Enrolment FAQs


How to apply to ACS (International)?

Applicants should submit a completed application form plus copies of the following documents:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport (for non-Singaporeans)
  • Dependent Pass (if applicable)
  • Citizenship (if applicable)
  • School’s Academic Transcripts or Reports for the last two (2) years
  • Academic Certificates (eg PSLE, O Level, IGCSE)
  • Psychological Reports (if any)
  • Mother Tongue Exemption letter (if any)

Are there any admission tests for entry?

Yes. All applicants seeking admission to are expected to sit the following admission tests:

  • Mainstream Years 1 and 2 – English and Mathematics;
  • Mainstream Year 3 – English, Mathematics and Science;
  • Mainstream Year 5 – English, Mathematics and Chemistry/Biology/Physics;
  • Bridging Years 1, Pre-IGCSE and Pre-IB – English and Mathematics;
  • Mainstream Year 4 (FIB) – English and Mathematics

Admission tests for applicants from PSLE (applying to Year 1) and GCE O Levels/IGCSE (applying to Year 5) do not need to sit the above admissions tests. In addition, all applicants must also undertake an oral interview with a senior member of staff.

Does the school provide Direct School Admission (DSA)?

Yes. The above admissions tests are our DSA tests. Students applying for Year 1 and Year 5 may use their end of year PSLE and O Level / IGCSE results in place of the DSA tests, or alternatively they may sit the DSA tests at any stage during the year with confirmation of admission based on the DSA tests and the oral interview. Year 1and 5 students who do not pass the DSA tests may still apply again later in the year using their PSLE / O Level / IGCSE results.

When can my child take the admissions tests?

Upon receipt of the completed application, the school will offer you a date to take the tests. These tests are scheduled on Mondays each week. You will be informed of the outcome within one week during the school session and up to two weeks during school holidays.

Are there any scholarships available?

Three scholarships that cover part of the school fees are offered to Singaporean students seeking admission to the IBDP. There are no scholarships available in Years 1 – 4.

What are the criteria for entry to the IBDP in Year 5?

Students need a minimum of 3As, and 3Bs at IGCSE and a maximum of 18 points for L1R5 at ‘O’ Level or their equivalent for entry onto the IBDP course.  In addition, for each HL subject studied, a student must have gained a minimum grade B in that subject at O Level or IGCSE.  A minimum of a grade C is required for subjects studied at SL.

What is the minimum PSLE points score for entry into ACS (International)?

To be considered for entry students must have a maximum of AL20 points and have been offered Express stream by the MOE. Please note that attaining the minimum score does not guarantee admission. Other factors such as suitability to an ACS (International) education are also considered. These are explored at interview and by reviewing school reports etc.

Who can apply to mainstream programmes and who is only eligible for the Bridging Programme?

Applicants with previous experience of being taught completely in English may apply to mainstream programmes. Other applicants can only apply to age appropriate Bridging programmes.

Is it possible to transfer my child into Year 4 or Year 6 at ACS (International)?

We occasionally accept students who have been studying the IGCSE or the IB elsewhere whose subjects we also offer but in general we do not take students into Year 4 IGCSE or Year 6 IBDP as this is the examination year and therefore too late for new students to cover the full syllabus.

Instead it is possible for Year 4 (Grade 10) students to apply for either our one year Foundation IB course (for first language English learners) or the one year Pre-IB course (for second language learners) which prepares students for the IBDP. No formal external examinations are sat at the end of Year 4. IBDP entry is determined by performance in the school’s end of year examinations.   


Do we need to hire external tutors for our child?

No, the curriculum is fully covered by your child’s teachers and, provided that your child spends time revising lessons and topics, there will not be any need to obtain outside help.

What subjects does my child take?

The following is a summary of subjects taken at each level:

Year 1 and 2 (a general course with choice of second language studied)

  • English
  • Mother Tongue Language or Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science – Biology, Chemistry and Physics studied as separate modules
  • Integrated Humanities (Year 1)
  • History, Geography & Religious Studies (Year 2)
  • Global Perspectives
  • The Arts – Music, Art, Drama studied as separate modules
  • Physical Education

Year 3 and 4 (IGCSE)

IGCSE is a two year course. The final examinations are held in October/November of the second year. Students take seven or eight subjects plus PE. Selected students only may take triple Science and Additional Mathematics. Students take:

  • English Language or ESL
  • Mother Tongue Language or Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Core Science: Biology, Chemistry or Physics (choose one)
  • Core Humanities: Business Studies, Economics, Global Perspectives, History or Geography (choose one)
  • Plus students choose 2 or 3 from the following:

English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business Studies, Economics, History, Geography, Additional Mathematics, Music, Art, Drama, IGCSE PE, Japanese, French as 3rd language. 

Year 4 Foundation IB

The Year 4 Foundation IB programme is a one year course aimed at preparing competent English language learners for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in the following two years. Students do not sit the external IGCSE or O Level examinations at the end of the year but do, however, sit the school’s internal examinations and must pass the end of year examinations in order to progress to the IBDP.

