Outcomes

Students are offered places based on their academic merit.

The following information is about:

  • Selective high school placement for Year 7 entry
  • Opportunity class placement for Year 5 entry.

For entry starting in Years 8 to 12, outcomes are released by individual schools between September to October each year. Please contact the schools you have applied to for more information. See Selective high schools – Years 8 to 12 applications.

How offers work

Parents are offered a place based on test performance and the order of their school choices.

The test performance needed to get an offer at each school is different. This is because it is based on the number of students who apply, their test performance and the number of places available at the school.

When initial outcomes are released:

Parents can get a placement offer from only one school.

If your child’s test performance meets the levels needed for an offer from multiple schools, your offer will come from your higher choice school only. See Choosing schools – example scenarios.

Later offers from reserve lists

Students may be placed on a reserve list(s) for a higher-choice school(s) when outcomes are first released. If their position on the list is reached, they may get a later offer. Learn more below at What do the different outcomes mean?

When are placement outcomes available?

The Selective Education Unit will send you a message when your outcome is available in your application dashboard. An email will also be sent to alert you to the message.

Placement For entry year Date (expected)

Opportunity class outcomes

Year 5 entry in 2025 25 October 2024

Selective high school outcomes

Year 7 entry in 2025

23 August 2024
  1. Log in to the application dashboard (using the email and password you registered with).
  2. Select the 3 dots under the 'Action' column
  3. Select 'View outcomes'.
  4. Select the 'Student performance report' button to see how your child performed on the test. See Performance report below for more information.

Having trouble logging in? Refer to the Guide to logging into the application dashboard.

Example screenshot Example screenshot
Image: Step 2. Select the 3 dots in the 'Action' column.
Example screenshot Example screenshot
Image: Step 3. Select 'View outcomes'.
Example screenshot Example screenshot
Image: The Outcomes screen with the button to view your child's Performance report for the placement test.

What do the different outcomes mean?

You can have the following outcomes:

  • Offer
  • Reserve list only
  • Offer and higher choice reserve list(s)
  • Unsuccessful
  • Not applicable.

Offer

Your child has been made an offer for placement at the school shown.

What you need to do now

  • Decide whether to 'Accept' or 'Decline' the offer in the application dashboard by the 'Response due date'.

If you don't accept by the due date you will lose the offer.

You can accept now and decline later if you change your mind. But once you decline an offer you can't get it back again.

Reserve list only

This means you are on the reserve list (wait list) for this school.

You may get an offer later if your child’s reserve list position is reached before all vacancies are filled. For selective high schools you may get an offer up to the end of Term 1 of the entry year if vacancies occur. For Opportunity classes this may be up until the end of Term 1 in Year 6.

Students on reserve lists are not guaranteed an offer of a place. There is no reserve list for Aurora College.

Reserve band

In the outcomes page of your application dashboard a 'Reserve band ' (between band A to F) will also be shown.

This may help you get a sense of when you might get an offer. This is based on when students in a similar position on the reserve list were offered a place in the previous year.

The bands are estimates only. There is no guarantee that you will receive an offer from a reserve list. Learn more at the relevant webpage below.

What you need to do

  • Check the Reserve list band showing in your child’s outcome for an estimate of when they might get an offer.

If you are already sure you don't want your child to be placed in the school showing 'Reserve' select 'Withdraw' in the application dashboard. Note: you cannot change your mind later if you withdraw from the reserve list.

What happens if your child's reserve list position is reached

The Selective Education Unit will send you an email asking you to log in to your application dashboard to see your offer.

  • You now need to decide whether to 'Accept' or 'Decline' your offer by the 'Response due date'. If you miss this date, you will lose the offer.

Offer and higher choice reserve list

You may get an offer and also be on a reserve list for a school of higher choice.

You may accept the offer and wait to see whether your child’s position on the reserve list for the higher choice is reached. You can keep the offer and the position on the reserve list until the 'reserve decision date' (see Key dates). After this date students holding accepted offers are removed from any higher choice reserve lists.

If you want your child to remain on a higher choice reserve list after this time, you must decline your accepted offer.

What you need to do

  1. Check the Reserve list band showing in your child’s outcome for an estimate of when they might get an offer (see Reserve band above).
  2. Keep or decline your accepted offer by the 'reserve decision date' – see Key dates.

