If your child is considering taking the selective school exam, then you will want to find some practice papers to revise and prepare for the selective school test.
The test itself is very challenging and the competition is fierce with many students preparing for up to 3 years before. For this reason, a solid preparation program is so valuable in helping your child prepare for the selective school test.
Understanding the layout of the selective school exam is really important. It is comprised of 4 different sections:
- Reading – 45 questions in 40 minutes
- Mathematics – 40 questions in 40 minutes
- General Ability – 60 questions in 40 minutes
- Writing – one piece of writing marked out of 20, usually persuasive or creative.
For the majority of students, the general ability paper presents the biggest challenge in terms of content and timing. These are questions that are difficult to prepare for, such as understanding the definitions of complex words or recognising patterns. 60 questions in 40 minutes leaves just 45 seconds per question which is challenging for even the brightest of students.
The good news is that the selective school test is not negatively marked. This means that in the event of your child not knowing the correct answer it is more beneficial for them to go for the best option, or if required, take a guess and hope that they make the right decision!
How to prepare for the selective school exam
Practice, practice, practice! The most valuable thing a student can do to prepare for the selective school test is to go over as many practice papers as they can, as many times as they can. It doesn’t matter if they repeat the same paper 2 or 3 times – the value is in understanding and recognising the question types and patterns rather than the specific question.
Nothing compares to the support of an Alchemy tutor to help your child prepare for the selective school test. We have been helping students get in to selective schools since 2006 with thousands of success stories all across the state. Our tutors are specifically accredited to tutor for the selective school exam and receive comprehensive training to prepare them for this. Our one-on-one preparation program has been tested and refined over more than a decade to give your child the very best opportunity in getting in to the selective school of their choice. Learn more here.
Where to find selective school practice papers
There are a number of both paid and free options available to you. Your first stop should be through the official NSW Government website – they currently offer a small collection of practice papers for you to download for free (3 or 4 for each section). These provide a great foundation to work with and will allow your child to discover their own areas of strength and weakness.
Following on from this, there are a number of companies out there selling practice papers both online and in physical print. We can not offer any advice on the quality of these papers, so please do your research as some of these are selling for $500+. We have however compiled our own practice papers based on the NSW Government sample practice paper and guidelines. You can purchase affordably here.
Should you choose to work with an Alchemy tutor, we have designed dozens of practice papers that your tutor will have full access to. Together, your child and your tutor will work through these practice papers – identifying patterns and trends in the questions. These papers are the closest to the real thing we have seen available to students. We do not sell these papers or give them away – they are reserved exclusively for our students that work one-on-one with an Alchemy tutor. With these resources paired up with the knowledge and experience of an Alchemy tutor – your child will be in the best possible position to succeed in the selective school test. Learn more here.
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