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Top Secondary Schools in Singapore Print

Secondary school education places students in the Special, Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) courses according to how they perform at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) .The best students in each cohort go to IP and Express streams in Edupoll’s Top 10 secondary schools.

The different programs are designed to match the learning abilities and interests of different students. There are 4-year programs, 5-year programs and 6-year programs. For the 5-year program, students who do well at the “N” level examination at Secondary 4 will proceed to Secondary 5 and sit for the GCE “0” level examination.

Express course students get into a four year program to prepare for the GCE ‘O’ level examination whilst Integrated Program students attend a 6-year through-train program bypassing the ‘O’ level to prepare for the GCE ‘A’ level examination or the International Baccalaureate.

Secondary school education is pivotal because students are streamed accordingly to their academic abilities. The prescribed secondary school pathway will lead them to either the polytechnics or junior colleges for pre-university education. To elevate the standing of all secondary schools in Singapore at one go, the Ministry of Education has officially affirmed that " all schools are good schools". This innovative policy initiative is the brainchild of Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, an old RI boy.

Of the 165-odd secondary schools in Singapore, there are some schools which offer the option of a 6-year integrated programs (IP) leading to GCE A levels or the International Baccalaureate or a NUS High School diploma.

These IP schools in Singapore are (in random order):-

  1. Anglo-Chinese School ( Independent ) – offer the International Baccalaureate instead of GCE ‘A’ levels
  2. Dunman High School
  3. Nanyang Girls’ High School - ( Lee Kuan Yew's daughter Lee Wei Ling studied at Nanyang )
  4. Raffles Girls’ Secondary School
  5. Raffles Institution ( Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong studied at RI )
  6. Hwa Chong Institution
  7. River Valley High School
  8. NUS High School of Science and Mathematics (Note: NUS High offers its own NUS High School Diploma. NUS High is part of National University of Singapore )
  9. School of The Arts ( SOTA ) – offers the International Baccalaureate ( not part of MOE )
  10. National Junior College
  11. Victoria School
  12. Singapore Chinese Girls' School
  13. Methodist Girls' School ( Mrs Lee Kuan Yew studied here )
  14. CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School
  15. Cedar Girls' Secondary School
  16. Catholic High School ( PM Lee Hsien Loong and his brother attended Cat High )
  17. Temasek Junior College

The above schools attract the Top 15 % of each PSLE cohort and are targeted at students who are clearly university-bound.

In recent years, Nanyang Girls' High School has the highest PSLE cut-off point in Singapore, earning its reputation as Singapore's most academically-elite school. Nanyang's PSLE cut-off point ranges from 261 to 265 over the past few years.

There are 8 independent secondary schools and 10 SAP schools in Singapore. The independent schools are:

  1. Anglo-Chinese School ( Independent) ( ACSI )
  2. Hwa Chong Institution ( HCI )
  3. Methodist Girls’ School ( MGS )
  4. Nanyang Girls’ High School
  5. Raffles Girls’ Secondary School ( RGS )
  6. Raffles Institution ( RI )
  7. Singapore Chinese Girls’ School ( SCGS )
  8. St. Joseph Institution ( SJI )

The Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools are:

  1. Anglican High School
  2. Catholic High School
  3. CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ Secondary School
  4. Chung Cheng High School ( Main)
  5. Dunman High School
  6. Hwa Chong Institution
  7. Maris Stella High School
  8. Nan Hua High School
  9. Nanyang Girls’ High School
  10. River Valley High School

The above SAP schools put more emphasis on Chinese language and Chinese bi-cultural education and attract more students from China. The SAP schools normally attract the Top 10% - 20% of each PSLE cohort.

