Victorian Selective Entry High School (SEHS) Exams [All you need to know]

Victorian Selective Entry High School (SEHS) Exams

Victoria selective schools are specialized educational institutions that provide a challenging and enriching academic environment for high-achieving students. These schools aim to nurture and develop the talents of intellectually gifted students through a rigorous curriculum and specialized programs.



Attending a selective school in Victoria offers numerous advantages. Firstly, students have the opportunity to learn alongside like-minded peers who share their enthusiasm for learning. This fosters a stimulating and supportive academic environment. Additionally, selective schools often offer specialized programs, enrichment activities, and access to resources that cater to the unique needs of gifted students.


Academic excellence is a hallmark of Victoria selective schools. These institutions provide a comprehensive and challenging curriculum that encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and independent learning. Students are exposed to a wide range of subjects, ensuring a well-rounded education.


Host: Victoria selective schools offer a range of support and enrichment programs to enhance students' learning experiences. These programs may include extracurricular activities, advanced classes, research opportunities, and collaborations with universities and industry professionals. The aim is to provide students with a holistic education that goes beyond the classroom.


Host: Selective schools in Victoria foster a strong sense of community and belonging among students, teachers, and parents. Students often form lifelong friendships and valuable connections with their peers, creating a supportive network that extends beyond their school years.


The experience of attending a selective school in Victoria is truly unique. Students are challenged academically, encouraged to pursue their passions, and provided with opportunities for personal and intellectual growth. The supportive environment, dedicated teachers, and like-minded peers contribute to a vibrant and inspiring educational journey.

Victoria is renowned for its exceptional selective schools, providing an unparalleled educational experience for gifted and talented students. These schools are carefully designed to challenge and nurture young minds, fostering a passion for learning and personal growth. With a wide range of programs, extracurricular activities, and support systems, these schools empower students to reach their full potential and excel in their chosen fields.

Melbourne High School, located in South Yarra, is one of the most prestigious selective schools in Victoria. Founded in 1905, it has a rich history of academic excellence and offers a comprehensive curriculum across various disciplines. The school also emphasizes co-curricular activities, including sports, music, and performing arts. Mac.Robertson Girls' High School, situated in Melbourne's CBD, is renowned for its focus on empowering young women in education. Established in 1905, it offers a rigorous academic program with a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The school also fosters a supportive and inclusive environment.
Suzanne Cory High School, situated in Werribee, focuses on providing an enriched education for gifted students. The school offers a specialized curriculum that encompasses a broad range of subjects, including science, technology, humanities, and arts. Suzanne Cory High School also promotes leadership development and encourages students to engage in community service. Nossal High School, located in Berwick, Victoria, is a highly esteemed selective school renowned for its commitment to excellence in education. Established in 2010, the school is named after Sir Gustav Nossal, a prominent Australian scientist and medical researcher. Nossal High School offers a rigorous academic program, with a particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Each selective school in Victoria boasts a supportive and inclusive community that fosters collaboration, personal growth, and cultural diversity. With passionate teachers and dedicated staff, these schools create an environment where students can flourish academically, socially, and emotionally

Select Entry Accelerated Learning (SEAL) program

In addition to dedicated selective schools, Victoria also offers the Select Entry Accelerated Learning (SEAL) programs. These programs are available in various secondary schools across the state, providing accelerated learning opportunities for academically gifted students. The Select Entry Accelerated Learning (SEAL) program offers gifted students an opportunity to progress through advanced coursework at an accelerated pace. This program is particularly beneficial for students who feel unchallenged by the standard curriculum and seek greater academic rigor.

Typically, students enrolled in the SEAL program complete years 7 to 10 of their high school education within a condensed timeframe of three years. This accelerated progression allows them more flexibility in deciding how to approach their final years of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). Some students choose to complete their VCE in the following two years, while others utilize the additional year to undertake a broader range of VCE subjects or pursue university extension courses. Ultimately, this extra year affords students a greater opportunity to achieve the high ATAR score they aspire to attain.

To gain entry into the SEAL program of a SEAL Academy school, students must achieve high performance results in an entrance exam. Students who wish to undertake the SEAL program in a particular school year, must sit for the entrance test the year before.

You may go to the respective school website to find out about the school specific dates, procedures and requirements for entrance exams and/or contact the school by phone. For instance , the testing date for Albert park college is on Saturday 12 August 2023 for 2024 intake.


Host: When considering a selective school in Victoria, it's important to research and understand the specific programs, curriculum, and values offered by each institution. Consider factors such as location, academic focus, extracurricular opportunities, and the overall school culture. Visiting open days and speaking with current students or parents can also provide valuable insights.

