Strategies for Phase 2C

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So you missed out on every one of the earlier Phases to get your child in the school you desire.  Now, you are faced with trying to succeed in the highly stressful Phase 2C.

While it is true that Phase 2C is stressful because everyone is trying to get into the very popular schools, and that everyone should just stick to the very sensible rule of thumb of going for the nearest school to their homes that are unlikely to feature balloting, we are KiasuParents afterall.  And KiasuParents don't go out without a fight, no matter how slim the chance.

But here is the stark fact.  If you do decide to go for it, chances are high that you will be balloting, once again, during Phase 2C(S).  Why?

It's because most other parents will think in the same way - as long as there is a chance to get into a "top" school, go for it.  They have an infallible conviction that there is always their 2nd choice school that they can go for in Phase 2C(S).

As a result, these 2nd choice schools become the top choice for parents who were balloted out of Phase 2C (sometimes over 50 parents could be trying to get a single vacancy in Phase 2C!).  So the whole cycle starts again.

Our advice to parents is that if we really have a second choice school that we are sure to get a place in Phase 2C, just go for it in Phase 2C.  Resist the temptation of trying to get that elusive vacancy in one of the incredibly popular schools.  In the best case, we will be feeling like we have won Toto, which, of course, feels great.  But in most cases, we don't always win Toto, and we may end up with neither our 1st nor 2nd choice schools.

There are of course, cases where parents really have no choice but to try to get into the popular schools, because those are the nearest schools to them.  Our advice would be that unless you are within 1km of these schools, don't try to join in the fray.  You would be throwing away your valuable Phase 2C priority of getting your 2nd choice school.

If you are within 1km of that popular school, you might wish to contemplate this.  While it is true that you will be in a balloting situation, it is also true that your odds are much better than someone who is more than 1km away.

For example, if a school has 50 places for Phase 2C and there are 100 applicants.  If 45 of these applicants are within 1km and the rest between 1-2km, then effectively, 55 applicants will be vying for the last 5 seats, with odds of 1 in 11.  The chance of success is less than 10%.

On the other hand if 55 of the applicants staying within 1km, then the 45 who stay beyond 1km will not even qualify for balloting.  So 55 applicants will have to fight for 50 seats, with odds of 1 in 1.1.  The chance of success is 91%!

So if you do stay within 1km of the school, it might be prudent to just go for that school if you really desire it.  However, you must be prepared with your 2nd choice school that you may have to register in Phase 2CS.

Do the following:

  1. Select 2 schools as your 2nd and 3rd choices.
    • The 2nd choice should be one that you will most likely be able to get your child in Phase 2C without balloting.
    • The 3rd choice should be one that you will most likely be able to get your child in Phase 2C(S) without balloting.
  2.  To do this, use www.onemap.sg
    • Start up your browser and enter www.onemap.sg as the URL.
    • Enter your home address's postal code in the box.
    • Mouse over to the "Services" button.  A dropdown list will appear.  Move down to "School Query" and click.
    • In the SchoolQuery popup box, click on the "Find schools near a building" button.
    • Now, move the cursor over to the map and click on your home (which should already be highlighted and centred in the window).
    • Both schools within 1km (marked as Red) and between 1-2km (marked as Blue) will be displayed.
  3. Note down each of these schools.  Then refer to KiasuParents.com's P1 Registration History to check each school's balloting history.  The schools that have mostly uncolored boxes in Phase 2C and 2C(S) in the past 5+ years will be the candidates for your 2nd and 3rd choice schools, respectively.
  4. Now you must monitor the take-up rate (TUR) for Phase 2C very closely.  At the end of each day of the 3 day exercise, MOE will post the total number of registrations, so far, for each school.  This number will be reflected as the APP rate or rate of applications in KiasuParents.com's P1 Registration History.  Unfortunately, MOE does not provide finer granularity that would inform parents of how many of the applicants are within 1km, between 1-2km or beyond 2km.  To find out, parents will have to call up the schools directly.  Try not to do this too often, because it is really tiring for staff to keep manually updating parents in this mode, and tempers could be short.  Ask nicely, and the staff will reciprocrate.
  5. You can also do some rough estimation yourself.  Based on 2010's P1 registration data, we have found that generally:
    • 75% of applicants would have registered on Day 1
    • 14% of applicants on Day 2
    • 11% of applicants on Day 3 
  6. However, the above rates could be very different for some schools in the following ways:
    • For some popular schools, parents could be holding back until the last minute to place their bets.  This happened last year for Catholic High, where most of the applicants registered on the last day!  However, this is quite rare.
    • In most other cases, the traditional "2nd choice" schools are the ones that enjoyed the highest registration rates in Day 3, when parents gave up on their 1st choice schools and wisely went for the 2nd choice schools in Phase 2C.
    • Schools also help parents staying further than 1km away and who registered in Days 1 or 2, by notifying them when the number of applicants who stay nearer to the school have exceeded the quota. This allows parents to quickly withdraw from the school and activate their 2nd choice school in Phase 2C. This accounts for the negative rates for some very popular schools during Day 3 or even Day 2.
  7. Both mommy and daddy should be prepared to take leave on the afternoon of the 3rd day.  By noon, you should have decided on whether it is worthwhile to take the risk and register in that popular school, given the TUR in the previous 2 days.  You have to determine if you can stomach the odds if you go for your 1st choice school.  Otherwise, just go for your 2nd choice school.
  8. You can then go to the school to register.  For schools that have moved on to online registration, you can actually stay home to do it.  So hopefully, most schools will join the system by 2012.
  9. Those going for the 1st choice school are likely to have to ballot.
  10. If luck is not on your side, you will have to activate your 3rd choice school in Phase 2C(S).

