Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Direct School Admission: Spotting Questions

There are many, many questions worth spotting in a Direct School Admission (DSA) interview. Spotting questions and providing a 'model' answer for your prospective teachers may not secure you a spot in your desired secondary school/institution but it will give you an edge above those who do not do so. Of course, spotting these very common questions will also give yourself a confident boost during the interview.

Some very common questions which do come up in DSA interviews most of the time include the following. We have classified them into three main categories, school-relatedpersonality-related and interest-related.

School Related

1) What do you hope to achieve when you come to our secondary school?
2) What do you like about the facilities in our school?
3) Have you ever considered what CCA or special programme you would like to join upon joining our school?
4) What makes you choose our school instead of another?
5) Did you apply to get into another school through DSA?
6) What do you think are your chances of getting in into our school through DSA?

Personality Related

1) Describe yourself.
2) What are your studying habbits?
3) What is one of your best characteristics?
4) What about yourself do you want to improve on the most?
5) If you were given one special power, what would that be?
6) Is studies or giving to the community more important?

Interest Related

1) What are some of your hobbies?
2) What was the last book you read?
3) Any movie you really enjoyed?
4) Do you go explore further in your interests or even participate in competitions?
5) How do you think our school can support your interests?
6) Would you compromise on your interests or passion because of a busy study schedule our school may give you?

These are just some of the questions which our students have told us about and we think that it would be useful for the next generation of students going through DSA to consider. While this may not be a very comprehensive list, we hope that these can help you prepare a little and give yourself a confidence boost. Remember that in an interview, the interviewing teachers love to see a calm and confident student, these are the people who will truly stand out from the rest.

Registration for our July DSA Workshop has started. Please see below for more details:

DSA interview skills workshop:

If you are interested, please call or text us, drop us an email or fill in the contact us form below.
For other schedule for the DSA interview skills workshop please call or email to register your interest.

Alternatively, you can opt for individual coaching. Please call 96701894 to find out more.

For more posts related to Direct School Admission, please click DSA.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Direct School Admission 2014 - How to Prepare DSA Portfolio

Myth: You need to present from your portfolio.
Truth: Your portfolio may not even be looked at during the interview session!
Another Truth: But that does not mean you do not need a prepare your portfolio.

Yes, that is right. Based on the experience of students who took the DSA interview at various tops schools, this is the disappointing truth. However, we urge students not to compromise on the quality of the portfolio you compile. Reason being that a portfolio shows to the interviewing teachers that YOU are well-prepared and interested in joining the school as a future student. Having a portfolio by your side also allows you to refer and show the interviewing teachers what you have achieved in your Primary school years if they ask.

In case you were wondering what a portfolio is, it is basically a compilation of awards, certificates, transcripts and if you wish, teacher's recommendations are good too. A summarized copy of your CCA involvements, competitions and CIP projects are good to include in your portfolio too. 


There are a few essentials that should be included in every portfolio you bring to a DSA interview. Depending on your academic strengths, your portfolio should/may include some/all of the below listed. Of course a good-looking folder to contain your documents is also recommended. 
- Transcripts (P4 to Early P6)
- Competitions
- Participation in camps
- Leadership roles in schools
- CIP and CCA involvement
- Personal Statement (Compulsory for some schools but not all)

Registration for our July DSA Workshop has started. Please see below for more details:

DSA interview skills workshop:

If you are interested, please call or text us, drop us an email or fill in the contact us form below.
For other schedule for the DSA interview skills workshop please call or email to register your interest.

Alternatively, you can opt for individual coaching. Please call 96701894 to find out more.

For more posts related to Direct School Admission, please click DSA.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DSA Interview

DSA Interview Skills Workshop

Date: 18/7/13 Thursday (Confirmed Workshop)
Time: 7 pm to 9 pm (Completed)*
Course Fee: $100 per child (b/f GST)
                    $120 parent & child (b/f GST)

We strongly encourage the parent to attend the workshop with your child as it is a condensed version of our 6-hr workshop. The parent may need to guide the child at home after the workshop.

Limited vacancy. Please call 6345 0444 or 96701894 for registration.

Tentative schedule for the second round of DSA workshop:
Date: 20/7/13
Time: 3 pm to 5 pm (Full)*

Course Fee: $100 per child (b/f GST)
                    $120 parent & child (b/f GST)

Please make your reservation now by calling us at 6345 0444/9670 1894

All our DSA Interview Skills Workshop are completed/full. If any parents/students are interested, we may still arrange the 6-hr workshop on ad hoc basis.Call us at 6345 0444/9670 1894 for more details.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Direct School Admission (DSA) Interview

Dear parents/students,

Thank you for all your support. We had successfully conducted 4 rounds of DSA Interview Skills Workshop with overwhelming response.

As the day of DSA interview for most DSA candidates will be around mid July to August, we are planning to conduct a series of 2-hour DSA Interview workshops in the coming weeks for candidates who would like to get a few pointers or tips for their upcoming interviews.

