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FAQs for Prospective Students (2022)

Secondary One Direct School Admission Exercise



What is the DSA exercise timeline like?

It is usually from mid-May to early September. The exact timeline for this year is not available yet. Please check our website for updates after MOE releases its announcement on the DSA Exercise.

Can my child apply for more than one category during the DSA exercise? 

You can apply for up to two talent areas in the same school.


What documents do I need to submit together with the application form?

Please refer to the instructions for the relevant application platform. You may attach relevant documents (eg. certificates of achievement) which illustrate the level of competence in the selected talent area.

How do we show our achievements when there were no National School Games or SYF last year?

MOE will be extracting students' CCA records from their primary school. We are still able to assess the child's interest and potential from the available records. We will also assess the child’s talents during the trials or auditions.

When will I know if I have been shortlisted for the test / audition / trial / interview?

All applicants will be informed if they have been shortlisted and will be provided with the details from end June.

When will I know if I have been offered a place?

All shortlisted applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications in August.

I received more than one DSA offer. When must I decide which to accept?

You will have to indicate your preferences in ranked order for up to three schools during the Exercise School Preference Stage.

What is the minimum AL score needed to be shortlisted for DSA trial / audition?

Does RV only accept DSA students with AL1 in all subjects?


The DSA scheme provides students with an alternative route to gain admission to RVHS. All applicants will be assessed for their talents during the trials or auditions, and ability to cope with the IP curriculum based on their P5 and P6 results.

Must my child obtain a good grade for Chinese Language so as to be considered for shortlisting?

As a SAP school that believes in bilingualism, we will assess your child’s ability to cope with our RVIP Chinese Language Programme in the shortlisting process based on the results provided in the application. 

Does my child need to take Higher Chinese Language in primary school in order to apply for a place in RV?

Higher Chinese Language (HCL) is not a prerequisite for admission to RVHS.

Must my child’s PSLE Achievement Level Score fall within a specific range even if he receives a Confirmed Offer from your school?

Your child must qualify for the Express stream.



Where can I find the list of CCAs for DSA?

The new DSA CCA list will be put up after MOE’s release of DSA information.

Is there a DSA quota for each CCA or on the whole?

There is no fixed quota. The objective of DSA is to identify talent, taking into consideration the student’s interest and long term development potential.

Are there CCAs which are more popular and see a higher number of DSA applicants?

No, there is no discernible trend.

If my child gets in through DSA, must my child join the CCA for 6 years? What if his interest changes?

Yes, your child must remain in the same CCA so that we can develop his/her full potential over six years. 

If choice of CCA is important, then your child should avoid applying for entry via DSA as there are conditions attached.

For students admitted via DSA, do they have more training / practice sessions than the others?

No, for sports, they will train thrice a week and for the performing arts, they will train twice a week, just like the rest of their team.

Would my daughter be at a disadvantage during the DSA exercise if she is not a Singaporean?

Your child’s nationality does not matter in the DSA exercise. Our assessment is based on talents and ability to cope with the rigour of an IP school.

DSA enquiries on Performing Arts CCAs

Would you be lowering your DSA criteria as there is no SYF or any other competitions? 

Students should display a strong aptitude in the talent area they applied for. Auditions and interviews will be conducted to assess their suitability in that talent area.

If my child has learnt only ballet and modern dance, and not other dance forms, and has been in the dance team but quit ballet in P6 due to the heavy workload, can she still apply for dance DSA and does she need to be the key dancer in her CCA?

Yes, having ballet or any dance skills would be an advantage, thus she does not need to be the key dancer. In RV Dance society, our dancers learn both Chinese and modern contemporary dance. All dancers would have to learn both genres, they cannot choose which genre they want to learn.

My child is in Hip Hop in primary school, can my child apply for DSA dance?


Yes, having any dance skills would be an advantage but please note that in RV Dance society, the dancers do not take hip hop or street dance at the secondary level. Street Dance CCA is offered at the JC levels.

How is the assessment for dance conducted? 


There will be an audition for dance candidates.

What competencies are you looking for in a student applying for Concert Band or Chinese Orchestra? Is there a particular instrument you will give preference to for DSA? For example, is the CCA short of certain instrument players so more priority will be given to these students?

The school will assess a student’s musicality, which is the ability to perceive and reproduce differences in the aspects of music including pitch, rhythm, and harmony. Basically, it is the ability to be able to reproduce music in addition to creating music (musical creativity).

At the application phase, past achievements, competition involvement and academic requirements will be taken into consideration for short-listing.

For Chinese Orchestra, the school will consider all musical instruments excluding guzheng and violin.

