Selective high schools

Selective high schools are for high potential and gifted students in Years 7 to 12. For Year 7 entry, parents apply when their child is at the end of Year 5 or the beginning of Year 6.

High school students outside in maths class using maths device with female teacher High school students outside in maths class using maths device with female teacher

Types of selective high schools

There are 4 types of selective high schools:

  • fully selective high schools
  • partially selective high schools
  • agricultural high schools
  • Aurora College.

Fully selective high schools

There are 17 fully selective high schools in NSW. Only high potential and gifted students can be enrolled in these schools through the selective high school application processes.

Partially selective high schools

There are 25 partially selective high schools in NSW for entry in Year 7.

These schools have a mix of local area high school students who attend non-selective classes, and students placed through the selective high school placement processes who attend selective classes together.

The students in the selective classes participate in separate English, mathematics and science classes. They generally join the non-selective students for classes in other subjects.

Agricultural high schools

Agricultural high schools are selective high schools which emphasise the study of agriculture. From Years 7 to 10, agriculture is a compulsory subject.

There are 4 fully selective agricultural high schools in NSW.

  • Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School — day* and boarding places for boys only
  • Hurlstone Agricultural High School — day and boarding places for girls and boys
  • James Ruse Agricultural High School — day places only for boys and girls
  • Yanco Agricultural High School — boarding places only for boys and girls

Three agricultural high schools offer boarding places for students. A student offered a place as a boarder cannot automatically transfer to a day place. Isolated students receive extra consideration for boarding places.

* 'day places' means that the students do not board – they only attend during the regular school day.

Richmond High School-Richmond Agricultural College is a partially selective high school where students in the academically selective stream will be required to study agriculture through the Richmond Agricultural College Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education. Students will study at two campuses, Richmond High School and in the Richmond Agricultural College.

You can apply to fully selective, partially selective and agriculturally selective high schools that are outside your local enrolment area.

Aurora College (online classes)

The department's Aurora College provides online selective high school classes for rural and remote students.

Students attend their local ‘host’ NSW public high school and join Aurora College’s online classes for English, mathematics and science.

Two residential camps are held each year that include:

  • practical face-to-face lessons
  • specialist excursions
  • opportunities for students to meet and socialise with their classmates.

There are approximately 180 Aurora College host schools available.

To apply for Aurora College, you must live in rural and remote location and choose an Aurora College host school.

Video – Get the whole picture about selective high schools (duration 3:50)

VIDEO: Get the whole picture about selective high schools

[Transcript of video animation: ‘Get the whole picture about selective high schools’ (3 minutes 50 seconds)]

[Fort Street student 2]
Everyone is super nerdy and always studying.

[Baulkham Hills student 3]
I think everyone is super nerdy.

[Baulkham Hills student 1]


[Baulkham Hills student 3]

We've got an all nerd school. But I think there's a community in that. I'm not even kidding.

[Fort Street student 2]
I think a good balance is what we all have.

[Baulkham Hills student 1]
There is no student diversity.

[Fort Street student 2]

[Caringbah student 2]
It's, you know, people come from all over. And in terms of like diversity, it's a very diverse environment, very, in terms of not just like, you know, appearance or culture, but like in terms of who we are as people, which I think is really important.

There is too much academic pressure.

[Fort Street student 2]
I think there's a there's a healthy, like, push to get us to perform to our best ability. But I don't think like any of it is, like, too stressful or, like, unwarranted. Like everything is for, our like, best performance yeah.

[Caringbah student 3]
I think with the stigma of this pressure, the teachers try really hard to combat it. They always say, 'Just do your best'. And that's that's it. There's no point always aiming to get 100% because that is not achievable. And if you do your best, really, that's what you're improving on and that's the skills you're building and the skills you're going to keep for life.

[Caringbah student 1]
Everyone is super competitive and focused on beating each other

[Baulkham Hills student 3]
I care about how well I do as like myself. I know a lot of other people do feel this competition is a good opportunity for them and they thrive when they're like competing against others.

[Caringbah student 3]
People love to share resources, again, love to make sure everyone else understands the concept and we're just teaching and learning together.

[Baulkham Hills student 3]
It is not a supportive environment. I think it is. I think we are supportive of each other.

[Caringbah student 3]:
It's just a supportive environment that allows everyone to do that best and to, you know, follow their interests.

[Fort Street student 2]
That’s false, I think it is a supportive environment. Yeah.

[Fort Street student 3]
Yeah. We all try and push each other up. We all support each other. We’re all there for each other. We all help each other.

[Fort Street student 2]
The students are all coached. Nope! I’m not.

[Fort Street student 1]
I’m not.

[Fort Street student 3]
Neither am I.

[Baulkham Hills student 3]
No, we are definitely not all coached.

[Caringbah student 3]
The teachers here are excellent at their jobs and they understand what they're teaching very well and they have all the resources to give us.

[Caringbah student 1]
It's hard to make friends.

I was a bit scared to come to this school because I didn't know anyone but, um, you click really, really easily.

[Fort Street student 3]
I really connected with a lot of people really well, really fast. Better than any other schools I've ever been to.

[Caringbah student 2]
We're all really good friends and there's a really positive atmosphere just in the school. And yeah, I think it's I think it's a really, really good environment to be in.

[Baulkham Hills student 1]
Question is, the students are only good at academics.

[Fort Street student 1]
I mean, we're all here because we're good academics, but that's not the only thing.

[Baulkham Hills student 3]
Well, I mean, even if you look at all of us, we all have extracurriculars. And I think, I think everyone in our grade, in our school has something outside of academics that they really are good at or they really like putting in a lot of effort and passion into.

[Caringbah student 1]
A big part of doing well in academics is just having like an all around like balance in your life. And I feel like the school's sense of balance is really good. We have, yes, sport creative stuff. We have. Yeah, it's way more than just academic performance. So yeah.

[Fort Street student 3]
Anyone who's thinking about going to the selective schools test, just give it a go. It doesn't matter if you get in. It doesn't matter if you don't get in, give it a go. If you get into a selective school, that's amazing. Come join our cool, quirky cohorts. Yeah, you'll find people that you belong with.

[End of transcript]

Find a selective high school

Map of fully selective, partially selective and agricultural high schools

Map of selective high schools

List of selective high schools and number of places

There are approximately 4,200 places available in selective high schools across NSW for entry to Year 7.

Fully selective

School Location and website Number of places
Baulkham Hills High School

Windsor Road, Baulkham Hills 2153

Caringbah High School

Willarong Road, Caringbah 2229

Fort Street High School

Parramatta Road, Petersham 2049

Girraween High School

Gilba Road, Girraween 2145

Gosford High School

Racecourse Road, Gosford 2250


Manly Campus

Northern Beaches Secondary College

Abbott Road, North Curl Curl 2099

Merewether High School

Chatham Street, Broadmeadow 2292

Penrith High School

High Street, Penrith 2750

Smiths Hill High School

Gipps Street, Wollongong 2500


School Location and website Number of places
Hornsby Girls High School

Edgeworth David Avenue, Hornsby 2077

North Sydney Girls High School

Pacific Highway, Crows Nest 2065

St George Girls High School

Victoria Street, Kogarah 2217

Sydney Girls High School

Anzac Parade, Surry Hills 2010

School Location and website Number of places
Normanhurst Boys High School

Pennant Hills Road, Normanhurst 2076

North Sydney Boys High School

Falcon Street, Crows Nest 2065

Sydney Boys High School

Cleveland Street, Moore Park, Surry Hills 2021

Sydney Technical High School

Forest Road, Bexley 2207


Partially selective

School Location and website Number of places
Alexandria Park Community School*

Park Road, Alexandria 2015

Armidale Secondary College

Crest Road, Armidale 2350

Bonnyrigg High School

Elizabeth Drive, Bonnyrigg 2177

Chatswood High School

Centennial Avenue, Chatswood 2067

Elizabeth Macarthur High School

Waterworth Drive, Narellan Vale 2567

Gorokan High School

Goobarabah Ave, Gorokan 2263

Grafton High School

Oliver & Mary Streets, Grafton 2460

Karabar High School

Donald Road, Queanbeyan 2620

Kooringal High School

Ziegler Avenue, Kooringal 2650


Leichhardt Campus*

Sydney Secondary College (Years 7 to 10)

