Tuesday, 5 December 2017

2018 Selective School and Private School Scholarship Test Preparation

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

13 Jan
---
We are only  around 4-5 weeks away from the earliest scholarship tests of the main scholarship season for 2018 (to start year 7 in 2019).



School name
Type
Location
Date
Test type
Ranking
Trinity Grammar (IB)
Boys
Summer Hill
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
106
Ascham School
Girls
Edgecliff
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
18
Santa Sabina College (IB)
Girls
Strathfield
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
47
Brigidine College St Ives
Girls
St Ives
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
50
Sydney Grammar
Boys
Darlinghurst
Sun 11 Feb
 unknown
6
Newington (IB)
Boys
Stanmore
Mon 12 Feb
Academic Services
89
Emanuel School
Co-ed
Randwick
Thur 15 Feb
ACER alternative
38
Queenwood School for Girls (IB)
Girls
Mosman
Fri 16 Feb
Academic Services
19
St Luke’s Grammar School
Co-ed
Dee Why
Sat 17 Feb
Academic Services
58
Meriden School
Girls
Strathfield
Sat 17 Feb
Academic Services
22
MLC School (IB)
Girls
Burwood
Sat 17 Feb
ACER alternative
68
The King’s School
Boys
North Parramatta
Sun 18 Feb
Edu Test
30


The applications to the above schools should close around 2 weeks before the test date. Parents should put applications in ASAP. A good thing to notice is that all of these scholarships are unrelated. The only thing that stops students from taking many tests is when the dates clash.

For those students who intend to win a scholarship, it is expect that they work hard and finish at least 6 selective trials along side with many tests at year 6-7 level as indicated in the Selective Minimum Work Plan 2018.

12 Jan
---
This is a snapshot of how the current year students who have done 3 sets of selective trials compared to last year students' trials and selective profiles. 



24 Dec
---
Kids should be given a fun-filled week to settle them down for the next leg of selective test preparation. 

From 1st Jan-mid Feb, students work hard to prepare for scholarship tests and the selective test. The ones who are on the right pace will have a very easy time as they should by now stop all tutoring/trials at coaching colleges. Some even never had any tutoring class to start with. Those who are behind will have to work hard. Most kids around this time of the year will concentrate on doing enough work on Mathemafix to have enough experience going into these difficult tests.

The 2017 survey for selective tests confirm that we are on the right track with the kind of work and the difficulty of the work.



23 Dec
---
A fair number of students have done 3 trials. This table ranks students who have done 3 trials with last year students to give some idea where they are. As students proceed to trial #8, the average trial scores tend to fall as the time is stricter and the tests become a bit harder. This means they must work hard between trials to support the trial averages.



18 Dec
---
Students who have just joined at this late stage should do the following

1/ Quickly do some tests among the series marked with arrows so the online tutor can see performance and advise what to do
2/ Go to "Customise available series" at the bottom of Welcome page and follow that link. Then copy the table "Recommended work ..." Paste this into Word and reformat it to make a work tracking plan. Follow this tracking plan to make sure up to 30 tests get done per week during the holiday time.
3/ Go to page QUICK LINKS and print the document Selective Minimum Work plan 2018 to use as the guide to make sure the minimum amount of important tests are done. One must try to catch up to make sure the selective trials and boosters get done and 8 sets completed by end of Feb 2018.


15 Dec
---
HSC 2017 ranking by all rounders. We keep our own data to allow more efficient searching to identify the most consistent schools. There are many schools rising in ranking due to movement of population. Private schools are getting increasingly better perhaps because their rising number of students from Asian backgrounds.

http://mathemafix.com/hsc_all_rounders.html

14 Dec
---
Good problem solving skills requires good reading skills too. And this is why students who do well in ICAS Science competition tend to do well in the selective test. The scores from the following series tell a lot about the overall ability of students.

Mini Science and General Problem Solving Grade 4      
Mini Science and General Problem Solving Grade 5-6


While science is not part of the selective test, these tests need the general observation skills and thinking skills. Students who are ahead of selective prep pace and have not completed these tests should now do them. The failed questions should be reviewed carefully.