For Concert Band, the school will consider all musical instruments excluding piano and violin.

If my child has public speaking experience, should he/she apply for English Language Debate or English Drama?

What competencies are you looking for when it comes to debates? 

If my child gets accepted for Drama through DSA, does it mean he/she has to do drama as a subject in RV?

It depends on your child’s interest and talents/competencies.

Both CCAs require your child to have a strong command of the language, confidence in public speaking, passion for the language and the ability to analyse facts and present spontaneously.

Your child has to take up Drama as his/her CCA if he/she accepts the offer to come into RV via Drama.

If my child wants to apply for English Debates via DSA, does he/she need to be in the school debate team to be qualified? Some primary schools do not have debates as a CCA but if the child has participated in debate training outside school, can my child apply? 

If the primary school does not have a debate team but your child has debate training or participated in debate competitions, and wishes to pursue his/her passion, please go ahead and apply for it.



DSA enquiries on Sports CCAs

Will my child be guaranteed a place in the school team if he comes in via DSA?

The school team is selected only prior to the team registration for the National School Games.

Generally, most DSA students qualify for the school team due to their talent, ability and sustained commitment to training.

What are the requirements to qualify for the various DSA sports?

Can we apply for DSA even though we are not in the school team or if our primary school does not have that particular sport?

Students should display strong aptitude in the talent area they applied for. Trials and interviews will be conducted to assess their suitability in that talent area.

Yes, you can still apply for DSA.

How would the sports CCA DSA be carried out for JC DSA? Would there be physical trials or just online interviews?

You may refer to our school website in June for more information on DSA-JC exercise.

How do I prove that my child is a captain of the school team?

The primary school should have recorded your child’s Leadership and Achievements in the CCA Certificate.

Is there a recreational team apart from the school team?

There is no recreational team.

DSA Enquiries on Other Talent Areas

How do we apply for DSA leadership?

Must the child hold a key position in the school prefectorial board or CCA?

Your child’s primary school CCA record should reflect that he/she holds a key position in the school prefectorial board as one of the office bearers (for example, EXCO member). For Girl Guides, she should be conferred the Chief Commissioner's Badge as it is the highest achievement at the primary school level.

We believe in the leadership potential of all students and there are many opportunities to develop their potential.

For DSA leadership, we are specifically looking for a greater leadership capacity. Being in a key leadership position is a signal that the student has been recognised to have the capacity to be stretched and developed, hence chosen, among their peers whom they work together, to be the representative of the prefectorial board.

What will be required of the child if she is accepted through DSA leadership or girl guides?

Upon entering RV, your child will be in our Student Leadership Development Academy and Students' Council. For Girl Guides, your child will continue her Girl Guides journey with us in RVHS.

What kinds of documents must we provide for DSA coding?


Documents that reflect past achievements and competencies are to be submitted during the application phase.

What do you look for in students who apply for DSA Science Investigation?

For Scientific Investigation, candidates should have a deep passion in science and innovative problem-solving skills. They should also demonstrate a natural curiosity in Science through their performance in science inquiry tasks.


What do you look for in students who apply for DSA D&T Innovation?

Candidates should be creative when applying their knowledge and skills to the given tasks, and show that they are able to come up with innovative solutions to the problems.

What do you look for in students who apply for DSA Environmental Science?

Candidates should be passionate about the environment and have experience in championing environmental causes in their primary schools. Students who have a strong interest in environmental science and would like to serve as advocates for the environment, both inside and outside of the school community, can apply for this category.

 If my child is a prefect in primary school, will my child be a prefect in RV?

If your child comes into RV through DSA Leadership, your child will be given leadership opportunities to join the Students' Council, and be part of leadership projects and initiatives.

 Will Peer Support Group Leaders in primary schools be considered for DSA Leadership if they receive the EAGLES award?

The Edusave Award for Achievement, Good Leadership and Service (EAGLES) Award recognises a student’s leadership ability, and combined with his past leadership experiences and potential, we will take all these into consideration during our shortlisting process.

For coding DSA, does my child stand a chance if he knows Scratch?

Your child needs to be able to demonstrate his skills and knowledge in the basics of programming.

General enquiries on Co-Curricular Activities

Is CCA compulsory in RV?

Where can I find a list of CCAs offered in RV?

CCA is compulsory for all secondary school students.

Please visit https://rivervalleyhigh-moe-edu-sg-admin.cwp.sg/rvip/co-curricular-activities-curriculum for the full list of CCAs offered to Sec and JC students.

How are students selected for the CCAs? Are certain CCAs made up of DSA students only? Students with the right aptitude for particular CCAs are matched to them. There is no CCA that is made up entirely of DSA candidates.