We hope that the above steps can help to clarify a number of the questions we have received over the past month.  Good luck to all parents!

The table below is 2010's applications for each school, broken down on day by day, so that parents can have a rough gauge of the percentage of applications for each school on each day.

Eg. for Admiralty, 82% of all applicants in Phase 2B applied in Day 1, 12% in Day 2, and 6% in Day 3.

School Day 1 % Day 2 % Day 3 %
Admiralty Primary School 82% 12% 6%
Ahmad Ibrahim Primary School 74% 12% 14%
Ai Tong School 66% 25% 9%
Anchor Green Primary School 75% 15% 10%
Anderson Primary School 96% 2% 2%
Ang Mo Kio Primary School 70% 21% 9%
Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) 70% 21% 9%
Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) 93% 0% 7%
Balestier Hill Primary School 65% 6% 29%
Beacon Primary School 81% 10% 8%
Bedok Green Primary School 60% 15% 24%
Bedok West Primary School 81% 19% 0%
Bendemeer Primary School 64% 18% 18%
Blangah Rise Primary School 63% 13% 25%
Boon Lay Garden Primary School 69% 18% 13%
Bukit Panjang Primary School 74% 13% 14%
Bukit Timah Primary School 42% 26% 32%
Bukit View Primary School 65% 13% 21%
Canberra Primary School 84% 12% 4%
Canossa Convent Primary School 80% 13% 8%
Cantonment Primary School 66% 14% 20%
Casuarina Primary School 79% 12% 9%
Catholic High School 29% 17% 53%
Cedar Primary School 71% 8% 21%
Changkat Primary School 74% 15% 11%
CHIJ (Katong) Primary 62% 16% 22%
CHIJ (Kellock) 60% 11% 28%
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel 60% 20% 20%
CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity 64% 16% 20%
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace 47% 14% 39%
CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh) 86% 10% 4%
CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School 69% 10% 21%
Chongfu School 80% 12% 9%
Chongzheng Primary School 86% 8% 7%
Chua Chu Kang Primary School 62% 18% 21%
Clementi Primary School 69% 15% 16%
Compassvale Primary School 89% 11% 1%
Concord Primary School 85% 5% 10%
Coral Primary School 77% 18% 5%
Corporation Primary School 84% 10% 6%
Da Qiao Primary School 75% 18% 8%
Damai Primary School 57% 14% 29%
Dazhong Primary School 83% 8% 8%
De La Salle School 74% 19% 7%
East Coast Primary School 63% 12% 24%
East Spring Primary School 71% 21% 8%
East View Primary School 67% 22% 11%
Edgefield Primary School 72% 18% 10%
Elias Park Primary School 72% 11% 17%
Endeavour Primary School 91% 6% 3%
Eunos Primary School 83% 5% 13%
Evergreen Primary School 83% 9% 9%
Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) 137% 9% -46%
Farrer Park Primary School 72% 19% 8%
Fengshan Primary School 102% 11% -13%
Fernvale Primary School 79% 12% 9%
First Toa Payoh Primary School 74% 12% 15%
Fuchun Primary School 90% 13% -3%
Fuhua Primary School 56% 12% 32%
Gan Eng Seng Primary School 69% 12% 19%
Geylang Methodist School (Primary) 76% 14% 10%
Gongshang Primary School 77% 15% 9%
Greendale Primary School 71% 27% 3%
Greenridge Primary School 81% 9% 10%
Greenwood Primary School 73% 23% 4%
Griffiths Primary School 89% 5% 5%
Guangyang Primary School 78% 0% 22%
Haig Girls’ School 74% 9% 17%
Henry Park Primary School 67% 10% 22%
Holy Innocents’ Primary School 89% 5% 6%
Hong Kah Primary School 79% 14% 7%
Hong Wen School 87% 13% 0%
Horizon Primary School 75% 14% 12%
Hougang Primary School 75% 12% 13%
Huamin Primary School 60% 21% 19%
Innova Primary School 84% 17% -1%
Jiemin Primary School 90% 10% 0%
Jing Shan Primary School 73% 22% 5%
Junyuan Primary School 81% 10% 8%
Jurong Primary School 83% 16% 2%
Jurong West Primary School 79% 12% 8%
Juying Primary School 76% 16% 8%
