• We have a few events lined up for the October school holidays!
    Watch this space...

Ultimate Guide for Selective School Entry (Yrs 8-12) (1 Viewer)

OriginalCopy

New Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
25
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2019
Selective School 2016

So, as many people know, it is getting harder and harder to get into selective schools and those who are unfortunate enough, have to reapply for grades 8 to 12. I was one of these people and when I was looking for information about the whole test and guides to getting into a selective school, I came across very few guides that actually helped. So I thought of creating a guide and study tips.

Applying

As many of you may know, you need to fill out an application from (http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/learning/7-12assessments/selective8_12.php) and give this application to each school you apply for. Along with this application, you need to pay around $50 to each school and you may need to attach:
-Past Reports from at least 2 years ago
-Academic achievements i.e. Da Vinci Decathlon, Spelling Bee etc.
-Competition achievements i.e. ICAS distinction, Rio Tinto participation etc.
-Extra-curricular sports i.e. basketball, dance etc.
Also, they have changed the application, whereby students may only be allowed to choose 3 schools (which decreases your chances). Different schools have a different application, so scroll down to find the school you're applying for.

James Ruse High School

James Ruse is the best school in the Sydney region. It is very, very, very hard to get in. But if you are a straight-A student, then you are quite likely to be accepted; however there is no harm to try! As with the rest of the schools, you need to fill in the application with all your achievements and past reports. In year 11, like many schools, creates a new class of nearly 25 students. To gain entry in year 11, you must sit an exam, set by the school and give in an application with your past report. I haven't actually tried out for James Ruse, however I am aware of people who have applied and now study there.

School Website:(shall be put up later...)

Baulkham Hills High School
Baulkham Hills is one of the best schools in Sydney and is co-educational. However, it is very difficult to get selected in years 8 to 12, as they have very minimal seats; on their website they have also said that there are almost NO vacancies from year 8 onwards. There is no examination required to get selected in this school, however you need to provide past reports, NAPLAN results, academic achievements and extra-curricular achievements. Try to add as many things as possible! The better your application, the better the chance!

Website: http://www.baulkhamhillshighschool.com.au/enrolments.html

North Sydney Girls' High School
Coming out soon!

Hornsby Girls' High School
HGHS is also one of the best only girls' selective school. To get selected into Hornsby, you are required to sit the ACER HAST (High Ability Secondary Test). The ACER test consists of 4 different tests- Mathematics and Scientific Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Writing and Reading Comprehension. Hornsby do not take into account of your past results- so if in PDHPE you got a 'D', they won't take that into account, while selecting the students. They also have a reserve list of up to 20 students per grade, until next year's term two. Also HGHS share their test results with Girraween High School. This is what the lady at HGHS told me- There is a better chance in Yr11, as many of the students move to James Ruse (because James Ruse creates a new class), which increases the vacancy to around 20 students.

To find more about the ACER HAST Test go to: https://www.acer.edu.au/hast-secondary
Note: If you want tricks and tips about the test scroll down to the 'ACER HAST Test Tips'
School Website: http://www.hornsbygir-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/our-school/enrolment

Normanhurst Boys' High School
Normanhurst is equally high as HGHS, however it is an only boys' school. For selection into Normanhurst, you are required to sit a test that is created by the school. They only test you on Mathematics and English. Normanhurst, however, do take your past reports and achievements into account. They take a holistic approach, so add as many achievements and reports as possible with the application and try to do your best on the exam to get selected. Normanhurst also has very few vacancies, however not many people apply either, so there is a better chance to get selected. (Scroll down to find study tips on the Normanhurst test)

School Website: http://www.normanhurb-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/our-school/enrolment

Girraween High School
Giraween High School is a co-educational high school, located in Girraween (surprise, surprise!). To get enrolled into Girraween, you must submit an application with past results and achievements and you must sit the ACER HAST. If your second or third choice is HGHS, then you are not required to take two tests,as both schools share their results. Many students apply for Girraween, however there is a greater chance in Yr11, as they create a new class of 20-25 students. To find out more about the ACER HAST scroll down to the 'Study Tips' and their website.

ACER HAST website: https://www.acer.edu.au/hast-secondary
School Website: http://www.girraween-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/our-school/enrolment/years-8-12-enrolment-information

Penrith High School
Penrith High School may not be that heard of, however it is a co-educational school and is fully selective school. Like Baulkham Hills, you are not required to sit an exam, however you do need to attach previous reports from at least two years. Also on their website, you can find a 'Student Question sheet' which is released every year, when the applications are released. You are required to fill it out and attach it along with your application. There are around seven questions that ask, how are you as a student, what hobbies do you have, how will contribute to the school etc.

School Website: http://web3.penrith-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/index.php?p=Year 8-12 Enrolment

Study Tips

ACER HAST
The ACER HAST is used by many selective schools to enroll students. This test consists of 4 parts- Mathematics and Scientific Reasoning, English Comprehension, Writing and Abstract Reasoning.

