Today, Singapore’s education system is considered one of the best globally and has been consistently ranked at the top by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). According to PISA, an influential worldwide study on educational systems, Singapore has the highest performance in international education and tops in global rankings.

Education Structure in Singapore

The system includes:

  • six years of primary school,
  • four to six years in secondary school,
  • one to three years in postsecondary school

Take note!

As students enter their secondary school, they are tested before joining any of the three bands or “streams” – Express, Normal (Academic), and Normal (Technical). In the majority of the cases, students’ scores on the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) determine the student’s stream.

Each stream consists of specific subjects: a practice known as subject-based banding. For example, a student could pursue a technical stream in mathematics but an express stream in English.

Additionally, as part of the Integrated Program, students may stay in secondary school for an extra two years to complete their A-Level courses. For those who do not, there are other postsecondary options such as Polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Junior Colleges, a Polytechnic Foundation program and a small set of Arts Institutions.

I’m sure many parents are eager to find a good school for their children. Hence, after numerous research, we have listed 5 of the top secondary schools in Singapore that are highly recommended!


Nanyang Girls High School

Nanyang Girls High School is one of the most high-rated and oldest school in Singapore. Founded in 1917, NYGH is an independent girls’ secondary school located in Linden Drive (off Dunearn Road) with approximately 1600 students.

Nanyang Girls High School is a leading independent and Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school, putting importance on providing a comprehensive education to all girls. The vision of NYGH is to develop and nurture every learner to be a good ambassador of society.

In 2013, the school began the six-year Integrated Programme with Hwa Chong Institute, helping academically able students to skip forth to take the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level exams. NYGH has been awarded numerous times – School Distinction Award, School Excellence Award, Singapore Quality Award (SQA), Character Development Award (CDA), Best Practice Awards and many more.


Raffles Institution

Raffles Institution, also known as “RI”, is an independent private school located in Bishan. It was founded in 1823 and is the oldest school in Singapore. It provides secondary education for boys only from Years 1 to 4, and pre-university education for both boys and girls in Years 5 and 6.

RI has offered the six-year Integrated Programme since 2007 and has produced an outstanding academic performance. Raffles Institution was among the first secondary schools in Singapore to receive the MOE’s School Excellence Award (SEA).

Since its establishment, Raffles Institution has produced 94 President’s Scholars, three Presidents, two Prime Ministers, four Speakers of Parliament, several Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament, and many Chief Executive Officers of government-linked statutory boards and agencies.


Raffles Girls Secondary School

RGS is the counterpart to Raffles Institution, with their enrolment being all female students only. Located in Braddell Rise, RGS has been one of Singapore’s oldest all-girls secondary schools since 1879.

Raffles Girls School is one of the premier high schools in Singapore, with a list of accolades from their students and teachers. Most notably, a group of four students from Raffles Girls School emerged as Champion at the Kids’ Lit Quiz 2018 and represented Singapore in New Zealand in July that year.

The school was recognized by the MOE in 2006 and was awarded the School Excellence Award – an award that recognizes schools with excellent practices and processes.


Hwa Chong Institution

Hwa Chong Institution is one of the few private secondary schools in Singapore that were established in early 2000. HCI provides secondary education for boys only from Years 1 to 4 and pre-university education for both boys and girls in Years 5 and 6.

Hwa Chong Institution operates under the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) for bilingualism and offers the Integrated Programme and the Gifted Education Programme. Getting into the Hwa Chong Institution is almost a guarantee for your child to be offered a place at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. This makes HCI one of the top choices for international students.

The institution is also a member of Strategic Alliance of Global Educators, Strategic Educational Alliance of Southeast Asia and the Global Learning Alliance which involves some of the world’s most innovative schools from the highest performing nations, including Australia, Canada, China, Finland, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, and the United States.


Dunman High School

DHS is a co-educational, government-aided secondary school located in Kallang. The school was established in 1956 and has an enrolment of approximately 2400 students.

As of 2007, Dunman High School has adopted the Special Assistance Plan (SA) and Integrated Programme (IP), which produced three President’s Scholars, and is one of the top-ranking high schools in the country in terms of academic results. It is also among the most prominent government secondary schools in the country.

Dunman High School offers a multitude of co-curricular activities (CCA), including competitive sports, uniformed groups, musical groups and clubs and societies.

In other words, DHS is one of the best government high schools a parent can send their child to.

Is it still confusing for you? Fret not; we have computed the ranking rates into 2 different categories according to their PSLE Score!

Integrated Programme (IP) Secondary School Ranking


PSLE score = 6


1. Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary)
2. Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)
3. Raffles Institution
PSLE score = 7


1. CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
2. Hwa Chong Institution
3. Nanyang Girls’ High School
4. Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
5. National Junior College
PSLE score = 8


1. Dunman High School
2. Catholic High School
3. Cedar Girls’ Secondary School
4. Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
5. St. Joseph’s Institution
6. Victoria School
PSLE score = 9


1. River Valley High School
2. Temasek Junior College

Express (O-Level) Secondary School Ranking


PSLE = 8


1. CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School
2. Methodist Girls’ School
PSLE = 9


1. Catholic High School
2. Cedar Girls’ Secondary School
3. Victoria School
4. Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
5. Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
PSLE = 10


1. Anderson Secondary School
2. St. Joseph’s Institution
3. CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh)
4. St. Andrew’s Secondary School
PSLE = 11


1. Nan Hua High School
2. Chung Cheng High School
3. Nan Chiau High School
4. Bukit Panjang Government High School
5. Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)
6. Crescent Girls’ School
7. Swiss Cottage Secondary School
8. Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary)
9. Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary)
10. St. Margaret’s Secondary School
11. Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)
If you’re looking for some of the better schools situated near your neighborhood, you may find them through this link! Happy hunting~


This marks the end of the article! Subscribe if you want to know more about your education.