At Master Coaching Hurstville we endeavour to prepare Year 5 students for success in the NSW Department of Education Selective High School Placement Test held annually in March. The NSW Department of Education states on their website that the Selective High School Placement Test is designed to measure ability rather than mastery of the school curriculum. Students undergo multiple-choice tests in reading (45 questions), mathematics (40 questions) and general ability (60 questions). Each multiple-choice test is 40 minutes in duration with answers recorded in black pen on computer marked answer sheets. There is also a writing task which is 20 minutes in duration and is marked by trained markers using pre-determined criteria. Two pages are provided for the writing task. The writing stimulus may be an image, a statement, a heading or a question to which students have to respond in writing. The writing will be judged on the quality of the thinking about the topic, the organisation of ideas and the control of language demonstrated in developing the piece of writing.
Students are assessed on a moderated result out of 300. Each student will receive a school-based mark out of 100 for English and Mathematics, the tests conducted in March makes up 200 marks. English and Mathematics results are combined from school scores and Placement test scores of 50% each. General Ability results are obtained from the 60 question test only, thus one-third of each student’s result comes from General Ability score. Mastering General Ability is vital to doing well in the Selective School Placement Test and the skills required to master this test are not taught in schools.
Our Selective School courses aim to skill each student to obtain maximum results in their Placement Test. We do this through practising mock exams, modelling solutions and learning and revising effective methods for finding answers. Once students start to achieve success in mock exams, we teach them the strategies required to manage their time allocation for each subject area. Without this vital skill, for example, the average student would realistically struggle to complete a 60 question General Ability test in 40 minutes. Success in this course requires an undertaking on behalf of students to complete weekly homework tasks to reinforce concepts learnt weekly. Students will find that they will be able to confidently sit for mock exams after thoroughly going through previous mock exams with their tutor conducted during the first two or three terms of the course.