Selection process

Due to COVID 19 restrictions in 2021, primary schools will not be required to provide school assessment scores for the 2022 selective high school placement process for Year 7 entry in 2023. Placement scores for entry in 2023 will therefore be derived from the test scores in most cases.

Placement scores

Raw test scores will be scaled to reduce the variability in test question difficulty. The scaled scores are then weighted to determine the placement score out of 120.

For most students, the calculated placement score determines offers of placement. A small group of students may be granted special consideration such as for illness/misadventure.

The entry score required for each school varies from year to year as the score is dependent on the number and the academic merit of students who have chosen the school each year.

The scaling of the test marks is done on a state-wide basis regardless of the schools attended by the students. Each scaled test component is adjusted so they are weighted equally.

Whereas usually the weighted school assessment scores account for an additional 20 marks, for the 2023 placement process only, the calculated placement score will be recalculated as a score out of 120 to maintain parity with the scores in the previous year.

Test component Weighted scaled test score (maximum possible score shown)

Reading

25

Mathematical reasoning

25

Thinking skills

35

Writing

15

No weighted school assessment scores for 2023 placement


Total placement score recalculated to:

120

The Selective High School Placement Test is designed to identify students who are gifted and have high potential, so your child is being ranked with other gifted and high potential students across NSW. Therefore, the results might not match other tests and school reports which compare your child with a different cohort or against curriculum benchmarks.

Selection committees

A selection committee is convened for each selective high school. Decisions about placement at a specific selective high school are made by that school's selection committee.

Selection committees view the list of students applying to their school in order of academic merit.

The selection committees consider:

  • students to be listed for offers and reserve places according to the number of vacancies at the school
  • the likely impact of any disability
  • requests for special consideration for illness/misadventure
  • students who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
  • students who have been educated in English for less than 48 months
  • students from interstate and overseas with alternative evidence of academic merit
  • any other relevant factors brought to their attention
  • other evidence of academic merit, if required.

They have the discretion to accept or reject any applicants who have been allowed to apply late based on extenuating circumstances.

Selection committees decide how many students will be put on on reserve lists based on numbers offered in previous years.

Minimum entry scores

There is no fixed score that a student has to achieve to be successful for placement at a particular selective high school as students are placed in rank order to fill the available vacancies.

The greater the demand for the school the higher the entry score is likely to be. For example, in a school with 150 places, the score achieved by the 150th ranked student who accepts a place at that school becomes the entry score.

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