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How to get a Selective High School Placement in Year 8-12?

Are you disappointed that you didn’t get into Selective High School Placement? Did you know that you still have a chance? HAST, school academic records, and NAPLAN are some pathways to getting into a Selective High Schools from Year 8-12.

Did you miss an opportunity to secure a place in the Selective High School that you desired? Was there something missing that you believe might improve in a second attempt? Luckily, you can apply for a placement in Selective High School during Years 8 – 12.

We understand it is difficult to accept that your application was unsuccessful in the first place. A selective high school is some of the kid’s dream. They are institutes that may provide many valuable lessons for life to come. Falling short of such an opportunity can be stressful. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

An introduction

Did you know that you still have a chance to apply for selective placement? Some students and parent may not be aware of it. Well, yes! Many selective high schools offer seats to deserving students willing to apply during Years 8 – 12. The process for application is different from the one in Year 7.

Furthermore, it varies from one school to the other. Application details are available on the website of the New South Wales Department of Education for both wholly and partially selective high schools.


Certain selective high schools may announce vacancies in their respective institutions during Years 8 – 12. It depends on some students leaving the school. It can also be a result of a management decision to add a certain number of new seats for that year.

Whatever the case might be, it is good news for you. Every school has its policies when it comes to placement vacancies. Contact the selective high school you wish to apply in for more information. The staff will be able to provide you with current and detailed instructions.

Selection process for Selective High School Placement

The selection process is entirely different as compared to that from Year 7. There is no centralised selective test. Depending on the school to which you have applied, the process may vary. Some schools may invite students to take an entrance exam.

The type of test that a school decides to take depends on them. One of the most common exams is HAST or the Higher Ability Selective Test. Here the benchmark may be set higher than usual. Therefore, more effort may be required to ace this Selective Test.

Once you clear the test, schools invite you for an interview. A committee of two or more people conducts the interview. The final step is the announcement of results.


As in Year 7, you can apply to three schools of your choice. In case these institutes have vacancies, a separate application is submitted to each school. The school specifies the list of documents to be attached with each application.

A minimal fee also goes with the form. Complete applications have to be sent to the respective school before the deadline. It is important to stress that each school and their requirements are different. So, make sure you contact the school you aspire to join for more details.


The results are in the form of lists. These lists are of three or four types. The first one has the names of successful candidates. The next is for reserves. Finally, there is a list of unsuccessful candidates. The schools you applied to will inform you of their decision of your application.

In case of an offer, you must complete the form and submit it as soon as possible. If you are on a reserve list, the school will get in touch when a place becomes available. However, this list is only open for the current year.

Improving your chances

It is one of the most critical sections of our discussion. As a student, you must understand that sometimes things do not go as planned. Failures are a part of life. How you deal with them is what makes you different from others.

Make sure that while you might be sad, do not lose hope. Use the setback as motivation. Try harder and make your dream come true. Here are some of the things that you can do to improve your chances during Years 8 – 12:

Improve your grades: Current school grades may play an important role in selective placements. Make sure that you use Year 7 to polish your overall marks in essential subjects. The Selective Practice Tests are also available online. They may help you to familiarise with the format and question type. Also, the NAPLAN test for Year 7 is an excellent opportunity for you. It may help you improve your chances of selection in a selective high school during Year 8.

Extra-curricular activities: The selection committee during Years 8 – 12 also looks at other areas besides studies. It is where healthy activities play a vital role. Sports, debates, public speaking and leadership positions that you have held can influence the decision of the panel. In case there are few of these in your life, use Year 7 to increase them.

Prepare for the HAST: We mentioned the Higher Ability Selective Test earlier. Some schools do not take a selection test during Years 8 – 12 placements. Others might conduct tests like HAST because they are giving you a second chance. The preparation of Year 7 Selective Test and then the studies during the year can be helpful towards this test. There are numerous NAPLAN practice tests and selective mathematics tests, general ability and reading tests available online. Utilise online practice tests to familiarise yourself with the format. An advance preparation and practice can be beneficial.

It might sound like too much, but once you begin, difficulties start to vanish. Moreover, keep your goal in mind. A chance to study along with an elite group of students and the experiences that will shape your life in the future can motivate you greatly.

We want to leave you with a quote from Michael Jordan, one of the greatest player’s of basketball has ever seen. He said once; “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost more than 300 games. 26 times, I have been trusted to make the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed!”

The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute advice, endorsement, or guarantee of successful admission into selective high schools. The process of admission and individual success may vary widely. NotesEdu is not responsible for any inaccuracies, effectiveness of the strategies mentioned, or any consequences resulting from the use of this information. Your reliance on the information and the results obtained are solely at your own risk.

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