Study in Singapore

Singapore Secondary Education

As one of the Asian countries that provide quality education, Singapore is a popular destination to pursue higher education. Singaporean citizens and international students have a greater opportunity to pursue their education at a top university or polytechnic with the assistance of the experts. It becomes one of the reasons for overseas students to make this country the best place to study. The country also offers courses or programs for various levels that range from Diploma, Bachelor, Master to Doctorate. Students can study various sciences as well, such as mathematics, culture, computer, business management, finance, literature, arts and more. Providing excellence in education, the learning institutions in Singapore have succeeded in producing skilled graduates who become valuable resources for many companies around the world.


Singapore also has many top schools for primary and secondary education. Children will get the foundation in the initial stages through the primary education. As for the secondary education, Singapore has many quality schools, allowing students to reach their top potential through the curriculum. Those secondary schools also have complete learning facilities such as a library and experienced teachers to support the learning activities of the students. The teachers have teaching tools, unique and personal approach and deliver the subject material using effective methods. Therefore, students can understand the materials optimally with the assistance of the reliable and professional teachers. Students can also participate in various projects to improve their skills.

In secondary school education, students will take the Special, Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) courses. The track or stream will be based on the students’ performance at the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination). The programs are designed specifically to match the interests and abilities of each student. The 4-year courses, Special and Express, will lead to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level examination. In the Special stream, students will take Higher Mother Tongue that is available for Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

Non-Chinese students are also allowed to study Chinese as a third language. The program is called Chinese Special Programme (CSP). For non-Malay students who are interested in learning Malay, they can join the Malay Special Programme. The lesson of Mother Tongue will be taught in school after usual hours. The Ministry of Education Language Centre or MOELC also offers the program of free language education for many additional languages that are not covered by other schools. The education program has admitted thousands of students each year.

Normal course will take 4 years to complete. It will lead to Normal-level or N-level exam. There is the possibility of a fifth year that will be followed by an O-level. This course is split into Normal (Technical) and Normal (academic). Students of Normal (Technical) will focus on technical subjects , for example Design and Technology. The teachers will teach them with the materials to equip the students with various skills and knowledge. Meanwhile, students of Normal (Academic) will be prepared to take the O-level test. They normally take certain subjects, like Principles of Accounting. The Ministry of Education or MOE announced that selected students of Normal course are allowed to take the O-level exam without taking the N-level exam previously.

There is also the Integrated Programme offered by several schools. This will lead to International baccalaureate Diploma or an A-level exam. Students will be streamed into various course combinations. It will bring the total number of subjects they have to take at O-level. Mother Tongue/Higher Mother Tongue Language, English, Math, one Science and Humanities Elective are compulsory. The MOE has revised the curriculum in which several new subjects such as Theatre Studies and Drama as well as Computing are being introduced.

The secondary schools in Singapore have Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) that are compulsory at this level. Pupils have to participate in at least one of the core activities. Their participation will be graded together with other achievements in a scoring system called Leadership, Enrichment, Achievement, Participation, Service or LEAPS. Each student will be assessed based on various cocurricular activities. The schools also hold various events, such as competitions and performances, regularly. A student is allowed to take more than 1 CCA. Through the activities, students will get involved in the community and improve their personal abilities through the interaction.

To cater the intellectually gifted students, the MOE has set up the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) in 1984. Students can enter the program through various tests at Primary 3. They will be offered several special enrichment programmes. In 2008, the Secondary School Gifted Education program was discontinued since more students take the IP or the Integrated Programme, which is also known as Through-Train Programme. In this scheme, students will have the opportunity to bypass “O” levels and take the International Baccalaureate, “A” levels or an equivalent exam after their secondary education.

After the completion of secondary education, students will participate in the Singaporean GCE ‘O’ level. The result will determine the preuniversity, that include Junior College or Millennia Institute, or postsecondary institution they are allowed to apply for. The Millenia Institute and Junior College have more emphasis on academic than vocational technical education. The admission to Junior Colleges will be determined by the scoring system of L1R5 (first language + 5 relevant subjects).

For admissions to a Millennia Institute, the L1R4 scoring system will be used. Those who are interested in pursuing vocational education can go on to postsecondary institutions, such as ITE (Institute of Technical Education) or polytechnics. The scoring system of L1R1BB2 or first language + 2 relevant subjects + 2 best subjects of any kind will be used for students seeking admission to a polytechnic. They also have to meet specific requirements outlined by various polytechnics. Student seeking admission to ITE colleges will have an independent scoring system as well. It will depend on the course they plan on applying for.

55 picture - singapore secondary school 2

Since there are many secondary schools in Singapore, students have more options to choose. They can select a school for mixed, male or female students. Below is the list of top Secondary Schools that can be considered:

  • Nanyang      Girls’ High School
  • Raffles      Girls’ School
  • Raffles      Institution
  • Hwa      Chong Institution
  • National      Junior College
  • Dunman      High School
  • River      Valley High
  • Methodist      Girls’ School
  • Cedar      Girls’ Secondary School
  • CHIJ      St. Nicholas
  • Catholic      High School
  • Singapore      Chinese Girls

To learn more about the top secondary schools in Singapore, view this link.

Since there are many secondary schools to choose from, you are advised to do research on the internet. By doing a quick search, you will gather a lot of information about the best school. You can join in a forum or visit various educational websites. You will find a guide as well as the frequently asked questions. If you become a member of a forum, you can post a question. In an instant, you will get many replies from other members. Some websites post a lot of news article with educational topics. You also can find general information regarding the terms, enrollment and requirements of the administration. Conducting research online makes you get all the required information, including the profile and history of an institution, easily.


The procedure to apply to study in Singapore is not easy. We are willing to help to make it easier for you (cost from $5k SGD). Kindly send us your enquiry, we will try our very best to reply to you soonest. We duly hope to be of the utmost service to you. Thank you very much !

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