If you are already sure you don't want your child to be placed in the school showing 'Reserve', select 'Withdraw' in the application dashboard. Note: you cannot change your mind later if you withdraw from the reserve list.

What happens if your child's reserve list position is reached

The Selective Education Unit will send you an email asking you to log in to your application dashboard to see your new offer.

  • You now need to choose to accept the new offer or decline it and keep your original offer. If you accept the new offer, the original offer is automatically declined.

Unsuccessful

Your child has been unsuccessful for placement for a chosen school.

If your child is unsuccessful for all of your choices, the individual schools will not be listed.

Not applicable

This means the school was a lower choice than another school that you have received an offer for.

You cannot get more than one offer when outcomes are first released. And you will always be offered the highest choice school for which your child qualified. This means your lower choice school is not applicable.

Performance report

When outcomes are released, you will also be able to view your child's Performance report for the placement test.

The report shows how your child performed in comparison to the other students who took the test that year.

For each of the test components, the report shows where your child performed in one of four bands:

  • top 10% of candidates
  • next 15% of candidates
  • next 25% of candidates
  • lowest 50% of candidates

The performance bands do not show the percentage of correct answers that your child achieved. Instead, the report shows how many other students performed within the same range.

The Performance report doesn't give individual test scores or placement ranks. Test scores or placement ranks are not available and cannot be provided (see Why can't I receive my child's test score below).

Download the relevant example Performance report.

Video – Understanding your child's performance report (duration 4:25)

VIDEO: Understanding your child's performance report

Transcript of video animation: ‘Understanding your child's Performance report Transcript’ (4 minutes 25 seconds)

[music]

There are three test components that make up the opportunity class placement test. Reading, Mathematical Reasoning and Thinking Skills.

The Selective High School Placement Test is made up of four components: Reading, Mathematical Reasoning, Thinking Skills and Writing.

The Performance reports show how a child performed compared to the other students who sat the test.

The white box with the coloured icon shows a child's performance. For each component of the test, the students are placed in rank order. For example, if 15,000 students sat the Selective High School Placement Test roughly 1,500 students form the top 10% for each test component. The next 15% of students make up the top 25% of students. The next 25% of students make up the top 50% and the remaining 50% of students form the final 50% of students. In this example, that is 7,500 students.

It is important to understand that the Performance report does not show the percentage of correct answers a child has achieved for any of the test components.

For example, if a child is in the top 10% for Reading, this does not mean that they scored 90%. It means the child has achieved a result that places them in the top 10% of students who completed that reading test.

Likewise, a score in the lowest 50% for Thinking Skills does not mean a child failed that test component. It means the child's results place them in the lowest 50% of students that took the Thinking Skills test. In fact, for each test component, half of the students will be placed in the lower 50% and there is no pass or fail mark for any of the test components.

The placement tests are designed for one specific purpose. To identify students who will benefit from placement in an opportunity class or selective high school.

The questions do not measure knowledge of the school curriculum, but rather problem solving and critical thinking ability, and therefore cannot be used as a diagnostic tool to identify curriculum areas where children can improve.

For many children, the Opportunity Class Placement Test or the Selective High School Placement Test is one of their first formal testing experiences. Therefore, it is important to consider if and how you will share a child's results with them.

Many children who sit the tests are used to performing well academically, and they may be disappointed if they did not achieve similar results to those they achieve at school. If sharing the Performance report with a child, please emphasise that the test is not an indication of how well they are doing at school or how well they are doing in comparison to other students in their grade.

The questions on the test are designed to challenge gifted and high potential students who are already able to perform at the very top of their grade level. There is no pass or fail mark, and only about one in eight students are successful in gaining a place in an opportunity class and a quarter of students are successful in gaining a selective high school place.

Also, it is important to highlight what the child has achieved. Taking the test is an achievement in itself, and it can help to acknowledge and celebrate this.

For further information about the opportunity class and selective high school placement process, please visit our website.

[music fades]

[End of transcript]

Parents, students and schools have told us that past reporting of scores was impacting upon student privacy and wellbeing. For example, encouraging unhealthy competition between students.

Also, the placement tests are designed for one purpose – to identify students who will benefit from placement in a selective high school or opportunity class.

