Application process

Applications for Year 7 entry to a selective high school are completed and submitted online. The link to the form is available only while applications are open, usually during October and until mid-November.

Applications for entry to Year 7 in 2020 are now closed.

Late applications

Closing dates for applications will be 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.
  • Where 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.

Steps to apply

All applicants must complete the following steps to apply for Year 7 entry to a NSW selective high school. Read the information about applying (PDF 303KB) to find out about the steps in the placement process.

  1. Go to the selective high school placement application online  when applications are open. Follow the instructions for applying.
    1. First register by entering a valid email address in the online form – do not use a student's email address. If emails are suspected of belonging to students, they will be disabled and correspondence will be sent by mail.
    2. You will receive an email with your password for the online application.
  2. Return to the application, go to Login and log in using your email address and the password.
  3. If you lose the password, go to Login and enter your email address and click on 'Forgotten password' to get a new email. Earlier passwords will be cancelled.
  4. Complete your contact details. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) must be completed prior to proceeding to the next page by selecting 'Next'. To return to the previous page click the 'Previous' button.
  5. Record the names of two parents if the second parent might contact the Unit or make decisions about the application. Where parents live at different addresses but have equal responsibility for the care of the child, only the parent with whom the child lives most of the time, (or if equal time, the child is living with at the time of application) should submit the application. If the other parent requires a copy of system-generated correspondence, he/she can send a request with contact details to the Unit.
  6. Enter any information about medical or behavioural conditions, disabilities or special needs and special test provisions if required.
  7. Follow the steps on each page to complete the placement application.
  8. Choose up to three selective high schools. Choose the selective high schools in the order of preference.
  9. To leave the application before it is finished select 'Log off' and close your browser. You will need to log in again when you return.
  10. When you have completed your application click 'Submit'. Make a note of the student application number shown on the screen.
  11. Check your email for the confirmation.

Use the internet at a public library if you do not have access at home. If you don't use email, set up a web-based email account such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or similar. Use that account to register to apply. In the contact details of the application you can select 'by mail' so future communication will be sent by post. Check your new email account for the confirmation email straight after submitting the application. Check the spam or junk folder as well as the In box.

Contact the High Performing Students Team for assistance if you have a disability that prevents you from using a computer.

Add to your email contacts to ensure you receive correspondence from the high performing students unit. Also check your spam or junk folder regularly in case your email provider sent the emails there.


After submitting your application you will receive a confirmation email with:

  • a copy of the application including a student application number – include this number on all communication
  • an 'attachments cover sheet' to use if sending additional documentation
  • a 'Principal's page' for provision of school assessment scores for NSW non-government school principals to complete.

Check the application details carefully. Email the High Performing Students Team if there are any errors. Do not complete a further application for the same student.

Changes to the application

Changes cannot be made to application details online once submitted. Any changes must be sent to the High Performing Students Team in writing.

You can change selective school choices up to midnight on 26 April 2019 for entry in 2020. Request a change of school choice by email using the Change of school choice form available here before the due date. Changes of school choice cannot normally be made after the due date or after outcomes are released. After the outcome is released you cannot change the school choice on the basis that the student could have qualified for a different school.

Additional documents

You must send copies of the following supporting documents to the Unit if any of these apply to your child:

  • information about a disability, medical or behavioural condition such as severe vision impairment, diabetes, anaphylaxis, autism or serious illness. If you believe your child needs special test provisions you will need to provide diagnostic evidence
  • copy of court orders if they relate to decisions about the child’s education or communication about the child
  • explanation of why the child is older or younger than the usual age range (1/1/2007 – 1/8/2008 for entry in 2020) or not in Year 5 when applying.

If requested, you may also need to supply:

  • for students who have been doing most school work in the English language for less than 48 months, evidence of previous schooling
  • for students without reliable school assessment scores or Selective High School Placement Test results, a reliable full scale WISC V IQ report.

Use the cover sheet sent with your confirmation or quote the student name and application number when sending attachments.

Do not send school reports or certificates or other test results unless asked to do so.

School assessment scores

Public schools provide school assessment scores for applicants to the Unit as long as:

  • the parent applied before the closing date
  • the student has been at the school long enough to be assessed
  • there are at least two candidates from the school
  • the student was in Year 5 at the time of application.

The results of the Selective High Schools Placement Test will be used to determine academic merit if school assessment scores from a NSW school cannot be provided.

Single candidate schools

Where the candidate is the only one who has applied, even if the school has provided school assessment scores, the scores cannot be used. Two or more candidates have to apply from the same school and have both school assessment scores and test scores before the school assessment scores can be moderated. Students from single candidate schools will be considered only on their test scores.

Find out more about score calculation.

Non-government school applicants

NSW non-government school applicants complete the online application form. Applicants indicate whether they consent for the current school principal to be consulted about matters such as school assessment scores or special test provisions.

Non-government schools submit a student's school assessment scores on the Principal's page sent with the email confirming submission of the application. Apply for an exemption if private schools are unwilling to provide scores and will not sign and stamp the form.

  • Give the non-government school principal the 'Principal's page for submission of school assessment scores'. Ask the principal to provide scores for English and mathematics, sign and stamp the form and return it to the High Performing Students Team by 7 December 2018 (for 2020 entry).
  • If the school is unwilling to provide assessment scores, ask the principal to indicate this, sign the declaration and return it to the Unit. In such cases the student's calculated placement score is obtained by using test scores alone, instead of a combination of test and school marks.
  • Apply for an exemption if the principal is unwilling to sign the principal's page.
  • If the principal does not wish to send the page to the Unit, the parent must do so.

The Team will send a notice to parents when the principal's page has been received.


NSW non-government school applicants should make a request for formal exemption if the principal's page is not submitted or if the principal will neither provide scores nor sign the form. Return the exemption form (PDF 124KB) to the High performing students Team.

  • The selection committee will  generally not grant an exemption to applicants without school assessment scores if other students from the same school have scores. The selection committee can decide not to accept the application.
  • If a formal exemption has been granted, applications will usually be considered on the basis of the Selective High School Placement Test only.

Formal exemption is not required for home schooled, interstate or overseas students who cannot provide school scores from a NSW school in the year of applying.

Interstate and overseas applicants

Students temporarily living interstate or overseas and unable to sit the Selective High School Placement Test may still apply for Year 7 placement in a NSW selective high school. Applications will be considered by the selection committee through the interstate and overseas procedure or the illness/misadventure procedure. Overseas and interstate schools do not need to supply school assessment scores.

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