Selective Schools Examination

Selective schools cater to high performing students who may be well ahead of the standard curriculum and require an accelerated curriculum to help them meet and exceed their academic abilities.

Victoria’s Selective Schools examination is a competitive selection process for enrolment placement at the four Victorian selective schools: Melbourne High School, The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, Nossal High School, and Suzanne Cory High School. The examination takes place in July and runs a length of three hours with a short break in between.

Selective exams differ greatly from school work. Despite the popular view that students ‘cannot prepare for the tests’, we have found that this cannot be further from the truth. Often, the questions that appear on the actual exam assess material one or two years ahead of the school curriculum, so if your child solely relies on the knowledge learnt at school, they will be at a significant disadvantage.

The Selective Schools examination covers the following tests:

                                            Test 1: Verbal Reasoning                                (30 minutes, multiple choice)

                                            Test 2: Numerical Reasoning                         (30 minutes, multiple choice)

                                            Test 3: Persuasive OR Creative Writing        (30 minutes, written)

                                            SHORT BREAK                                               (approximately 20 minutes)

                                          Test 4: Reading Comprehension                     (30 minutes, multiple choice)

                                          Test 5: Mathematics                                         (30 minutes, multiple choice)

Selective Entry high schools accepts students based on one of three categories:

Examination results (85%): students who achieve the highest results on the examination (in accordance to school preferences and placements available)

Equity and consideration (10%): ensures that all students have access to 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 required at the application stage.

Principal discretion (5%): 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.

Learning concepts and being familiar with the different types of questions that are likely to come up, as well as practising good test taking techniques will put your child in a much better position to gain entrance into their preferred school. Many schools do not have the materials, time and resources to teach students to write full, well thought out essays within 15 minutes, let alone specific techniques on how to approach very complex reasoning, mathematics and reading comprehension questions in a very limited timeframe. These skills are very specific to the exam and we have spent many years developing a program and accompanying materials to improve your child’s chances of success.

How to prepare for the Selective Schools exam

Our Recommended Timeline

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

More than 12 months to go
Recommended options: enrol in our regular English and Mathematics weekend classes at a higher level (at least one level higher)than that which they are currently in, before enrolling in our Selective preparation classes. This will ensure that your child will be able to keep up with the preparation course.
6 months to 12 months to go
Recommended options: start your free online assessment and begin weekend Selective classes at one of our campuses. Enrolment in our Selective preparation courses will provide your child with all the skills they need to be competitive on the exam and help them grown comfortable and confident with the exam structure and time constraints.
Other options: students who can’t attend weekend classes may consider our online course. The online Selective preparation course covers everything that is covered in the in-person classes but is provided to you as pre-recorded video lessons which you can access at your own pace over the course of the term. This option is also beneficial to students who need flexible tuition or who often work ahead of scheduled curriculum.
3 months to 6 months to go
Recommended options: start your free online assessment and begin weekend Selective classes at one of our campuses. Enrolment in our Selective preparation courses will provide your child with all the skills they need to be competitive on the exam and help them grown comfortable and confident with the exam structure and time constraints.  
Recommended options: Enrol in Selective Mock Exam classes starting in Term 1 which will apply the content and strategies learned in prior Selective classes to simulated Selective School mock exam sections each week, followed up in class with a discussion regarding how to tackle the trickier questions and concepts .
Recommended options: Enrol in our Selective Membership which runs for 24 weeks where students will complete a live, timed practice Selective exam under exam conditions every week under the guidance of a tutor. Feedback provided.
1 month to 3 months to go
Recommended options: use our Selective exam packages to help your child become familiar with the exam structure and comfortable with time constraints. Sign up to the weekly membership to help them complete the practice Selective exams to time and get feedback on weaknesses.
1 month to go
Recommended options: Our fast-track online Selective revision course is designed to condense the most important concepts from our 40 week course into just 6 self-paced online lessons. Even if your child has already completed the 40 week course, this will allow your child to consolidate their learning and clearly see the links between each concept to give them a deeper understanding.

Click here to sign up to the Selective Revision course

Our Exam Packages can also give your child invaluable experience covering the widest range of questions in a very short timeframe to familiarise them with the format and level of difficulty expected on exam day. Our advanced packages will contain FULL worked solutions for each question so your child will understand why they answered specific questions incorrectly. Sign up to the weekly membership to help them complete the practice exams to time and get feedback on weaknesses or areas of improvement.

2 weeks to go
Recommended options: Sign up to the Selective Revision course and complete an online Mock exam. In this exam, students are given the opportunity to sit a full length exam under real time constraints, followed by a feedback session. Sign up to the weekly membership to help them complete the exams to time and get feedback on weaknesses and complete exam packages.

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

Selective School Preparation Program

1. 40 Week Course

This is generally the best option to give your child every chance of achieving success. Through weekly classes, we will teach your child the actual steps on how to answer specific questions that are highly likely to come up on the exams. We take students through a carefully designed selective course, building up confidence and knowledge through worked examples on the board, practice questions to complete, the opportunity to ask questions and receiving detailed feedback via our online tracker:

We provide carefully designed regular cumulative exams to test students’ knowledge from the beginning of the selective course up to that point to allow your child to continually revise and consolidate what they’ve learnt to increase the likelihood of remembering concepts taught – even from the beginning of the course. Enrolment in our selective preparation courses will familiarise students with types of questions likely to come up on the Selective Schools exam. We currently have 8 campuses located in Melbourne: Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Footscray, Hoppers Crossing, Keysborough, Oakleigh, Thomastown, and St Albans.

