Information for applicants


Check the Key dates in the placement process.

Parents of students in NSW public schools, non-government schools, home study and interstate or overseas schools can apply for placement.

Students are offered placement in selective schools based on academic merit and the order of school choices.

Academic merit is determined by the results of Reading, Mathematical Reasoning, Thinking Skills and Writing tests in the Selective High School Placement Test. School assessment scores are no longer required and are not included in the assessment of academic merit for placement.

A selection committee is convened to determine placement of students. The selection committee may ask the current primary school or the parents to provide other evidence of academic merit such as an IQ report.

Age and Year

Year 7 entry in 2025

For entry to Year 7 in 2025, students will usually have been born between 1 January 2012 and 1 August 2013 to enter Year 7 in selective high schools in 2025.

They should be in Year 5 when applying in 2023, and in Year 6 when they sit the placement test in 2024.

Students outside the usual age range

If the student is outside the usual age range or is in a school Year other than Year 5 when applying, parents should explain the reasons. The selection committee may ask for further information when considering the application.

The selection committee may:

  • decide not to accept students who are much older than the usual age range set out above
  • request an interview if your child is very young, to determine any special requirements
  • consider that students doing the test for a second time may have gained an unfair advantage from their previous experience with the test
  • decide not to accept students who will be in Year 7 when sitting the test and who are seeking to repeat Year 7 in a selective high school.

Students already in Year 7 at the time of the test can be considered for placement in Year 7 the following year only if there are extenuating circumstances. A full explanation, supporting documentation and the principal's support for the repetition are required. The selection committee will determine whether such applications will be accepted.

If parents are seeking acceleration from Year 5 in 2024 to Year 7 in 2025, the applicant must provide evidence of support from the school principal. The selection committee will then consider the appropriateness of acceleration.

Siblings

Entry to selective high schools is based on individual academic merit so the placement of one twin or triplet does not guarantee the placement of another. Siblings of twins or triplets will be offered a place at the same selective school only if they both have scores that are high enough to qualify. However, selection committees for boarders can give priority to students who have siblings currently attending the same school.

Where younger or older siblings of students placed in a partially selective high school are not in the intake area for that school, parents may apply to the school for out-of-area enrolment at that school. There is no guarantee that their application for out-of-area enrolment of siblings will be successful, as the school may not have the capacity to accept non-local students. Parents should consider this when choosing selective high schools.

Residency requirements

Enrolment conditions apply to selective high schools if your child is not an Australian citizen.

Conditions apply to temporary residents, visitors, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens and Norfolk Island residents who enrol in a NSW government school.

Enrolment conditions for each visa subclass are maintained in the Visa subclasses and enrolment conditions (PDF 125 KB) list.

Please check this page and the visa subclasses and enrolment conditions list regularly for the latest residency rules governing selective high school enrolment eligibility.
If your child does not currently meet the enrolment conditions but you expect your child’s residency status to meet the conditions before initial placement offers are made in late-August 2024, you may apply and your child can sit the Selective High School Placement Test.

If your child’s test outcome qualifies for placement, all enrolment conditions must be met before you can be offered a place in a selective high school.

You must be living in NSW at the beginning of the school year of entry to a selective high school.

Offers will be cancelled if based on false or misleading information.

Residential address

If placed, students must be living in NSW at the beginning of the school year.

Interstate and overseas applicants

You can apply while you are temporarily living interstate or overseas. If possible, your child should be in NSW to sit the test. Find out more about the interstate and overseas process.

If your child is enrolled in a NSW school but cannot sit the test because of being temporarily overseas or interstate, you should use the Illness/misadventure procedure.

Special considerations

To promote fair and equitable access for all high potential and gifted students, special consideration will be given to students from low socio-educational advantage backgrounds, Aboriginal students, rural and remote students, and gifted learners with disability. See more information about equity placement.

Parents may be asked to provide documentary evidence of cultural background if it is not confirmed by school records.

Disability, medical or behavioural condition

Parents may request reasonable adjustments for disability for the Selective High Schools Placement Test when applying, if the student has such adjustments at school.

Parents must disclose information about medical conditions and medication prior to the Selective High School Placement Test.

Illness or misadventure

Parents can submit a request for special consideration of illness or misadventure where an event has affected a child's performance on the test or has caused the child to miss the test. The request must be submitted within 7 days of the test, by 16 May 2024.

Choosing selective high schools

Applicants can choose up to three selective high schools. Choose the selective high schools and the order of schools carefully. School choices can be changed up to 16 June 2024. Changes of school choice cannot be made after this date or after outcomes are released.

Find out more about boarding at agricultural high schools, about Aurora College virtual secondary school for rural or remote students and about The Conservatorium High School.

Fees and financial assistance

There are no extra fees for attending a selective high school, unless your child is a boarder. Schools may ask for contributions towards the cost of materials for some subjects, as do other government high schools.

Financial assistance may be available for rural or remote students applying for boarder placement.

Enrolment requirements

The NSW Department of Education has a responsibility to assess and manage any risk of harm to its staff or students. This includes assessing and managing risks posed to students or staff at a school by any student. Where relevant, such situations will be dealt with in accordance with the Department of Education enrolment policies and procedures.

To finalise enrolment at a selective high school you must:

  1. have received an 'Authority to attend' letter from the Selective Education Team
  2. present original documents to the school to prove Australian permanent residency, citizenship of Australia or New Zealand, or other eligible visa and proof of residency.

Offers will be cancelled if placement is made on the basis of false or misleading information.

Making an application

To apply for placement in a selective high school follow the application process.

Category:

  • DoE

Business Unit:

  • NSW public school
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