Selective high schools in NSW accept students based on results from the Selective Schools Placement Test (which is run every year around mid March). Students in Year 6 sit the test to enter the selective high school in year 7. These schools cater for students who are exceptionally gifted and talented, with great classroom performance and high academic ability.
The Selective Schools Placement Test is incredibly competitive and positions at these top schools are highly sought after. There are currently 17 fully selective high schools in NSW and 25 partially selective schools, meaning that only some classes and cohorts within the school are selective. In 2012, roughly 13 500 students sat the exam, with only 30% of students being offered a placement. The number of students sitting the test has since increased, hence entry into a selective school has become more competitive.
The exam covers mathematics, general ability, reading and writing. Practice makes perfect and the selective schools exam is no exception. It covers topics and questions that students may not have had exposure to in their primary school classes. As such, extra material to cover, combined with self learning and practice exams outside of the classroom can provides immense benefit to a student’s’ confidence and readiness. Both of which are critical factors when it comes to performance on the day of the exam. Practice helps alleviate nervousness as the student’s would be familiar with exam conditions and the difficulty of the questions.
What is commonly forgotten about the entry in selective schools is that a third of a student’s marks are also sourced from their primary school assessment scores. Their performance in Mathematics and English (English also includes Writing) from year 4 till the end of year 5 is provided by their primary schools. These scores are based on their performance on their individual school’s curriculum and each school has the discretion to set their own academic criteria. It is important to maintain good academic records in Year 4 and Year 5.
The exam is scored out of 300 and is a combination of a student’s marks from the selective schools exam and their primary schools assessment scores.
The school mark is moderated to the averages of the selective school exams before they are combined to give a total out of 300.
With such strict and competitive entry criteria, selective high schools group together students of superior academic ability who may have otherwise been separated from other students of similar academic levels. Being immersed within this environment and groups of students shows definite advantages when it comes to academic results.
Selective schools consistently rank in top 10-15 high schools in terms of the HSC results. In 2014, 9 out of 10 of the top performing high schools in the HSC were selective high schools.
With a strong focus on academics and teaching catered to academically gifted students, these results come as no surprise.
With the opportunity to engage in a highly academic environment with proven academic improvement, there is no wonder selective school positions are highly sought after. Take the right steps and start preparing for the Selective Schools Test with our Selective Schools Preparation Program:
Our programs is unique as it takes students who are average and slightly above average and converts them to high achievers. Unlike other learning centres, we not only take the top students but also the ones who believe they can achieve. We work hand in hand with parents and students and get them there. We believe in a growth mind-set.