Kiasuparents have distilled a rule of thumb when choosing your secondary school after receiving your PSLE score: “make sure that at least the 6th choice is about 10 points below the child’s score to ensure no “surprises”.”
This is quite a good advice. For example, if a child scores 250, it is very risky to choose all 6 choices with COP very close to 250. Based on the collective experience of parents over the years, this 10 point gap rule of thumb works.
You will never know in advance, so it’s wise to follow the scheme that floppy and many others have outlined over the years: make sure that at least the 6th choice is about 10 points below the child’s score to ensure no “surprises”. The first choice can be a “reach” (a few points above the child’s score) and the remaining ones spread out in between. It does mean “losing out” by having fewer choices in the middle range, but it does ensure that the 6th choice is selected by the child, not MOE!