Direct School Admission (DSA) to Secondary One

by Education Cube, posted on May 4, 2016

Open Doors

Direct School Admission (DSA) to Secondary One

DSA is an admission exercise which allows participating schools to select students for admission to Secondary One based on their talents and achievements, and before the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) result are released.

Students who opted for a school under the DSA exercise must achieve PSLE results that would enable them to be eligible for admission to a course being offered by their opted DSA schools. For example, if the DSA Secondary school only offers Express stream, then the student must obtain a PSLE aggregate score of 200 and above to be eligible for admission to the Express stream.

Students will receive outcomes of application (i.e. Confirmed, waiting list or rejected) by end August.

Students who are successfully and who have been allocated to their DSA will not be allowed to transfer to another school after the release of the PSLE results and are expected to honour the commitment to the posted DSA school for the duration of the programme admitted to.

Start checking the schools’ websites now.  

Most schools have started publishing their latest selection criteria and application procedures on their websites. As the application deadline for each DSA secondary school differ but generally closes at the end of June, it is important to obtain the information through their websites now. Students may also call the schools, and /or visit the schools.

Singapore's top 20 Secondary schools by PSLE cut-off aggregate points to enter Secondary 1 in 2016.

For a general guide on DSA and open house information and/or a five-year historical view on PSLE cut-off aggregate points to enter Secondary 1 for each school on Education Cube, please visit the shortcuts below:





















Direct School Admission - 5 Fast Facts

1. DSA scheme began in 2004

2. In 2013, about 15 per cent of DSA students that year got into schools based on their strengths in the arts, and 25 per cent through sports

3. In 2015, about 2,700 students entered 126 secondary schools through DSA

Integrated Programme schools, accept at most 50 per cent of students via DSA

These three schools take in almost all their students through DSA - NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, School of Science and Technology (SST), and School of the Arts (SOTA)

Direct School Admission – In the news

8 April 2016  - The DSA scheme will be reviewed under two guiding principles, announced  Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng in the Committee of Supply Debate in Parliament today (8 Apr). Minister Ng noted that while the scheme has benefitted many students, there was some unevenness in how different schools select students. The review aims to expand opportunities for students with specific aptitudes and talents by providing more schools with distinctive programmes. This will allow students with specific domain talents and achievements to be recognised - which was its original objective - instead of general academic ability.

26 February 2016 – The Ministry of Education (MOE), in response to growing concerns that children with better resourced parents are being groomed to enter top schools via the scheme said that the profile of students who entered schools through DSA remain “fairly diversed”. Some 60 per cent of students who secured places in secondary schools through DSA over the last five years live in HDB flats.

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MOE Website
Direct Schools Admission scheme will be reviewed: MOE
PSLE aggregate score to be scrapped, DSA to be reviewed: Education changes at a glance
Fairly diverse group gains direct school admission, about 60% live in HDB flats: MOE