2021 Changes To Selective Schools Entry Test

Last year the NSW Department of education contracted a brand new testing company to design the Selective School Entrance Exam. Prior to this change, the same company had been designing the test for 30 years. This change came after the 2018 review of the test identified issues. For example, the old tests were considered not diverse enough and too easy; meaning that they were not effective in differentiating between the state’s top students. 

It will run as a paper test in 2021 and prepare to move online for 2022. 

The new thinking test is harder and really assesses how a student thinks. It also requires students to answer 40 questions in 40 minutes, which means that many students will struggle to finish on time. This is what the Department of Education wants as this helps to differentiate between students more easily. 

The maths paper has been reviewed as being quite fair. It involves multi-step problems that students will have to solve such as converting from one unit of measurement to another and then adding or subtracting on top of that. 

The English paper requires students to read more complex texts such as Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. Reviewers have compared it to the likes of the ICAS tests. 

For the first time in 15 years, there are also practice questions available online to help students prepare for this new testing format. Click here to find practice questions and corresponding answers. 

The Selective Schools Entrance Exam for the cohort of 2022 will take place on Thursday the 11th of March 2021. 

For further information about the selective school entry process, view our previous blog posts about the subject:  

Is A Selective School Right For My Child?

Applying To A Selective High School

Selective Schools Placement Test

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