Out of all the tests, Abstract Reasoning is the easiest. It has 30 questions that you are required to finish in 30 minutes- sounds pretty daunting, however when I did the test, I thought I wouldn't be able to finish, but the questions weren't that hard at all. For all the first-timers (like me), when you open the booklet the first page consists of examples, so quickly skim through it; the pages after that will have rows of questions (patterns). There will notbe brain-twisting questions, where you have to the read the question twice, however in all the questions, there will be a pattern and you just have to select the next part/step of the pattern. This was pretty simple and there is not much revision you can do, as it tests your general ability.

Mathematics and Scientific Reasoning is all about Maths with question regarding science- what does that mean? Basically they will give you a few time zone questions like, when it is 9 am in Sydney, it is 12 am in London...what is the time in London when it is 6pm in Sydney? They will also give speed-distance-time questions and questions that regard timings of something, like trains, buses or bells. There will also be questions where a formula is given and you have to derive another formula out of it like, speed=distance/time, what is the formula for time, using this equation? There will be questions where they provide with scientific content and you are to use it to answer the following questions.

Writing. You are given a picture or a statement and you can write anything you want (poem, creative piece, essay etc.), in regards to that stimulus. You have 25 minutes to finish your piece, but don't worry if it's small because there isn't enough time. Plan- just write a few key points so that you can organise your written piece properly. An example question would be, Playing a game is fun, only when you win or Television is bad for children, something along those lines. Read sample essays beforehand and try NAPLAN or ICAS sample papers, with a time limit (to recreate an exam situation), to be fully prepared.

Lastly, English Comprehension. There isn't much you can prepare for because it tests your reading aptitude, but by reading numerous books from various genres and difficulties, will automatically improve your grammar, writing and comprehension skills. Try out ICAS tests, or even past papers provided by the Victorian Government for selective school tests. Also, I suggest you also read poems and study a few of them and revise English techniques- what is a paradox, what is the mood etc. These will definitely help for this test.

The best thing you can do is study hard, read books and revise what you have done in the past. I felt that this test was pretty okay, but I know I completely failed the writing because I wrote random things. For the MCQ (Multiple-Choice Questions) don't worry if many of the answers are 'C' because (this what I've heard) that nowadays they've changed the 'most -likely answer' to be 'C' instead of 'B'. When I got 5 'C's in a row, I thought I was doing it all wrong, but apparently I wasn't. So good luck to all those doing the ACER HAST and don't worry, just try your best!

P.S. Bring your student id card and if you forget a pencil or eraser, they have loads of them (no kidding- they had probably double the amount of erasers than students)

Normanhurst Boys' Test

Now the Normanhurst Boys' test only consists of English and Mathematics. This JUST for the Normanhurst Boys' Test, so don't read it for James Ruse or anything.

English. Just like any other school there are MCQ and an essay questions. The MCQ questions are pretty easy, just comprehension and basic English questions like punctuation, spelling etc. Each year you are supposed to write an essay on two of the books that you've read over that year. It is suggested that you read books from the Premier's Reading challenge or books that are over your age. These books include, Wonder, The House with the Clock inside its Walls and more. The best way to write your essay is to do it in the 4/5 paragraph essay (intro, body, conclusion) this will show that you have structure and good organisation. Now for the content, you should probably write about books that are from two different genres, which shows you have a wide reading range. For example, you could write about Percy Jackson (Adventure) and about Wonder (Family), this is only for yr7 seeking admission into yr8, however you must read books according to your age and year group. Have 5 minutes for planning and re-reading. The only thing you can do is read a lot of books and analyse them and write stories, write essays and prepare for that essay question.

Premier's Reading Challenge Website: https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/prc/booklist/home.html

Mathematics is coming out soon!

GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY!!!! I HOPE YOU GET WHAT YOU HAVE PRACTICED FOR!!

If you need any further help, just ask your question in the comment section and I will get back to you asap :)
 
Last edited:

MouseTop

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
68
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2018
I got into Baulkho, so here's what I did:

Only tried out for one school
Attached about 30-40 certificates (volunteering, competitions etc.)

