How to get into a selective school

Parents often come to us asking how to give their child the best chance of passing an entrance test and be accepted into a selective school. Many ask about what type of questions are on the test, others ask what score their child needs to achieve on the entrance exam to be selected. Pro-active parents may also enroll their child in a Selective entry preparation course to drastically increase their chances.

In general terms, to be accepted into a selective school a student must complete all sections of the entrance exam to an acceptable standard. There is no definitive score a student must achieve on the test. If the current group of students taking the test are very academic, then your child will need to score higher compared to other years where the students may not have been so gifted. About 85% of the intake of students will be selected directly from this process.

The selective schools have what is known as the “5% rule”. This means that no more than 5% of students from any single school can be accepted into the select entry schools. This is to ensure fairness and equality especially for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Your child may be asked to attend an interview under the “Principles discretionary”. They will be asked questions that may focus on your child’s extra curricular activities, what they can contribute to the school, their career aspirations, etc. It is also important to have a folio prepared that outlines your child’s achievements, certificates, club memberships, etc. Take care to present the folio as professionally as possible as first impressions are very important!

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