Placements are allocated based on the order of preference. Here are some factors to consider:

Travel: Evaluate the distance between your home and the school. Consider how you will commute to and from school each day and whether it will be convenient for you.

Scores: Keep in mind that each school has different score requirements. Before applying, ensure that you meet the necessary score criteria for your chosen school in order to secure a placement.

Changes: Remember that there is a limited time window for making edits to your application. It is crucial to double-check all the details before submitting. Make sure your parents are also well-informed about the application process and have all the necessary information.

When applying, you can choose a maximum of three schools in order of preference. If you successfully clear the test for all three schools, you will be placed in your first-choice school. The same principle applies if you clear the test for schools 2 and 3. Hence, the order of school preference is vital in determining your placement.


In a recent newsletter by Roger Page, the principal of Nossal High School, it was revealed that significant changes were underway regarding the Selective Entry exam. Previously administered by EduTest, the Selective Schools have now entered into a contract with ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research) to conduct the exam for the foreseeable future. As a result, the upcoming exam scheduled for July 15, 2023, will be subject to the new arrangements.

The selective schools test is an examination that students must sit in order to gain admission into a ‘selective’ high school. As proud government schools, these are some of the most prestigious and sought-after in the country, and usually require a higher standard of academic achievement than other schools. Every year up to over 3,000 students try to get a school spot

The upcoming exam places a greater emphasis on assessing abilities rather than relying solely on past achievements. It will be conducted in a written format, with a particular focus on evaluating higher order thinking skills. It's important to note that the knowledge required for each section of the test does not exceed what is typically taught in the Year 8 curriculum. This ensures that students are assessed based on their potential and aptitude rather than advanced subject matter.

From 2023 one of the significant changes in the selective school exam is that the tested knowledge will not go beyond the Year 8 curriculum. However, it's important to note that this doesn't imply superficial knowledge will suffice.

EVERY part of the test counts – you can’t just expect superior maths skills to get you through. The whole test counts.


Before we begin with the tips, it's crucial to understand the test format. Selective school test consists of five sections of multiple choice and written tasks in English, Mathematics, and General Ability. Each section assesses different skills and abilities. Familiarize yourself with the test structure to better prepare. In 2023, the Selective Entry High Schools SEHS entrance exam will include:

Ability tests

This includes Verbal reasoning & Numerical reasoning.

The tests administered aim to assess your child's problem-solving abilities without relying on prior knowledge. The results of these tests can provide valuable insights into your child's learning potential and their capacity to handle complex tasks. The exam consists of two main components: verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. The verbal reasoning test evaluates your child's ability to analyze and comprehend written information, while the numerical reasoning test focuses on their aptitude for solving mathematical problems. These tests provide a comprehensive evaluation of your child's cognitive abilities and their potential for future academic success.

Achievement tests

These tests measure actual achievement or performance in key academic areas. Achievement scores are influenced by a student’s ability, and the application and practice of knowledge that has been learned.

The 3 achievement tests are reading comprehension, mathematics, and written expression.

Students complete one written expression test. Students may be asked to produce any of the following text types – creative or persuasive.

Test Timings

The exam takes approximately three hours to complete. The exam comprises of a series of tests including multiple choice questions and written tasks:

Reasoning Reading Reasoning Mathematics Short break General ability Verbal General ability Quantitative Short break Writing
(35 mins) (30 mins) (20 mins) (30 mins) (30 mins) (5 mins) (40 mins)

Prior to commencing each test, the administrator will go through practice examples with the candidates to ensure they have an understanding of what to expect.

Applications to sit the entrance examination to commence in Year 9, 2024 was opened on 2 March 2023. The entrance examination will be held on 15 July 2023.

To be eligible to apply for and attend a Selective Entry High School, students must be in their second year of secondary schooling or its equivalent (usually Year 8), have not previously sat the examination for Year 9 entry, and be:

  • An Australian citizen, or
  • A New Zealand citizen residing in Australia, or
  • Holders of a visa or ImmiCard, which would exempt them from paying International Student Fees to attend a Victorian government school or
  • Able meet the above criteria by the time the offers process commences.

An application fee of $160 is payable at the time of application. Payment is made online.

When will offers be made?

Places in the selective entry high schools are offered in rounds – the first round of offers is distributed in early August each year. In 2023, the first round of offers will be sent via email (date to be advised). Applicants who receive a first-round offer will have until (date to be advised) to accept or decline this offer. Instructions on how to accept or decline the offer will be included in the email.

Exam day checklist: Please take these items to the exam:

  • Proof of identity (required)
  • Admission ticket (required)
  • Two blue or black pens (required)
  • Bottle of water
  • Snacks for the break