Selective schools are designed for students who excel academically and require a more advanced curriculum to challenge their intellectual capabilities. The Victorian Selective Schools exam is a highly competitive process used for admission into four prestigious schools in Victoria: Melbourne High School, The Mac Robertson Girls’ High School, Nossal High School, and Suzanne Cory High School. This exam, held in June/ July each year when students are in Year 8, spans three hours with short breaks.

Contrary to the common belief that preparation for this exam is not possible, our experience tells a different story. The exam typically includes content that is one or two years beyond the standard school curriculum, which can leave students who depend solely on their school learning at a clear disadvantage. Additionally, students face a rigorous time constraint during the exam, and many of the questions may be unfamiliar to them. Therefore, mastering techniques to efficiently tackle these questions is crucial for standing out in this competitive environment. The Selective Schools test comprises five sections: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, either persuasive or creative writing, reading comprehension, and mathematics. Let’s delve into the process in further detail below:

Selective School Criteria

Access to selective entry high schools is based on examination scores, considerations of equity, or at the Principal’s discretion. Essential for success is a solid understanding of the core concepts, familiarity with the expected question formats, and proficiency in strategic test-taking. Many schools generally lack the resources for adequately preparing students for the intricate reasoning, advanced mathematics, and comprehensive reading tasks, all under strict time constraints as this is not their main focus. To bridge this gap, we have developed a specialised program complete with custom-designed materials, aimed at thoroughly preparing students for the demanding Selective Schools examination.

Selective entry high schools accept students based on one of three categories:

Students who achieve the highest results on the examination (in accordance with school preferences and placements available

Ensures that all students can access the same opportunities. Eligibility for students whose parents hold a Commonwealth Health Care Card or a Pension Card and qualify for income support benefits and students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. Verification is required at the application stage.

A direct invite to submit an application for the principal's discretion category, which shortlists students for interviews, after which an offer is either made for entry from a specific school or declined.

The Selective Schools examination covers the following tests:
Test:1Reading35 questions in 35 minutes
Test:2Mathematics35 questions in 30 minutes
Short Break - 20 minutes
Test:3Verbal Reasoning60 questions in 30 minutes
Test:4Numerical Reasoning50 questions in 30 minutes
Short Break - 5 minutes
Test 5 & 6Writing Task2 essays in 40 minutes


Familiarising your child with essential concepts, the range of potential exam questions, and solid test-taking tactics can greatly increase their opportunity to enter their chosen school. The school curriculum is not designed to prepare students for highly specialised exams such as the Selective Schools exam. Students need to demonstrate that they can construct comprehensive, logically structured essays in a tight timeframes, as well as apply strategies for solving complex reasoning, mathematics, and reading tasks quickly. These specialised skills, crucial for exam success, have been the cornerstone of our program development, along with tailored materials designed to elevate your child’s chances of success.

How to Prepare for The Selective Schools Exam

The following timeline outlines the recommended options available to help your child get prepared, depending on where they are in the preparation cycle.

To ensure your child is fully prepared for our Selective preparation classes, starting with a free assessment is key to establishing their baseline. We'll leverage the results from regular quizzes to uncover opportunities for advancing your child's learning, potentially placing them in more advanced classes when suitable. This method helps students build the confidence as it provides them with the necessary foundation to effectively engage with and benefit from our programs. Kickstart your child's free assessment by clicking here.

The optimal preparation period for the Victorian Selective exam spans 6 to 12 months, and for this, we recommend our flagship 40-week selective preparation program, equipped with all the necessary resources for exam readiness. Enrol for the year in advance and receive a free $149 voucher to redeem in our digital bookstore. The course is thoughtfully structured to encompass an extensive range of topics, with a strong emphasis on integrating concepts for deeper understanding and contextual learning to enhance long-term memory retention. The first three terms of the program are dedicated to building foundational knowledge and content mastery, while the final term shifts focus to intensive exam training. During this phase, students have the opportunity to apply their accumulated knowledge to tackle complex, exam-style questions, simulating the actual test environment and conditions. If weekend classes are not an option for your child, we offer an online Selective preparation course as an alternative. The online course covers the same material as the in-person classes, presented as pre-recorded video lessons that can be accessed at your child's own pace throughout the term. This option is particularly useful for students who require flexible tuition or who prefer to work ahead of their scheduled curriculum. To find out more, please visit

Recommended options: Get started with our free online assessment and enrol your child in our weekend Selective classes at one of our convenient campus locations. Our comprehensive Selective preparation courses will equip your child with the skills they need to perform at their best on the exam and build confidence with the exam structure and time constraints.