Click here to to start your free assessment

Course valued at $3800 (Full term by term payment)

2. Online courses

Our online courses are just like our weekend in-person classes, except they can be completed in the comfort of your own home, on demand, anytime, anywhere. They are best suited to students who require flexible tuition and students who often find themselves working well ahead of current curriculum.

Click here to start your free assessment

Course Valued at $2250 (Full yearly payment) 

3. Selective Revision Course

During the summer holidays, you can enrol in our 6 week online Selective Revision Course to revise the 40 week course in preparation for selective mock exam classes and to consolidate and ensure that your child is both up-to-date and highly confident with the content and exam strategies learned previously.

Click here to find out more and enrol

Course valued at $750

4. Selective Mock Exam Classes

Starting in term 1 of each year, our 20 week Selective Mock Exam course begins. These classes run on the same day as the 40 week course Selective Classes and apply the content and strategies from those classes into practice exams. The Selective Mock Exam course can be completed in addition to or seperate from the 40 week Selective course.

Click here to find out more and to start your free assessment

Course valued at $3000 (If not combined with 40 week course Selective classes) 

5. Live Mock Exams

Enrol in our 2 fully simulated Mock Exams in Term 2 which put the class learned content to the test. The exams are set two week apart and students are provided performance reports and post-exam workshops for each.

Click here to find out more 

Live Mock Exams valued at $550

6. Online Selective Membership

Joining our weekly membership in Term 1 allows your child to complete a live, timed practice exam under exam conditions every week under the guidance of a tutor. Membership runs for 24 weeks.

Click here to sign up to our online membership

Membership valued at $49 per week (cancel anytime)

7. Ultimate Exam Package

Recommended after the majority of topics have been introduced. Take advantage of the Ultimate Selective Schools Preparation Bundle to complete additional practice exams in the lead up to the Selective Schools Exam. This will help improve exam time management and help students become more comfortable with exam conditions and time restraints.

Here’s what a parent whose child successfully gained entry into a selective school had to say about our exam packs:

“Selective entrance exams are very competitive and providing the ability for kids to do more practice in timed conditions simulating the exam pattern is the best gift we can give to our children. Spectrum has complemented this and made it easy for kids to practice the exam at home. The books cover all the aspects of the exam pattern and the detail answers help the kids to develop fast and innovative techniques for performing the best. These books are a must for anyone preparing for the selective school exams and will surely increase your children’s chance of success.”– Srinivas, parent.

Click HERE to purchase exam packs or call 1800 668 177 for free to find out which exam pack is right for your child.

Exam package valued at $349

8. Online Mock Exam Bundle

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

Click HERE to purchase revision courses

Selective Schools Online Mock Exam Bundle valued at $225

9. ‘Learn it quickly’ essay writing books

We specifically designed these writing books to help students who are anxious about the writing component of any selective entry or scholarship exam that requires a narrative and persuasive essay to be written under strict time constraints. We GUARANTEE your child will be more confident approaching the writing components and learn innovative techniques to produce winning essays after working through these practical guides.

Click here to purchase our high value persuasive and narrative writing bundle now!

Essay Writing Books valued at $89.95

All listed options (Selective Membership not included) can be purchased as a complete pack with either the 40 week course or the online course, or purchased separately in accordance to your child/children’s specific needs. See the Selective Yearly Roadmap.


Selective Scholarship Yearly Roadmap

Should your child prepare for the Victorian selective schools exam? Watch the video to find out.

At Spectrum Tuition, we are passionate about preparing students for Selective Schools exams. We believe that every student should be given the opportunity to perform at their best in order to improve their chances of securing one of these highly sought after positions at their chosen school, to further their academic potential in their mid-late high school years.

Want to find out what scholarships are available near you and to sign up to our FREE 5 week program to kickstart your test preparation? Click the button below to get started today! 

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Click here to listen to Episode 3 of the Spectrum Tuition Podcast: Talking Selective Schools And Scholarship Preparation With An Existing Spectrum Tuition Parent

See below for a testimonial regarding our Selective Exam Preparation Program

"We are very happy with the entire service provided by Spectrum. The fact that our son was able to take in so much in a relatively short period of time, from subject matter, examination tips and study preparation. He was successful in his aim to gain entry into his choice of school and now has the best opportunity to achieve his goals in life. We believe it was his time with Spectrum Tuition which made the difference and we are very grateful for all they did for Daniel." - Daniel Rogers, Parent.

Due to the extremely challenging nature of Selective Schools exams, we recommend that you give your child ample time to prepare. If your child will be sitting the Selective Schools entrance exam when they are in Year 8, our 40-week program starts at the beginning of Term 3 of Year 7. We have the following options to help your child get the preparation they need to improve their chances of success: