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Selective Test 2024:  How to Choose a Selective School That’s Perfect For Your Child

Guide Overview

 1.  What Are The Types of Selective Schools in NSW?

NSW is home to a range of selective schools, each catering to different needs and interests:

– Fully Selective Schools: Schools like Baulkham Hills High School and North Sydney Boys High School fall under this category. They are known for their rigorous academic focus and competitive environment.

– Partially Selective Schools: Schools like Fort Street High School offer both selective and comprehensive streams, allowing for a diverse student body.

– Agricultural High Schools: There are four schools under this wing, which are fully selective with a specialised focus on agriculture.

– Specialist High Schools: Conservatorium High School, which specialises in music, provides a unique opportunity for students with specific talents.

Aurora College – The Virtual Classroom: This unique offering provides a selective class environment for students in rural and remote areas, accessible through 182 approved host schools. Here, selective class students primarily engage in English, mathematics, and science courses separately, while integrating with non-selective peers for other subjects.

 2.  Should You Go for Single-Sex or Co-educational Selective Schools?


Single-Sex Schools: 


– Boys: Sydney Boys High School

– Girls: North Sydney Girls High School


– Tailored teaching methods that cater specifically to boys or girls.

– Potentially fewer social distractions related to the opposite sex.

– Opportunities for leadership and participation in all areas are not gender-biased.


– Less exposure to the opposite sex can lead to a lack of social preparedness for real-world interactions.

– Potential reinforcement of gender stereotypes.

 Co-educational Schools:


– Co-ed: Baulkham Hills High School

– Caringbah High School

– Fort Street High School


– Exposure to diverse perspectives from both genders.

– More reflective of real-world social dynamics.

– Opportunities for developing interpersonal skills with the opposite sex.


– Possible distractions due to the presence of the opposite sex.

– The necessity to address the educational needs of both genders simultaneously.

For a full list of single-sex and co-educational selective schools in NSW, click here.

Selecting the best selective school for your child is not a one size fits all solution. What works for you, might not work for others.

3. HSC Ranking and Selective Entry Scores

Importance of HSC Rankings: Schools like Sydney Boys High School and North Sydney Girls High School often rank high in the HSC. However, a high ranking doesn’t guarantee the best fit for every student. Consider:

– High rankings often indicate excellent teaching quality and resources.

– They reflect a competitive and academically stimulating environment.


– High pressure and competition can be overwhelming for some students.

– The focus is often predominantly on academic achievement.

Selective Entry Scores:
The entry scores, which can vary annually, are crucial. For example, a school like James Ruse Agricultural High School might require higher scores compared to others. Research and understand the scores required for each school of interest.

For detailed selective school rankings, click here.

4. Location and Choosing a Selective School in Your Area

In high school, students might have to stay back for extracurriculars till 7 PM. This could take a serious toll on their academics, if the travel time to school is a lot. So then it would make more sense to choose a selective school closer to where you stay. For instance, Chatswood High School might be more accessible if you live in the North Shore area.

Here are a few maps in popular areas for you to decide:

A Few More Pointers To Remember:

When applying, students can choose up to three selective high schools, which should be listed in order of preference. It’s important to prioritise wisely, as students qualifying for multiple schools will only receive an offer from their top eligible choice.

Students may also find themselves on a waitlist for their first choice while receiving an offer for their second or third choice. However, declining the highest offer to opt for a lower choice is not permissible.

Once placement outcomes are announced, changing the listed choices is generally not allowed, except under extraordinary circumstances that are well-documented and approved by the High Performing Students Team.

In making your selections, consider these factors:

>  If applying for a boarding placement at an agricultural high school, be prepared with additional documents, medical reports, and boarding fee arrangements.

>  If considering the Conservatorium High School, you may also choose three additional selective high schools.

>  Remember, while tuition is typically free (excluding boarding situations), schools might request voluntary contributions for supplementary services and materials, including specific academic subjects, sports programs, and field trips.
Need help navigating the NSW Selective Test 2024 and NSW Selective Test 2025? Reach out here:

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