Your child's performance on the test cannot be used for any other purpose. The questions do not measure their knowledge of the school curriculum. So their performance cannot be used to judge how your child's learning is developing at school.

There are no set minimum entry scores to receive an offer to a selective high school or opportunity class.

This is because the level of test performance required for each school depends on:

  • the number of students who apply
  • their relative performance in the placement test
  • the number of places available
  • how many offers are declined by parents or carers (for offers from the reserve lists).

For help with deciding upon your school choices go to What to think about when choosing your schools.

School enrolment

If you accept an offer, the school will contact you about their enrolment procedures and their orientation days.

During the last two weeks of January, an 'Authority to attend' letter will become available in your application dashboard – see Key dates for the exact date).

Your child will need to take the letter to the school on the first day of Term 1 to finalise their enrolment. You also need to meet all other NSW Department of Education enrolment conditions – learn more at Enrolment.

If you need to delay your child’s start at school, you must request approval from the school principal before you submit your enrolment forms. The principal may, or may not, approve the delayed start.

You cannot delay enrolment past the first day of Term 2 in the year of entry.

If the principal is unavailable because of school holidays, please contact us.

How are outcome decisions made?

Students are offered places based on their performance on the test.

For a small number of students (up to 5%) who were unable to sit the test for a valid reason, they are given a ranking based on alternative evidence of academic merit – see Placement test.

Up to 20% of places at each school are held for:

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

These students still receive offers based on their test performance according to the Equity Placement Model. This makes access fairer for these high potential students who experience educational disadvantage – see Fair access.

Selection committee decisions

Some outcome decisions need to be decided by the selection committee.

Their decisions are based on academic merit and are made using consistent selection criteria.

The selection committee reviews and decides on placement for students who:

  • missed the test due to illness/misadventure
  • had something affect their test performance
  • are interstate/overseas students
  • are outside the usual age or Year range
  • need consideration under the Equity Placement Model
  • are boarder candidates in isolated areas and/or with siblings already enrolled at the school.

The selection committee also decides how many students to place on reserve lists for each school, and on any other matters needing special consideration.

Appeals

In a limited number of cases, you may be eligible to submit an appeal. Learn more about the different types of appeals below.

Note:

  • It is not possible to have any multiple-choice test questions remarked. This is because they are computer-marked and manual reliability checks are already carried out to ensure their accuracy.
  • No appeal will result in your child's test score or placement rank being given. All available information about your child's test performance is within their Performance report.

Outcome appeal

The selection committee and appeals panel make their decisions based on the evidence provided to them (for example, documents provided by parents and carers) and a student's academic merit.

Appeals will not generally be accepted if they are based on grounds that you mentioned, or should have mentioned, through the illness/misadventure process.

You can appeal against the outcome if something stopped you from submitting an illness/misadventure request within 7 days of the test.

Appeals that have the greatest chance of being upheld are those where:

  • you know what happened to prevent your child from doing his or her best or attending the test, and
  • you have not already told us about this event and you have good reasons for not doing so, and
  • you have written evidence to support your case.

All relevant evidence must be included with appeals at the time they are submitted. Additional material will not be requested and may not be considered after the due date.

The appeals panel will consider your appeal.

However, appeal requests that are based on the invalid grounds listed below will not be sent for consideration to the appeals panel.

Invalid grounds for appeal

  • Requests to re-mark the multiple choice test components.
  • Matters that have, or should have been, dealt with as an illness/misadventure request are invalid grounds for appeal, including:
    • difficult family circumstances and bereavements in the period leading up to the test or on the test day
    • illness, injury, anxiety, fatigue or stress at the time of the test
    • test centre problems such as disruptions during the test or suspected shorter time given for the test
    • anything voluntary and avoidable that stopped the child from sitting the test or doing their best in the test, such as participation in entertainment, sporting events, attendance at excursions, camps, or a holiday trip.
  • Perceived disadvantage due to the Equity Placement Model.
  • Requests for consideration in an equity group under the Equity Placement Model (students in equity groups are identified using data from the application form and other available information held by the department).
  • Concerns about how test performance is reported or the weighting of test components.
  • Suspected problems with your child's teacher, for example: extended teacher absences or changes of teacher or school.
  • The process used to determine academic merit, such as consideration of IQ results in the interstate and overseas process, or alternative evidence of academic merit.
  • Lack of familiarity with the placement process, the English language, Australian culture and/or the NSW education system.
  • Your child's academic performance on the practice tests on our website or other measurements or reports, such as IQ score, International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) testing, school reports or certificates and scholarship or coaching college testing.
    • If NAPLAN results are being used for alternative evidence of academic merit, and something affected your child's NAPLAN performance, please advise the Selective Education Unit.
  • Your or your child's disappointment at not receiving an offer or being placed on a reserve list or expectation of receiving an offer or being placed on a reserve list.
  • Your child's young age, lack of test preparation, educational disadvantage or failure of the student to complete one or more tests.
  • The inability of your child to demonstrate their potential.
  • Perceived advantage your child may gain from placement (for example, travel convenience, attendance with friends or siblings and/or benefits to the family).

