The Admission Exercise for International Students (AEIS) examination is required for all international students that would like to study in a local Singapore school.
Singapore’s education system consists of a very rigorous curriculum that’s also known to produce some of the brightest individuals in the world. In order to ensure that international students are able to cope with the Singapore education system, the Ministry of Education has put in place the AEIS testing system.
With Singapore becoming a popular destination for expatriates, there’s also been an increase in individuals taking the AEIS exam. This also means that a spot in a local Singapore school is getting increasingly competitive. In order to ensure that your child secures one of those spots, they need to be sufficiently prepared for the exam.
The below will provide you with some general information on the AEIS testing process and some tips on how to prepare your child to excel in this examination.
The AEIS exam happens in either September or October and applications for the AEIS exam will start to open between July and August. Due to popularity, spots tend to fill up quickly. Hence, it’s important you begin your AEIS application early. To submit your application, you need to apply online, make the payment fee of SGD 672 and provide all necessary documents for them to process your registration.
Entry proofs for the examination
Once all documents have been received, your application will be processed. If your application is successful, you will receive a document of proof to sit for the examination. On the day of the examination, your child will need to bring along this entry of proof with them.
Take the AEIS examination
In September or October, your child will sit for the AEIS English and Mathematics examination. Your child also needs to take their entry proof with them to the examination.
View your results online
Results are usually posted two to three months after the examination. If they pass the AEIS test, your child will then be offered admission to a school. You will not be able to choose the school that you’d like your child to be enrolled in or request for a transfer. There are a variety of factors that affect your child’s placement such as school vacancies and which part of Singapore your family is residing in.
If your child does not pass the exam, they are eligible to retake the exam. They can take the S-AEIS which occurs in February at the same or higher level.
Report to school
Once placement has been confirmed, your child would need to report to school when the term starts in January.
Difficulty in the exams
As AEIS past examination questions are not disclosed, it can be tricky to gauge the difficulty of the AEIS examinations. However, we do know that the examinations follow Singapore’s education system’s syllabus and curriculum which can be tough for international students that aren’t familiar.
There are two components of the AEIS examinations, an English component, and a Mathematics component. The English exam is meant to assess if your child is proficient in the English language.
In Singapore, all schools have English as their main language of instruction. Hence, if your child doesn’t have a strong grasp of the language, they may struggle with the exam. The Mathematics test, on the other hand, focuses more on their abilities in numeracy and reasoning. If your child’s weakness is Mathematics, they would have to do more practice questions to improve their understanding.
If English is not your child’s first language, it can be a struggle for them to work through the AEIS English examination. In Singapore, all subjects in school are taught in English. Hence, the AEIS English exam is meant to ensure that your child has a strong command of the language so that they can effectively communicate with their peers and understand their teachers. If your child has a poor command of the language, they would struggle in class and fall behind.
While it would take time to improve on your child’s English ability, there are resources to help speed up this process.
Not being familiar with the syllabus
Being an international student, your child had been exposed to a different education system back in your home country. As the AEIS examination is based off Singapore’s syllabus and curriculum, it can be vastly different from what your child is used to. If your child is not well acquainted with the syllabus, they will have issues tackling the AEIS examinations.
There are many ways to familiarize your child with Singapore’s syllabus and curriculum and have them well prepared for the examinations.
Tips to prepare
Practice English if it’s not their first language
With English not being your child’s first language, they might have issues keeping up with the English standard of the AEIS exam. There are however plenty of ways to improve their English language capabilities.
If your child prefers to learn in a group setting, they can be enrolled in a tuition center. That way, they will be able to learn with their peers and be exposed to an English-speaking environment. At home, you can encourage your child to learn English through games and activities with the family. Your child can also read English books and learn through online educational platforms.
A home tutor can assess your child’s ability and customize a learning plan catered to their strengths and weaknesses. For example, if your child needs more help in Mathematics, a private home tutor can help work through certain problems that your child is having difficulties with.
Home tutors are not only familiar with the format and grading system of the AEIS examinations, they also know Singapore’s syllabus and curriculum. A home tutor will be able to provide your child with tips that will help them excel in the examinations.
Practicing past exam papers
Allowing your child to be familiar with the syllabus and curriculum of the education system is crucial. There are assessment books sold at Singapore bookstores islandwide to help your child in getting familiar with not just the syllabus but also the type of questions that may be asked.
Working on these past examination papers will give your child the confidence to deal with similar questions on the day of the exam.
If entering primary two, be sure to master all of the topics in primary one
What your child has learned back home is probably very different from the education system in Singapore. Either than knowing the content of the academic level they’re applying for, they should also be familiar with the academic level before that.
It’s important for your child to be familiar with both levels as the AEIS examination will also cover topics from the previous academic level. Hence, it would be ideal for your child to be better prepared and cover all bases.
As school placements are competitive, securing a spot in Singapore schools is no easy feat. Hence, it’s imperative that your child is well prepared for the AEIS examinations.
Entering into a Singapore school is a challenge, find out how you can help your child to adapt better: