What factors should parents consider when choosing a primary school? And how fast do school vacancies get filled up?
The Straits Times tackles burning questions that parents may face during the Primary 1 registration exercise, including which schools may be oversubscribed this year based on past data, in an interactive graphic.
P1 registration for the 2019 cohort kicked off yesterday, and will last until Oct 31. The exercise is conducted over seven phases.
Using data for P1 registration from the past six years, the graphic is able to come up with a forecast on how likely it is that a school will enter balloting, based on the number of applicants in past years.
Balloting is required when the number of applications exceeds the vacancies available.
ST's P1 registration tool makes it easier for parents to gauge their chances under the different phases, said its senior education correspondent Sandra Davie.
But that should not be the only factor influencing parents' decisions. The graphic also incorporates tips from Ms Davie on other factors parents should consider.
"At the end of the day, it is not about getting your child into the top school, but the right school," she said.
Parents should consider carefully their child's strengths and weaknesses - and not just the school's academic achievements.
"If they have in mind a highly competitive school, then parents need to ask if their child will thrive in competition, or wilt under stress," she said.
The sports and co-curricular activities that a school offers are also important factors as they contribute to the development of a child's character and soft skills.
Ms Davie said: "In the end, instead of aiming for a top school, parents should pick a school that will help bring out the potential in a child, be it in academics, sports or arts."