07 Dec
---
The TSC scholarship results are out. Three boys were short-listed for interviews. The performance looks fantastic. This again confirms the writing strategies that have taken the kids to band 9 where it is possible to secure interviews.

interview interview
interviewno interview

no interview
no interview
no interview no interview
no interview

05 Dec
---
Pymble LC scholarship results are coming back. They look pretty solid even though there is no offer of interview. Writing is the area where kids are most vulnerable. It looks like the writing class helped the kids a lot as the lowest is touching band 8 while one student improved from end of band 5 (in Mar scholarship test) to middle of band 8 in this Oct scholarship test.


01 Dec 
---
There are students who are still struggle to score well at year 5/OC level. At end of Dec, they must move on and work with the Selectuve Minimum Work Plan 2018. They still have to do the 8 selective trials and some of the Selective Boosters to get redy for the selective test.

Over the Christmas and New year school holidays, these students should try to get a lot of work done. When the number of test results get to 700, it does make a real difference. This may mean that they have to do 25-30 tests per week during the holidays. Then, when term 1 of 2018 starts, it makes sense to take 2 days off from school per week to do more work. This makes room for a rest just before the selective test. Students can take 1 full week off doing nothing just to relax, stay healthy and let the memory fully recover from the pressure of hard work.

29 Nov
---
A revision set of  year 6 school maths for checking learning gaps have been uploaded to page QUICK LINKS.

Year 5 students can do the year 6 revision set to make sure there are no learning gaps. This is the minimum level of school maths expected to support the difficult maths at selective test level.

Parents will have to do the marking or students have to get on the module Maths Lessons, go to the Weekly Revision section and put the answers in for each 2-page test to get the questions marked.

Those who still have learning maths gaps should use the document Maths Lessons guide to cover all school maths topics at 1 year higher than their current school year. This is the minimum required. 


For a few students who are well ahead of others in selective preparation and their scores in Maths and English at year 6-7 level are consistently around 90%, it might be a good idea to do the year 7 maths revision. Year 7 maths is not very relevant to selective maths questions but it can provide more efficient ways for calculation (speeding up).

27 Nov
---
It's now the time to look at applying for private school scholarships. Many students have completed the early scholarship tests. The result coming out in Dec will give some idea on strengths and weaknesses and inform how to prepare for the main scholarship season (and the Selective test).

Parents who are interested in private school scholarships should apply to 2-3 schools and try to make sure the test dates are as far apart as possible.

Popular private schools in Sydney offering scholarships

This list is for 2017 and 2018.  Early scholarships in Sep-Nov are offered at Abbotsleigh, Pymble LC, Danebank (girls) and Barker, The Scots College (boys) in 2017. However, Barker and Abbotsleigh do NOT offer performance report to parents.

Parents must also beware of the ACER co-op test (one test with result to be shared between schools). This test forces parents to nominate a preferred school (first choice). Often, other lower schools will be happy to take the fee but won't offer anything. So it makes sense to apply to just ONE school offering the ACER co-op test.

The ranking in 2016 HSC can serve as a guide. However, any school that provide IB program would have their best students in IB program (and they will not do HSC). That means the ranking based on HSC will be lower than otherwise. This is why some schools ranked outside top 50 but offers IB are also considered as elite schools.