Balmain Road, Leichhardt 2040

Macquarie Fields High School

Harold Street, Macquarie Fields 2564

Moorebank High School

Bangalow Avenue, Moorebank 2170


Parramatta High School

Great Western Hwy & Pitt St, Parramatta 2150

Peel High School

Gunnedah Road, Tamworth 2340

Prairiewood High School

Prairie Vale Road, Wetherill Park 2164


Richmond High School -

Richmond Agricultural College*

(Dual campus delivery)



Rose Bay Secondary College*

Hardy Street, Dover Heights 2030

Ryde Secondary College

Malvina Street, Ryde 2112

Sefton High School

Hector Street, Sefton 2162

Sydney Secondary College –
Balmain Campus*
(Years 7 to 10)

Terry Street, Rozelle 2039

Sydney Secondary College Blackwattle Bay Campus*
(Years 11 to12)

Taylor St, Glebe 2037


Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus*
(Years 7 to 10)

Balmain Road, Leichhardt 2040

Tempe High School*

Unwins Bridge Road, Tempe 2044


*Alexandria Park, Rose Bay and Tempe have targeted places available for Aboriginal students.

Richmond Agricultural College operates across two campuses: Richmond High School and Richmond Agricultural College Centre of Excellence, Vines Drive Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus. Students in the selective stream must study agriculture

Sydney Secondary College Balmain and Leichhardt campuses offer places in Years 7 to 10. Students from these campuses will generally proceed to Sydney Secondary College Blackwattle Bay Campus for Years 11 and 12.

School Location and website Number of places
Auburn Girls High School

Hunter Street and Braemar Ave, Auburn 2144

Blacktown Girls High School

Fifth Avenue, Blacktown 2148

School Location and website Number of places
Blacktown Boys High School

Sunnyholt Road & Fifth Ave, Blacktown 2148


Granville Boys High School

14 Mary Street, Granville 2142


Agricultural high schools

School Location and website Number of places
James Ruse Agricultural High School

17–31 Felton Road, Carlingford 2118

Hurlstone Agricultural High School

Roy Watts Road, Glenfield 2167


School Location and website Number of places
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

585 Calala Lane, Tamworth 2340


School Location and website Number of places

Yanco Agricultural High School

* 30 for girls and 30 for boys.

Euroley Road, Yanco 2703


Hurlstone Agricultural High School

* 15 for girls and 15 for boys

Roy Watts Road, Glenfield 2167

School Location and website Number of places
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

585 Calala Lane, Tamworth 2340


Map of Aurora College host high schools

Map of Aurora College host schools

List of Aurora College host high schools and total number of places

There are 90 Aurora College places available in NSW for entry to Year 7.

Only students who will be enrolled in an Aurora College host high school in a rural or remote location may apply for Aurora College.

There are 182 host public high schools that offer Aurora College for rural and remote students.

