Placement test

Applications are now open for opportunity class entry in Year 5 in 2025.
Applications close 20 May 2024.

Two primary school girls smiling at their desk in class Two primary school girls smiling at their desk in class

The following information is about:

  • the Selective High School Placement Test for Year 7 entry
  • the Opportunity Class Placement Test for Year 5 entry.

For selective high school entry in Years 8 to 12, please contact the individual schools you want to apply for to learn about their selection criteria and any assessments for entry. For more information see Selective high schools – Years 8 to 12 applications.

Test structure and practice tests

Learn about the different test sections and access the practice tests at the pages below.

Test dates

Test For entry year Test date
Opportunity Class Placement Test Year 5 entry in 2025 1 August 2024
Selective High School Placement Test Year 7 entry in 2025 9 May 2024

See the full list of Key dates.

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

  • submit the online application by the closing date
  • submit the 'Report of academic merit' form for interstate and overseas applicants (linked here when available) by the placement test date by attaching it to a message in the application dashboard.
Report of academic merit requirements
  • A recent (within the last 2 years), reliable, full scale WISC V IQ report, in English. 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. Examples of standardised tests are the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III and WIAT-IV) or Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) Maths and Reading. The choice of tests depends on what's available. The psychologist or teacher can guide you on the available options.
  • A supervised writing task (required for selective high school applicants only). 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 has 30 minutes to complete a 2-page response, with no additional time for planning.

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

Student drop-off time

Arrive at the test centre by 8:45 am

Students assemble to enter the test centre at 9 am. Your child will not be given extra time if you are late.

Test centres and locations

Where is the test held?

The tests are held in test centres across NSW. These are usually local NSW public high schools near to where you live. Where possible, students from the same school will be sent to the same test centre.

How will I find out my child's test centre?

The Selective Education Unit will message you in your application dashboard 2 weeks before the test date when the test centre locations have been finalised. You will also be sent an email directing you to view this message. See 'Test centre allocation and Test authority letter available to parents' in the Key dates.

If you have not received your test centre allocation exactly two weeks before the test, send the Selective Education Unit a message in the application dashboard.

How is my child's test centre location decided?

We use the location of your child’s current school to select a test centre near you.

If this has changed after submitting your application, please log back into your application dashboard and update your information. The deadline for updating this information is in the Key dates. If this date has passed, let the Selective Education Unit know by sending a message through the application dashboard. A change of test centre cannot be guaranteed if the Selective Education Unit is not informed in time.

For more detailed information about test centres, see the Selective high school and opportunity class placement procedures.

Have you already applied?

Selective high schools – Year 7 entry and
opportunity classes – Year 5 entry

If you have already submitted your application for placement, you can log in to your application dashboard to:

Test day

Your child should wear their school uniform on the day and bring their Test Authority letter (available for download from your application dashboard). See the checklist below for what they need to bring.

Dropping your child off

Drop your child at the test centre by 8:45 am so they can start the test on time. If you are late, they will not get extra time.

During the test

There are short breaks between the test sections where students remain in the test room.

For the selective high school placement test there is a longer break in the middle of the testing period where students can go outside and eat the food they have brought.

Malpractice

Students who are found to be cheating (also called 'malpractice') on the test may not be considered for placement.

  • Copying answers from another student during testing
  • Collaboration or attempted collaboration between students during testing
  • Using or trying to use unauthorised material during testing such as notes, study guides, mobile phones and electronic devices
  • Disruptive behaviour or not following the instructions of a test coordinator and/or invigilation staff during testing
  • Student impersonation (pretending to be someone else)
  • Obtaining or trying to get the test papers before the test.
  • Any other conduct that provides an unfair advantage.

For more information see the Selective high schools and opportunity class placement procedures.

Picking up your child

The exact finish time may vary depending on the size of the test centre. If the test finishes early, students will be supervised. If the test has not finished when you arrive, please wait quietly to avoid disturbing the students.

Please arrive on time to pickup your child – they should not be left waiting after the test.

If you have organised for your child to be collected by someone else, your child needs to bring a signed note from you to confirm who is taking charge of your child.

Test day checklist

All students need:

  • two 2B pencils
  • eraser
  • pencil sharpener
  • a printed copy of the Test Authority letter
  • a clear bottle of water
  • a packed lunch to eat during the long break – students must not share food or bring food that contains nuts or nut products
  • to wear their school uniform – please bring a hat for any breaks and a jumper if the weather is cool.

