They say that the sky's the limit. How does this apply here? Let us explain! Every student is different and as a result, has different dreams. Some think about getting into a top-ranked school. Others think about starting with a distinction while getting into their dream school. A scholarship is one way to achieve this. While many private schools across Australia offer scholarships, the competition for each is quite stiff. As a result, if you wish to qualify for it, you have to put in extra efforts. However, other things are required besides studies.
What is so unique about private school scholarships?
Australia has some of the best schools anywhere in the world. However, there is a price to this. The fee for some of the top schools goes up to $30,000 a year. Achieving a scholarship has many benefits to you and your parents. Firstly, there are huge savings that might find a use in other exciting areas. Then there is the opportunity to study with some of the best minds in the country. Furthermore, private schools offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities. These include sports, arts, music etc. and because of them, the whole experience of going to school every day becomes fascinating.
How to apply?
Private school scholarships open around October – February. It is the same duration when students also take their Selective High School Placement tests. Therefore, in case you are applying for both Selective and Private Schools, this is going to be a tough period for you. Make sure you are prepared. Students and their parents have to obtain the application forms from the school where they wish to apply. Along with the completed form, you have to submit the fees. Once this process is completed, the test preparation begins.
The test for private school scholarships is different from the selective high school placement test. Unlike the Selective High School Test, private school tests may be different in various schools. The three principal authorities that design tests for private schools include
Australian Awards Scholarship,
Australian Council for Educational Research, and
Depending on the authority or the school, there might be different things in the test. Usually, the idea behind these tests is to check the problem-solving abilities of students. They are not just about the things you learned at school but also how well you have understood them. Mathematics and English are the necessary things that come under observation. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) tests have two short written English expression tests as well as multiple choice questions of Mathematics and Humanities.
During the English exam, marks are not just for the spelling and grammar but also on the uniqueness of your ideas as well as the flow of the text. Things like these make the tests tough. Last year, around 10,000 students gave the test. The Australian Education system prepares you for these tests. NAPLAN tests that begin in Year 3 provide the foundation for your learning. The National Assessment Program test changes every year. The idea behind this practice is to make sure students learn something from these exams.
Preparation for the test
Private school scholarship tests are as stringent as selective high school placement tests. Multiple-choice questions are included in the test. It means that you have to prepare thoroughly for the exam. Preparation material is readily available online. These practice questions are quite useful. Many students have been successful in these tests by preparing through the content available online.
Redland School is one of the top schools in Sydney that offer scholarships to gifted students. Their Principal Dr Peter Lennox says; "In our scholarship recipients we are looking for students who are not only academically gifted but also have a very positive attitude to learning, a willingness to try new things and who will contribute strongly to the school community."
You have to prepare with this in mind. Online materials will help you practice. However, it is more important to understand the concept behind everything. It will help you ace the test.
From parents to parents
Clearing a private school scholarship exam is a team effort. It involves both you and your parents. Therefore, to guide your parents, we asked the parents of successful students for some useful tips. Here are some of them:
Research: It is essential to put a lot of effort into applying. There has to be a strong ‘why.’ Why is the scholarship important? How will it benefit you and your family? This ‘why’ serves as a motivation to succeed. Start finding things well before the scholarship season starts in October. Plans for scholarship vary from school to school. Make sure that you and your parents search online, visit open days at selected schools and speak to current or former students. It helps a lot in the process,
Find a gap: Identify the gap in schools competencies. For example, the school team may be weak in music or sports. You can help them fill that gap if you are good at some of these things. Your parents can find this out for you. Having something unique increases your chances,
Make a commitment: This is the most crucial factor. You and your parents have to commit to the cause. This element guarantees success. When you firmly want to achieve something, only then you can.
We want to point out that these are words of advice from parents. Their children have made it through the tests. They are studying at some of the leading schools in the country on scholarships.
In conclusion, we would like to say that yes, competition is fierce. However, with the right ingredients, you can succeed. By it, we mean the relevant questions similar to the real test. You must prepare in advance, polish your extra-curricular skills and study hard. After all, this is a question of your future. What stands between you and an excellent education is a few months of hard work. Believe us it is worth it!