Students who are in the Top 10% of their PSLE cohort will be given an option by the Ministry of Education to study a foreign language (French / German/ Japanese)


Edupoll’s Top 10 secondary schools in Singapore are :

  1. Nanyang Girls' High School ( highest PLSE cut-off )
  2. Raffles Institution
  3. Raffles Girls’ Secondary School
  4. Hwa Chong Institution
  5. Dunman High School
  6. Singapore Chinese Girls’ School ( offers both IP and GCE O-levels)
  7. Methodist Girls’ School ( offers both IP and GCE O-levels)
  8. Anglo-Chinese School Independent ( offers both IP and GCE O-levels )
  9. NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  10. CHI St Nicholas Girls’ School ( offers both IP and GCE O-levels)



Edupoll’s Top 5 Boy Schools in Singapore ( by prestige ) are :

  1. Raffles Institution
  2. Hwa Chong Institution
  3. Anglo-Chinese School Independent
  4. Victoria School
  5. St Joseph Institution


Edupoll’s Top 5 Girl Schools in Singapore ( by prestige ) are:


  1. Nanyang Girls’ High School
  2. Raffles Girls' Secondary School
  3. Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
  4. Methodist Girls’ School
  5. CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School

In addition to the above top schools, there are 4 specialised schools which cater to students who have special interests and talents.
These schools are:

  1. NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
    Website: www.highsch.nus.edu.sg
  2. Singapore Sports School
    Website: www.sportsschool.edu.sg
  3. The School of The Arts
    Website: www.sota.sg
  4. School of Science and Technology ( starting in year 2010 in partnership with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University )
    Website : www.sst.edu.sg

The above specialised schools set their own entry requirements and offers a different learning experience from the normal secondary schools.
NUS High School offers a 6-year program leading to its own diploma while the Singapore Sports School adopts a 4-5 year curriculum leading to the GCE ‘O’ level.
The School of Science and Technology focuses more on applied learning and has a 4-year secondary school curriculum.
The School of the Arts adopts a 6-year integrated arts and academic curriculum and offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma as the graduating qualification. Students audition for a specialisation in music, dance, theatre or the visual arts. However, students in the first two years are exposed to the basics of all four disciplines and continue to adopt a cross-disciplinary approach even as they develop in their chosen discipline.


Selected Notable Alumni of Singapore’s Top Schools

Raffles Institution

  1. Lee Kuan Yew
  2. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong
  3. Former Senior Minister S. Jayakumar
  4. Former Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi
  5. Cabinet Minister Lim Hng Kiang
  6. Cabinet Minister MG Chan Chun Sing
  7. Former Cabinet Minister Raymond Lim
  8. Cabinet Minister K Shanmugam
  9. Former Cabinet Minister Lee Yock Suan
  10. Former Cabinet Minister E W Barker
  11. Former Cabinet Minister Dr Ahmad Mattar
  12. Former Deputy Prime Minister S Rajaratnam
  13. Former Cabinet Minister Howe Yoon Chong
  14. Former Singapore President Dr Wee Kim Wee
  15. Former Singapore President Yusof Ishak
  16. Former Singapore President Dr Benjamin Sheares
  17. Singapore’s first elected Chief Minister David Marshall
  18. Former Minister of State Koo Tsai Kee
  19. Former Senior Minister of State Dr Balaji Sadasivan
  20. Senior Minister of State Heng Chee How
  21. Ko Kheng Hwa, former Managing Director, Economic Development Board
  22. Cabinet Minister Heng Swee Keat
  23. LG Lim Chuan Poh, former Chief of Defence Force, former Permanent Secretary, current Chairman of A* Star
  24. LG Bey Soo Khiang, former Chief of Defence Force, former SEVP, SIA
  25. Tee Tua Ba, former Chief Commissioner of Police Force
  26. Teo Ming Kian, former Permanent Secretary
  27. Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service
  28. Tan Yong Soon, former Permanent Secretary
  29. Ravi Menon, Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore
  30. Dr Tan Chin Nam, former Permanent Secretary
  31. Peter Chan, former Permanent Secretary
  32. Koh Cher Siang, former Permanent Secretary
  33. Dr Tan Kim Siew, former Permanent Secretary
  34. Professor Lim Pin, former Vice-Chancellor of National University of Singapore
  35. Dr Su Guaning , former President of Nanyang Technological University and also Catholic High School alumnus
  36. Seah Kian Peng, Member of Parliament
  37. Zagy Mohamad , former Member of Parliament
  38. Dr Toh See Kiat , former Member of Parliament
  39. Othman Haron Eusoffe, former Member of Parliament
  40. Dr Tan Cheng Bock, former Member of Parliament and Presidential candidate
  41. Dr Wan Soon Bee, former Member of Parliament
  42. Loh Meng See , former Member of Parliament
  43. Wee Siew Kim, former Member of Parliament and father of Wee Shu Min
  44. Ahmad Khalis, former Member of Parliament
  45. R. Sinnakaruppan, former Member of Parliament
  46. Tony Pua, Member of Parliament in Malaysia
  47. Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large
  48. Famous retired stockbroker and billionaire investor Peter Lim
  49. Robert Kuok , founder and chairman of Shangri-La Hotel & Malaysia's sugar king


