Is your child in Primary 3? You may be interested to find out more about the Gifted Education Programme or “GEP” selection process in Singapore, which typically kicks off every August.
This nationwide exercise to identify the country’s brightest learners involves two rounds of tests:
- In Round 1, all Primary 3 students who choose to participate in the exercise will sit for English Language and Math papers.
- In Round 2 (typically in October), shortlisted students will be invited to take English Language, Math, and General Ability papers.
The results of the GEP selections will usually be announced in November, and parents of selected children will be invited to a briefing session. (Read our post on questions to bring up at the GEP briefing session.) Things will move along quickly thereafter — those taking up the offer will need to select their preferred GEP schools, and the school posting results will usually be released by end November.
If your child makes the cut for the gifted programme, do connect with parents who have been in the same position, as you will probably have many questions about life in the GEP! Alternatively, join the “All About GEP” conversation on our KSP forum, to find out what local parents have been saying about the gifted programme through the years.
For parents wondering if the nine GEP schools in Singapore are equally “good,” do read what one of our members has to say. In general, some Singapore schools are better known for their exacting standards — and not just for their gifted programme. Based on a school’s reputation alone, you might be able to gauge what school life for your child might look like.
Exciting as receiving a GEP offer might be, it doesn’t work out in the same way for everyone. There are parents who have decided not to take up the GEP offer, as well as children who have struggled in the programme. (From what GEP parents have shared with us, hardly anyone drops out of the programme, but official GEP drop-out rates are not publicly available.) Some parents have also rejected the GEP offer, but used the opportunity to transfer their child to a “better” mainstream school. Every child is different, while every family has different priorities, and it is helpful to hear a range of experiences.
To help your family make a decision about the GEP, the question that matters most is: will my child benefit from this programme?
If the answer is yes, you may be more willing to seek creative solutions to challenges, such as a less-than-ideal school location. Of course, there are also parents who have decided that they prefer not to adjust their current lifestyle or routine. But for those fretting about location, one thing to remember is that Singapore is very accessible compared to other cities, and no school is really “too far.” If your child has access to an opportunity that is potentially life-changing, should you say “no” simply to avoid a longer commute?
Also, if you have certain preferences, such as single-sex schools or schools that offer a specific co-curricular activity (CCA), this will narrow down your GEP school choices as well. For example, if you prefer your daughter to remain in a single-sex school, Raffles Girls’ Primary School will be your only option. Or, if your child is hoping to be part of a school team, you would need to check if your preferred GEP school offers the activity.
In addition, many parents will be concerned about the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) at Primary 6, and how well GEP students will fare. For this reason, some parents may prefer a GEP school with an affiliated secondary school. (Read about the benefits of affiliated schools here.)
For your convenience, we’ve listed the nine GEP schools, along with information and links, in the table below. If you suspect that your child might have a good chance of being selected for the programme, we encourage you to start your research early — please contact your school of interest directly for the latest and most accurate information. Here’s wishing everyone all the best in the selection trials!