Schools are listed alphabetically

School name Suburb
Albury High School Albury
Alstonville High School Alstonville
Ardlethan Central School Ardlethan
Ariah Park Central School Ariah Park
Ashford Central School Ashford
School name Suburb
Ballina Coast High School Ballina
Balranald Central School Balranald
Baradine Central School Baradine
Barellan Central School Barellan
Barham High School Barham
Barraba Central School Barraba
Batemans Bay High School Batehaven
Batlow Technology School Batlow
Bega High School Bega
Bellingen High School Bellingen
Billabong High School Culcairn
Bingara Central School Bingara
Binnaway Central School Binnaway
Blayney High School Blayney
Boggabilla Central School Boggabilla
Bomaderry High School Bomaderry
Bombala High School Bombala
Bonalbo Central School Bonalbo
Boorowa Central School Boorowa
Bourke High School Bourke
Bowral High School Bowral
Bowraville Central School Bowraville
Braidwood Central School Braidwood
Brewarrina Central School Brewarrina
Broken Hill High School Broken Hill
Bulahdelah Central School Bulahdelah
Bundarra Central School Bundarra
Byron Bay High School Byron Bay
School name Suburb
Camden Haven High School Laurieton
Canobolas Rural Technology High School Orange
Canowindra High School Canowindra
Casino High School Casino
Chatham High School Taree
Cobar High School Cobar
Coffs Harbour High School Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour Senior College Coffs Harbour
Coleambally Central School Coleambally
Collarenebri Central School Collarenebri
Condobolin High School Condobolin
Coolah Central School Coolah
Coolamon Central School Coolamon
Coomealla High School Dareton
Coonabarabran High School Coonabarabran
Coonamble High School Coonamble
Cootamundra High School Cootamundra
Corowa High School Corowa
Cowra High School Cowra
Crookwell High School Crookwell
School name Suburb
Deniliquin High School Deniliquin
Denison College of Secondary Education Bathurst High Campus Bathurst
Denison College of Secondary Education Kelso High Campus Kelso
Dorrigo High School Dorrigo
Dubbo College Delroy campus Dubbo West
Dubbo College South Campus Dubbo
Dubbo School of Distance Education Dubbo
Dunedoo Central School Dunedoo
Dungog High School Dungog
School name Suburb
Eden Marine High School Eden
Emmaville Central School Emmaville
Evans River Community School Evans Head
School name Suburb
Finley High School Finley
Forbes High School Forbes
School name Suburb
Gilgandra High School Gilgandra
Glen Innes High School Glen Innes
Gloucester High School Gloucester
Goodooga Central School Goodooga
Goulburn High School Goulburn
Great Lakes College Forster Campus Forster
Great Lakes College Tuncurry Campus Tuncurry
Gulargambone Central School Gulargambone
Gulgong High School Gulgong
Gundagai High School Gundagai
Gunnedah High School Gunnedah
Guyra Central School Guyra


School name Suburb
Hay War Memorial High School Hay
Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus Port Macquarie
Hastings Secondary College Westport Campus Port Macquarie
Hillston Central School Hillston
School name Suburb
Inverell High School Inverell
Ivanhoe Central School Ivanhoe
School name Suburb
James Fallon High School North Albury
Jindabyne Central School Jindabyne
Junee High School Junee
School name Suburb
Kandos High School Kandos
Kempsey High School Kempsey
Kyogle High School Kyogle
School name Suburb
Lake Cargelligo Central School Lake Cargelligo
Leeton High School Leeton
Lightning Ridge Central School Lightning Ridge
Lithgow High School Lithgow
Lockhart Central School Lockhart
Lord Howe Island Central School Lord Howe Island
School name Suburb
Macintyre High School Inverell
Macksville High School Macksville
Maclean High School Maclean
Manilla Central School Manilla
Melville High School Kempsey
Mendooran Central School Mendooran
Menindee Central School Menindee
Merriwa Central School Merriwa
Molong Central School Molong
Monaro High School Cooma North
Moree Secondary College Albert St campus Moree
Moree Secondary College Carol Ave campus Moree East
Moruya High School Moruya
Moss Vale High School Moss Vale
Mount Austin High School Wagga Wagga
Mudgee High School Mudgee
Mullumbimby High School Mullumbimby
Mulwaree High School Goulburn
Mungindi Central School Mungindi
Murray High School Lavington
Murrumbidgee Regional High School Griffith
Murrumburrah High School Harden
Murwillumbah High School Murwillumbah
Muswellbrook High School Muswellbrook
School name Suburb
Nambucca Heads High School Nambucca Heads
Narooma High School Narooma
Narrabri High School Narrabri
Narrandera High School Narrandera
Narromine High School Narromine
Nimbin Central School Nimbin
Nowra High School Nowra
Nyngan High School Nyngan
School name Suburb
Oaklands Central School Oaklands
Oberon High School Oberon
Orange High School Orange
Orara High School Coffs Harbour
Oxley High School North Tamworth
School name Suburb
Parkes High School Parkes
Peak Hill Central School Peak Hill
Portland Central School Portland
School name Suburb
Quirindi High School Quirindi
School name Suburb
School name Suburb
Scone High School Scone
Shoalhaven High School Nowra
Singleton High School Singleton
South Grafton High School South Grafton
School name Suburb
Tamworth High School South Tamworth
Taree High School Taree
Temora High School Temora
Tenterfield High School Tenterfield
The Henry Lawson High School Grenfell
The Rivers Secondary College Kadina High Campus Goonellabah
The Rivers Secondary College Lismore High Campus Lismore
The Rivers Secondary College Richmond River High Campus North Lismore
The Rock Central School The Rock
Tooleybuc Central School Tooleybuc
Toormina High School Toormina
Tottenham Central School Tottenham
Trangie Central School Trangie
Trundle Central School Trundle
Tullamore Central School Tullamore
Tullibigeal Central School Tullibigeal
Tumbarumba High School Tumbarumba
Tumut High School Tumut
School name Suburb
Ulladulla High School Ulladulla
Ungarie Central School Ungarie
Uralla Central School Uralla
School name Suburb
Vincentia High School Vincentia
School name Suburb
Wagga Wagga High School Wagga Wagga
Walcha Central School Walcha
Walgett Community College – High School Campus Walgett
Warialda High School Warialda
Warren Central School Warren
Wauchope High School Wauchope
Wee Waa High School Wee Waa
Wellington High School Wellington
West Wyalong High School West Wyalong
Wilcannia Central School Wilcannia
Willyama High School Broken Hill
Wingham High School Wingham
Wollumbin High School Murwillumbah
Woodenbong Central School Woodenbong
Woolgoolga High School Woolgoolga
School name Suburb
Yass High School Yass
Yeoval Central School Yeoval
Young High School Young

