Updated: Jun 2
Think Big, Aim High, and Achieve More with IP
Learn everything you need to know before enroling your child in an IP school.
Are your child's Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scores high enough to enter IP schools?
Along with mulling over the best secondary schools in Singapore, you may also find yourself helping your child decide which between the two tracks of O-level and Integrated Programme (IP) is best for them.
As a track specially designed for students with exceptionally strong academic performance and regarded as a way to fast track a child's pathway to success, choosing IP may be a no-brainer.
But as a tuition centre that has been helping students ace their academic studies, we at OVERMUGGED know that what may work for one child may not work for your child.
Alongside the tough competition that all IP students face, your child would need a different set of tools to thrive in their new environment.
Thus, before making the decision, it's important to set your expectations before going through the application process with your child.
Here's everything you need to know before enroling them in the Integrated Programme. Continue reading below to learn more.
What is the Integrated Programme (IP)?
The Integrated Programme (IP) is a specialized curriculum available for academically exceptional secondary school students in Singapore.
As an express course, students are given the opportunity to bypass the GCE Ordinary Level (O-Level) examinations, which are typically taken in the fourth or fifth year of secondary education.
Instead, they can sit at the GCE Advanced Level (A-Level), International Baccalaureate (IB), or another equivalent examination at the end of a 6-year curriculum.
The Integrated Programme is exclusively offered to the top 10% of students based on their PSLE scores.
This selection criterion is designed to provide these high-achieving students with additional opportunities to explore their talents and enhance their soft skills through activities such as immersion programmes, talent programmes, leadership camps, and more.
Per the Ministry of Education, the schools currently offering Integrated Programmes include:
Integrated Programme—GCE A-Level:
Catholic High School
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School
CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School
Dunman High School
Hwa Chong Institution (Secondary)
Nanyang Girls’ High School
National Junior College
Raffles Girls’ School
Raffles Institution (Secondary)
River Valley High School
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
Temasek Junior College
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP):
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
Methodist Girls' School
St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI)
Integrated Programme—NUS High School Diploma:
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
IP vs O-Level: The Differences
IP students do not take the GCE O-Level examinations like O-Level students do.
Instead, they sit for either the GCE A-Level or the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme exams to advance to the next level of their academic journey.
The duration of the IP is six years, while O-Level schools are typically four or five years in duration.
This gives IP students more time to take on their coursework and develop their skills and interests.
Compared to O-Level schools, IP schools offer a more advanced and comprehensive curriculum.
While the former offers a more structured curriculum and a greater emphasis on exam-based learning, the latter offers a wider range of subjects, including more challenging coursework in the sciences, humanities, and the arts.
Emphasis on co-curricular activities (CCA)
Co-curricular activities are available in both IP and O-Level tracks, but IP schools place a greater emphasis on them.
Among such activities include sports, music, drama, community service, and other initiatives that aim to improve students' leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.
University admission advantage
Local universities in Singapore accept applications from both IP and O-Level students.
Still, those who have undergone the IP track typically have an edge over their counterparts because of their more demanding and advanced coursework.
What to Expect in IP Schools: Pros and Cons of Being an IP Student
IN-DEPTH LEARNING AND WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION
The IP offers a more in-depth and rigorous curriculum which may better prepare students for university-level studies.
The programme also promotes a well-rounded education by offering students a wider range of subjects and supporting their interests and talents.
ENHANCED SOFT SKILLS
The IP provides opportunities for students to enhance their communication, teamwork, and leadership abilities through various initiatives, including immersion programs, talent programs, and leadership camps.
IP students can progress directly to their A-Level or International Baccalaureate (IB) studies as they are exempted from taking the GCE O-Level examinations.
The often demanding nature of the IP curriculum can require students to dedicate extended periods to studying and finishing assignments, putting them at higher risk of experiencing burnout.
Due to the competitive atmosphere of the IP, some students may feel pressured to excel, resulting in high levels of stress that can trigger anxiety or depression.
REDUCED SOCIAL DIVERSITY
Since the IP track is only available to the top 10% of students with the highest PSLE scores and is only offered at elite schools, there is a potential for reduced social diversity.
This exclusivity may limit students' exposure to different perspectives and backgrounds.
Maximise Your Child's Chances with OVERMUGGED
The Integrated Programme (IP) in Singapore is a highly regarded academic program that offers a range of benefits to students.
If you and your child decide to go through with the IP, don't hesitate to tap OVERMUGGED's expertise to prepare your child for the competitive and intense academic atmosphere of their IP school.
Our Bukit Timah branch specialises in IP tuition, helping your child adjust to the curriculum and create effective strategies to tackle their heavy workload while still making learning fun and engaging!
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You can also drop us a message at 8770 2540 for further enquiries.