Are external CCAs (eg water polo or tennis) recognised by the school and will the child be awarded CCA points?  If the student's involvement in a sport is under the National Sports Association, we will award CCA points. 

Can my child take up more than one CCA?

Students who can cope with the school’s academic and main CCA demands may take up another CCA. We have students who have demonstrated the ability to handle a diverse range of commitments in CCAs and Academies.

How many training sessions are there per week and how long is each session?


There are three training sessions per week for sports CCAs. Generally, training sessions are held on Tuesdays, Fridays and one other weekday. Each training session is 3 hours long, from 3pm to 6pm. 


Performing Arts CCAs are held on Tuesdays and Fridays, except for Chorale which conducts CCA on Wednesdays and Fridays. More practices are arranged only when there is a need to prepare for a competition or a performance. In such instances, parents and students will be notified at least two weeks in advance.


Our students’ well-being is our priority, hence during the post-season and end-of-year examination period, CCA sessions will be phased down.


What opportunities are given to students in the performing arts CCAs?

Besides the biennial SYF performances, students in the performing arts CCA have many platforms to perform such as our annual month-long Arts Fest. In addition, the Performing Arts CCAs perform in many internal and external school events ranging from Honours Day to performances at the Istana.

Under the guidance of our experienced instructors, they also get to take part in competitions and when they are at their apex, they may be sent for external MOE courses such as the conductor’s course, to hone their skills.

Can my child join more than one CCA if he or she gets into RV via CCA DSA?

Your child has to remain committed to the CCA that he or she got in via DSA, so it must not clash with the other CCA that your child would like to join.

Academic Enquiries

In what ways is RV’s Integrated Programme unique?



    • The Cultures of Thinking (CoT) framework is infused into the various programmes so as to develop our students’ critical thinking skills.
    • Inquiry-approach, research-based, process-oriented CID Curriculum
    • We offer Bicultural Studies Programme (Chinese) and SAP Scholarship
    • We have six talent academies - Science  Leaders Academy, Humanities and Social Sciences Leaders Academy, Mathematics Leaders Academy, Bicultural Leaders Academy and The Eco-Sustainability Leadership Academy and Student Leadership Development Leaders Academy to stretch our students’ potential

 As an IP school, students are exposed to varied learning experiences and opportunities through its six-year seamless programme where they do not sit for the O-Level Examinations and instead, take the GCE A-Level Examinations in JC2.   

Are the GCE A-Level subjects taught in-house in RVHS?  As an Integrated Programme school, our students go through a seamless 6-year educational journey, hence the GCE A-Level curriculum is taught in RV.

How does RV perform in the GCE A-Level Examinations?

RV students have been performing above the national average in the GCE A-Level Examinations and the school has been consistently value-adding to the students’ A-Level performance. In addition, 1 in 3 students get a scholarship, something that we are immensely proud of, considering that our students do not take the O-Levels. This shows the dedication and support of our teachers to ensure that our students do well in the examinations. Many students get scholarships to study at prestigious universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial college, London School of Economics, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan and other renowned universities.

If my child is not able to cope with the Integrated Programme after the 1st year, what other options are there for my child?

What is the drop-out rate?

As a school, we provide our fullest support to our students. This environment comprises the form teachers, subject teachers and Year Master, and they monitor students' progress and decide on a remediation programme to help students when necessary. Coupled with strong home-school partnership, we are confident of helping our students to do well in the GCE A Level Examinations. Students who asked to leave RV typically do so because they want to pursue a course that is not offered in the A Level curriculum.

Note: DSA students are not eligible to transfer to other secondary or IP schools after acceptance of the Confirmed Offer.

Will my child be at a disadvantage since there are no O-Level classes in RV?

Will my child be left with only a PSLE certificate if he is unable to finish the 6-year programme?



Being able to proceed directly to the A-Levels is an advantage for our students as they get a lot more time and opportunities to develop holistically and hone their 21st century competencies over six years through our highly customised programmes.

IP students obtain an IP Info Sheet which is issued by MOE to reflect their academic status. This will enable them to pursue a different track offered at the polytechnic.

Note: DSA students are not eligible for any transfer to other secondary or IP schools after acceptance of the Confirmed Offer.

Does RV place more emphasis on the Chinese Language than on English Language?

As a SAP school, we strongly believe in the importance of both languages, given the global landscape that demands proficiency in both languages and bicultural sensitivity in order for us to engage with the rest of the world. By placing equal emphasis on both languages, our students will have a competitive edge when they graduate as they can be the bridge between the East and the West. 

Is there any promotion criteria from Sec 1 to J2?

