We regret to inform all that our yearly National Software Competition (NSC) 2020 has been cancelled due to the evolving and fluid COVID-19 situation and MOH advisory dated 24th Mar on events.( https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/tighter-measures-to-minimise-further-spread-of-covid-19)

We believe in the value of National Software Competition in bringing awareness of computation thinking through fun and healthy competition. However, for the wellbeing of all the participants and guests, we will have to defer this event till the next year.

Stay healthy and we look forward to see you next year.

National Software Competition is a National Infocomm Competition organised by Singapore Polytechnic’sSchool of Computing, and is in its 36th run this year.

We are delighted to introduce Design Thinking with Robotics and Computational Thinking (Dr CT), for this year’s competition. DR CT is an information technology contest that develops students' computational thinking skills using foundation in logic and problem-solving.

Competition Information

Singapore Polytechnic, School of Computing
Computational Thinking with Coding (CTC)

What will students do during competition?

This competition consists of 2 rounds:

  1. Preliminary Round
    - All participants must participate in the Design Thinking with Robotics and Computational Thinking (Dr CT) Challenge 2020.
  2. Final Round
    - Top 120 winners from Qualifying Round will be eligible to participate in the NSC2020 challenge.

What is Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking involves using a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use to write programs and apps. The Bebras challenge promotes problem solving skills and Informatics concepts including the ability to break down complex tasks into simpler components, algorithm design, pattern recognition, pattern generalisation and abstraction.

Computers can be used to help us solve problems. However, before a problem can be tackled, the problem itself and the ways in which it could be solved need to be understood.

Computational thinking allows us to do this.

Computational thinking allows us to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions. We can then present these solutions in a way that a computer, a human, or both, can understand.

There are four key techniques (cornerstones) to computational thinking:

  • Decomposition
    breaking down a complex problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts

  • Pattern recognition
    looking for similarities among and within problems

  • Abstraction
    focusing on the important information only, ignoring irrelevant details

  • Algorithms
    developing a step-by-step solution to the problem, or the rules to follow to solve the problem

Preliminary Round - Design Thinking with Robotics and Computational Thinking (Dr CT) Challenge 2020

It will be held on-line in your school from February 24 to March 6, 2020.

There will be no entry fee and no limit to the number of students you can send.

The top 120 Secondary 1 to 5 winners enrolled in government schools will be invited to the 2nd round (Computational Thinking with Coding), held at Singapore Polytechnic on May 30, 2020 (Saturday) from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm.

About Design Thinking with Robotics and Computational Thinking (Dr CT) Challenge

The Dr CT Challenge is an international challenge on informatics and computer fluency for all age of school students.

It is performed at schools using computers. The contestants are supervised by teachers.

The challenge has two types of tasks: a multiple choice questions and interactive problems.

Number of tasks varies year-by-year from 18 to 24 questions of different difficulty to be solved in 40, 45 or 55 minutes.

For each multiple choice question a choice of four answers is provided. There are interactive tasks as well.

Point Counting:
For every correct answer there is 6 (easy), 9 (medium) or 12 points (hard).

If no answer is given the score doesn’t change;

Minus one third of the possible points if the answer is incorrect.

There are 2 different levels of this competition, but each grade level is evaluated independently and awards are given to all 5 individual levels:

  • Division Intermediate (Secondary 1 & 2)
  • Division Advanced (Secondary 3, 4 and 5)
All Singapore government schools with Secondary 1 to 5 students will be administered under the Dr CT/National Software Competition scheme, which is a partnership between Singapore Scholastic Trust Limited (SST) and Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Computing (SP SoC). Enrollment is free for all Secondary 1 to 5 contestants enrolled through Singapore Government or Government-Aided schools.

For Intermediate and Division Advanced , the top 100 students will be invited for Round 2, which will be held at SP on May 30, 2020.

Preliminary Round Awards
Each grade level will be evaluated and
Students who get full marks will be conferred the Perfect Score Certificate
The top 8% for each grade will earn a Gold Certificate
Next 12% for each grade level will be awarded the Silver Certificate
Next 20% for each grade level will be presented the Bronze Certificate
All other contestants will be given a Certificate of Participation for their effort.

Final Round – National Software Competition 2020

The objectives are to heighten IT awareness among secondary school students, encouraging creativity and innovation in IT and acquiring skills in developing solutions through coding using Python.

About Final Round:
The top 120 students from secondary 1 to 5 who have taken the Intermediate or Advanced in Design Thinking with Robotics and Computational Thinking (Dr CT) Challenge will be invited for the NSC.

The contest structure will revolve around Python coding for both individual and team events. All students will be grouped into teams of 4 or 5 from different levels and different schools.


  1. Individual Awards
  2. Gold Medal
  3. Silver Medal
  4. Bronze Medal
  5. Participation and Winners Certificate
  1. Team Awards
  2. Prize Vouchers for top 3 teams

For any clarification to the competition details, please contact Janny Chan at SOC_Outreach@sp.edu.sg.

Rules and Regulations

  1. All participants must be from MOE-registered schools (sec 1 to sec 5 only).
  2. While not anticipated, these rules and prizes are subject to changes at the discretion of the Organising Committee at any time. The Organising Committee shall have the right to interpret these rules according to its own judgment.
  3. All decisions made by the judges or organising committee for the competition are deemed final and are not subject to appeals.
  4. All decisions regarding the competition rules, procedures, and processes are at the sole discretion of the Organising Committee. Changes and/or interpretations of these rules may be made by the Organising Committee at any time, even though they may be (or may appear to be) in conflict with any previously published information. The selection of the teams to compete and the decision of the winners are at the sole discretion of the the Organising Committee. Best efforts will be made to make decisions in accordance with the official Rules and Regulations.
  5. The Organising Committee reserves the right to disqualify any teams who violate the rules, regulations or spirit of the competition.
  6. The School of Computing (SoC) will provide training to prepare participants (those eligible for Final Round) for the competition.
  7. All participants must register by 14 Feb 2020.
  8. The competition will be held at Singapore Polytechnic on Sat, 30 May 2020. Exact timing and venue will be announced nearer the date.


Computational Thinking with Coding (CTC)

27 May 2020
10am – 1pm
Singapore Polytechnic
Workshop training details
  • Installing and Using Python with Notepad++
  • Variables and Expressions
  • Conditional Statements
  • Loops and Iterations Part 1
  • Lists
  • Functions
This workshop is for those with no previous experience with using Python.
Participants should bring their own laptops.

For any clarification, please contact Janny Chan at SOC_Outreach@sp.edu.sg.

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