The process to enter into a school in Singapore depends on what type of school the child is interested in. It is relatively straightforward for Primary 1 of local schools with only an online indication of interest is required. For education level above Primary 1, it involves an admission exam and even an interview for some schools. Likewise, for International schools and Privately-Funded schools, getting past the door also involves an interview. For some schools, an admission assessment is also required.
We explained the admission process for the various levels below.
Primary 1 of Local Schools
For entry into Primary 1 of local schools, the student is required to first indicate his interest by filling up an online form which will include information on the child and parents. In addition, soft copies of your child’s birth certificate and passport details are required to be uploaded.
The registration of interest for the following year opens in early June. In 2019, the online registration was opened from 9 am on Tuesday, 4 June 2019 to 4.30pm on Monday, 10 June 2019.
After the indication of interest, the parents will be notified via an offer letter on whether your child has been offered a place in a designated primary school. Upon receipt of the offer letter, the parents will need to register their child at the designated school with all required original documents.
Primary 2 to 5 and Secondary 1 to 3 of Local Schools
For admission in the following academic year, foreigners are required to participate in an admission exam – Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS). This usually takes place around September or October. The test is only available for Primary 2–5 and Secondary 1–3 in the following academic year.
For admission in the current academic year, foreigners are required to take the Supplementary Admissions Exercise for International Students (S-AEIS). This usually takes place around April or May. The test is only available for Primary 2–4 and Secondary 1–2 in the current academic year.
Both AEIS and S-AEIS are centralized admissions exercise conducted by MOE. They consist of a centralized test on English and Mathematics that will assess the applicants’ English literacy, numeracy and reasoning abilities.
The number of spaces reserved for foreigners in local schools is subjected to the performance of admissions exam, available vacancies and the residential area they lived in. Higher priority is given to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. Typically, one-third of foreign students are accepted into the local schools.
Foreigners seeking admission to Junior Colleges or Millennia Institute are advised to apply directly to the schools. Admission depends on the availability of vacancies and the school’s admission criteria.
Some international schools offer admission to all who apply. Other schools require a formal application and even interviews with the child. Often, popular international schools have a waiting list and this may result in some uncertainty for the parents.
For Privately-Funded schools (SJI International, ACS International, and Hwa Chong International), spaces are often limited. At least 50% of the cohort is reserved for Singaporeans. Students are required to sit for an entrance assessment and interview.