Anglo Chinese School

  1. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Cabinet Minister
  2. Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Cabinet Minister
  3. Dr Ng Eng Hen, Cabinet Minister
  4. Dr Goh Keng Swee , former Deputy Prime Minister
  5. Dr Richard Hu, former Finance Minister
  6. Lim Kim San , former Cabinet Minister
  7. Yeo Cheow Tong, former Cabinet Minister
  8. BG Tan Chuan JIn, Cabinet Minister
  9. LG Desmond Kuek, former Chief of Defence Force, current CEO, SMRT
  10. Khoo Boon Hui, former Chief Commissioner of Police Force
  11. Ng Joo Hee, former Chief Commissioner of Police Force
  12. Winston Choo, Former Chief of Defence Force, current Chairman of Red Cross
  13. Sim Kee Boon, former top civil servant
  14. Ho Peng Kee, former Senior Minister of State
  15. Ong Kian Min, former Member of Parliament
  16. Lam Pin Min, Minister of State
  17. Sin Boon Ann,former Member of Parliament
  18. Arthur Fong, former Member of Parliament
  19. Warren Lee, former Member of Parliament
  20. Ong Beng Seng, founder of Hotel Properties and Singapore F1 Grand Prix
  21. Chiam See Tong, veteran Member of Parliament
  22. Alvin Yeo, Member of Parliament
  23. Tan Sri Dato Teh Hong Piow , Founder and Chairman of Public Bank Malaysia
  24. Tan Sri Dr Tan Chin Tuan, former Chairman of OCBC Bank


St Joseph Institution

  1. RADM Teo Chee Hean, Cabinet Minister
  2. Sundaresh Menon - Chief Justice
  3. Mah Bow Tan, former Cabinet Minister
  4. BG George Yeo, former Cabinet Minister ( also attended St Patrick School )
  5. Dr Tony Tan, former Deputy Prime Minister and current President of Singapore
  6. Michael Palmer, former Speaker of Parliament ( famous for the Laura Ong affair)
  7. Philip Yeo, Chairman of SPRING Singapore
  8. Leo Yip, former Chairman of EDB
  9. Tan Tee How, former Permanent Secretary
  10. Christopher de Souza, Member of Parliament
  11. Chay Wai Yuen, former Member of Parliament
  12. Charles Chong, Member of Parliament
  13. Davinder Singh,former Member of Parliament
  14. Matthias Yao, former Minister of State
  15. Bernard Chen, former Minister of State
  16. Khoo Teck Puat, formerly Singapore’s top billionaire
  17. Lim Chee Onn, former Cabinet Minister


Hwa Chong Institution

  1. Former President Ong Teng Cheong
  2. Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Member of Parliament
  3. Kenny Yap, CEO of Qian Hu Corporation
  4. James Tan, former Commissioner of Singapore Civil Defence Force
  5. Tan Swie Hian, famous artist
  6. Luo Hau Cai, Chief Justice, Supreme People Court, China
  7. Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State ( former RGS )
  8. Grace Fu , Cabinet Minister ( former Nanyang Girls High School )


Raffles Girls School

  1. Justice Judith Prakash , judge
  2. Dr Amy Khor , Minister of State
  3. Denise Phua, Member of Parliament
  4. Lim Soo Hoon, Singapore’s first woman Permanent Secretary
  5. Jennifer Yeo, lawyer and wife of former Cabinet minister George Yeo
  6. Claire Chang, wife of Ho Kwon Ping- founder of Banyan Tree Holdings
  7. Chua Sock Koong, Group CEO of SingTel
  8. Kit Chan , singer
  9. Stefanie Sun , singer
  10. Corinne May, singer


