College Scholarships

PSC Scholarship Q&As

Prepping for the PSC Scholarship? This will hopefully answer some questions… 😀

What is the career path like for PSC scholars? Both while serving their bond and after. Thanks (:

This question was especially tricky because you didnt state if you were a guy or girl and what tier of PSC scholarship you meant. i guess i couldve just assumed you’re a girl and asking about OMS, but i went around sourcing for information instead (which is why this answer took so long! & i really need to stop being a perfectionist with fs answers). so here goes:

1) OMS (Open)
For girls and guys, this tier of scholarship is pretty much the same. the guys get to defer army and study first. OMS scholars are put on the Management Associate Programme (MAP) and most of them will end up as Admin Officers (AO). On your 2nd year of studies, like other scholars, you fly back for a mid-course preparatory programme. The difference for OMS scholars start when the work starts (If im not wrong). Part of the MAP involves a 9week long Foundation Course and Forums&seminars and you get a senior mentor as well. During your 6 years bond, you are typically rotated to 3 ministries to get the breadth of exposure and experience. (Scholars who choose to MFA will lag behind their rotation by 1.5yrs but it’s not a big deal)

2) OMS (Tied)
Same as above but you don’t get rotated. you serve in the ministry you are tied to.

3) SGS (Open)
For girls, SGS is the same as OMS except that you are not automatically put into the MAP. However, if you do perform well in university and after completing your studies, you can still join MAP thereafter.

For guys, imma be lazy and just copy&paste what one of my scholar friend described about SGS for guys as a favor to help me unds it better before sharing it with juniors: (thanks david!)

“The SGS (Open) Scholarship is actually very similar to the OMS (Open), with just two distinctions: (1) You are not automatically on the Management Associates Program (MAP) and (2) you cannot disrupt Army. The other aspects of the scholarship, so for instance the allowance, tuition maintenance and opportunities, remain pretty much the same as OMS (Open).

The SGS (Open) Scholarship will allow the scholar to study at any respectable university overseas or locally. It’s actually meant more for people who want to keep their career flexible and open, for either absorption specialist paths (eg. Economics Service). Therefore, for a normal guy who did not apply for university in JC (and therefore in the first year of army is unable to secure a university), the SGS scholarship actually allows you to have a scholarship and still apply for your choice of university eventually.

You continue to go through army, doing almost the same as every Singaporean son of your age, but once you ORD, you can look forward to prep course and university. At prep course, despite everyone being younger than you, your maturity through Army and experience will definitely benefit you. After prep course, everything is the same as an OMS Scholar, until the moment you arrive back in Singapore. While the OMS Scholar is automatically on MAP given a second upper, a SGS is not, an will have to go through an interview that will determine his/her placement on the MAP. If not on the MAP, your bond will be six years at a ministry. If you are on MAP, you will serve 2 postings, two years on the first ministry and 4 on the second posting. Either way, both career routes will still allow for absorption into the Admin Service eventually.”

4) SGS Tied
Same as above just that you are tied to your track/ministry.

let me know if you’re looking into SAFOS or SPFOS (i was guessing you arent). i’ll ask the SAFOS/SPFOS scholars for more info if you need them 🙂

i hope this answer serves to answer all future psc related qns 😀


HI (: Could you shed some light on the path for an OMS scholar? When do you join MAP and when do you embark on a gap year programme?

Hello 🙂

(just a sidenote: for the rest of the qn I need more time to think in order to give a more informed answer so I might take more time esp w PSC stuffs but if u need it urgently do lemme know)

As an OMS (Open) scholar you will generally be rotated thrice to 3 different ministries with each rotation lasting 2 years plus minus. With some exception like MFA who require scholars to stay for 3.5yrs due to the nature of its work and overseas missions etc.

