Frequently Asked Questions

MTL Requirements & Exemptions

  1. My child has been abroad for some time. Is he required to study a Mother Tongue Language?

Returning Singaporeans who join a local school mid-stream can apply to the Ministry of Education through the school for exemption from studying their official Mother Tongue Language or to study a non-official language such as French, German or Japanese in lieu of Mother Tongue Language. The applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

  1. My child has already been exempted from offering Mother Tongue Language in primary school. Will I have to re-apply for Mother Tongue exemption when he/she is promoted to Secondary 1?

No, you need not re-apply for his Mother Tongue exemption when your child is promoted to Secondary 1. Your child will continue to be exempted from offering Mother Tongue.

  1. Will a Pre-University student be exempted from the Mother Tongue requirement at the GCE ‘A’ level examinations?

Students exempted from the Mother Tongue Language at the GCE ‘O’ level examination will be exempted from the Mother Tongue Language at the GCE ‘A’ level examination. Those who are allowed to learn a non-official language in lieu of Mother Tongue Language will continue to offer the subject at the GCE ‘A’ level examination.

Students who have been approved for exemption from taking a Mother Tongue Language or another language in place of an official Mother Tongue Language are deemed to have met the Mother Tongue threshold requirements for university admission.

  1. My child is exempted from Mother Tongue. Will it apply to IBDP programme?

No. IBDP students must take 3 Higher Level subjects and 3 Standard Level subjects.

They must select 1 subject each from Groups 1 to 5. Every student needs to opt for a subject under Group 2: Language Acquisition. The student may choose any subject to study. For ab inito Languages, student should have not previous learning background in the respective subject.

  1. What are the benefits of taking HMT for IP students?

HMT is offered to the Higher Ability students who will benefit from the subject and become effectively bilingual. It will allow students to opt for ab inito language to study in IBDP once he/she obtains at least a grade of D7 in HMTL at the GCE ‘O’ Level Exam in Year 4.





Updated as of 24 January 2018