Guide to applying for a selective high school 2nd edition
Please Note- This guide is similar to that of another member called RivalryofTroll.Check out that guide on this link. http://community.boredofstudies.org/showthread.php?t=272364
This is my own guide , a slightly different take and story. I hope that you will draw inspiration from my advice and story.
What is a selective high school:
A selective high school from my perspective is a school where a student is presented with challenges, opportunities and resources and environment needed to enhance learning and perform to his/her maximum academic potential in a like minded environment.
The guides target audience constitutes of students applying for selective high schools yr8-11 entry but is also relevant to those doing the year 6 selective test.
Applying for a selective high school:
In year 6, students take a selective test where they are tested on logic, problem solving and comprehension. The student preferences their school and is successful or unsuccessful depending on whether their results have met the cut off. However in year 8-11, it’s a slightly different story.
Applying for a selective high school yr8-11:
Applying in years 8-11 vastly varies upon schools where some schools require tests whilst others only require reports and other specific documents. Visit the Matrix education website for more information: http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/learni...sampletest.php
The main reason, which inspired me to write this guide is for me to contemplate upon my story and hopefully inspire you as well as give tips/hints to successfully achieve a placement at a selective high school. Any person who is reading this guide is someone who shows initiative and aspires to get into a fully/partially selective high school.
I started of doing the selective test in 2009. I had foolishly applied for schools such as Sydney Boys , which I knew deep down, I had no hope of getting placement. I ended up accepting a newly partially selective school which required s 170-180 cut off in selective. However this by no means instigates a bleak future. I found that my year's cohort was extremely intelligent and many of whom I saw improve so much over one year. I tried for SBHS, Hurlstone and Sydney tech throughout years 7 to Year 9. All these years being unsuccessful. This bleak prospect was upsetting but not the end of the world. Things started to change when I reached the epitomy of my academic potential in year 9 and 10 as after putting in more hours of study, I achieved straight A reports. This was coupled with a balance of music and sport outside school. IT’S POSSIBLE AND I STILL HAD A SOCIAL LIFE. Finally, I put all my eggs in one basket and tried out for 3 schools for year 11 entry and I knew this was my final shot. All of which I was given an offer. The schools: Both Hurlstone and Sydney Technical High School. I declined Hurlstone and Sydney tech and accepted another school which is fully selective ranked in the top 10 in NSW.
Strongly recommend trying for Hurlstone, Sydney Technical High School. Sydney Boys/Sydney Girls, St George Girls and Fort Street High School if you don’t already go there.
Advice and Recommendations
The moment you gain entrance to a selective school, JOIN CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES. For example, I did Karate, Cricket, swimming and Piano. Try to balance out your lifestyle and do your best every year even if you are not successful as eventually you will be rewarded with a satisfactory outcome. Co-curricular activities are highly valued in selective schools and the depth of an individual’s extra curricular's could influence whether you do or do not get a seat into a selective high school.SELECTION COMMITTEE’S LOVE STUDENTS WHO GET GREAT IN ACADEMICS WHLST ALSO DOING INNUMERABLE extra curriculurs(TRUST ME!).
A good chance vs a bad chance: A student who demonstrates active participation in co-curriculars and sport whilst performing well in his/her academic report has the best chance of getting into any school. A decent report in my opinion is about 5A's and 2B's out of a possible 7 subjects. A 'C 'will substantially lower your chances of getting into a school. Furthermore, a great report does not necessarily relegate to a successful outcome as it is important to be succinct in your application, especially when applying for schools like Sydney Boys, Sydney Girls or Sydney technical high school where you have to list anything and EVERYTHING that you think MAKES YOU STAND OUT IN YOUR APPLICATION.
Applying for Specific Selective Schools from my experience or knowledge(Tips/Hints)
Macquarie Fields High School:
This school, to my knowledge having friends who applied, involves doing a test and handing in reports. The test is supposedly based on logic, comprehension and your year level extension mathematics. Same entry process from Years 8 - 11 entry.
Sefton High School:
Involves handing in any recent half-yearly or yearly reports, awards or any extra-curricular achievements. Then you may be selected to go onto the next stage where you will attend an interview with the principal or deputy principal from what I've heard. Same entry process from Years 8 - 11 entry.
Sydney Technical High School :
Sydney technical high school is consistent in application till year 10. From years 8-10, it involves handing in academic reports and filling out a form highlighting achievements as well as handing in certificates. If successful then an interview is offered. Normally 2 spots available. Then when applying for yr 11 it involves handing in reports and DOING A TEST followed by an interview. In yr 11 for Syndey Tech there is between 20-30 SPOTS!!!!!!!. Furthermore, what many people DON"T KNOW IS that only the TOP 30 applicants from yr 11 applicants every year get to do the test. NOT EVERYONE!!!!!. SO GET A GOOD REPORT AND TRUST ME ITS SUPER EASY TO GET PLACEMENT IF U GET TO THE TESTING STAGE. The test is on a creative writing or essay writing piece. Just read books and learn good vocabulary words to practice. Then the math is on WESTPAC/ICAS style hard questions and learns your entire year's yr 10 mathematics content 5.3 Math. When I did it, the tests were only half an hour each and interview was with TWO PEOPLE. YR 11 is the best and easiest time to get into ANY SCHOOL AS THERE ARE NUMEROUS VACANCIES . Normally from 20-30 depending on the school.
