1. There is no harm trying: Parents often worry that if their child cannot get into their first choice school - School A - they would have lessened the child's chances for the second choice school - School B - even if their child actually meets School B's cut-off point. There is no need to worry. The likelihood is that the children who put down School B as their first choice and meet the cut-off score, will not fill up all the places. If your child meets School B's cut-off, it's likely he will get a place even if its his second choice.
2. Let your child be the big fish: Research has shown that children may actually do better in a less competitive environment because they get a boost of confidence when they do well. A student's confidence depends not only on his own accomplishments, but also on the relative accomplishments of his classmates and schools mates. So choose a school that will let them be the big fish in a little pond.
3. Know your child: The top secondary school may not necessarily be the right school for your son or daughter. It is important to consider the sports and co-curricular activities that a school offers as they are crucial to the development of character and soft skills such as communication and teamwork in children.
If you have more questions about choosing a secondary school for your child, e-mail Senior Education Correspondent Sandra Davie at STAskSandra@sph.com.sg