Students undergo multiple-choice testing in reading, mathematics and general ability. They also complete a 20 minute writing task. The results from these tests are combined with school assessment scores in English and mathematics to form the student's profile score. Student profile scores are generally the most important determiners of academic merit used in the placement process.
The next Selective High School Placement Test will be conducted on the morning of Thursday 12 March 2015.
It will be administered statewide in designated test centres, usually established in government high schools. All applicants in NSW are required to sit for the test unless there are extenuating circumstances. Candidates must be allocated to a test centre to sit the test.
The test is conducted only on this day and only in designated test centres in NSW.
The Selective High School Placement Test is an ability test which is able to differentiate accurately between students of very high ability. It is rare for any candidate to score full marks in any of its components.
Students who miss the test through illness or other unavoidable mishap may be considered through the illness/misadventure procedure. Students unable to take the test because they are interstate or overseas at the time should contact the Unit to determine whether they should apply to be considered under the illness/misadventure procedure or the interstate/overseas procedure.
The test is developed by an external test development company under contract to the Department of Education and Communities. It is a secure test and, apart from the sample test papers which have been published online, tests are not made available for scrutiny before or after the test session. The test does not usually contain any questions used in previous years.