SmileTutor Blog General Others Debunking 5 Misconceptions About SOTA

Debunking 5 Misconceptions About SOTA

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What is the School of the Arts (SOTA)?

It is Singapore’s first national pre-tertiary specialised school for arts. It offers development pathways for those interested or show early talent in the arts by providing a learning environment to cultivate artistic and academic potential.

However, many misconceptions about SOTA prevent potential students from joining. Let’s take a look at some of these misconceptions and debunk them.

“SOTA students only draw and paint.”


Students in SOTA have options not limited to visual arts like drawing and painting. In fact, the school offers up to six different art forms that they can take up, which are:

1. Dance
2. Literary Arts
3. Music
4. Theatre
5. Visual Arts
6. Film

Not to mention that even under the visual arts curriculum, they will also learn about ceramics and sculptures!

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“SOTA students only learn about the arts and nothing else.”


Due to its dedication to the arts, SOTA is often mistaken to offer only an Arts curriculum. But while in SOTA, students learn more than just that.

They’re enrolled on a six-year integrated arts and academic curriculum under an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (IBDP) or IB Career-related Programme (IBCP). In these programmes, they are exposed to academic subjects like:

1. Literature in English
2. Humanities and Social Sciences
3. Mathematics
4. Sciences
5. Mother Tongue Language
6. Arts

“SOTA students can only study or work in arts-related fields.”


Although SOTA has focused on cultivating students’ skills in various art forms, that doesn’t mean that they can only pursue a career in the arts. After all, SOTA also provides academics for non-arts related subjects.

In fact, an article from Straits Times showed that many SOTA students go on to pursue non-arts-related fields. SOTA also showed many of their alumni are enrolled in various non-related fields like Law, Engineering, and Psychology.

“Formal training or expensive prep classes needed to get into SOTA.”


Students don’t need formal training or qualifications like an Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) Grade 8 qualification to enter.

As long as they have prior exposure and experience in their chosen art form, they can apply to SOTA. It could be exposure from a Co-Curricular Activities or through learning online like YouTube or online Masterclasses.

“I can’t afford to study at SOTA.”


SOTA school fees can be a bit pricey. But that shouldn’t make students pass up the opportunity. After all, SOTA offers a wide range of scholarships and financial assistance schemes which students can apply for if they need financial help.

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There are also miscellaneous-fee subsidies ranging from 33% to 100% coverage which students can tap into during their SOTA journey!



There are many misconceptions that often deter us from encouraging students to apply to SOTA. However, many of them are untrue, and this is why we must do our research and validate them.

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Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.