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Old 13-02-2020, 05:49 AM   #36
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 923
No more DA folks.
The Big 3 will no longer offer discretionary admissions from this year 2020.

Taken on its face, yes, there's no more "Discretionary Admissions" per-se, but in reality, the tangible takeaways for "aptitude -based"* applicants are that:

1. Universities no longer bounded by a set percentage of students that they can choose to admit based on aptitude (i.e. previously 15% for NUS, and from this year onwards, no cap).

2. Universities continue to maintain a internal minimum academic "cut-off" for aptitude-based applicants so that they can mitigate against the undergrad not surviving the course.

3. Expect Universities to take in more applicants that fulfill the "mature applicant" criterion and also, more "based on aptitude" to meet MOE's drive for 40% of birth cohort doing undergrad and varying the pathways (i.e. move away from the mental model of doing pre-u then undergrad. Instead, why not pre-u, NS / work, then undergrad etc...)

*Looking at the write-up here -

The University sets aside places for consideration of candidates who demonstrate a strong interest or aptitude for the courses they have applied for. The University will consider factors besides academic grades and admit applicants on other bases, including demonstrated ability and interest, work experience, leadership, community service and exceptional talent, subject to a minimum level of academic competence.

The following are some samples of exceptional achievements that may be taken into consideration:

Medal winner at the International Olympiads (Biology, Chemistry, Informatics, Mathematics and Physics)
Represented Singapore in Arts and/or Sports
Active participation in community service and volunteer programmes
Work experience relevant to the course applied for (supporting document/s is/are required)
Key leadership positions in community organisations, sports and athletic clubs, etc (outside school)

Applicants who wish to be considered under this scheme must provide details under the 'Outstanding Achievements' section of the online application form. If you have indicated information this section, you are strongly encouraged to provide an elaboration of these activities at the ‘Essay’ portion of this section too. In addition, you may wish to discuss a special talent, a personal experience or an activity that you have been involved in that is of relevance to the course you are applying for at the university.

It should seem awfully familiar to those that have applied under DA before (Hence, there's really not much of change in the baseline criterion for applicants that wish to use non-academic factors to convince the universities to admit)

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