Selective High School Placement


Contact Details

High Performing Students Unit Postal address: Locked Bag 53, DARLINGHURST NSW 1300
Phone: 1300 880 367                  Fax: 02 9266 8435


Selective High School Placement Profile Score

Explanation of score processing

What does scaling and  moderation mean?

View a presentation explaining the moderation and scaling of scores.

What is the calculated placement score?

The calculated placement score (previously known as calculated profile score) is a mark out of 300 which is used to rank candidates applying for selective high school placement. For most students the calculated placement score is provided at the bottom of the letter or email advising the outcome of their application.

What other scores can I ask for?

Further details of a student s calculated placement score can be provided only where the placement score was shown on the placement outcome information.

A calculated placement score may not be shown on the outcome information because the score was not available or because it was not the only determiner of academic merit.

Where the placement score is shown on the outcome advice you can request details of scores using the Request for scores online form until late September. After that time, email the Unit to request scores. Apart from the calculated placement score you will receive a letter or email detailing the following:  

1. School assessment scores

Schools provide school assessment scores based generally on the student's performance on the school's curriculum in Year 4 and up to the end of Year 5. Schools have the discretion to set their own assessment criteria. The scores are provided for:


out of 100


out of 100


2. Test scores

Students take the Selective High School Placement Test and receive the following set of scores:

Reading out of 45
Writing out of 20
Mathematics out of 40
General ability out of 60


Can I ask for any other scores?

The Unit does not have the resources to provide details such as adjusted scores or school rankings.


What do the school assessment scores mean?

The school assessment scores for English and mathematics rank all candidates from a particular school applying for selective high school placement in order of merit showing the relative gaps between the students.

For example, a school with five candidates may provide the following school assessment scores: 




Student A        



Student B



Student C



Student D



Student E



How does the selection committee use the school assessment scores?

These scores tell the selection committee how the students are performing in their own school environment, but the selection committee needs to see how that performance ranks with the performance of all other candidates in the other schools in the state.

Therefore, as part of the calculation these school assessment scores are moderated to make them meaningful across the state and to give them the same weight as the scaled test marks.

How are the school assessment scores moderated?

The mean (average) and standard deviation (spread of scores) of the English and mathematics tests are calculated for all of the students from each primary school who sat the test.

The mean and standard deviation are applied to the school assessment scores for English and mathematics.

What happens to the test scores?

For each test component, the test score is scaled to a mean of 60 and a standard deviation of 12. In other words the average score correct out of 45 for Reading is scaled to 60 out of 100 and all other scores are calculated relative to that score of 60. The process does not convert the test score to a percentage score.

What happens next?

The rest of the score processing averages the moderated school assessment scores and the scaled test scores for English and mathematics, rescales them to a mean of 60 and a standard deviation of 12 and adds the scaled general ability score. The three scores out of 100 are combined to make the calculated placement score out of 300. 

Component School assessment score Test scores Total


(including reading and writing)

50 50 100
Mathematics 50 50 100
General ability No school scores 100 100
Total 100 200 300

Can I compare my child's score with the score of a child from another school or a previous year?

No. Each school's candidature is used to moderate its own school assessment scores quite separately from any other school so comparisons between students at different schools are not valid. Comparisons between students at the same school in previous years are similarly invalid as each year has a totally different test and a totally different school candidature.

Is the calculated placement score the only score used for selective high school entry?

For most students the calculated placement score is the score on which students are considered. However, for a small group of students, selection committees have the discretion to consider factors which may have prevented students from showing their true academic merit. These factors may include a student's disability, language or cultural background or any illness suffered during the test. In these cases, scores can be adjusted by the selection committee.

Can students ever achieve a score of 300?

It would be very unusual for a student to achieve a score of 300 for selective high school placement as the test is very difficult and school assessment scores rarely moderate to 100 but the top score tends to be between 270 and 280.

What happens if my school can't or won't provide a school assessment score?

If your child attends a government school with more than one candidate for selective high school placement and you applied before the closing date and your child has been at the school long enough to be assessed validly, it is mandatory for the school to provide school assessment scores. The High Performing Students Unit will follow this up where schools have overlooked that part of the processing.

If your child attends a non-government school you must present your application to the school for processing. In some cases the principals of non-government schools may refrain from providing school assessment scores as a matter of policy. In these cases parents must seek formal exemption by completing and lodging this exemption form. The selection committees will not generally grant an exemption to students without school assessment scores if other applicants from the same school have them. 

Where school assessment scores are not provided and the selection committee determines that exemption has been granted or that provision of school assessment scores is not appropriate, the application will normally be considered on the basis of the test scores only.

What happens if my child cannot sit the Selective High School Placement Test?  

If your child misses the test through circumstances that were unforeseen and the selection committee determines that satisfactory documentary evidence has been provided, the student will be considered on moderated school assessment scores where these are available (where two or more students from the same school sat the test and had school assessment scores). Applicants  living outside NSW or Australia and so cannot sit the test must use the interstate and overseas procedure.

What happens if neither moderated school scores nor Selective High School Placement Test scores are available?

Where neither moderated school assessment scores nor test scores are available the parent should provide the results of an individual IQ test. Where this alternative is not available the selection committee will consider the student on the basis of any evidence of academic merit provided.

What score does a student have to gain to be successful for selective high school placement?

There is no set score which students have to achieve to be successful for selective high school placement. The minimum entry score for each selective high school depends on the score achieved by the candidates for that school and can vary from school to school and from year to year. 

The scores required for entry in last year's placement process is available on the internet at: Entry scores. These are the scores of the last students accepting offers from the reserve lists of selective schools, having sat the test in 2015 for entry to Year 7 in 2016.


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