Just like any other school, there is a set of promotion criteria that students need to meet in order to be promoted to the next level. 

Does my child need to take Higher Chinese Language in P5 and 6 in order to be admitted into RV?

There is no need to as long as your child takes our RV Chinese Language Programme. 

What is the Chinese Language Programme like in RV?

As an SAP and IP school, we have a specially designed RV Chinese Language programme for all students. This programme aims to build their foundation and equip them with the necessary skills and competencies so that they are well prepared to sit for the GCE O-Level Higher Chinese Language Examination in secondary 4. 

Does RV offer any other mother tongue languages?

We offer other mother tongue languages to our JC students only. 

Can a student participate in more than one of the six Talent Academies? We do not limit students' capacity and interest. With the right aptitude, membership in more than one Academy is possible and encouraged.
How are students selected for competitions?   We select candidates based on their aptitude and capabilities for competitions. 
If my child is talented in the English Language, will there be opportunities to stretch him? We support students' learning and interest areas, and we have different talent programmes ranging from speaking to writing, and prepare them for competitions.

Does RV have weekly weighted assessments for different subjects throughout the academic year?

We have bite-sized assessments to assess students' understanding and they are spread out across the term so that they can pace their revision.

Is there any support for students who struggle with the Chinese Language?

Yes, we have after-school programmes to support the students’ learning of the Chinese Language. In addition, our school has various enrichment programmes to ignite their love for the language.

If my child takes the Art Elective Programme in another school, can my child take fewer subjects in RV?

No, your child will still be taking the same core subjects as the rest so that they can keep their options open when it comes to choosing their subject combination in Secondary 3.
If my child takes Higher Chinese Language in primary school, does he or she have priority for admission into RV?Students who obtain Distinction, Merit or Pass in HCL and have a PSLE score of 14 or better (i.e. PSLE score ≤ 14) will be eligible for posting advantage when applying to SAP schools. If multiple students with the same PSLE score apply for the same SAP school, those with better HCL grades will be allocated a place ahead of other students. This applies before the tie-breakers.
 How does MOE's posting work?Please visit this site to find out more.
When will posting results be released?The posting results will be announced by MOE in early December and once they are released, schools will post the relevant information on their websites.

General enquiries about RV

What are the school hours like in RV?

School starts at 8 am each morning from Tuesday to Friday, and we start at 9 am on Mondays. Lessons usually end at about 2.30pm, depending on which level and the students’ subject combination. On some afternoons, students may attend supplementary classes or enrichment programmes.

How much fees do students pay monthly?

Please click here for the school fees.

How many students are there in each class?


On average, we have about 30 to 35 students in each class.

Does RV offer bus services to 3rd language centres? The school provides transport for all third language students.
Does RV offer bus services? No, we do not offer bus services as we are located near Boon Lay MRT station and many buses go to our school.
What are the food options and what is the price range of the food sold in RV? Our canteen has an extensive selection of food options and there is also a cafe on site. Typically, students spend between $2 and $3.50 for lunch.


Does RV provide a safe environment for students to study in?


Our students and staff feel comfortable in the school due to the strong culture of care as evinced by our staff and students who support and look out for one another. Although an unfortunate incident took place, RV continues to be a safe place for growth and development. With strong support from the Ministry of Education and stakeholders as well as the RV community, the school remains committed to students' safety and well-being.

Are there any scholarships that students can apply for?

Our school has the Tham Tuck Meng Scholarship for Sec 1 students.

Admission into RVIP

Now that the PSLE scoring system has changed, what is RV’s Cut-Off Point?


The Secondary 1 Posting indicative AL Cut-Off Point range for RV is between 4 and 9. You may refer to this link for more information: https://www.moe.gov.sg/microsites/psle-fsbb/assets/infographics/new-psle-scoring-system/further-updates-to-PSLE-2021.pdf

Will students taking Higher Chinese Language have an advantage in getting into RV?

In the new calculation of AL, HCL is not included.

Does RV accept transfer students from other schools?


Parents can call the school at the end of the academic year to check if there are any vacancies. If there are, parents can apply and the student will sit for the aptitude tests.

How many Secondary 1 students do you admit every year?

The cohort size varies every year. Due to a shrinking population, there is a reduction in the number of students being admitted to RV. In 2021, we have nine Secondary One Classes.   

Can International students apply to study in RV?

International students (IS) who want to join RV at Secondary 1 to 3 will have to apply through MOE. Please refer to MOE’s webpage on admissions for international students. For Secondary 1 DSA application, IS will have to obtain a reference number from MOE first before participating in RVIP DSA exercise. They will also have to pass MOE AEIS for their DSA results to take effect.