Emergency notice

Selective high schools – Year 7

Applying for placement in a selective high school in Year 7


Find out about key dates in the placement process.

The High Performing Students Team no longer has a fax number. If you sent a fax to us during October, we would not have received it. Please resend it by email to ssu@det.nsw.edu.au.

Entry to Year 7 in 2021

Applications opened on this site on 8 October 2019 and closed on 11 November 2019. The test will be held on 12 March 2020. Download the Application information (PDF 791KB) for information about the placement process for entry in 2021.

Applications are now closed

Closing dates for applications are strictly observed. The placement program operates on a very tight schedule and involves the use of external contractors who cannot accommodate late additions to the candidature for testing.
There can be no exemptions made on compassionate grounds. The only circumstances under which a late application can be considered are where:
  • parents are applying for placement of their children in rural or remote areas where there is a shortage of suitable candidates. The choices are locked for those applicants and they cannot be considered for other selective high schools even if they move their residence
  • both parents/carers have documentary evidence to support a claim that circumstances beyond their control prevented them from completing an application. The application takes a maximum of 20 minutes to complete and is available 24 hours a day on any internet enabled device during the month that applications are open.
If you have strong extenuating circumstances that prevented you from applying in time, you can email the Team at ssu@det.nsw.edu.au explaining the circumstances, attaching all relevant evidence to support the request, and listing the selective high schools you would have chosen. Requests for late applications will be considered in the next few weeks.

Entry to Year 7 in 2020

Placement outcome information

Placement outcomes were sent on 5 July 2019. For more information about placement outcomes go to the Outcome page. See, below, frequently asked questions about outcomes.


The outcome of appeals was sent to parents in October.

Reserve lists

If your child is on a reserve list, we will contact you if an offer becomes available. Follow the progress of the reserve lists.

Review of Selective Education Access

In December 2018, the NSW Minister for Education, Rob Stokes, announced the findings of the Review of Selective Education Access. For more information, see Review of Selective Education Access: Findings and Action Plan.

Information about changes to the placement process will be published on this site.

Frequently asked questions about outcomes

Make a decision about accepting the offer and return the completed response form by the due date. Your response form will be processed and acknowledged within 21 days. Read the Outcome information bulletin attached to your outcome advice. You can decline the offer later if you change your mind.

There is no guarantee that students on reserve lists will receive an offer and vacancies after the first round of offers are very unpredictable. Students on a reserve list are allocated a reserve list number that does not change. When an applicant declines an offer of placement, the next student from the reserve list is offered the place. In some cases, such as a result of a successful appeal, two students can be placed at the same reserve list number. When this happens the student with the higher score will be made the first offer. The Unit begins making offers for students on reserve lists in late July. Offers continue to be made until at least the end of Term 1 of the year of entry.

Unsuccessful means the score is not high enough for the student to be on a reserve list. Please do not contact the Team to request your child be added to a reserve list as this is not possible. Entry scores from previous years cannot tell you whether your child should have got an offer for next year.

For entry in 2020, outcome advice was sent to most applicants by email on the evening of 5 July 2019. Please check your email spam/junk folder before contacting the Team. If you chose to receive mail only, the advice was posted on 5 July. Mailed outcome advice will take longer depending on your postal service. We cannot send the outcome by email if it has already been sent by mail. If you have not received the email or mail by 12 July you can email the Team. If you are on a reserve list and you want to change from mail only to email, send an email to the Team. The request will be processed after 12 July. Some applications are on hold for further processing and the outcome will be sent as soon as possible.

You cannot change school choices when you find that your child was unsuccessful but could have qualified for a different school or the transport arrangements are not practical. School choices cannot be changed after the release of placement outcomes except in strong extenuating circumstances. Any request must be accompanied by documentary evidence and must be approved by the Team Leader and the school. If a change is approved, the student may be placed on a reserve list for another school with no guarantee of a place becoming available.

Selection committees can adjust scores for a range of individual circumstances and special considerations. This means weighting components of the scores differently.  In some cases, if a child's calculated placement score has been based on such adjustments, the adjusted scores are not released.

Read the information on the Outcomes section of the website about marking and in the Selection process section about calculation of scores.

You cannot use the raw scores to recalculate a placement score because of the moderation and scaling process used to calculate the placement score.

Check the Appeals page for information about appealing the outcome if you have valid grounds and documentary evidence.

If you are questioning the school assessment scores, you need to consult the school principal to ensure the scores are correct.

While the Team  can check test responses and scores, remarking of the test is not possible. The answer sheets are scanned by two independent scanning contractors and the results reconciled.

The tests are very challenging in order to spread out the high achieving students. Your child might not achieve as well as usual when compared with other high performing students state-wide.

If you do not find the information you need on this site, please email your enquiry to the Team rather than phoning. It will be attended to as soon as possible.

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