The schedules are below:

Date: 18 July 13

Time: 7.00 pm - 9.00 pm

Workshop fee: $100* per student/$120* per pair (parent & child)

All fees are subjected to 7% GST

Please call 96701894/63450444 to register now.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Direct School Admission

Hi all, we had successfully finished 3 rounds of DSA Interview Skills Workshop. Our fourth run is now open for registration.
Date: 11/7 (Thu 6 pm to 9 pm) & 13/7 (Sat 3 pm to 6 pm)
Location: Marine Parade Central
Limited vacancy. Please call 96701894 to register.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Preparing for DSA Interview

This is our 3rd run of the workshop since June this year.
If you are interested but the timing is not suitable to you, please give us a call at 63450444/96701894 to reserve for other timings. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Direct School Admission

This is our second run of the DSA Interview Skills Workshop. 
It is now open for registration. 
Let our experienced trainer teach your child how to leave a positive, lasting impression to the interviewer and stand out among his/her peers.
Only 2 vacancies left for this workshop, please register now to avoid disappointment.

Friday, May 3, 2013

How to prepare for DSA Interview

DSA Interview Skills Workshop

Targeted Group: Primary 6 students who are preparing for DSA

Aim of the workshop:
To prepare students mentally on what DSA interview is about and to help them build up their confidence level for the upcoming interview/s.

Highlights of the workshop
- Commonly asked questions and how to answer them competently and leaving lasting impression
- How to handle difficult or unexpected questions
- Interview etiquettes and body languages
- Mock Interviews
- Digital Recording of student's performance in class

Expected outcome of the workshop
- Communicate with confidence during the interview/s
- Structure his/her thoughts to speak coherently
- Lead the interview/discussion & Frame his/her ideas
- Handle & answer questions strategically and skilfully

Dates of workshops: 12, 19, 26 June (Wednesday)
Timing: 6 pm to 8 pm
Total Duration: 6 hours
Workshop Fees: $350 (inclusive of material and GST)

Call us at 63450444 for more details/registration.

Testimony of a boy who chose the DSA path

I am re-posting the story of one of my students who had been through the DSA path a few years ago. Even though, the story was written a few years back, some of the decision making processes or struggles may still be relevant to the students who are planning to apply for DSA this year.

Now, this boy or perhaps I should say this young man is already in JC and is really enjoying his school life. As he looked back at his PSLE year, he felt that the DSA process actually helped him to be more mature in decisions making. His advice to parents - let your child be involved in decisions making for the DSA. Listen to their hearts. Parents can guide them along by listing down the pros and cons but do not force them down their throat. 

He was an average student in the Gifted Education Programme in Singapore 4 years ago. From an all boys school, he had very little knowledge of the strong competition he would be facing soon not only in the DSA interviews but also the Primary School Leaving Examination. Although he was not extremely excellent in his subjects, he understood his passion for Science. Maths was a breeze for him too, having achieved several awards of distinction in local mathematics Olympiads and competitions, albeit many others being ranks above him too. His languages was not as strong on the other hand, still passable though. Maybe A* for Chinese and English would require a little more effort?

He ultimately decided to enter the DSA exercise even before the Open House, understanding that there is a slim chance he may not do well in the PSLE. He went for RI, HCI, NUSH and DHS DSA exercises. Some found it a little too overboard, but he just wanted a safety net for himself. Of course, along with it came much anxiety of anticipation. 

Dunman exercise was a breeze, only a set of his portfolio was needed and there was no interview (due to his GEP status). Weeks after he received the letter of confirmation. NUSH was pretty exciting for him, he went for the selection test and got back in shock. Many questions required prior knowledge, he thought he would never get in. But still he was accepted, and went for the selection camp some time later. Again the selection camp was another shock. But maybe it was just a test of inquiry he thought. Indeed it was, he received the letter of confirmation along with another 100-200+ students.

Having two out of four confirmations, he thought he was safe, but of course his aim was either RI or HCI. During his time, many people agreed that the RI open house was not as fantastic as Hwa Chong's. Insider information stated that Hwa Chong spent much more money on their elaborate open house than RI did. Nevertheless, he left with an open mind for both schools.

During his HCI interview, he sat in front a panel of two teachers along with two other students, one from his school. With not so much confidence, he managed to answer the teacher's questions with some wit. He even responded them with several questions such as, "will HCI continue to provide stellar programmes from individuals and groups even if they may seem not as cost-efficient." A pen-and-paper test later proved that HCI was definitely one of the more stringent schools in terms of selection. He remembered that one question was, if he was to bring to Mars one item, what would it be.

RI's interview, he felt was not as tough, but sitting along with other great minds from other Primary schools gave him a nerve wreck. Teachers there were no doubt looking for precise answers and logical thinking. Besides all that, they were hoping to sieve out not only academically achieving students, but also those with a heart of service and those active in sporting activities. One question which he remembered till today was, why will he choose RI over other schools.

A nerve-wrecking experience lasted till late Term 3 for him before he received letters from either of the schools. Perhaps it tossed him a little of course for his PSLE preparations. But soon, he received letters of CONFIRMATION for both of the top schools.

That no doubt was good news, but however he had not done as well for his PSLE than his teachers in school thought he would have.


So Yes, go for the schools you love and be prepared. But always remember that it is for a good cause to concentrate more on your PSLE preparation. There is only one PSLE, do not let it go away while you regret not spending as much time and effort as you could have. Good luck to all Primary 6 students this year!

DSA interview skills Workshop
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