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Secondary Science

Ever since 2004, the Direct School Admission scheme has been active in helping many students secure a spot in their dream school, being the fallback plan for many parents and students alike. Here, we have interviewed somebody who has been through the whole process and have gathered their feelings and hacks to getting through DSA (hopefully) sweat-free!


Direct School Admission Interviewee

The Initial Idea

What motivated you to apply through DSA?

Personally, I was quite nervous that my examination scores were not going to be good enough for me to be enrolled into a school that was reputable. Therefore, I decided to apply through DSA to ensure that I had something to rely on if I were to not meet the specific secondary school’s cut-off point.


How did you prepare for the DSA interviews and assessments?

A lot of it is reading up any interview questions that were posted on any blogs, websites, or mentioned in videos. Since I applied to audition with Drama and Theatre, a lot of the pre-preparation was reading and memorising scripts for the audition. The panel consisted of, what I assume, were the teachers-in-charge, and the drama instructor.


The Process

What were some challenges you faced during the DSA process, and how did you overcome them?

One issue was definitely keeping myself calm during the interviews. This is because I would be anxious whenever I thought about who would be interviewing me. The panel of multiple judges interviewing just one person felt very anxiety-inducing.


Were there any specific practices you found particularly helpful?

One very good practice was rehearsing in front of friends or family. This is because all the auditions were done in front of a panel and I needed to learn how to calm myself down on the spot. By enlisting the help of my peers, it definitely helped to hear their comments and what they had to critique about me so that I could learn from it and adapt my performance. Another thing that helped me was learning how to not take feedback to heart. When being able to separate my feelings from the feedback, it definitely affects me less and it helps me to realise that all they are doing is trying to help me.


What role did your parents/guardians, teachers, or mentors play in supporting you through the DSA process?

Before joining my Secondary school’s drama CCA, I have only had experience independently outside of school, so I did not have a proper mentor to turn to for help, but I kept everything I learned from each production or project and used it to my advantage when it came to developing my skill set. My parents were also very supportive of my DSA journey because they also agreed that I should have a fall-back plan just in case my grades were insufficient to be accepted into the school I aimed for.


Wrapping it Up: Final Thoughts

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in your approach to the DSA process? In retrospect, if I could turn back time, I would definitely tell younger me not to be so stressed out. These auditions are supposed to be you showcasing your passion, not your perfection. As long as you are determined and hardworking, you will be put on the judge’s good side for sure. Don’t think badly about yourself, you can always train to be better!


What advice would you give to students who are considering applying through DSA?

Don’t be scared to give it a try! I know many people who do not even have an extensive portfolio and are still successful. One key thing the judges look for is passion and potential, so there is no need to even have too much experience. As long as you do your best and have enthusiasm, your chances are definitely going to be higher. Relax and take it easy!


In a Nutshell…

Although the whole application process of DSA seems extensive, it definitely pays off in the end, especially when you secure a spot. In the parting words of our interviewee, “Best of luck, and remember, the stage is yours for the taking!


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