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Parents' Guide to the Singapore Integrated Programme

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Think Big, Aim High, and Achieve More with IP


integrated programme 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)?


IP secondary schools

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

  • Victoria School

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 VS O-Level Schools

Examinations

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.


Duration

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.


Curriculum

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


integrated programme schools

Pros:

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.


STREAMLINED PROGRESSION

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.


Cons:

INTENSE WORKLOAD

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.


ACADEMIC PRESSURE

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


integrated programme tuition

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!


SIGN UP FOR A FREE TRIAL SESSION TODAY!

Register your interest, and we will reach out to you within 1-2 working days!

You can also drop us a message at 8770 2540 for further enquiries.

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