Keming Primary School 87% 15% -2%
Kheng Cheng School 67% 16% 18%
Kong Hwa School 88% 9% 4%
Kranji Primary School 59% 24% 18%
Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School 75% 14% 11%
Lakeside Primary School 68% 17% 14%
Lianhua Primary School 80% 14% 6%
Loyang Primary School 70% 7% 22%
MacPherson Primary School 67% 4% 30%
Maha Bodhi School 87% 12% 1%
Maris Stella High School 60% 21% 19%
Marsiling Primary School 68% 11% 21%
Marymount Convent School 46% 16% 38%
Mayflower Primary School 55% 27% 18%
Mee Toh School 74% 15% 11%
Meridian Primary School 84% 5% 11%
Methodist Girls’ School (Primary) 86% 19% -5%
Montfort Junior School 63% 19% 18%
Nan Chiau Primary School 74% 17% 9%
Nan Hua Primary School 79% 11% 11%
Nanyang Primary School 81% 12% 7%
Naval Base Primary School 73% 19% 8%
New Town Primary School 61% 14% 25%
Ngee Ann Primary School 58% 13% 29%
North Spring Primary School 80% 14% 7%
North View Primary School 67% 20% 14%
North Vista Primary School 75% 12% 12%
Northland Primary School 79% 15% 6%
Opera Estate Primary School 77% 13% 10%
Park View Primary School 79% 6% 15%
Pasir Ris Primary School 100% 3% -3%
Payal Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Primary) 89% 9% 2%
Pei Chun Public School 73% 16% 10%
Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School 82% 6% 12%
Pei Tong Primary School 82% 10% 8%
Peiying Primary School 66% 19% 15%
Pioneer Primary School 66% 16% 18%
Poi Ching School 78% 18% 4%
Princess Elizabeth Primary School 88% 12% 0%
Punggol Primary School 74% 13% 14%
Qiaonan Primary School 81% 19% 0%
Qifa Primary School 66% 13% 21%
Qihua Primary School 71% 12% 17%
Queenstown Primary School 43% 17% 39%
Radin Mas Primary School 83% 11% 6%
Raffles Girls’ Primary School 89% 34% -24%
Red Swastika School 88% 10% 2%
River Valley Primary School 104% 14% -18%
Rivervale Primary School 90% 9% 1%
Rosyth School 80% 17% 3%
Rulang Primary School 76% 14% 10%
Sembawang Primary School 72% 15% 13%
Seng Kang Primary School 73% 14% 13%
Shuqun Primary School 75% 14% 10%
Si Ling Primary School 58% 26% 16%
Singapore Chinese Girls’ Primary School 89% 7% 4%
South View Primary School 87% 15% -2%
St Joseph’s Institution Junior 74% 13% 12%
St. Andrew’s Junior School 119% -5% -14%
St. Anthony’s Canossian Primary School 62% 13% 25%
St. Anthony’s Primary School 79% 14% 7%
St. Gabriel’s Primary School 31% 20% 49%
St. Hilda’s Primary School 84% 13% 3%
St. Margaret’s Primary School 58% 15% 27%
St. Stephen’s School 59% 14% 27%
Stamford Primary School 59% 17% 24%
Tampines North Primary School 74% 16% 10%
Tampines Primary School 71% 17% 12%
Tanjong Katong Primary School 64% 11% 25%
Tao Nan School 65% 21% 14%
Teck Ghee Primary School 79% 11% 10%
Teck Whye Primary School 67% 22% 11%
Telok Kurau Primary School 82% 15% 3%
Temasek Primary School 109% 16% -26%
Townsville Primary School 71% 20% 8%
Unity Primary School 75% 13% 11%
Wellington Primary School 72% 16% 12%
West Grove Primary School 80% 14% 6%
West View Primary School 77% 13% 10%
White Sands Primary School 60% 29% 11%
Woodgrove Primary School 72% 7% 22%
Woodlands Primary School 71% 16% 13%
Woodlands Ring Primary School 80% 14% 6%
Xinghua Primary School 84% 10% 6%
Xingnan Primary School 70% 15% 15%
Xinmin Primary School 89% 9% 2%
Xishan Primary School 81% 9% 11%
Yangzheng Primary School 62% 21% 17%
Yew Tee Primary School 82% 10% 8%
Yio Chu Kang Primary School 77% 17% 7%
Yishun Primary School 78% 8% 14%
Yu Neng Primary School 76% 10% 14%
Yuhua Primary School 84% 7% 10%
Yumin Primary School 70% 16% 14%
Zhangde Primary School 77% 12% 11%
Zhenghua Primary School 72% 14% 14%
Zhonghua Primary School 70% 19% 11%




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