Selective High School
If your child is unusually gifted and has high potential academically, they may find that a contemporary classroom setup isn't all that stimulating. Selective high schools provide an opportunity to study with other children of a similar academic standard.

What Is Selective High School?

There are two types of selective high school located throughout NSW, offering Year 7 placement.
  • Twenty-one are fully selective high schools, and four of them focus on the study of agriculture.
  • Twenty-five are partially selective high schools. In these institutions, one or two of the classes are selective, while the others are non-selective and for local students. Students in the selective classes will focus on science, mathematics, and English.

How to Apply for Selective School

If you want to place your child in a selective school, you will need to prepare carefully and understand that this is a highly competitive process. You may have to submit an application for a Year 7 entry more than a year in advance. In fact, you should start the application process in Term 4 of their Year 5 study.

To begin the process, you will need to complete an application form and submit it online. Applications may only be made by the parent.

You can apply to any one of the 46 selective high schools regardless of where you live as the process is not zoned. You can choose up to three schools and should list them by priority. Most schools are co-ed, but some are boys or girls only.

Once you have applied, you can only change your choice by written request up until the due date, which is usually early in Term 2. It’s a good idea, therefore, to do adequate research and make a firm decision ahead of the deadline for the application.

How to Prepare for the Selective School Exam

Your child will need to sit this exam on the specified date and must prepare carefully. They will need a letter of authority, and you'll need to log in through your dedicated portal to request this. They must take this letter to the test centre on the big day.

The selective high school placement test involves a written test and three multiple-choice tests in thinking, reading, and mathematical reasoning.

It is a good idea for your child to look at previous examples and be familiar with both the format of the test and the types of questions that they are likely to come across. They will be given an answer booklet and must colour in the appropriate answer box for the multiple-choice questions.

On test day, students should:

  • arrive at the test site on time, ready for a long day ahead and be prepared to last the day 
  • have a substantial snack with them to eat during the break between the two parts of the test 
  • not carry any electronic devices with them.


It's worth remembering that those who attend a selective school will typically go on to earn higher incomes in life and be presented with more opportunities. However, as you can see, it is very important to prepare diligently and go through the application process in plenty of time. If your child needs any help in preparing for selective high school exam tests, get in touch with a qualified and experienced tutor.