At the interview stage they tell you how you have to cope and have something in your life to kickback. Also, once you're at the interview you're guaranteed a spot. Finally, the principal said they accepted 2 into Year 8 and 10, and 10 into Year 9 and 11.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
59
Gender
Male
HSC
2018
Hey here are the info for ruse. I was accepted this year and I will be attending JRHS as a year 11 student.
-22 students were accepted as of 2016 (year 10 moving to year 11)
-There was a test called the 'Edu-test' which consisted of 6 sections. 4 of which were 40 minutes (Numerical reasoning, Mathematics, Verbal reasoning, Comprehension) and the rest are 20 minutes each (creative and persuasive writing)
-After the test, about 3 weeks later, you are notifieded that you have made it in to the interview stage. (This essentially means that you most likely through)
-The interview question ranges from: 'What are your positive attributes' to 'What can you contribute to the school'

Hope this was helpful :)
 

OriginalCopy

New Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
25
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2019
Hey here are the info for ruse. I was accepted this year and I will be attending JRHS as a year 11 student.
-22 students were accepted as of 2016 (year 10 moving to year 11)
-There was a test called the 'Edu-test' which consisted of 6 sections. 4 of which were 40 minutes (Numerical reasoning, Mathematics, Verbal reasoning, Comprehension) and the rest are 20 minutes each (creative and persuasive writing)
-After the test, about 3 weeks later, you are notifieded that you have made it in to the interview stage. (This essentially means that you most likely through)
-The interview question ranges from: 'What are your positive attributes' to 'What can you contribute to the school'

Hope this was helpful :)
Thanks! I'll add this to the guide :)
 

boredofstudiesuser1

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
580
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2018
I know you chose the best schools to put into the guide, but I just wanted to say that Gosford High School is a great school to apply for. Not too hard to get in, yet has amazing teachers and it feels like a private school. If you are very academically strong, they'll let you get into the school before the end of the year. It's like a 40 minute train ride from Hornsby and there are HEAPS of kids who catch the train, from more local areas and different places in Sydney. It's ranked 41 (in 2014-2015), but it's still a great school. I'm not sure what the proper interviews are like, but the application was very simple and I just had heaps of extracurricular certificates that I put in there (I went a bit overkill), and some teacher references. It did help that I was accelerated in maths, but nevertheless, it's not too hard to get in. I think if anyone has any info on Hurlstone, the guide should include it. I used to live like 15 minutes from Hurlstone but didn't actually go there (rough area to catch a train as a year 7 student). Friends said it was a good school but I'm not sure. SO yeah! Also, Gosford has a lot of students doing accelerated subjects and all the teachers try to help you excel as much as possible. They work through content pretty fast and slot some topics from higher years into their teaching too.

Forgot to add, Gosford is fully selective and located in Gosford (obviously lol) in the busiest part of the Central Coast. 200m away from the train station and like 100m from a comprehensive school (ranked 200ish) called Henry Kendall High School.
 
Last edited:

OriginalCopy

New Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
25
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2019
I know you chose the best schools to put into the guide, but I just wanted to say that Gosford High School is a great school to apply for. Not too hard to get in, yet has amazing teachers and it feels like a private school. If you are very academically strong, they'll let you get into the school before the end of the year. It's like a 40 minute train ride from Hornsby and there are HEAPS of kids who catch the train, from more local areas and different places in Sydney. It's ranked 41 (in 2014-2015), but it's still a great school. I'm not sure what the proper interviews are like, but the application was very simple and I just had heaps of extracurricular certificates that I put in there (I went a bit overkill), and some teacher references. It did help that I was accelerated in maths, but nevertheless, it's not too hard to get in. I think if anyone has any info on Hurlstone, the guide should include it. I used to live like 15 minutes from Hurlstone but didn't actually go there (rough area to catch a train as a year 7 student). Friends said it was a good school but I'm not sure. SO yeah! Also, Gosford has a lot of students doing accelerated subjects and all the teachers try to help you excel as much as possible. They work through content pretty fast and slot some topics from higher years into their teaching too.

Forgot to add, Gosford is fully selective and located in Gosford (obviously lol) in the busiest part of the Central Coast. 200m away from the train station and like 100m from a comprehensive school (ranked 200ish) called Henry Kendall High School.
Hey! Thanks for the info; I know a few people who attend Gosford and it's a really good school, and with the information you gave me, I'll try to add it in :)

Thanks!
 

DJYeetz

New Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
11
Gender
Male
HSC
2020
For entry into year 11 2019 normanhurst boys will their still be an essay section or just reading comprehension. If there is how is it structured and formatted (Persausive, discussion etc)
 

hugerthyena

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
11
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
Hey here are the info for ruse. I was accepted this year and I will be attending JRHS as a year 11 student.
-22 students were accepted as of 2016 (year 10 moving to year 11)
-There was a test called the 'Edu-test' which consisted of 6 sections. 4 of which were 40 minutes (Numerical reasoning, Mathematics, Verbal reasoning, Comprehension) and the rest are 20 minutes each (creative and persuasive writing)
-After the test, about 3 weeks later, you are notifieded that you have made it in to the interview stage. (This essentially means that you most likely through)
-The interview question ranges from: 'What are your positive attributes' to 'What can you contribute to the school'

Hope this was helpful :)
Hey, well done for making it into Ruse in 2016!! I got accepted into Ruse this year, also for entry into year 11. Can you provide me with some general advice on how you coped with the transition to such a high ranking school, how you made friends and what the attitude/environment was like at the school? Also, which subjects did you think had good/bad teachers.
Thank you!
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top