Reflection on the 2023 Selective Placement Test

by admin | 11th May 2023 | , , ,

The 2023 Selective Placement Test was a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. After months of preparation, students were relieved that it was finally over. Most of our students said that they found it similar to the mock tests they have been doing throughout the course at GEA. Some were easier but some were more challenging. Not all students, for obvious reasons, agree on the rating for the difficulty of the questions. However, they all loved the idea that it is finally over! This year a record of  17000 students sat the test. There are only just over 4000 seats available in selective schools.

Here is some feedback about each component:


The reading included similar types of questions as the year before.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

The close comprehension included choosing a topic sentence that summarised each paragraph (similar to the 2022 test)

The poem was “The Curtain by Judith Wright” which is not a long poem, but deep and loaded with emotions as the author talks about her son sleeping.

Some students expressed that it was a bit difficult for them to understand the depth of it. The questions included inferential-level questions.

See some of the questions toward the end.


Mathematical Reasoning

For many students, the relief came from the fact that maths was not as difficult as they had expected. Most of our students commented that it was easier than our mock tests they did during the course. The questions were straightforward and did not need formulas or algebra to solve. Students stated that the questions were the problem-solving type with not many calculations involved, something that we have been emphasising for many years. It is all about problem-solving skills not knowing formulas and complex types of questions.

Some of the questions they remembered were of these topics: sequences, fractions (involving improper fractions, decimals, and mixed numerals), data – matching a graph to data given, a pie chart that has one sector missing, numbers – multiplying the digits and asking about variations of the number produced, probability, space and directions, and problem-solving involving the age of people.


Thinking Skills

Students found the Thinking Skills to be the most challenging of all. It included more visual interpretation than expected (Abstract reasoning) and more mathematics-oriented questions than critical thinking type of questions. It needed the ability and the skills to problem-solve. Time management was also crucial in this test as some students had to guess the last few questions.



The writing task was a pitch in an email format which was not expected, but many of our students found it to be quite manageable. It required students to think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions to solve the given problem. This is a brilliant stimulus as it differentiates between students who are problem solvers and who are not.



Overall, it can be said that the 2023 Selective Placement test tested both knowledge and skills which will help students become better prepared for their future careers. It challenged them to think critically and come up with new ideas while also honing their writing skills.


As usual, at Global Education Academy, we will update our materials and mock tests to reflect the feedback from the 2023 selective test.


How Global Education Academy Prepares Students for the Test


Global Education Academy is an elite learning centre that helps children reach their academic potential without pushing them too hard. At the Academy, students are encouraged to enjoy learning, and are given the tools to succeed without being overwhelmed.


The students are taught by experienced teachers who understand the importance of instilling a love of learning from a young age. The teachers focus on helping their students develop their own interests and abilities, rather than forcing them to memorise facts or just take tests.


At the same time, Global Education Academy provides plenty of additional resources for parents who want to ensure their children are able to do well in tests and exams. Our textbooks provide guidance for parents to ensure that everything needed is covered in the textbooks.

When it comes time for tests, Global Education Academy works hard to make sure that each student is able to do their best without feeling overwhelmed or anxious. The teachers provide plenty of support and guidance before the big day. We have the empowerment night, the night before the test, and the selective party on the test day.


Read more about our course here:


Here are some snapshots of the test:


The Writing Test Question

A film production company is organising a competition and offering a prize of $1000. The company invited candidates to create their own superhero profile.

Write an email to the company including a superhero that will be featured in a movie or a book. In your email include what your superhero looks like, how they will use their superpowers and why would reader love your superhero.


Reading – The Curtain

It was the curtain, softly rising and falling, 

reminded me you were home, who had been so long away;  

and when I went to wake you, I stood in silence watching  

your mouth softened in sleep, the lids where your eyes lay. 


So grown you looked, in the same unaltered room,  

so much of your childhood you were already forgetting,  

while I remembered. Yet in the unforgetting dream  

you will come here all your life for renewal and meeting. 

It was your breath, so softly rising and falling,  

that kept me silent. With your lids like buds unbroken  

you watched on their curtain your life, a stream of shadows moving. 

When I touched your shoulder, I too had a little dreamed and woken. 


some questions:


  1. What does the author mean by ‘bud’ when describing the sleeping eyes?
  2. What type of bond is between the narrator and the sleeper?
  3. What is the curtain?


Some maths and Thinking Skills questions:


Q1: Looking at this pattern, what would the 97th shape be?


Q2: 8 spheres = 5 cubes

1 sphere = 560 g

What is the weight of a cube?


Q3: Lili has a playlist of 4 songs. The first song is 4 min long.  Each subsequent song is 30 sec shorter than the previous song.  How long is the playlist?


Q4: Ava and Zane are each thinking of a 2-digit number. They then multiply the number together.  How many digits could their new number possibly have?



Read more about how we can help your child achieve their goals without overwhelming them.


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