Selective School Prep

Tailored 1-on-1 Tutoring for Students Preparing for the Selective School Test

A selective school is designed to keep gifted students among similarly gifted peers to further promote their learning. They also use specialised teaching methods and materials and tend to only offer the more difficult levels of subjects in years 7-10 and in some instances in years 11-12.

Selective schools are government high schools and consistently rank in the top 100 schools in NSW, if not the top 50 schools. Therefore, parents and students are getting the best of both worlds; an academically rich environment at a very reasonable cost. You may choose either are fully selective school where all students are academically gifted, or partially selective schools which have separate, advanced classes for gifted students.

Common misconceptions about selective schools include a lack of sporting opportunities, an environment promoting excessive study on weekends and holidays, and reduced emphasis on social interactions. Coming from an ex-selective school student, there were plenty of sporting opportunities from archery to water polo to cricket to tennis, and students run around at lunchtime just like at any other school. The dedication to study at times was intense, but this is also due to the students themselves wanting to put in the extra work to maximise marks.


To gain entry into a selective school, year 6 students must apply to sit the Selective High School Placement Test. The test runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes and includes four sections: Reading, Mathematical Reasoning, Thinking Skills, and Writing. There is a break provided at the halfway point of the test and the tests are run all over the state at local testing centres.

In the application, you may select up to 3 schools in any area of NSW. The choices require balancing multiple factors such as travel difficulty, competitiveness and the student’s comfort level upon visiting the school during an open day for example. We would recommend the top two choices being fully selective schools and the third choice being a partially selective school to increase the chances of the student receiving an offer.

To feel more comfortable with the test process, students should be informed about the format and duration of the test and the types of questions asked. Sample tests are available to help students become familiar with the test format.

We recommend specialised 1-on-1 tutoring for a year leading up to the test to ensure your child is very familiar with the format and content of the test. In addition, we recommend working through more challenging example tests than those provided by ACER, which more closely resemble the actual Selective High School Placement Test.

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