Selective Schools Examination Preparation


Selective schools are designed to cater to high-performing students who require an accelerated curriculum to meet and exceed their academic abilities. Victoria’s Selective Schools examination is a competitive selection process for enrolment placement at four Victorian selective schools: Melbourne High School, The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, Nossal High School, and Suzanne Cory High School. The exam takes place in July and runs for three hours with a short break in between.

Despite the popular view that students cannot prepare for the test, we have found that this is far from the truth. The questions that appear on the actual exam often assess material one or two years ahead of the school curriculum, putting students who solely rely on school knowledge at a significant disadvantage. The Selective Schools examination covers five tests, including verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, persuasive or creative writing, reading comprehension, and mathematics.

Selective Entry high schools accept students based on one of three categories, including examination results, equity and consideration, and principal discretion. To improve your child’s chances of success, it is essential to learn the concepts and be familiar with the different types of questions likely to come up and practice good test-taking techniques. Many schools do not have the resources to teach students how to approach complex reasoning, mathematics, and reading comprehension questions in a limited timeframe. Therefore, we have developed a program and accompanying materials specifically designed to prepare students for the Selective Schools examination.

The Selective Schools examination covers the following tests:

Test 1. Reasoning – Reading
Test 2. Reasoning – Mathematics

Short break (approx. 20 min)

Test 3. General Ability – Verbal
Test 4. General Ability – Quantitative

Short break (approx. 5 min)

Test 5. Writing Task

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: We recommend enrolling your child in our regular English and Mathematics weekend classes at a level that is at least one level higher than their current level before enrolling them in our Selective preparation classes. This will ensure that your child is adequately prepared to keep up with the course material and benefit fully from our preparation program. Click here to start your free online assessment
6 months to 12 months to go
Recommended options: Take the first step towards your child’s success by signing up for our free online assessment and weekend Selective classes at one of our campuses. Our Selective preparation courses are designed to equip your child with the necessary skills to excel in the exam and grow comfortable and confident with the structure and time constraints. Enrol now and give your child the competitive edge they need to succeed. Click here to start your free online assessment
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 work ahead of their scheduled curriculum. To find out more, please visit
3 months to 6 months to go
Recommended options: Get started with our free online assessment and enroll 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. Click here to start your free online assessment.
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.
1 month to 3 months to go
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. 
1 month to go
Recommended options: Our fast-track online Selective revision course condenses the most important concepts from our 40-week course into just six self-paced online lessons. Designed for students who want to consolidate their learning, this course is also ideal for those who have already completed the 40-week program and want to review the material before the exam. By clearly linking each concept, the course provides a deeper understanding of the material and ensures that your child is fully prepared for the Selective exam.

Click here to sign up to the Selective Revision course

Our Exam Packages offer invaluable experience to your child by covering a wide range of questions within a short time, helping them become familiar with the format and level of difficulty of the Selective exam. With our advanced packages, your child will receive full worked solutions for each question, providing a deeper understanding of the content and helping them identify areas of improvement. Sign up for our weekly membership to help your child complete practice exams under timed conditions and receive feedback on their performance.

2 weeks to go
Recommended options: Enrol in our online Selective Revision course to prepare for the exam, and take advantage of our online Mock exam. The Mock exam offers students the opportunity to sit a full-length exam under real time constraints, followed by an online and on demand feedback session to identify areas for improvement. Additionally, sign up for our weekly membership to receive further practice exams, feedback on time management, and access to our comprehensive exam packages to improve your child’s chances of success.

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

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 worked 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.

Click here to to start your free assessment

2. Online courses

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.

Click here to start your free assessment 

3. Selective Revision Course

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.

Click here to find out more and enrol

4. Selective Mock Exam Classes

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.

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

5. Live Mock Exams

Enroll 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.

Click here to find out more 

6. Online Selective Membership

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.

Click here to sign up to our online membership

7. Ultimate Exam Package

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.

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.

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

9. ‘Learn it quickly’ essay writing books

We designed these writing books specifically 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!

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 deeply committed to helping students prepare for Selective Schools exams. We strongly believe that every student deserves the chance to perform at their best and increase their chances of securing a coveted spot at their preferred school, thus unlocking their full academic potential during their 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.

To ensure your child is fully prepared for the highly challenging Selective Schools exams, we recommend starting their preparation well in advance. If your child will be sitting the entrance exam in Year 8, our 40-week program commences at the beginning of Term 3 in Year 7. We offer a range of options to provide your child with the necessary preparation to increase their chances of success. Watch the video below to find out more.