Tertiary institutions can now admit more students based on non-academic talent such as art and sports.
This year saw the expansion of aptitude-based admissions for five polytechnics and three local universities - National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU).
The polytechnics already take in such students through the Direct Polytechnic Admissions (DPA) exercise and the Joint Polytechnic Special Admissions Exercise (JPSAE), which can admit up to 2.5 per cent and 5 per cent of the polytechnic intake respectively each year.
Now, a new Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) has replaced the DPA. The JPSAE was wound down and folded into this new exercise.
The EAE, which began in the middle of this year, can admit up to 12.5 per cent of the intake. It allows students to secure a place in a diploma course before they sit the O-level exams. The mode of assessment under the EAE may vary across courses and can include interviews, portfolio submissions and aptitude tests.
The universities, too, are expanding their discretionary admissions intake. From next year, NTU, NUS and SMU can admit up to 15 per cent of their annual intake under the discretionary admissions scheme, up from 10 per cent.