Recommended options: Enrol your child in our Selective Mock Exam classes starting in Term 1. These classes are designed to apply the content and strategies learned in prior Selective classes to simulated Selective School mock exam sections each week. Our experienced teachers will lead your child through the practice exams and provide feedback and strategies to help tackle the trickier questions and concepts. This will prepare your child to be confident and comfortable with the exam format, giving them the best chance of success.


Recommended options: Join our Selective Membership program and receive up to 24 weeks of comprehensive preparation for the Selective School exam. Each week, your child will complete a live, timed practice exam under exam conditions with the guidance of an experienced tutor online. Our program also includes detailed feedback to help your child identify their strengths and weaknesses and to track their progress over time. With our Selective Membership program, your child will be well-prepared and confident on exam day. Enrol now to give your child the best chance of success.

Recommended options: Improve your child's chances of success in the Selective exam by using our comprehensive Selective exam packages. These packages are designed to help your child become familiar with the exam structure and comfortable with the time constraints. For optimal results, sign up for our weekly Selective Membership program, where your child will complete timed practice Selective exams each week under the guidance of a tutor and receive feedback on areas that need improvement.

Remember to check out our sample tests for Selective preparation to gauge whether or not mock exam content is beneficial for your child!

Our Selective School Preparation Program

Enrolling your child in our Selective preparation courses is the optimal choice to maximise their chance of success on the exam. Through weekly classes, we provide comprehensive instruction on how to tackle specific types of questions that are highly likely to appear on the exam. Our carefully designed course builds confidence and knowledge through work examples, practice questions, and opportunities to ask questions. Your child will receive detailed feedback via our online tracker at

To reinforce your child's understanding of the material, we administer regular cumulative exams that test their knowledge from the beginning of the course up to that point. This approach helps to continually revise and consolidate what they have learned, enhancing the likelihood of retaining key concepts even from earlier stages of the course.

Enrolment in our Selective preparation courses will also familiarise students with the types of questions likely to appear on the Selective Schools exam, further increasing their chances of success.

Our online courses are designed to offer the same quality education as our in-person weekend classes but with the added convenience of being accessible from the comfort of your own home. You can access the material anytime, anywhere, making them ideal for students who require flexible tuition or prefer to work ahead of the current curriculum. Whether you need to catch up on a missed class, revisit a concept, or want to work at your own pace, our online courses are the perfect solution.

Enrol in our six-part online Selective Revision Course to prepare for the selective mock exam classes, revise the 40-week course, and consolidate your child's knowledge and confidence in exam strategies. This course is designed to ensure that your child is up-to-date with the content and ready for the upcoming selective exam.

Starting in Term 1 of each year, our 20-week Selective Mock Exam course begins. These classes are held on the same day as the 40-week Selective Classes and provide your child with the opportunity to apply the content and strategies from those classes in practice exams. The Selective Mock Exam course can be completed in addition to or separately from the 40-week Selective course.

Enrol in our two fully simulated Mock Exams in Term 2, which will test your child's understanding of the class-learned content under exam conditions. The exams are set two weeks apart, and students are provided with performance reports and post-exam workshops for each.

Joining our weekly membership in Term 1 allows your child to complete a live, timed practice exam every week under exam conditions with the guidance of an online tutor. Membership runs for up to 24 weeks and is an excellent way to improve your child's exam time management and confidence.

The Ultimate Selective Schools Preparation Bundle is recommended for use after the majority of topics have been introduced. This package includes additional practice exams to help your child improve their time management and become more comfortable with exam conditions and time restraints in the lead-up to the Selective Schools Exam.

In the week prior to the Selective Exam, work through the Selective Schools Online Mock Exam Bundle and watch related videos for some final revisions.


Wide Range of Selective School Exam Resources

Visit Spectrum Tuition’s academic digital bookstore for an extensive collection of resources to excel in selective school exams.