Comprehensive Comparison between International Schools and Government Schools in Singapore

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International students who go to primary and secondary schools in Singapore can usually choose international schools and government schools. So what is the difference between these two types of schools? Let's take a look together below.

1. Admission Requirements


- International schools

The admission requirements of international schools are simpler than those of government schools in Singapore.

Most international schools have their own admissions examinations, and the admission rate is still very high. Generally, if the materials are sufficient and correct, there will be no problem with the degree.

Although international schools are relatively easy to enter, especially in the kindergarten stage, there are basically no entrance exams, but some popular schools have tight places, and the waiting period may be very long.

In the middle and upper grades, due to the pressure of the IB global unified examination, the admission standards of most international schools will be greatly improved. If there is no certain English foundation and appropriate intensive training, it is difficult for students above middle school to be admitted.


- Government schools

For children with foreign identities, they have the opportunity to enter the first grade of primary school without taking the test. They only need to submit an intent form around June of the year before enrollment, and the Ministry of Education will randomly arrange them to schools with vacancies according to the situation.

Foreign children who cannot enter government primary schools can still enter government secondary schools by taking the AEIS exam twice a year if they are in the school age group from primary two to secondary three.

However, this test is difficult, and the number of places allocated to foreign students by the government is limited every year, so the probability of successful admission is relatively small.


2. Pathway to Higher Education


- International schools

International school courses are mainly divided into 3 categories: AP (American Basic Education System), IB (International Baccalaureate), IGCSE (Commonwealth Basic Education System), and some schools will provide a variety of courses for students to choose from. International schools are more inclined to quality education and comprehensive training.

International schools emphasize students' creativity and joyful learning. The content of learning is not as deep as that of government schools, but it is very extensive. It emphasizes the comprehensiveness and application of knowledge. Generally speaking, the academic pressure of international schools is relatively small.

The mainstream of the Singapore International School is the IB curriculum, and the IB Diploma offered by the international school is the highest-level curriculum recognized globally.

Now colleges and universities in Europe, Australia, and the United States accept IB scores, and students with IB certificates can directly apply for admission to more than 4,000 universities in more than 130 countries.

Prestigious schools such as Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton and Harvard all offer many preferential policies for admission to IB graduates. Therefore, if you want to send your child to a prestigious university in Europe and America, an international school is the best springboard.

In addition, there are AP courses. AP is the main reference standard for American college admissions, and the school teaching of the AP system is in line with American primary and secondary schools. The adaptation period for students to transfer to the United States is relatively short.


- Government schools

The Singapore government's primary and secondary schools adopt the GCE education system of the Commonwealth, which is more inclined to traditional exam-oriented education.

Although Singapore's government schools emphasize academic ability, they do not encourage students to study hard. Instead, they develop many interests and hobbies, forming a system of classes in the morning and extracurricular activities in the afternoon.

Students who take the route of government schools usually enter the top universities in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), as well as local public universities. The Commonwealth education system adopted by government schools is also recognized by European and American universities.

In addition, foreign children with excellent grades in government schools have the opportunity to win PR (Permanent Resident). If families and children plan to develop in Singapore for a long time, it is more appropriate to choose government schools.


3. Tuition


- International schools

The tuition fees of various international schools in Singapore are also different. The higher the grade, the more expensive the tuition fee is, which is basically two to three times that of government schools. The cost of most international schools in Singapore is between SGD 20,000 and SGD 50,000 per year.

In addition, most schools charge other fees that are not low. For example, registration fees, campus construction fees, ESL (English as a Second Language) fees, and more. Generally, the registration fee of an international school will range from SGD 3,000-5,000.


- Government schools

Fees for international students have risen from government primary schools to secondary schools to junior colleges.

The tuition fees for international students attending Singapore government primary schools range from 825 SGD/month to 888 SGD/month, an increase of nearly 50 SGD compared with last year.

The tuition fees for international students attending government secondary schools in Singapore range from 1,600 SGD/month to 1,770 SGD/month, an increase of nearly 200 SGD compared with last year.

The tuition fees for international students attending Singapore Junior College range from S$1,950/month to S$2,127/month, an increase of nearly S$200 from last year.

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