Appeals made on valid grounds, but where any potential adjustments would not affect your placement outcome, will also not be forwarded to the appeals panel.

After reviewing your appeal, we send you a message in the application dashboard to let you know whether or not your appeal will progress to the appeals panel for their consideration.

How to submit an appeal against your placement outcome

First, review the list of invalid and valid grounds. If you believe you have valid reasons for appeal, proceed with these steps:

  1. Log in to your application dashboard
  2. go to the ‘application’ section, select the 3 dots under the 'Action' column and then select ‘Start appeal’
  3. complete the form
  4. attach your supporting evidence that clearly supports of your points in your appeal
  5. select 'Submit'.

A message will show confirming your appeal has been submitted.

Applicants must satisfy residency requirements before a place can be offered.

An appeal based on residency can made if you have written proof that you are about to be approved for a permanent residency or other eligible visa.

To submit a residency appeal:

  1. log in to your application dashboard
  2. go to the ‘applications’ section and select the 3 dots under the 'Action' column and then select 'Start appeal'
  3. follow the steps until you get to ‘Residency’ appeals
  4. complete the form
  5. attach your supporting evidence
  6. Select 'Submit'.

A message will show confirming your appeal has been submitted.

Parents can appeal against their child's malpractice determination.

A link to appeal this decision will be available in the malpractice letter they receive. The appeal must be submitted by the due date noted in the letter.

The appeals panel meets to consider and decide the outcome for all appeals.

The appeals panel includes:

  • a selective high school principal,
  • an opportunity class principal
  • a Director, Educational Leadership.

The appeals panel will consult with the school principal if necessary.

Shortly after the appeals panel meets, parents will be told about their outcome – see Key dates.

Writing test results enquiry
(selective high school applicants only)

If you believe your child's Writing test (in the Selective High School Placement Test only) has been incorrectly marked or reported, you can submit a results enquiry.

A results enquiry involves:

  • checking that the student's data is matched correctly to their Writing test
  • a review of the examiner-marked Writing test by a senior examiner to ensure that the marking criteria have been appropriately applied.

There is an administration fee of $40 (Australian dollars) you will need to pay via debit card or credit card to submit a result enquiry. The administration fee covers the cost of re-marking and scoring the Writing test paper.

A results enquiry including the payment of the administration fee must be submitted within 7 days after your original outcome notification.

Once a payment for a results enquiry has been processed we are unable to provide a refund even if you cancel your request.

How to submit a results enquiry

  • Complete the 'Payment Details form' within 7 days of when initial outcomes are released – see Key dates. For help, refer to the Quick reference guide.
    (The form will be linked above when the results enquiry application window is open.)
  • When making your payment please include the correct application number and the family name of your child.

What happens next?

You will receive an email after the closing date for the results enquiry applications, confirming that we have received your results enquiry.

Following the results enquiry investigation, we will contact you to let you know the result.

A results enquiry may:

  • change the original outcome for each school preference, or it may result in no change.
  • change a student's performance band for the Writing test in their Performance report, or it may result in no change,
    (If there is a change, a new Performance report will be provided)
  • result in your existing offer being withdrawn if your child’s performance has been lowered by the outcome of the results enquiry.

Appealing against the outcome of the results enquiry

If you wish to appeal the outcome of the results enquiry, you have 7 days after you receive it to do this.

Category:

  • Teaching and learning

Topics:

  • High school
  • Primary school

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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