Singapore Chinese Girls School

  1. Halimah Yacob, Singapore's first female Speaker of Parliament
  2. Jennie Chua , former President of The Ascott Group and Goh Keng Swee's daugher-in-law
  3. Dr Susan Lim, renowned surgeon to Brunei's Royal Family and famous for overcharging the royal family
  4. Euleen Goh, former Chairman of IE Singapore and Board Director of Singapore Airlines
  5. Professor Thio Li-ann, former Nominated Member of Parliament


Methodist Girls’ School

  1. Mrs Lee Kuan Yew ( Mdm Kwa Geok Choo )


Nanyang Girls’ High School

  1. Grace Fu, Singapore's second female Cabinet Minister
  2. Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, former Minister of State


Victoria School

  1. Former President S R Nathan
  2. Former President Devan Nair
  3. S Dhanabalan , former Cabinet Minister and current Chairman of Temasek Holdings
  4. Ng Chee Meng, Cabinet Minister
  5. Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for PAP Youth Wing
  6. Lim Biow Chuan, Member of Parliament
  7. Ho Meng Kit, former Permanent Secretary ( Pre-University in Raffles Institution)
  8. Chang Chie Foo, former Permanent Secretary
  9. Lam Chuan Leong, former Permanent Secretary
  10. Ong Chit Chung , former Member of Parliament
  11. MG Ng Chee Kern, former Chief of Air Force and current Permanent Secretary
  12. LG Neo Kian Hong, former Chief of Defence Force and current Permanent Secretary
  13. LG Ng Yat Chung, former Chief of Defence Force, former MD, Temasek and now CEO of NOL

Our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong studied at Nanyang Primary School, Catholic High School and National Junior College before going to Cambridge University and Harvard University.


Where Presidents and Cabinet Ministers studied

Which secondary schools in Singapore produced the most number of Presidents and current Cabinet Ministers for Singapore? If you want your son ( daughter ) to grow up with the right clique of people that goes places in high society, maybe you should send him to the right secondary school and let him make the right connections now. Old boys ( or girls ) networks matter in any society.

To guide your choice, here's a selection of our former and current cabinet ministers and all our presidents:

  1. Lee Kuan Yew - Raffles Institution
  2. Goh Chok Tong - Raffles Institution
  3. S. Jayakumar - Raffles Institution
  4. Lee Hsien Loong - Catholic High School
  5. Teo Chee Hean - St Joseph's Institution
  6. Wong Kan Seng - Outram Secondary School
  7. K Shanmugam - Raffles Institution
  8. Lim Hng Kiang - Raffles Institution
  9. Heng Swee Keat - Raffles Institution
  10. Chan Chun Sing - Raffles Institution
  11. Raymond Lim - Raffles Institution
  12. Dr Vivian Balakrishnan - Anglo-Chinese School
  13. Dr Ng Eng Hen - Anglo-Chinese School
  14. S Iswaran - St Andrew Secondary School
  15. Tan Chuan Jin - Anglo Chinese School
  16. Tharman Shanmugaratnam - Anglo-Chinese School
  17. George Yeo - St Patrick's School / St Joseph's Institution
  18. Mah Bow Tan - St Joseph's Institution
  19. Yeo Cheow Tong - Anglo-Chinese School
  20. Lui Tuck Yew - Chung Cheng High School
  21. Lim Swee Say - Catholic High School
  22. Gan Kim Yong - Catholic High School
  23. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim - Tanjong Katong Secondary School
  24. Ong Ye Kung - Maris Stella High School
  25. Lawrence Wong - Tanjong Katong Secondary School
  26. Lim Boon Heng - Monfort Secondary School
  27. Dr Lee Boon Yang - Monfort Secondary School
  28. Khaw Boon Wan - Chung Ling High School Penang
  29. Grace Fu- Nanyang Girls' High School
  30. Lim Hwee Hua - Cresent Girls' School
  31. Dr Yeo Ning Hong - Gan Eng Seng School
  32. President Yusof Ishak - Raffles Institution
  33. President Benjamin Sheares - Raffles Institution
  34. President Devan Nair - Victoria School
  35. President S R Nathan - Victoria School
  36. Ng Chee Meng - Victoria School
  37. President Wee Kim Wee - Raffles Institution
  38. President Ong Teng Cheong - Chinese High School ( now Hwa Chong Institution )
  39. President Tony Tan - St Patrick / St Joseph Institution

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