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



School name
Type
Location
Date
Test type
Ranking
Trinity Grammar (IB)
Boys
Summer Hill
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
106
Sydney Grammar
Boys
Darlinghurst
Sun 11 Feb
 unknown
6
Newington (IB)
Boys
Stanmore
Mon 12 Feb
Academic Services
89
The King’s School
Boys
North Parramatta
Sun 18 Feb
Edu Test
30
Knox Grammar
Boys
Wahroonga
Fri 23 Feb
Academic Services
28
Sydney Church of England Grammar School (SHORE)
Boys
North Sydney
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
26
St Joseph’s College
Boys
Hunters Hill
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
90
Cranbrook School (IB)
Boys
Bellevue Hill
Sat 3 Mar
Academic Services
56
Emanuel School
Co-ed
Randwick
Thur 15 Feb
ACER alternative
38
St Luke’s Grammar School
Co-ed
Dee Why
Sat 17 Feb
Academic Services
58
Arden Anglican School Secondary
Co-ed
Epping
Sat 24 Feb
Academic Services
116
International Grammar School
Co-ed
Ultimo
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
96
Penrith Anglican College Secondary (IB)
Co-ed
Orchard Hills
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
96
Oxford Falls Grammar School
Co-ed
Oxford Falls
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
107
Pittwater House
Co-ed
Collaroy
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
110
Northholm Grammar School
Co-ed
Fiddletown
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
130
Thomas Hassall Anglican College
Co-ed
Middleton Grange
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
137
St Andrew’s Cathedral School (IB)
Co-ed
Sydney
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
139
Georges River Grammar
Co-ed
Georges Hall
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
140
SCECGS Redlands (IB)
Co-ed
Cremorne
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
153
Rosebank College
Co-ed
Five Dock
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
179
St Paul's Grammar School (IB)
Co-ed
Cranebrook
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
273
All Saints Grammar
Co-ed
Belmore
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
278
ShellHarbour Anglican College
Co-ed
Dunmore
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
290
Wollondilly Anglican College
Co-ed
Bargo
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
304
Rouse Hill Anglican College
Co-ed
Rouse Hill
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
313
Reddam House School
Co-ed
Woollahra
TBA (in Mar)
ACER alternative
8
The Hills Grammar (IB)
Co-ed
Kenthurst
Sat 3 Mar
Academic Services
73
Pacific Hills Christian School
Co-ed
Dural
Sat 3 Mar
ACER alternative
131
St George Christian School
Co-ed
Hurstville
Fri 9 Mar
ACER alternative
169
St Catherine’s School
Girls
Waverley
Sat 10 Mar
Academic Services
46
The Illawarra Grammar School (IB)
Co-ed
Mangerton
Thur 29 Mar
Academic Services
245
Ascham School
Girls
Edgecliff
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
18
Santa Sabina College (IB)
Girls
Strathfield
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
47
Brigidine College St Ives
Girls
St Ives
Sat 10 Feb
Academic Services
50
Queenwood School for Girls (IB)
Girls
Mosman
Fri 16 Feb
Academic Services
19
Meriden School
Girls
Strathfield
Sat 17 Feb
Academic Services
22
MLC School (IB)
Girls
Burwood
Sat 17 Feb
ACER alternative
68
SCEGGS
Girls
Darlinghurst
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
12
Presbyterian Ladies' College
Girls
Croydon
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
36
Ravenswood School (IB)
Girls
Gordon
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
39
Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy (IB)
Girls
North Sydney
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
74
St Vincent’s College
Girls
Potts Point
Sat 24 Feb
ACER Co-op
81
Wenona School
Girls
North Sydney
Fri 2 Mar
Academic Services
15
TARA Anglican School for Girls (IB)
Girls
North Parramatta
Fri 2 Mar
Academic Services
43
Kambala School (IB)
Girls
Rose Bay
Sat 3 Mar
Academic Services
56
Our Lady of Mercy College  Parramatta Secondary
Girls
Parramatta
Sat 3 Mar
Academic Services
100


There is one high ranked selective Catholic school in North Sydney called St Aloysius that has a generous bursary program but ONLY for Catholic students. Parents must contact the school for details.

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

ACER scholarships (with links to different states)
Academic Services Scholarships
EduTest scholarships
Independent Schools Scholarships & Bursaries
27th Nov
---
No girls received offers of interview from Danebank, Abbotsleigh and Pymble LC. It looks like no girls went for Danebank. We will know more about their performance when the report comes out for Pymble LC test. This is fine as the early scholarship tests are just for warming up. We are focusing on peaking the students in Feb for the main scholarship season and the selective school test. The scores on first 3 selective trials and series that lead to these look very good for the strong students. So everything is looking very smooth to match last year's performance.


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
Qty
OC Mathematics Booster (6 tests)
all
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)
all
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


Time
Activities
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.


ICAS SUBJECT
ICAS SITTING DATE
OFFICIAL CLOSING DATE
Digital Technologies
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Friday, 7 April 2017
Science
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Writing
Monday, 12 June – Friday, 16 June 2017*
Monday, 15 May 2017
Spelling
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
English
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Friday, 23 June 2017
Mathematics
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Friday, 23 June 2017
 

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

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