In most cases, students start their Secondary school education after graduating from Primary school after passing the Primary School Leaving Education (PSLE). There are students who admit into a secondary school under a separate “Direct School Admission” scheme. Under this scheme, Secondary schools are able to choose a certain number of students based on their special talents before these students take the PSLE. Students admitted under this scheme cannot select their schools based on their PSLE.
Based on their PSLE results, students are placed in different secondary education streams namely Special, Express, Normal (Academic), or Normal (Technical). Singaporeans are not allowed to attend international schools unless with the approval from the Ministry of Education.
The Special and Express provide a four-year Secondary school education that lead to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE “O” Level examination. The difference between these two streams is that in the “Special” stream, students take ‘Higher Mother Tongue’ (available for Standard Mandarin, Malay and Tamil only) instead of ‘Mother Tongue’. A pass in the Higher Mother Tongue ‘O’ Level Examination constitutes the fulfilment of the Mother Tongue requirement in Singapore, whereas Normal Mother Tongue Students will have to go through one more year of study in their Mother Tongue after their ‘O’ Levels to take the ‘A’ Level H1 Mother Tongue Examinations and fulfil the MOE’s requirement. A foreign language, either French, German, Japanese or Spanish can be taken in addition to the mother tongue or can replace it.
The Normal stream is a four-year scheme that leads to the Normal-level (N-level) exam. Students who pass the N-Level exam will attend a fifth year leading to the GCE O-level exam. Notably, the Normal stream is split into Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical). Normal (Academic) course are geared towards preparing students for the O-level exam in the fifth year, subject to good performance in the N-level exam in the fourth year, and students take academic subjects such as Principles of Accounting. Under the Normal (Technical), students take subjects of a more technical nature, such as Design and Technology, and they generally proceed to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) after the N-level exam in the fourth year.
Secondary schools in Singapore include:
- ● Kranji Secondary School
- ● Chua Chu Kang Secondary School
- ● West Spring Secondary School
- ● Dunearn Secondary School
- ● Fajar Secondary School
- ● Zhonghua Secondary School
- ● St Gabriel Secondary School
- ●Clementi Town Secondary School
- ●Clementi Woods Secondary School
- ●Kent Ridge Secondary School