The test

The Selective High School Placement Test is designed to measure ability through tests in reading, mathematics, general ability and writing.

Test dates


Date of Selective High School Placement Test
(for Year 6 students seeking entry to Year 7 the following year)

2017 Thursday 9 March 2017
2018 Thursday 15 March 2018
2019 Thursday 14 March 2019
2020 Thursday 12 March 2020

For entry in 2018, an 'Authority to sit the Selective High School Placement Test' letter was sent to applicants by email and by mail by 23 February 2017 along with the test centre location and extra information about the test.

Download the printable version of Test centre information for parents and students (PDF 133KB).

Test information

The Selective High School Placement Test consists of a 20 minute writing test and three 40 minute multiple-choice tests in:

  • reading (45 questions)
  • mathematics (40 questions)
  • general ability (60 questions).

No marks are taken off for incorrect answers in the multiple-choice tests.

Students are given a stimulus for the writing test – an image, statement, heading or question. Assessment for the writing task is based on:

  • whether the writing is about the stimulus topic. Students can receive no marks if the writing is not based on the topic
  • original, interesting and imaginative ideas
  • communicating ideas clearly.

The writing test is marked by trained markers. Multiple-choice tests are marked by computer. Test papers are identified by barcodes so students cannot be identified by the markers.

Students suspected of cheating risk disqualification from the test.

Preparing for the test

Students will be more comfortable with the test process if they are informed about the format of the test, the types of questions and what the answer sheet looks like. Sample tests are provided to help students become familiar with the test and to practise answering quickly. However, the Department of Education does not recommend any specific coaching for the test.

Results of sample tests are not necessarily indicative of how a student will score in their Selective High School Placement Test. The selection committee will not consider scores on sample tests or any practice tests by coaching colleges.

Sample tests

The following sample tests may assist in preparation for the Selective High Schools Placement Test. Students should use black pen to complete the test.

(Please note these resources do not meet WCAG 2.0 requirements. If you require an accessible format please contact the High Performing Students Unit.)

Answer sheet

Students answer the multiple-choice questions on an answer sheet by colouring in the answer box for the alternative A, B, C or D that best answers the question. Black pen should be used. Go to a sample answer sheet (PDF 1.19MB) for an example.

Special test provisions

Applicants may request special test provisions because of a diagnosed disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder at the time of submitting a selective high school application. Evidence, such as a medical certificate, is required.

If a student is injured or diagnosed close to the test day, parents should contact the high performing students unit for advice about late special test provisions.

Find out more about special test provisions.

Test centres

In late February parents are sent by email and by mail an 'Authority to sit the Selective High School Placement Test' letter, information about the test and the test centre location.

Candidates from the same primary school are usually sent to the same test centre.

Contact the principal of your child's government primary school or the High Performing Students Unit if you have not been notified of your child's test centre by the end of February.

The test authority letter was posted on 21 February and was emailed on 23 February. In most cases the email has the same information as the mail. The allocated test centres cannot normally be changed at this stage. We have resent test authority emails to applicants using Yahoo accounts.

See the list of schools and their allocated test centres (551KB) for 2017.

View a map of test centres for the test on 9 March 2017. Students must attend the test centre they have been allocated.

Test day

Parents must make appropriate transport arrangements to ensure students arrive at the test centre in time for the start of the test. Parents cannot remain at the test centre unless specifically authorised by the high performing students unit as part of special provisions. Parents must abide by parking restrictions at, or near, the test centre.

Students should bring a snack to eat during the break between the two sessions of the test. They can bring a clear bottle of water to keep under the desk during the test. Students who wear glasses should remember to bring them. Students who require asthma inhalers should bring them to the test.

Watches, phones or other devices that compute, photograph or make a noise will not be allowed into the test centre.

Illness or misadventure

Parents can make a request for consideration of illness/misadventure if the child’s performance or attendance at the test was affected by:

  • Illness or injury
  • a diagnosed medical condition
  • an accident or incident.

Parents can also request consideration of illness/misadventure if there were adverse circumstances affecting the child’s performance in his or her school assessments.

The illness/Misadventure form must include evidence such as a medical certificate covering the day so a visit to the doctor on or before the test day may be necessary. The form must be submitted within two weeks of the test date. Find out more about illness/misadventure and about what happens after the test.

Placement outcome

The outcome of the placement process is sent to parents in early July each year.

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