Number of school choices allowed

Selective high school applications allow up to 3 school preferences.

You must choose your first choice school, and you may also choose second choice and third choice schools in case you don't get your first or second choice.

Are you wanting to apply to the Conservatorium High School?

The Conservatorium High School is a specialist high school that is not part of the selective high schools program.

However, applicants sit the Selective High School Placement Test as part of the separate application process for Year 7 entry into the Conservatorium High School.

Applicants for the Conservatorium High School must:

  • complete the Conservatorium High School application processes — see their website
  • apply for selective high school placement and sit the Selective High School Placement Test.

As well as applying for the Conservatorium High School, applicants can choose up to 3 selective high schools.

If applying for entry to the Conservatorium High School only, applicants must select any selective high school in order to submit the application.

Parents must then send a message to the Selective Education Unit to tell us that they are applying only for placement at the Conservatorium High School.

Following the Selective High School Placement Test, students' results will be sent to the Conservatorium High School to be used in their selection process.

For more information visit the Conservatorium High School.


NSW selective high schools are public schools and do not charge attendance fees – except for boarding at agricultural high schools.

Schools may ask parents to make payments for curriculum-related resources, such as textbooks and materials needed for some subjects. Parents may also be asked to make payments to cover the costs of school excursions or sports their child plays.

Financial assistance may be available for rural and remote students applying for boarder placement. Learn more at Boarding at agricultural high schools.

High school students sitting outside using computers High school students sitting outside using computers

Who can apply?

Parents and carers can apply for placement if their child is in:

  • NSW public schools
  • non-government schools
  • home study
  • interstate schools
  • overseas schools.

The Equity Placement Model

The Equity Placement Model helps to make access to opportunity classes fairer for the following under-represented groups:

  • students from low socio-educational advantage areas
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students
  • students from rural and remote locations
  • students with disability.

The model holds up to 20% of places at each school for students from these groups to help increase their participation.

Learn more at Fair access.

Residency requirements

Parents must be aware that:

  • students and their families must be living in NSW by the beginning of the school year of entry.
  • conditions may apply to students who are not citizens or permanent residents of Australia or citizens of New Zealand. Review the conditions at Visa subclasses and enrolment conditions.

What if I don’t currently meet the enrolment conditions?

If you think you will meet all enrolment conditions before we release initial offers, you may still apply and your child can sit the placement test.

You must met all enrolment conditions before you can receive any placement offer.

Are you currently living interstate or overseas?

If you and your child will be living in NSW by the start of Year 7 and will meet the residency requirements, you can apply for selective high school placement.

If possible, your child should travel to NSW to sit the placement test.

