How To Mentally Prepare Your Child For The DSA Application in Singapore

There are many reasons why parents in Singapore encourage their children to consider the Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise. For some, the new PSLE scoring system may make parents feel uncertain about their child’s chances of getting into their preferred school. Others find DSA a unique opportunity for their child to follow where their talents take them — enrolling in a school that can further hone their skills is a good move for any budding artist.

If you’ve decided on having your child go through the DSA application in Singapore, you may want to prepare them well to be selected by any top secondary school, or simply a school of their choice. This includes mastering their interviews and audition techniques, putting together a solid portfolio of work, and studying for any written tests required by their chosen school.

While such preparation is necessary, you’d want to ensure that your child is mentally ready to experience the entire DSA application process. These tips are sure to help!

1. Choosing their desired school

One of the most important steps in the DSA application process is narrowing down the choices available to your child. The school that your child ultimately enrols in will define the next phase of their academic journey. As parents, wanting the best for your child does not mean choosing the best school for them; rather, it is about providing your child with the freedom to explore the choices available to them so that they can make an informed decision. 

Why is this important?

As your child will be going through the experience alone, they need to be confident that they will be able to succeed. This comes with motivation to do their best and have the discipline to maintain their finesse. 

Being forced to accept a school of your choice that they don’t have a preference for may cause them to lose interest in the field they once loved. Worse, they may not even put in the effort to do well in school, thus affecting their grades. This can then lead to difficulties when applying for a position in a local polytechnic or junior college later on. 

What you can do

For a start, help your child understand the options available to them. This means narrowing down the schools that excel in the area of arts your child is honing their skills in. Then, help your child understand the aspects of a secondary school that are important to them. From location to the academic curriculum, have your child study each school in detail based on these factors.

Finally, let your child explain to you their choices and the rationale behind them.

This entire process will help them learn how to be confident in their choices and be more in control of their progress throughout the DSA application.

2. Preparing a portfolio

When it comes to a literary or visual arts portfolio, your child should put their best works forward. However, you’d also want to consider those that hold a significant meaning for your child. Again, let your child take the driver’s seat, with you guiding them at the side.

Why is this important?

Since your child will be interviewed and auditioned on their own, they need to understand what went into their portfolio and why. If you take the helm on this one, your child may neither feel comfortable nor confident enough to explain their past works or address questions posed. Let them take charge of building their portfolio of works, and have them narrate their stories on their own.

What you can do

Your child may not know how to organise their portfolio. This is where you can help. If they need to put together an acting reel, teach them how to use a video maker. For aspiring singers, perhaps you can guide them on how to navigate online audio sharing platforms like SoundCloud. During this process, your child will learn a skill or two that could take them to places in the future.

3. Acing tests, interviews & auditions

Undoubtedly, there’s not much you can do when your child sits for a test, attends an interview or auditions. But there’s more to do during the preparation stage. There are many ways you can prepare your child for an interview — running through DSA interview questions is one to consider. For auditions, ensuring they keep practising is key. However, you want to avoid placing too much pressure on your child at this stage.

Why is this important?

Overworking your child or pushing them harder without any breathing space can burn them out. This would affect how they perform. It is important to know that the DSA application is just one of the many possible ways to further hone their talents. In other words, it is not a life and death matter — don’t make it seem as such for your child. 

What you can do

Allow them to practise and have fun during this process. Give them the compliments they need and constructive feedback when required. Enrolling them into MindChamps Académie of Stars DSA Preparation programme is also one way to help your child be ready for any interview or test. To help them sharpen their singing and acting skills, the DSA Preparation Art Form is another programme to consider.

It is also important for you to have your child realise that they have put in their best effort so far, whatever the results may be.. A rejection does not reflect their inability.

All the best to your child!

As parents, the DSA application can make you nervous, not just your child. However, staying positive and helping your child do the same is an essential part of cementing confidence. At the same time, being aware that the outcome does not define the future of your child will allow both of you to be more accepting of the DSA application results, and channel the focus to other opportunities that come by.

Till then, help your child do their best for the DSA — you may also book an appointment with MindChamps Académie of Stars to seek help from experts!