCAs offered
Programmes, subjects and CCAs offered

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

Location and transportation
Location and transportation

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

School type
School type

Choose a school type (for example, government, government-aided, independent, etc.) that suits your child. If your child is a Singapore Citizen, financial assistance and scholarships are available to help them attend the school of their choice.

Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools
Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools

SAP schools aim to deliver a bilingual and bicultural education through a learning environment steeped in Chinese culture and language. If your child has taken both English and Chinese language subjects at the PSLE, they may opt for SAP schools.

Affiliated schools
Affiliated schools

For priority admission to the affiliated secondary school, your child must indicate that school as first choice. However, admission is not guaranteed as it is still subject to the availability of places. Some secondary schools may also have additional qualifying criteria for their affiliated primary school students.

For dual-track schools offering both Integrated Programme (IP) and O-Level Programme, affiliation considerations will only be given for the O-Level Programme.

Note: At least 20% of the places in each course, i.e. Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) of each school, will be allocated to students who do not benefit from affiliation priority.

Special needs
Special needs

If your child has special needs, for example, hearing loss, visual or physical impairment, choose a school with specialised facilities or resources that can support them.

3. Shortlisting schools

Shortlist

You should have a list of 6 schools ready, in order of preference, before submitting your choices during the S1 posting. When shortlisting the schools, you should:

  1. Keep the above considerations in mind.
  2. Take reference from schools' PSLE score from previous year. Consider your child’s PSLE score against the schools’ previous score ranges for their chosen course — for example, Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical).

    Note: Meeting the indicative Achievement Level Cut-Off Point (AL COP) of a school does not guarantee admission. The indicative AL COPs were simulated based on the PSLE scores and school choice patterns of the P6 cohort of 2020, and these PSLE scores currently listed in SchoolFinder should only be used as a reference. Actual 2021 AL COPs may differ from indicative AL COPs depending on the students’ PSLE results and school choices during S1 Posting.

  3. When submitting school choices:

    I.   Consider at least 2 to 3 schools where your child's PSLE score is better than the school's indicative COP.

    II.  Use all 6 options with a range of COPs so that your child is more likely to get into a school of their choice.

  4. Rank your preferred school higher in your school choice order. The higher your preferred school is ranked, the better your child’s chance of being posted into that school, if they need to go through tie-breaking situation.
  5. List the affiliated secondary school as the first choice when applying to a school affiliated with your child’s primary school. This will give your child priority, but it does not guarantee admission. Otherwise, the posting will be based on non-affiliation.

    Learn more about affiliation priority.

  6. If your child is not placed in any of their school choices, they will be posted to the nearest school with available vacancies based on their PSLE scores and registered address.

Explore and shortlist suitable schools.


Continue learning more about S1 Posting process.