The Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme allows primary six students in Singapore to secure early placements in their desired secondary school based on their academic and non-academic talents. Given the stiff competition, schools require applicants to strongly demonstrate their talents and aptitudes, with tangible proof to show for it. From a portfolio detailing achievements to selection camps, preparing for the DSA application requires utmost effort due to the rigorous selection process. One major deciding factor in your Champs securing his placement is acing the DSA interview.
Of the many frequently asked questions parents have regarding the DSA, most express the concerns on their Champ’s ability to answer DSA interview questions well. Since preparation is the key to acing the interview, familiarising your Champs with potential interview questions can be useful. Doing so will ensure that they deliver a good interview performance and make a lasting impression that distinguishes them from others racing to clinch a place in the coveted school. Here are a few common DSA interview questions to practice with your child:
Questions About Self
The personal interview section is common for any recruitment selection globally. From questions about hobbies to ambitions, these background questions are not just designed to know the candidate better. High self-awareness is an underlying strength of a successful candidate, and these personal questions give insight into future behaviours and traits that might be exhibited while in secondary school. Some questions that might be asked to determine if your Champ is capable of objectively evaluating themselves include:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How would your friends describe you?
- Can you share about an instance when you could not achieve your goals?
- What is your goal in life?
- What can you bring to the table if you were to be accepted?
When you and your Champ go over these questions, ensure that his response shows a great level of maturity. Instead of giving brief answers, have him practice substantiating his points with valuable skills that have practical value.
Questions About the School and Programme
Honesty is the best policy. Your Champ’s ability to back his decisions and showcase that he is certain of his choices will be appreciated. Interviewers will test this by enquiring about an applicant’s knowledge of the institution. And more often than not, these questions will be phrased in a way that pushes the applicant to give a biased answer.
- Why are you applying to our school?
- What do you think about our curriculum and programmes?
- What do you think makes a good school?
- Why should we accept you?
- Have you applied to other schools?
Interviewers are aware that there are other schools and opportunities. Therefore, inform your Champ that he will not be penalised for speaking the truth. Simply communicating the reasons behind his decision and segueing back to the interviewer’s school to present a cultural fit will suffice.
Questions About Current Affairs
Possessing an awareness of local and global events is another aspect that interviewers look out for. The ability to express thoughts and opinions confidently and accurately will show that your Champ has critical thinking skills. From economic crisis to trends, being educated about current events demonstrates the potential of your Champ to be nurtured into a reflective learner. These questions also shine light on communication skills rather than rote learning skills.
- What do you think about Steve Jobs and the increased use of smartphones?
- What is one social problem in Singapore you would like to solve?
- What do you think we can do to end global warming?
- Do you think going to university is important?
- Should serving the nation be compulsory for females?
When complex questions like these are posed, saying “I do not know” is a tempting response. In such circumstances, your Champ’s ability to handle the question is more at stake than the accuracy and correctness of his reply. Your Champ should remain authentic, avoid rambling and take the time to think of a response.
Questions About Academic Track Records and Skills
Lastly, DSA interviewers may pose questions that delve further into your Champ’s achievements. While humility is a virtue, your Champ should not shy away showcasing his tenacity and drive. After all, schools are looking to accept students who can make future contributions that boost their reputation.
- Tell me about a leadership experience in your primary school
- Other than academic achievements, what have you done to grow as an individual?
- How do you deal with classmates or team members who disagree with you?
- How do you respond to criticism?
- What was your greatest achievement in primary school?
Maintaining a delicate balance between confidence and humility can be tough. When confronted with such tricky DSA interview questions, give your Champ ample practice in expressing his eagerness for future learning opportunities.
Prepare Your Champ for the DSA Interview
From encouraging an interest in current affairs to building confidence to handle high stress situations, the DSA interview is a challenging battle – but is one with a long-lasting impact. As a leader in DSA with more than 90% success rate for placements in secondary schools, MindChamps Academie of Stars offers holistic programmes like the Champion Communications Workshop. Designed to arm students with valuable skills, the MindChamps Direct School Admission Preparation Workshops will develop a Champion Mindset needed to ace interviews in preparation of DSA.
Looking for more information on unique programmes that builds confidence and develops your Champ’s craft in performing with a Champion Mindset.
Visit the MindChamps Académie of Stars centre located at Singapore’s Marina Square in-person to find out more about the DSA-related performing arts programmes on offer.