How to Prepare Your Child for the Selective High School Placement Test?

The Selective High School Placement Test is a very important exam taken by Year 6 students all around NSW each year. This exam is designed to measure the students’ ability and provide them with valuable opportunities to enter prospective high schools.

How Students are Selected in Selective Schools?

Selective high schools provide students specialised classes and educational materials as well as different types of teaching methods that they wouldn’t otherwise get at a regular school. However, these selective high schools admit entry to only those students who pass their respective criteria. The selective school exam measures the students’ ability in reading comprehension, writing, math, and general ability.

With that said, selective school entrance exam is hard and preparing for it can be overwhelming, that is why various selective school tutoring centres have come up in NSW. However, there are certain things you as a parent can do to help your child get through the exam.

Here are some tips that will help you and your child

Know the Test Format

The selective school entrance test is held on the second Thursday of March and will be held on 12th March 2020.

The time duration of the exam is 2 hours 20 minutes. According to the current format, the exam consists of:

• Writing Test of 20 minutes

• 45 reading multiple choice questions of 40 minutes

• 40 mathematical multiple choice questions of 40 minutes

• 60 general ability multiple choice questions of 40 minutes

The selective test aims to test a wide range of skills therefore your child needs to be capable in each area and be familiar with the style of questions. Parents, relying alone on your innate ability to teach your child may leave them only half the chance of getting in the school of choice. Some students prepare for the examination for a whole year and they may even get external help from the tuition centre offering best coaching for selective schools.

So, how can you prepare and maximise your chances to score better in the selective high school placement test?

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

Have clarity on the test format and each of the components and see which one your child finds most challenging. Look at the past reports, talk to the teachers and have an assessment done to help you identify which areas your child needs to focus on more. All skills should be assessed and practised. Also, remember to allocate time accordingly to make the most of study sessions.

Develop an Exam Strategy

Mapping out a study plan before the exam will allow your child to avoid cramming and help alleviate the stress. As you know selective school exam is all about testing the students’ ability to think logically, so cramming won’t help. Picking up a few test-specific skills helps shorten your child’s response time and this also gives then an advantage of having extra time to think about their answers.

This is necessary for multiple-choice questions as students’ needs to find the correct option, which is completely different from solving an open-ended question.

Focus on Practice Questions

One of the best ways to prepare for the Selective Test is through a consistent study habit of doing sample papers, whether they are from the selective test tutoring centre, specialised online websites or directly from the NSW Department of Education website. Attempting a lot of practice papers help students optimise the pace at which they work.

Get External Help

It is well established that proper preparation improves performance in the Selective High School Placement Test. However, the students are very unlikely to receive help from their teacher. This is because teachers are so busy trying to keep 30 students engaged that they can’t redirect their attention to 1 or 2 students that have a shot at the exam. Also, parents are not well acquainted with the exam pattern. So, getting external help in the form of private coaching for selective schools gives your child an edge by developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will be useful throughout all of their schooling.

These are a few tips to help your child prepare for the selective school entrance test and score better. Education is an investment in your child’s future, and here at Reach Academy, we take the responsibility and privilege of nurturing young minds very seriously. We provide selective school tutoring intending to set your child up not just for the selective test, but for a lifelong learning journey.