Ultimate Guide for DSA & EAE!
(Co-authored by content team from Teleschope.sg)
Looking for a way to get early admission and secure a confirmed spot in your desired post-secondary school? DSA & EAE might just be the thing you are looking for!
In this 'Ultimate Guide for DSA & EAE', we will be running through the exact step-by-step process on how to apply and important tips to increase your chances of succeeding!
Let's jump straight into it!
What is DSA and EAE?
DSA (Direct School Admissions) is for students taking their 'O' Level Examinations to be admitted early into their desired Junior College. Domains for DSA include CCAs, Leadership and Academics (Research, Olympiads, Languages). Each JC has different domain in which you can DSA via so do check out the individual school websites for more information!
EAE (Early Admission Exercise) is for students taking their 'O' Level Examinations or Nitec and Higher Nitec to be admitted early into their desired Polytechnic Course. For EAE, you can only apply via the course, domains like CCA and Leadership are not available for EAE, but having these in your portfolio can help boost your application success rate!
You may take part in both DSA and EAE, but you will have to make a decision of which offer to accept, should you be offered both. However, do note that DSA and EAE is still a conditional offer!
Here are the requirements you will have to meet even after receiving the offer:
- DSA: L1R5 < or equal to 20 and obtain the required grades for English, Mathematics/Additional Mathematics, and MTL/HMTL/MTL(B).
- EAE: Net ELR2B2 score of 26 points or better for the GCE O-Level examinations and minimum entry requirements of your specific course
If you do not hit the requirements, your DSA or EAE offer will be revoked.
When is DSA and EAE?
Applications for both typically start in May (exact date differs every year), and trials, interviews and offers will be offered from July to September.
Students offered a spot will then have to decide whether to accept the offer from September to October. The withdrawal period is also from September to October.
All exact dates will be shared by MOE nearer to the dates.
Preparing for DSA and EAE
Step 1 - Look out for the DSA/EAE on the school website
Every JC will their own DSA application timeline so be on a constant lookout for that. The detailed information usually is made available by MOE in May.
For EAE, it is a lot simpler as the application process is on a centralised MOE platform. Applications typically starts in late June so be on a lookout!
Step 2 - Preparing for your application
DSA and EAE are for you to show the lecturers and teachers your aptitudes and interests.
Ways to showcase (but are not limited to):
Here are certain items you will need to prepare for the application:
Organise your portfolio based on your most outstanding achievements first. Keep in mind what you are applying via and focus on showcasing your talent/aptitude for those areas.
You will have to write essay(s) about yourself or on certain questions regardless of whether you applied for DSA or EAE. Start writing these early so you have time to edit them, ask for feedback from friends, family and teachers
You will need testimonials from your teachers! Do give your teachers ample notice if you require a testimonial (2 weeks to 1 month will be good so that they have time to write a good, well-thought testimonial for you!)
Step 3 - Submitting your application
For most schools, you will be required to make a trip down to the school to submit all the necessary documents. This will be in Late May for DSA and Late June for EAE!
Step 4 - Preparing for interview
If your application was well received, you should get an interview slot! Interviews typically happens between July - September.
In some cases for sports and performing arts, you might also be asked to attend a trial session where you will be evaluated further.
Interview might sound really scary but here are some golden tips that will help you make a favourable impression!
Be yourself. Interviewers hate it when you give 'standard answers' that you have obviously memorised. They want to know your passion, your interest and your purpose! Tell them your story and convince them with your 'why'.
Be prepared. Being yourself doesn't mean you come to the interview without preparation. Search up the commonly asked interview questions and think through how you plan to answer them. Commonly asked questions includes: - Tell us more about yourself. - What are some of your strength and weakness? - Why do you want to enroll in this JC/Poly course? - Tell us more about your passion and your aspirations. - How do you think you can contribute to the school in (area of interest)? - Can you share about an experience why you had to demonstrate 'leadership' / 'problem solving' skills? To be honest, the questions will vary and there is no way to be fully prepared but having some level of preparation is going to help you perform way better! Also, avoid giving generic answers or being too shy to share about your achievements. The purpose of the interview is for them to know you better so don't be scared and tell them more about yourself confidently! For EAE, remember to read about about the course you want to enroll in as they will ask specific questions on 'why this course' and 'why our poly'!
Focus on sharing about your 'experiences'. The interviewer is not interested in your laundry list of awards and achievements. They want to know what you have learned and how you have grown from those experiences. So instead of "My team was 1st place for my 'B' Div basketball. I was the top scorer", you should say "Through our 'B' Division tournament, I learned the value of team work and resilience. Our team tapped on each other's strength and overcame tough opponents. I led the team by example and contributed in the scoring aspect and we eventually claimed the championship. I aspire to bring the same mentality of teamwork and resilience to XXX JC basketball team should I be selected." Remember that your interviewer has already looked through your portfolio and know what you have achieved. Other applicants probably have equally amazing portfolios. The differentiating factor boils down to how you showcase your personal development through your 'experiences' and what you can contribute to the school.
Be confident. There is nothing to be afraid of! The interview is about 'you' and nobody knows your own story like you do! Go into the interview with a confident smile and just be open and share about your own story. If the question is really difficult, you can be honest and tell the interviewer that 'this is an area I haven't consider deeply yet but something I intend to explore further down the line'. And please do not lie! If they ask you about your other DSA/EAE choices, you can be honest and lay out the reasons why you applied for other schools too. But be smart about the way you phrase your answers too! "I want to DSA because I can slack off my studies and not have to worry about 'O' Levels" is not ideal. Instead, you can say"DSA will help to secure my place in XXX JC and I am convinced that this will be great for my development as I am aligned with the school vision and culture. I want to be part of XXX JC and be able to contribute my talents in (area of passion) and help the CCA achieve greater heights".
Step 5 - Offer & Acceptance
If you did well for the interview and the school is convinced that you are the one that they want, you will get an offer shortly and you will have a set period of time to accept the offer.
Do note that you can apply for both DSA & EAE, or DSA/EAE to multiple schools but you can only accept one offer. So think it through and make a wise decision for yourself!
After you accept the offer, you have the option to cancel it but there is usually a set duration for that too. You will not be able to cancel thereafter. So even if you did better than expected at 'O' Levels, you will still have to go to the JC/Poly you applied DSA to.
As mentioned earlier, once you accepted your offer, it doesn't mean you can just slack off. You will still have to meet the qualifying conditions at 'O' Levels!
DSA: L1R5 < or equal to 20 and obtain the required grades for English, Mathematics/Additional Mathematics, and MTL/HMTL/MTL(B).