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NSW Selective Schools Test Guide

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Selective Schools are run by NSW Department of Education who accept students based on their respective academic grades. Studies show that approximately 15,000 Year 6 students across NSW optionally undertake the Selective High School Test to seek one of the 3,600 places offered for first-year entry into selective high schools. The application procedure is standard for all government selective schools, where internal selection committees consider applications in August-September every year. Generally, in order to get enrolled in a selective school, the component scores for English, mathematics and general ability are determined, which makes up the profile score of the prospective student.

The Selective Schools Test is a standardised test that all NSW Selective School applicants take. It is used to challenge even the most gifted students in order to ensure that they possess the skills to flourish at a Selective School. There are four major determinants of this test which are enumerated below:-

  1. Reading: The reading test consists of 30 questions which are to be completed within 40 minutes.
  2. Mathematical Reasoning: The Mathematical Reasoning test contains 35 questions which are to be completed within 40 minutes.
  3. Thinking skills: This test contains 40 questions and the same are to be completed within 40 minutes. It is a new addition and replaces the old GA test. It seeks to test the applicant’s critical thinking and logical reasoning. This test may also require students to identify the meaning of words with or without any given context.
  4. Writing: The writing test often tests a creative response to a stimulus and it must be completed within 30 minutes. The applicant should write 2 pages at maximum.

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Bonus tip: Students are rewarded higher marks in this test if their writing has:-

  1. i) A title
  2. ii) Creative display of their ideas

iii) Fluent and clear language

  1. iv) A concrete structure with a cut-dried beginning, middle and end.

On perusal of the above components of the test, it becomes clear that this test requires intense preparation. There are some tips that may come in handy while students are preparing for the test:-

  1. Practice Tests: Upon completion of syllabus, the students are advised to do some timed practice tests so that they may get familiar with the structure of the exam. Keep in mind that Selective Tests prior to 2021 are different.
  2. Get help if your child is struggling: If your child is facing some problems while preparing for the test, employ a skilled tutor or help your child with whatever you can. It is important that your child feels supported during this time and that you supply your child with the best resources available.
  3. Create a study space: It is essential that your child has a designated study space for the preparation where there are no distractions.
  4. Encourage movement: Be sure that your child gets enough physical exercise to keep a healthy functioning brain and body.

Types of Selective High Schools:

  1. Fully Selective High Schools: There are 21 fully selective high schools in NSW. In these schools, all classes are academically selective.
  2. Agricultural High Schools: There are 4 completely selective agricultural high schools that emphasise on the investigation of agriculture - they are a blend of boarding and day position.
  3. Partially Selective High Schools: There are 25 incompletely selective high schools in NSW where a couple of classes are selective while different classes are non-selective for nearby understudies.
  4. Aurora College: Aurora College offers Years 7 to 10 rural and remote students a chance to participate in selective classes for English, Math and science trough a virtual high school.

How to Apply:

  1. In order to apply for Selective School Test, go to, go to the online application for selective high school placement and follow the instructions for applying.
  2. The students must be in Year 7 to be qualified as an applicant.
  3. The applicant must choose a maximum of three selective high schools in order of preference.
  4. The applicant must give information about any sort of disability as well.
  5. Both government and Non-government students can apply to take the test.

For detailed information regarding the application process (due dates,etc.), applicants can read the detailed guide while applying for the test.


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