Hurlstone Agricultural High School:
This SCHOOL IS ALL ABOUT HOW WELL U DO ON THE TEST. There is a test for every year and ENSURE you submit both reports required as well as at least 5 extra curricular activity certificates with the application. I cannot recall specifics of whats in the tests but here's advice. Advice: Each hurlstone test constitutes of SCIENCE, Math and English in that order. For years 8 and 9 entry the tests it is mainly logic but study Australian Mathematics Comp(Westpac) tests for the math and practise writing a letter or interview transcript for writing.For years 10 to 11 entry, learn all of the 5.2/5.3 math textbook content if doing the yr 10 test and learn the 5.3 content from the yr 10 textbook if doing the yr 11 entrance test. In addition, just study some agricultural jargon and language to use in your writing piece . Once again in YR 11 there is roughly 20 spots or MORE!!!!!. GO FOR IT. I was unsuccessful every year till yr 10 and finally for yr 11 I was earned an interview. Do not get disheartened if you don't get in as eventually you will, with the right amount of hard work. If successful, an interview will be offered. I would assume, the application is mainly 70% test and 20% report and 10% interview. They care heaps more about the test but still get a good report.
The GIrls Schools e.g Sydney Girls, St George Girls.Hornsby Girls and North Sydney Girls:
I'm not a girl , hence have not applied for these schools. However, I strongly recommend trying for St George Girls and Sydey Girls if you have strong co- curriculurs and a good almost straight A report as there are 20 spots in yr 11. I believe in Hornsby and North Sydney Girls there is a test.
North Sydney Boys, North Sydney Girls, Sydney Boys, Sydney Girls,Fort Street, Ruse and Baulko:
These higher end schools are definitely more competitive and normally about 100-200 people try out for these schools each year from each year group. I strongly recommend trying out for FORT STREET EVERY YEAR from Year 7.All you have to do is write an essay and hand in a decent report and your in. There is only 2 spots but if your essay is excellent (you do it at home) then you get accepted after an interview. In yr 11 entrance for Fort Street and most other schools listed above requires a challenging test.
- It is important to cover all your years content and the year before in order to ace the tests given in selective school.
-Start studing a novel at the start of the year at home and use spark notes as it is crucial to improve essay writing and improve VOCABULARY. Recommended books) Frankenstein(hard to read but my personal favourite) and Animal Farm(Most probably will do at school)Lovely book.
-Any exam with multiple choice should be answered carefully and use the elimination method. If you don't know the anwer, guess the best possible answer that you firmly believe makes sense. This is my way.
-Any test with essays or writing is vital to complete. E.g Hurlstone test- save time for the writing question at the end. Allow at least 30 minutes to write a decent writing piece at the end. My favourite quote from RivalryofTroll," Keep writing till pens down and quantity and quality both equal good writing."
-Eat healthy before the test, drink water and go toilet before test starts. REMINDER: If doing Hurlstone test, go toilet at the nearest Maccas beforehand as it won't be possible to go at the school as you are not given an opportunity.
- Good marks reflect a academically talented student.However remember( Selective schools have innumerable nerds, thus committees also look for students who are well rounded in sport and co-curriculars)
- If you achieved brilliant results in something such as NAPLAN or competitions then include those in application
- Finally, TELL THE TRUTH. Cannot emphasise enough as all EVIDENCE will have to be produced in the Interview and you can't lie to the interviewer.
- Practise with your friends!
- Make a MOck Interview Questions list
Questions that Most PROBABLY will be ASKED IN INTERVIEW- I personally did 2 interviews: Sydney tech interview Example Below.
- What do you do at a weekly basis?
- Why Sydney Tech/why do you want to attend sydney tech?
- What can you do for STHS?
- If a teacher were to write a reference, what would he/she write about?
- Did you take the selective test in Year 6?
-what can you bring to our school?
-what are your hobbies?
-what are your aspirations in life?
-Do you have a Back Up plan?(important)
-how do you think you went in your test/comments on your report
- Possibly something regarding your subject selection ...
- Make sure you ask questions about the school (Pretty much anything, even if you don't really care) because that shows you have an interest at this school, as well as some sort of curiosity.
- MAKE SURE YOU KEEP EYE CONTACT ON THE TEACHER(S) AT ALL TIMES. Shows that you are confident in front of them.
GOOD LUCK. Hope this helped