Tamil Language students at a film making workshop (Source: Yishun Innova Junior College Facebook page).

2019 Direct School Admissions and ITE early admissions exercises commence

Students interested in applying for Direct School Admission (DSA) to Junior Colleges (JCs) for admission in 2020 may do so from May 2019, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Monday (13 May).

It also stated that 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 2019 respectively.

Direct School Admission-Junior College (DSA-JC)

The ministry stated that DSA provides a pathway for students to gain direct entry to JCs based on their talents and achievements that may not be demonstrated at the GCE O-Level examinations.

Upon admission, students can develop these talents further in their JCs, it said, noting that there are 20 schools participating in the 2019 DSA-JC.

However, the ministry noted that students participating in DSA-JC are still required to take the GCE O-Level examination. 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.

For a student who takes up a DSA-JC offer, his/her GCE O-Level result must meet the eligibility criteria for admission to the JC, it said.

MOE encouraged students applying for DSA-JC to check the MOE DSA-JC website for important dates and timelines and to find out how the exercise will be conducted.

Interested students should visit the individual JCs’ websites for more information on application periods, procedures and selection criteria, which may differ across JCs.

The ministry noted that it 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).

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, which are students with talents in specific areas admitted to ISes through DSA and 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, it added.

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 criteria. More information can be found at MOE website.

ITE Early Admission Exercise (ITE EAE)

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, MOE stated that applicants may need to submit portfolios, undergo interviews, and take aptitude tests as part of the selection process. Applications will open from 21 May to 27 May 2019, and may be submitted online at ITE website.

Successful applicants under the ITE EAE will be given conditional offers before receiving their GCE N- or O-Level results. For their conditional offer to be confirmed, they must meet the MERs of the offered course. The MERs of the ITE courses and the timeline for the 2019 ITE EAE can be found here.

However, the ministry stated that students who accept 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.

Polytechnic Early Admission Exercise (POLYTECHNIC EAE)

MOE said that graduating O-Level and ITE students can apply for early admission into courses at the polytechnics 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.

Applications will open from 6 June 2019 to 12 June 2019 for ITE students, and 27 June 2019 to 3 July 2019 for students taking the GCE O-Level examinations.

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 2019 Polytechnic EAE can be found here.

However, the ministry stressed that students who accept an offer via the Polytechnic EAE and have their place confirmed, will not be eligible to participate in all other Polytechnic admission 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.

The polytechnics will open EAE to working adults starting from Academic Year 2019 as part of the broader effort to expand polytechnic admissions pathways for working adults, starting with the Direct Admissions Exercise (DAE) earlier this year, and applies to Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents only.

Working adults who would like to be considered for admission via the Polytechnic EAE will generally need to have at least two years of relevant work experience. They will need to submit employment records together with their application, as well as employer recommendations, where available. The polytechnics will holistically assess applicants’ work experience to determine the relevance of the competencies and skills gained over the course of their work to their course of interest.

Applicants who are found suitable, but whose past academic grades do not meet the MERs, will be given an opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the pre-requisite competencies for their chosen course through supplementary assessments.

Applications for working adults will open from 6 June 2019 to 3 July 2019. More information can be found here.

Students interested in the DSA-JC, 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: