Wednesday, 13 September 2017

2017 NSW OC results

07 Oct
The wait is over. They again released the OC result on Friday of the first week in Oct. Some results are slowly rolling in. It looks like the test was easier this year so raw marks look high. The school marks seem to have a big influence on the profile. Any school mark around 85 or lower would significantly drag the the OC profile down.

13 Sept
Only 3 more weeks to wait until we have the 2017 OC results. The 2017 results would look similar to those from 2016. Knowing that the lowest OC classes in Sydney would take OC profile cutoffs around 198, most of the students on Mathemafix have the opportunity if parents care to apply to those low classes. 

One good thing about applying for OC classes even though parents don't really want to send kids to OC classes is the opportunity for the kids to get into an enrichment class at their current schools (if the schools have enrichment classes). Schools often allocate places in their enrichment classes based on the result of the OC test and other evidence such as ICAS competition results and school reports.

Friday, 9 June 2017

2017 NSW Selective School results

05 July 2017
If parents want to appeal, they should look at the raw marks and profile relative to other students to decide. Appeal is only on school marks and must have support from the school principal. The SSU will only recalculate the profile by dropping the school marks out of the calculation. There is no such thing as getting extra school marks or changing the profile. The SSU only explores an alternative profile to improve the position on the waiting list(s) while leaving the official results as they are.

Parents who already decided to take up scholaships at private schools should do others a favour by declining the selective school offers so other kids on the reserve list will get the offers quickly. Often some parents would still accept the offers then wait until Nov-Dec to decline!  That's a long wait for other kids/parents on the reserve list.

Here is the reserve list

01 July 2017

The selective result came early for a change! It was released on last day of Jun. We have got a set of fantastic results coming back. Early picture shows 7 students getting over 250 and most kids exceed expectations. And as expected, GA is powerful and maths does not matter that much. Our students consistently do well in GA and in many cases this covers for weak English and maths.

Looking at the raw marks, it is clear that strong OC classes in Sydney have enjoyed wonderful scaling (going down less) of school marks while other schools have poor scaling (going down more). One student from overseas had no schoolmarks and the profile is great based only on raw test marks. This is why the SSU generally does not allow parents to apply for school marks exemption (not to use them). While school marks always drag the profile down, the scaling ensure that strong schools get dragged down less than normal schools (dragged down). There is no pushing-up like parents often misunderstand in this game. There is only going down less than expected.

This selective test is easier than previous tests. But it is clear that English is again extremely hard causing many kids to score under 50%. Maths is now like last year so the maths scores are extremely high. GA also looks easier than before. Our students are strong in GA and this helps cover the weak English.

27 June 2017
Less than a week before the 2017 selective test results come back!

Parents should be aware of the important dates for making an appeal if you think the result is lower than expected due to some unfair reasons. This could be due to unusually low school marks or family circumstances.

- Early July 2017, placement outcome advice sent for entry in 2018
- 24 July 2017, appeals due to primary school principals for entry in 2018

The dates above mean that as soon as the result comes back, parents should use the hyper link provided on the email to request the marks immediately. It takes 1-3 days for the marks to come back. This allows an assessment of why the selective profile is not expected. If the school marks are low, parents could appeal but the whole thing must go through the school principal! The school principal must first have a look to see why the school marks are low and agree to support it before it can be sent to the SSU for further processing. The time will be so limited. Often they delay the result so there will be even less time to fill the application, see the principal, wait for the principal to meet with the teacher to discuss and meet back with parent discuss further...

In short, one must be quick in this whole thing and prepare a good case for appealing. One cannot simply appeal without very good reasons why the SSU should help find ways to bring the profile up and jump the reserve lists. Remember that they will never admit mistakes and change the profile! They will only help to figure out what the profile should have been, and help jump the reserve positions.

The 2017 selective school test result will be released during 1st week of July. It's a nervous time for parents. This year have a strong group of students and the scholarship test results with 9 scholarship offers have proven this. So the selective school test results are likely to be good.

When the results start to roll in the first week of July, this web blog page will be updated. The raw marks and ranking table will tell us a lot about how the students performed.

This is the 2016 and 2015 results for those who reported. Hopefully 2017 will be better.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

2018 Selective Preparation

This blog entry will inform members of the Selective Support group on important issues related to the 2018 Selective Test and take the load away of the internal message board.

6th July
After this holiday period, year 5 students will soon face the ICAS English and Maths competition. These 2 tests are very important for some students as their schools will use them as part of the school marks for the selective school application. To prepare for these competitions students should at least get the following work done.

To hope for High Distinction students must score well on this minimum amount of work

Test series
OC Mathematics Booster (6 tests)
Mathematics Grade 5 (11 tests)
Test 5-11
Math Short Response Grade 5 (12 tests)
5 tests
Mathematics Grade 6 (11 tests)
tests 1-6
Mini Math Challenge Grade 6-7 (44 tests)
5 tests
Mini Math Problem Solving Grade 6-7 (50 tests)
5 tests
OC English Booster (16 tests)
English Reading Skills Grade 6 (67 tests)
one test from each test type
English Comprehension Grade 6 (22 tests)
5 tests
English Comprehension Grade 7 (22 tests)
3 tests
English Deep Comprehension Exercise (20 tests)
2 tests

We will soon enter the period where strong students should be preparing for early scholarship tests. These tests are offerred by a few elite private schools in Oct. They are much better than the mock selective trials offerred by tutoring colleges. This early scholarship preparation is between 1st Aug and 1st Oct where students will do some difficult work, 2 selective trials and writing work. 

See 2017 Early Scholarship Tests in Sydney for more details

This is a snapshot of some early scholarship testresults for year 5 students in Oct 2016.

We have got 1 full scholarship winner in early scholarship tests among the boys. There have been several interviews including one at Barker College (result not available). However, there has been no offer of interview for the girls from Pymble and Danebank so far. Hopefully, the girls will do better this year.

Information from the Selective School Unit (SSU)

Minimum entry scores for 2017 (from 2016 the Selective Test): 2017 minimum cutoffs

Official webpage for Selective School Test: Selective School - Year 7

The timing for Selective test preparation

Year 5, Jan - Jul
OC level (advanced year 4 and year 5) revision
Year 5, Jul - Oct
Year 6 level, year 7 level and 1st 2 Selective Trials
Year 5, Oct - Nov
Early private school scholarship tests and some big selective trials at big tutoring colleges such as Northshore, PreUni, James An, etc.
Year 5, Dec
Analysing results from early scholarship tests
Year 5 and 6, Dec - Feb
Year 6 - 7 level, doing 6 more Selective trials and Selective Boosters
Year 6, Feb-Mar
Main season for private school scholarships
Year 6, mid Mar
NSW Selective School Test (and WA plus various places)

Mathemafix documents
Important Mathemafix guides for Selective Test preparation. These documents are only available to members after they log on the website.
User Guide (updated Feb 2017) *
SS G&T Program Year 5-6 *
Selective Roadmap *

SS Work Schedule (updated Mar 2017)  
Maths Lessons Guide  
Maths Problem Solving Strategies Year 4-5  
Maths Problem Solving Strategies Year 6-7
Guide for Scholarship and Selective Test Writing (updated May 2017)  
Guide for English Question Types and Strategies
Guide for Exam Techniques

* most important documents

UNSW ICAS competitions

The ICAS competitions are worth preparing for. Some OC classes will use ICAS English and Maths as part of the school marks for the Selective School application. Generally, getting top 3% - 1% in the ICAS maths and English competition is a good sign for success in the Selective School test.

Digital Technologies
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Friday, 7 April 2017
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Monday, 12 June – Friday, 16 June 2017*
Monday, 15 May 2017
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Friday, 23 June 2017
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Friday, 23 June 2017

To prepare for the ICAS tests, students should do the following work

Suggested work and test series
Digital Technologies
Computer Skills Grade 3-4
Computer Skills Grade 5-6
Mini Science and General Problem Solving Grade 3-4
Mini Science and General Problem Solving Grade 5-6
Do work in modules: Read Summarise Write, Punctuation,
Story Starter and the Writing Forum
Do work in modules: Wordlist and VocabTest
English Vocabulary Year 5-6
OC English Booster
English Comprehension Grade 6
English Reading Skills Grade 7
English Comprehension Grade 7
Mini Math Challenge Grade 4-5
OC Mathematics Booster
Mini Math Challenge Grade 6-7
Mini Math Problem Solving Grade 6-7

Popular private schools in Sydney offering scholarships

This list is for 2017. However the dates would give a good idea when they will offer the tests in 2018 and what kind of test it is.

Early scholarships in Sep-Nov are offered at Pymble LC, Danebank and The Scots College in 2017.

The main season of scholarship tests is from Feb to Mar each year.

All Saints Grammar, Co-ed, Saturday, 25 February 2017, ACER Co-op
Arden Anglican School Secondary, Co-ed, Sat, 25th February 2017, Academic Services
Georges River Grammar Co-ed, Sat, 25 February 2017 ACER Co-op
International Grammar School, Co-ed Saturday 25 February 2017, ACER Co-op
Penrith Anglican College Secondary Co-ed Sat, 25 February 2017 ACER Co-op 

Reddam House School, Sun, 12th March 2017, ACER alternative
St George Christian School Co-ed, Friday 3 March 2017, ACER alternative  
Ascham School, Girls, Saturday 11 February 2017, Academic Services
Meriden Girls Sat, 18 February 2017, Academic Services
MLC Girls Sat, Sat, 11 February 2017 ACER alternative
Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta Secondary Girls Sat, March 4, 2017 Academic Services
Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sat, 25 February 2017 ACER Co-op
Ravenswood School for Girls, Sat, 25 February 2017 ACER Co-op
Santa Sabina College Primary, Girls Sat, 25 February 2017 ACER Co-op
SCEGGS Girls, Sat, 25 February 2017 ACER Co-op
TARA School for Girls, Sat, 11 March 2017 EDU Test 

Wenona School, March 2017 Academic Services
Newington Boys, Monday 13 February 2017 Academic Services
Cranbrook School Boys, Sat, 4 March 2017 Academic Services
Knox Grammar Boys, Friday 17 February 2017, Academic Services
St Aloysius Bursaries, Boys - contact the Registrar - email:
Sydney Church of England Grammar School, Sat, 25 February 2017 ACER Co-op
Sydney Grammar Boys, Sun, 12 February, 2017 Other/unknown
The King’s School Boys, Sun, 19 February 2017 EDU Test

For more information and other states, visit the website of local private schools and also the website of the largest assessment agencies.

ACER scholarships
Academic Services Scholarships
EduTest scholarships