You must provide evidence that you meet the residency requirements before you can be offered a place. For example, you may need to upload supporting documents in the application dashboard. For more information please refer to the Selective high schools and opportunity class placement procedures.

The following information is relevant for the Selective High School Placement Test for Year 7 entry only.

Please contact individual selective high schools about their test procedures for interstate or overseas parents applying for Years 8 to 12 entry. For more information go to Selective high schools – Years 8 to 12 applications.

Location of the placement test

The placement test is held in test centres in NSW only.

Students living interstate or overseas should travel to NSW to sit the test, where possible.

Students have a better chance of placement if they sit the test. Only 5% of places are reserved for students who could not sit the test but qualify based on alternative evidence of academic merit.

Returning to sit the test

Parents should enter in their application a suitable suburb so that a nearby test centre can be allocated for their child.

If you intend to return for the test but realise before the test date that you will not be able to, please let the Selective Education Unit know immediately.

Unable to return for the test

If your child cannot be in NSW to sit the test you should:

Report of academic merit requirements
  • A recent, reliable, full scale Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children 5th Edition (WISC V) IQ report in English (conducted within the last 2 years). The test must be administered and signed by a registered psychologist, sourced and paid for by the parent.
  • Standardised test results in reading and mathematics. These can be administered by a psychologist or certified teacher. The specific test depends on what is available to the person administering the tests. Examples of standardised tests are the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III and WIAT-IV) or Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) Maths and Reading. The psychologist or teacher should be able to advise which standardised tests would be available.
  • A supervised writing task. The topic should be general in nature and must be new to the student at the time of writing. It must be set and supervised by the person administering the standardised tests. The student must have 2 pages and 30 minutes to complete the task. No extra time is to be allowed for planning. The task is to be supervised and certified by the administrator as the student’s own unassisted writing.

Interstate and overseas students do not need to submit any other school reports.

Aurora College

Students must be intending to enrol in a rural or remote NSW high school (their Aurora College host school) to be considered for entry.

Parents must indicate in their application which rural and remote Aurora College host school they will be enrolling their child in.

Students cannot access the Aurora College option in a rural high school that is a partially selective high school.

Year 7 entry

Age and Year

Students are usually:

  • at the end of Year 5 or the beginning of Year 6 when their parents apply
  • in Year 6 when they sit the test
  • aged between 11 years and 5 months and 13 years at the time they start Year 7.

For Year 7 entry in 2026, students will usually have their birth date between 1 January 2013 and 31 July 2014 (inclusive).

If your child is outside the usual age range or school Year when applying, you should explain the reasons for this in your application.

If your child is in Year 7 at the time of the test, they can only be considered for placement in rare cases. You must provide a full explanation why they are repeating with supporting documentation including from your child's principal.

If you want your child to be accelerated from Year 5 to Year 7 in the following year, you must provide evidence of support from the school principal.

The selection committee will determine whether applications for students outside the usual age or Year range will be accepted.

The selection committee may:

  • request further information and evidence
  • decide not to accept students who are much older than the usual age range set out above
  • decide not to accept students who are seeking to repeat Year 7 in a selective high school
  • request an interview if the student is very young to determine any special requirements
  • decide that acceleration (skipping a school year) is not appropriate after considering the student's circumstances, including the consultation between the school, family and student, and section 1.4.4. of the High Potential and Gifted Education policy.

Placement for siblings

Entry to selective high schools is based on a student's academic merit. Therefore, the placement of one sibling does not guarantee the placement of another. Each sibling needs to meet the test performance requirements to receive an offer.

Siblings of students placed in a selective high school are not guaranteed a non-selective place at the same school, unless they are living within the school's intake area.

Parents may apply to the school for out-of-area enrolment, but are subject to enrolment eligibility and the schools' capacity to accept non-local students. Parents should consider this when choosing schools. For more information, please refer to the Selective high schools and opportunity class placement procedures.

Boarding at agricultural high schools

Selection committees for boarders can give priority to students seeking placement in a school that their sibling currently attends.

Years 8 to 12 entry

Are you wanting to apply for selective high school entry starting in Years 8 to 12?

Go to Selective high schools – Years 8 to 12 applications.


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