The Complex Process of Entering a Selective School

Home / The Complex Process of Entering a Selective School - May 27, 2021 , by sachin

This year’s Selective High School Placement Test has already been administered, but many Australian parents and students are already gearing up for the next one on 10 March 2022. While opinions are mixed when it comes to this kind of education system, families still value having their children in selective high schools despite the challenging NSW selective school test done yearly. Most parents who graduated from selective schools want their children to enter a selective school as a form of continuing a “family legacy.” Some see selective schools as a pathway for better opportunities especially if they belong in an underserved sector.

Selective high schools have actually existed as early as the 1800s in Australia. In fact, education in general used to be selective and elitist, something that is only afforded by those who had money or belonged to an esteemed social class. Some of the oldest selective schools have been established in Sydney including Bathurst High School, Penrith High School, and even “girls only” and “boys only” schools. There are currently 47 selective government high schools (both fully and partially selective). Three-fourths of these are located in Sydney, all of which participated in the government’s selective exam this 2021.

Before Year 7 students participate in such a test, many (if not all) are educated in OCs or opportunity classes as early as Year 5. Parents of students on Year 4 usually apply their children to opportunity classes which covers a fixed term of two years (Years 5 and 6). OC tests in NSW are conducted to determine a successful application status or not. In most cases, those who are accepted to be part of OCs are asked to relocate and leave the current school they are in. In New South Wales, there are 76 primary schools with opportunity classes.

These opportunity classes help students prepare for the NSW selective school test. The teat helps gauge the academic ability of the applicant, measuring their skills in reading, mathematical reasoning, thinking, and writing. This is administered as a “paper and pencil test” but starting next year, examinations will be digitized for the first time. The test is a mix of multiple choice and open response type questions but changes are done periodically so no tests are the same.

Taking an NSW selective school test is no walk in the park. That is why parents do seek the help of tutoring colleges to help prepare their children. These education groups provide coaching and mentorship to students so they can ace the test and secure that coveted slot in a selective school.

For comprehensive tutoring and coaching in preparation for a selective test in NSW, check out

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