Will Your National Service Be Exactly 2 Years? (It Depends)

Is NS Exactly 2 Years

National Service is an unavoidable journey that every Singaporean son has to undergo in their lifetime – playing a pivotal role in converting them from normal civilians into the backbone of Singapore’s defense.

So in today’s edition to our line of NS guides, we will be taking a look at the question – “Will your National Service be exactly 2 years?” As there are variations in the possible duration of your NS, it definitely can get quite confusing sometimes.

And without further delay, let’s get into the question!

Is NS exactly 2 years?

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Source: CMPB

The duration of National Service is typically 2 years for many individuals. 

However, this duration can be reduced if your PES A or PES B1 through the Pre-Enlistee IPPT.

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Source: CMPB

As mentioned in my Enhanced BMT guide, through the Pre-Enlistee IPPT, PES A/B1 individuals will be able to reduce their service by a total of 8 weeks to a shortened period of 1 year and 10 months. 

“However, in order to receive this benefit, you will be required to score 61 points or higher in your Pre-Enlistee IPPT.”

You can find out more about life as a PES B1 NSF here.

As such, if your PES status is lower than PES B1 (e.g. PES B4 or PES C9), you will, unfortunately, have to serve 2 years of NS!

This table summarizes the different possible durations for NS:

PES StatusDuration
PES A/B1 (score 61 points or more for Pre-Enlistee IPPT)1 year and 10 months
PES A/B1 (score less than 61 points for Pre-Enlistee IPPT)2 years
PES BP, B2, B4, C, E2 years

You can find out how to check your PES status here.

It is also entirely possible for you to be exempted from army mid-way through your service if you are assessed to be unfit for NS. 

This includes:

  • Suffering from permanent physical/mental disabilities
  • Suffering from severe medical conditions

However, such cases are extremely rare as the SAF medical board assesses such cases rigorously to prevent evasion of NS.

How long is NS for PES E?

As stated in the table, the NS for PES E individuals will last for the entire 2 years.

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Source: CMPB

If you’re PES E, your 2 years will be split up into these 2 portions:

  • Your 9-week BMT course
  • Your vocational unitwhere you will spend the remainder of your 2 years (you will be assigned it after BMT)

How long is NS for PES BP?

If you’re PES BP, your NS will also last for the entire 2 years.

However, your 2 years will be split differently, in comparison with a PES E personnel.

image 8
Source: CMPB

As a PES BP, your 2 years will be split into:

  • Your 19-week BMT coursewhich is 10 weeks more than the PES E BMT
  • Your vocational unit similar to the PES E individuals where you get assigned post-BMT


In conclusion, your NS will last for the entire 2 years if you’re not PES A or B1. But even if you are PES A or B1, do ensure that you score 61 points or more for your Pre-Enlistee IPPT to qualify for the “discounted” NS duration.

You can check out the full BMT schedule here.

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Isaac Lim

Always looking to try new things and blogging is one of them!

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