Selection process

Selection of students for entry to selective high schools in Years 8 to 12 is made by individual school selection committees during August and September each year.

Selection committees

A selection committee is convened for each selective high school. It is made up of at least two people – the principal and another member nominated by the principal. The selection committee:

  • determines which students will be offered a place at their selective high school
  • establishes a reserve list of applicants in priority order
  • may request further information or arrange an assessment to differentiate between students.

Academic merit

Placement at a selective high school is determined by academic merit. To determine suitability, the selection committee may consider:

  • school reports
  • outstanding performance in areas which the selection committees consider to be relevant, for example, agricultural high schools may want evidence of a student's commitment to the study of science and agriculture
  • the use of additional procedures, such as tests
  • any further information the committee considers relevant.


Check with individual schools about their assessment procedures when submitting an application.

A school's selection committee may require students to take a test. Information about testing will be provided by the individual schools. Schools may request a test administration fee.

Students found to be cheating in assessments risk disqualification.

Special considerations

The selection committee may provide special consideration under certain circumstances. For boarder agricultural high schools, consideration may also be given based on geographical isolation and siblings currently enrolled.

Cultural background

The selection committee may give special consideration to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students.

Disability, including medical or behavioural condition

The school may arrange for reasonable adjustments if required for tests, to allow equitable access to the test, if relevant. The selection committee will give special consideration to students with a disability, including a medical or behavioural condition, if they are satisfied that they have been disadvantaged in their ability to demonstrate academic merit.


  • DoE

Business Unit:

  • NSW public school
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