Interviews can be intimidating even for adults, let alone 12 year olds. However, the DSA interview is a very important aspect, especially since many would have the same qualifications / test results. Familiarizing with some of the questions can be useful, but not overtraining to the extent of being unnatural or memorizing a script written by mommy or daddy, which can be easily detected by the interviewing committee.
Frankly speaking, at age 12, it is very rare for a child, unprepared, to naturally just perform well in an interview. Most children at that age would be well-versed in games/cartoons but not in current news or social issues. Hence, some preparation, like preparing for PSLE English oral, would be useful and even necessary.
Some DSA Interview questions are compiled below. Clearly, developing good spoken English language is a foundational step that has to be addressed too. Judging from the questions, knowledge of the school history, culture and values would help too. Knowledge of current affairs like basic Singapore news would be of use too.
I Can Ace My College Interview: A step-by-step guide based on an Admissions Officer’s experience evaluating applicants
This book (though in a college context, since in Western countries they don’t interview children as young as 12 years old) provides some tips to ace school admission interviews. DSA interviews do ask very mature questions like “What are your weaknesses” that even adults struggle to answer properly. Hence this book is still very relevant.
Speakers’ Club: Public Speaking for Young People
Another useful book is the above. Public speaking involves the same skills as interview, just that it is delivered to a larger audience.
Different schools asked different DSA interview questions, even within the same school, the questions are different. Some examples of questions, for my DS and his friends are:
(1) Why did you DSA to this school?
(2) Did you DSA to another school? If both offer you a place, which would you choose?
(3) How did you think you can contribute to this school?
(4) If you have the chance to have dinner with a public figure, who will it be and why?
(5) What do you think is the most important colour in the world? Why?
(6) If there is something you can change in your primary school, what will it be and why?
1.Tell me about yourself?
2.Why do you want to come to our school?
3.Why did you apply to our school / programme?
4.What are the things you like about our school that other schools do not include?
5.How many schools have you applied to and which school is your first choice?
6.Are you applying to this school because it is a branded/ elite school?
7.What is your definition of a good school?
8.Why should we accept you among all the great candidates /applicants who apply?
9.What are the problems of accepting students to a school based on their exam results?
10.Tell us what you enjoy doing when you are NOT attending school
11.Who is the greatest influence in your life or who do you admire the most?
12.What do you think about Steve Jobs and iPhone?
13.Tell us about an event that is significant in your life?
14.What is your goal for life?
15.What are your strengths?
16.What are your weaknesses? How do you overcome them?
17.What is your favourite subject?
18.How do you think you can help the CCA achieve greater heights?
19.Do you have any question about our school?
20.What questions would you like to ask us?
There is even this website www.dsainterview.com dedicated to the DSA Interview. One point that they mentioned seems very important:
10. NEVER ANSWER WITH ‘my mommy said or my daddy said…’
This is a very common occurrance. The student should always present HIS/HER opinions as his or hers. Even if the student got the opinion from a parent or a teacher, the student should just state his thoughts without mentioning who said it to him.
Another tip is from http://smartification.net/how-to-handle-dsa-interview-questions/,
“Why do you want to come to our school or how many schools have you applied to and which school is your first choice?”
Interviewers ask these questions to determine how motivated students are about attending the school. The best way to tackle this question is to talk about the academic programs or CCA that the school offers. Visiting the open house and speaking to students, coaches and teachers will help students acquire valuable information. Looking through the school website will also provide more information about the school. Try to avoid common reasons such as ‘Your school is the best school in Singapore” or “My parents want me to attend your school because it can help me get into a top university in the future”. These answers are just too cliché.
As to which school is the first choice, the answer should be the school which the student is interviewing with at the moment. In most cases, schools who ask this question do it as a formality. Answering it with an “I don’t know or I have not decided” will give the impression the student is not serious about attending the school and the interviewers will feel like they have just wasted their time.
RGS DSA Interview Questions
–> In one sentence, introduce yourself.
–> Why do you wish to come to RGS?
–> What are the things you like about RGS that other school does not include?
–> Is it because RGS is a ‘branded’ school, you do not bother checking up on other schools?
–> What is a good school?
–> What are the problems of accepting students to a school only based on their exam results?
–> What are questions you would like to ask us?
Certain hot topics (like Singapore Olympic Games, news on Joseph Schooling / Feng Tian Wei) have a high chance to come out:
The application procedures were quite straightforward—online application, followed by GAT tests and interviews. DD enjoyed the tests and interviews, though those were the very first interviews she ever had. One of interviews was happened in the week when our table tennis team won first Bronze medal at London Olympic. there were some questions during the interview:-
“What news has she read?”
She replied “Feng Tian Wei won Bronze medal for Singapore.”
“What is your goal for life?
She replied “To represent Singapore in Olympic.”
I guess she was in Olympic fever then.
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