If required, bring:

  • any items approved as adjustments for disability, e.g. FM transmitters
  • EpiPen, asthma inhalers, diabetes or other medication
  • glasses
  • tissues
  • a clear plastic bag for stationery (pencil cases are not allowed)
  • a wristwatch (that cannot make a noise, calculate, compute, connect to the internet, send or receive messages, or facilitate attempted malpractice).

Do not bring:

  • pens
  • rulers
  • calculators
  • note paper
  • dictionaries or other books
  • smart watches, phones or other devices that compute, photograph, communicate or make a noise
  • pencil cases.

Illness or misadventure

You can submit an illness/misadventure request immediately after the test if something happened and:

  • your child was unable to sit the test (for example, they were sick or had Sorry Business); or
  • an event affected your child's test performance.

Log in to your application dashboard to submit an 'illness/misadventure request'.

Important deadline: You may do this only up to 7 days after the test – see Key dates.

If your child is unable to sit the test due to illness

If your child is unable to sit the test because they are sick, you will need to get a medical certificate for the day of the test from a medical practitioner and also have the medical practitioner fill out the ‘Independent evidence of illness’ form. Before you go to the doctor you can download this form from the Illness/misadventure section on the application dashboard.

You should not bring your child to the test if they have COVID or any other contagious illness. Parents should comply with NSW Health advice and keep the child at home.

Each selective high school holds only up to 5% of places for students who were unable to sit the test and who are considered based on alternative evidence of academic merit.

For example, if a school has 30 places available, only one place will be held for a student who has missed the test for a valid reason.

Students who sit the test have a much greater chance of getting a place than those who don't.

  1. Log in to your application dashboard.
  2. Select the 3 dots in the ‘Action’ and then select ‘Illness/misadventure’.
  3. Select either the ‘Test performance’ or ‘Unable to sit the test’ button
  4. Answers all questions to tell the Selective Education Unit what happened.
  5. Upload all your supporting documents as one file attachment (for example, a medical certificate and 'Independent evidence of illness form') and select 'submit'.
    If you cannot combine all documents into one file, you can send multiple documents to the Selective Education Unit in a new message.
  6. After submitting you will get a pop-up notification confirming that the request has been sent (you will not receive an email confirmation).
Example screenshot Example screenshot

What happens next depends on which event happened to your child.

Your child sat the test but an event affected their test performance

Your evidence will be reviewed to assess whether the event impacted your child's performance on the test and if so, by how much.

This information will be given to the selection committee who will then make a decision on your child's outcome.

Depending on the selection committees decision, your child's outcome may change or may stay the same.

If there is a change, it will be reflected in the Performance report we send to you when placement outcomes are released.

Your child was unable to sit the test

If your reasons and evidence for missing the test are accepted, the selection committee may consider using other proof of your child's academic merit for placement decisions. In these cases, no Performance report will be available.

How alternative evidence of your child's academic merit is used
Students who have sat NAPLAN

Your child’s NAPLAN results may be used to give them a placement rank. You don’t need to send us your child’s NAPLAN results, as we can access them for this purpose.

We use a statistical model to compare students who missed the test with those who sat it to impute your child’s test performance had they sat the test. This imputed performance represents the expected average from a group of students with similar NAPLAN scores who did sit the placement test.

Students who have not sat NAPLAN

We can use a Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, version 5 (WISC-V) individual IQ test to give your child a placement rank.

Students at non-government schools in NSW
You will need to organise, at your own expense, a WISC-V individual IQ test conducted by an authorised practitioner.

Students at NSW government schools
We will contact your child’s current school to ask the school counsellor to carry out the WISC-V individual IQ test.

We use many years of historical data from IQ tests and previous placement tests to impute a score for your child based on their IQ test results.

Computer-based testing from 2025

From 2025, the placement tests for selective high schools and opportunity classes will move from single version paper-based tests to computer-based tests. The computer-based tests will mostly be held in external test centres.

The department will provide more information throughout 2024 about the change to computer-based tests in 2025.

It’s important to note that students sitting the Selective High School Placement Test or the Opportunity Class Placement Test in 2024 will still sit a paper-based test.

Category:

  • Teaching and learning

Topics:

  • High school
  • Primary school

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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