OMS scholars are in MAP (as long as they maintain a good record I think!). You are technically in MAP when u accept the scholarship but the programme itself starts proper in the summer of your 2nd year where u come back for a midcourse programme 🙂

Thereafter there are programs all the way through to train u even when work starts and most end up as Admin Officers (AO) 😉

The Gap year programme is an optional programme where u request to take one year off to join a private sector firm and gain experience of the private sector before you serve in the civil service 🙂

Yup! Hope this helps 🙂 dyou have any more specific questions? Perhaps that’d serve to deepen your understanding of the PSC scholarship a bit more effectively because PSC is pretty flexible and has a whole range of programs and tracks for their scholars in order to tap on both your interest and potential 🙂


Thanks for shedding light on the OMS programme; I never knew it was so flexible! Really interested in it now 🙂 Would you know of any specific charateristics that PSC is looking out for in potential OMS scholars? As opposed to SGS scholars?

hello, you’re most welcome- this is what fs is for afterall right! 🙂

And yes, I’m guilty for that too, the thing is there are actually so many programmes PSC has in place to groom people- scholars and not alike because they really do believe in needing to create an attractive job environment that goes beyond remuneration. So development is one of the core beliefs I feel.

PSC did mention that their scholars get a balanced share of say in their track but yknow we always choose to remain a bit cynical. It was only thereafter that I realized it actually is true to a certain extent!

As for OMS- SGS difference no one knows actually! I asked around and no one seems to know for sure what got them OMS or sgs. So I guess only the PSC board has enough of distinction radar in their lenses to tell apart who should be given OMS and who are more suited for sgs 🙂


No PSC Scholars from TJ? 🙁 Sigh, I’m from TJ and I’m working towards PSC. Do you think the school you come from matters?

hey! oh gosh, please don’t feel that way :/

there may have been but i just didn’t know cause to be honest, i don’t know the JCs of at least 20 or 30 out of the 74 of us i think!

im positive that if you work hard, get decent grades (don’t even need straight As) you’ll make the first cut. thereafter, just work towards personal development in terms of leadership. think consistently about what kind of leader do you aspire to be in the civil service, what steps are you taking to reach that goal. what other activities have you dabbled in to help develop you as a person. do you have a heart for the people? do you yearn to serve them? are there any steps you took to confirm this passion and calling? etc.

i don’t think the school you come from define your chances but it does play a role in terms of the opportunities you may get, your belief system as well as your own confidence level. thankfully, all three are all within your own control as well. for the first, opportunities can be created on your own, for the second, you can consciously keep in check your values and for the third, belief in yourself!

it’s not too late to start thinking seriously if you are going for PSC for the money, for the prestige, for the networking or for serving Singapore or Singaporeans. If you have the right mindset, you will become my future colleague regardless of your school. Besides, TJ is a good school in its own right 🙂

all the best! and feel free to ask questions here (if you’re comfortable) and i’ll try to help 😀 i know how much my seniors helped me in my process of applying and giving me a clearer, firmer idea of what im aiming for so i only hope to do the same 🙂


Scholars have so amazing grades..

hello 🙂 you just proved that you’re nice and kind too by saying such sweet stuffs when i did something so little 😀 am glad that u’re interested in the civil service!

okay firstly, i seriously dont think grades are a big issue. they are important and PSC does emphasize that we need to keep them decent but they don’t expect us to all be straight-As students. for a start, they warned us that we will be frowned upon if we graduated from college with straight As or first class honors but without any other activities and we were told to go travelling, explore, network 😀

secondly, when you are offered the scholarship, the criteria was to have “good” grades for the A levels. i know of scholars past and present who got Cs among their A level grades but still had the confirmation of their provisional scholarship offers 🙂

lastly, i think PSC is well-informed enough to know that school grades may not be completely reflective of your ability and aptitude in academics because different schools have differing standards in examination and assessment. so it’s not a definitive factor on its own on your chances. besides, they also have their own psychometric test to have a better gauge (and possibly more accurate as well) of your aptitude in language and numerical aspects 😀 that MAY help to make up for your grades :))

as for now, do not lose hope and just study hard. work towards improving your grades. i’d think it is equally, if not more, impressive to showcase your drive and perseverance through jumps in grades because in the civil service, that never say die attitude and resilience matters alot in my humble opinion!

lastly, just to clarify, not all scholars have amazing grades! besides, grades do not entirely determine nor reflect your intelligence and ability.

im sincerely wishing you all the best 😀 and hope to see you at next year’s prep course 😉 or at work if you’re intending to apply for ministry or stat boards scholarships (cause they have their own pre-dep courses separate from PSC) 😀

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