Some parents may not realize that some secondary schools will actually select Primary Six students for admission into their Secondary One classes using criteria other than their PSLE results. This is done under a Ministry of Education programme called the Direct School Admission – Secondary Exercise (DSA-SEC). A similar programme exists for the direct admission of secondary school students into junior colleges.
Each school has its own merit-based academic and non-academic criteria for selection. These are based on the qualities, such as talent in science, music or sports, that the school would like to emphasise. To assess these qualities in applicants, schools may conduct tests, interviews or trials as necessary.
The 3 stages of DSA-Sec Exercise are:
Selection Stage (June – August)
Exercise School Preference Stage (October)
Results Release Stage (November)
Some primary schools would have handed out DSA-SEC information from participating Secondary schools to their Primary Six students, as early as in March of the current school year. More information can also be obtained from the Secondary schools’ websites.