All students follow the same general course as below. The only choice of subjects involves choosing which two Science subjects to study:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science (2 of Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Economics
  • Global Studies
  • Physical Education

Year 4 Pre- IB

The Year 4 Pre-IB programme is a one year course aimed at preparing English second language learners for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in the following two years. Students do not sit the external IGCSE or O Level examinations at the end of the year but do, however, sit the school’s internal examinations and must pass the end of year examinations in order to progress to the IBDP.

All students follow the same general course as below. The only choice of subjects involves choosing which two Science subjects to study:

  • English Language (extra hours in this subject)
  • Mathematics
  • Science (2 of Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Geography
  • The Arts – Music, Art, Drama studied as modules
  • Physical Education

Year 5 and 6 (IB Diploma Programme)

IBDP is a two year course. The final examinations are held in November of the second year. Final grade scores are derived from a combination of internal assessment and external examinations. Students take six subjects plus the IB Core of the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service). Students choose one from each of the following groups of subjects:

  • Group 1: English Language or Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese First Language
  • Group 2: Mother Tongue Language or Foreign Language or English B Second Language
  • Group 3: Humanities: Business St, Economics, Geography, History, or Psychology (choose one)
  • Group 4: Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Sports Science (choose one)
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: Art, Music, Theatre, or a second Science or a second Humanities subject.

My child has been exempted by the MOE from studying his Mother Tongue language.  Does he need to study a second language at ACS (International)?

Yes, all students study a second or a foreign language at ACS (International).  If your child is exempted from the Mother Tongue language, s/he will still be required to study a second language at school. Some exempted students still choose to study their mother tongue language.

If my child enters Bridging, can s/he be promoted to mainstream before the end of the year? 

Normally the student will remain in the Bridging class for the academic year in order to develop his or her English skills.  Occasionally, the school may consider that a student’s English has developed to the point of being able to cope in the mainstream and will assess the student’s ability to access mainstream curriculum.  This would not be possible after Term 3.

My child does not require English support but would prefer to be with other international students. Can s/he be accepted into Bridging?

The Bridging programme is designed solely for international students whose English is not their first language and who need to develop their language before entering mainstream. We do not accept English speakers into Bridging.

What if my child is having academic difficulties?

If your child is having difficulties, please speak to his subject teacher or House Tutor. The school offers extra support / revision time after school, usually on a Tuesday and a Wednesday.

What the class size and teacher-student ratio?

Class sizes range from 5 to 25 depending on the subject.

What are the criteria for promotion at the end of the year?

A student will expect to progress into the next year unless there have been serious concerns about his/her academic performance during the course of the year.  Please refer to the official school policy on our website.

What is the nationality breakdown for students and staff?

ACS (International) students come from 30+ nations with 51% Singaporean and 49% international students. Its experienced teaching staff come from a range of countries. Those from Singapore teach mainly Mother Tongues, Mathematics and Sciences with those from western countries teaching mainly English language, Humanities, Expressive and Performing Arts as well as Foreign Languages.


Why is the school House system useful? 

The House system at ACS (International) is a unique feature of the school. It is the cornerstone of the pastoral care network providing strong student support in all academic and holistic areas. There are approximately 130 students in each House, overseen by an experienced Head of House. The House system also provides a platform for its students to take on leadership roles and participate in a range of inter-House activities. 

Is the Pastoral Care fee for international students necessary?

Yes. It is mandatory for international students on a student pass seeking studies with ACS (International). This is a paid service the school provides in support of its international students. Some of the International Student Fee supports a full time International Student Pastoral Care Coordinator.

What sort of accommodation is allowed for ACS students?

Only the prescribed accommodation is allowed. First year students are required to stay in an approved hostel – either ACS Oldham Hall or ACS Independent. No students are allowed to stay in a self-rented facility and/or without proper supervision. This includes being supervised only by a home help. All parents of international students are required to appoint a guardian in their place to supervise their child.

Do international students really need to buy Health Insurance?

In short, most definitely! The school will organise Health Insurance for all students so that the school knows that each student has coverage. If you wish to purchase your own Health Insurance on top of the school insurance you can, but you are still required to purchase the insurance offered by the school.

Is it compulsory for students to do CCAs?

The school provides a holistic education and so it is compulsory for all students do to CCAs. Students choose their CCA at the start of the year, and can change it from year to year. Typically in the earlier year levels students will do 2 or more CCAs, with the number reducing as they reach the upper year levels. There are a wide range of CCAs available in the areas of Sports, Interest Groups and Performing Arts.

How can my child get on the Principal’s List?

Every student receives a report each term. The term reports give feedback on three aspects of work: Subject Attainment; Attitude to Learning; and Completion of Work. Students receive grades from 1 – 7 which are similar to the IBDP grading system. The Attainment grade is derived from a combination of both formal and informal assessment.

Top students each term are eligible for awards:

Award Number of Grade 7s
Attainment Attitude to Learning Completion of Work
Principal’s List All grades must be a 6 or a 7 4 5 5
Distinction All grades must be a 6 or a 7 3 4 4
Commendation for Achievement and Effort All grades must be a 5, 6 or a 7 2 3 3
Commendation for Effort All grades must be a 5, 6 or a 7 N/A 4 4