The Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) is an aptitude-based admissions exercise that allows students to apply and receive conditional offers for admission to the polytechnics based on their aptitudes and interests, prior to receiving their final grades. It gives the polytechnics greater flexibility to select and admit students on criteria other than their academic grades, thus allowing a wider range of talents to be recognised.
As part of EAE, the Early Admissions Exercise (For ITE Students) [EAE(I)] has been introduced to cater to final-year students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) who wish to apply for polytechnic admission based on their sustained interests and demonstrated aptitudes relevant to the course, apart from their Nitec / Higher Nitec Grade Point Average (GPA).
The five polytechnics can each admit up to 12.5% of the cohort each academic year through EAE, and up to 10% of their intake of ITE graduates through the EAE(I). There is a 50% course-level cap on students entering the polytechnic through these exercises for around a third of all polytechnic courses, where interests and aptitude in the field are particularly important, for example in courses such as early childhood education, design and media.
There is a course-level cap of 30% for all other courses, which naturally ensures that students admitted through their academic grades will continue to have access to all polytechnic courses.
EAE and EAE(I) applications commence in June/July every year, for admission into polytechnics in the following year.
Students who accept an offer and confirm the offer upon the release of the GCE O-Level Examination results or final ITE GPA will not be eligible to participate in the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) or Joint Polytechnic Admissions Exercise (JPAE). These students will be informed of the enrolment into their offered courses by the respective polytechnics during the polytechnic enrolment period.
O-Level students who are interested in a JC pathway and wish to gain direct admission to a JC can participate in the DSA-JC Exercise, which is conducted at around the same period as EAE. However, each student is only allowed to accept one offer to a single JC or polytechnic course. If students are found to have accepted offers from both the EAE and DSA-JC Exercise, they will be disqualified from both the EAE and the DSA-JC Exercise unless they cancel either of their offers before the end of the Offer and Acceptance Stage.