This guide provides comprehensive Information on DSA (Direct School Admission) process for secondary school.
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Direct School Admission, or DSA, is an alternative way of enrolling your child into a desirable secondary school or junior college (JCs). DSA candidates are evaluated based on a different set of criteria apart from PSLE or academic scores. This makes it an excellent option for children with great talent in specific areas of interest.
One of the crucial components of a DSA application is the DSA interview. Many parents look for DSA interview tips and DSA interview common questions online, which can get overwhelming and confusing. To simplify, here are some of our best DSA interview tips for your child to be fully prepared!
If you are new to DSA – Read our article New to DSA-Sec? Here are 5 Things You Need to Know
DSA applicants are usually shortlisted based on their proven aptitude and achievements in their area of interest. These shortlisted candidates are then given an opportunity to undergo an interview and audition or try out.
While the weightage of the interview is undisclosed and may vary from school to school, it is definitely a vital component of the DSA selection process. Doing well in a DSA interview will help the student to stand out. When fighting for a few seats, it can also make the difference between qualifying for or being rejected in their enrollment.
Interviewers typically look for confidence, the ability to think and communicate clearly, and a logical train of thought. These are challenging even for adults, not to mention children who might be appearing for the interview for the first time in their life.
Training in DSA interview questions beforehand can help your child be fully prepared and express themselves more eloquently. It will also help if your child can capture the interviewer’s interest with unique facts and stories about themselves.
Research About the school: You and your child must research the school and its involvement in the Talent area through which you have applied for DSA. You should understand the school’s expectations, what they may look out for in potential candidates and what the school life may be like if your child gets selected.
Take an interest in current affairs: Encourage your child and make it a habit to read the news daily. Have a quick discussion with your child and share views on what’s happening worldwide. Assessing a candidate’s knowledge of current affairs is a common practice among interviewers. They aim to determine whether the candidate is interested in various global and social issues or primarily focuses on personal development. Additionally, interviewers evaluate whether candidates can confidently express their opinions on contentious topics clearly and respectfully.
Practice but don’t over-practice: Maximize your child’s comfort level with being interviewed by engaging them in mock interviews at home with you, friends or family members. However, remember that over-practice can make candidates robotic-like in their demeanor. An experienced interviewer can easily identify candidates who speak from memory and lack genuine sincerity.
While interview questions may differ for each talent area, here are some frequently asked DSA interview common questions. Encourage your child to think about how they would answer these questions.
There is only so much you can prepare for. At some point, your child must also be able to listen to the questions carefully, Adapt and Answer accordingly. Mentally preparing your child that the interview questions may vary on the day and encouraging them to simply try their best may produce better results.
Additional DSA interview tips include Dressing up well and appropriately, Maintaining positive body language and eye contact throughout the interview, Listening carefully and Answering honestly. These are general interview best practices that apply here as well!
Training in DSA interviews can be done at home or by professional coaches. Either way, it is important to prepare your child for as many scenarios as possible and arm them with good interview skills, including communication skills, self-confidence, ability to manage nerves, situational aptitude, critical thinking and more.
To explore more classes, go through our list of various classes here. Why not start with a trial class to gauge your child’s interest?