Part 1: Choosing a Selective School That’s Right for My Child

In this article, we will answer some commonly asked questions like "should I choose co-ed or single-sex school?" and "How competitive is it to get into my child's dream school?"

How do you know if you’re choosing a Selective School that’s right for your child? In the Selective School Application (which we will talk about in the next section), you must choose 3 Selective Schools.


Choosing a Selective School that’s right for your child

There are 4 key considerations you may wish to take into account when deciding which 3 schools are the best for your child.


Consideration #1: Type of Selective Schools

Here is a quick table which demonstrates which Selective School may be the best for your child according to what you might value:


What you valueType of High School
Academic EnvironmentFully Selective
Diversity and Cross-cultural CommunicationPartially Selective
Rural Background/ Agricultural EducationAgricultural High School or Aurora College
Musical Creativity Conservatorium High School

Consideration #2: Single-sex Schools vs Co-ed Selective Schools

In NSW, single-sex schools tend to outperform co-ed schools in the HSC. However, whether this is due to a single-sex environment is uncertain. Here are some pros and cons of single-sex high schools you may wish to take into consideration.


Pros of Single-sex High SchoolsCons of Single-sex High Schools
Gender-targeted learning

Students who attend a single-sex school tend to be more confident in Physics and Maths.

Girls’ schools tend to promote Feminist literature or books written by female authors which may be absent in Co-ed schools.

Does not promote socialisation between the genders
Gender-tailored extra-curricular activities

In most Selective School for Girls, there are clubs like Women in STEM. In most Selective School for Boys, they can join the Army Cadets.

May not prepare students for the ‘real world’ as they may lack communication skills to communicate with both genders
No ‘distractions’ from the other genderLack of perspective from both genders in group discussions

Consideration #3: HSC Ranking and Selective School Entry Scores

The end-goal for most parents is for their child to do well in the HSC which would allow them to pursue a wide range of professions at a prestigious university.

Keep in mind that Selective Schools which do the best in the HSC, tend to also have the highest entrance score although there are some exceptions. Chatswood High School, Parramatta High School and Alexandria Park are outliers of this trend where their entrance scores are considerably high compared to their actual HSC ranking. This may be because they are partially selective.

RankSchoolMinimum Entry Score 2021Minimum Entry Score 2020Minimum Entry Score 2019
1James Ruse Agricultural High School248246250
2Baulkham Hills High School233234230
3North Sydney Boys High School228231234
4Hornsby Girls High School221222227
5Girraween High School220218225
5North Sydney Girls High School220222226
5Sydney Boys High School220219229
8Normanhurst Boys High School217220225
9Fort Street High School216216222
10Sydney Girls High School215219225
11Chatswood High School214213215
12Penrith High School209208215
13Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus208207217
14Parramatta High School204201210
15Hurlstone Agricultural High School202200207
16St George Girls High School201198207
17Ryde Secondary College198200201
17Sydney Technical High School198190198
19Caringbah High School194196198
20Blacktown Girls High School192187189
21Blacktown Boys High School191189195
22Tempe High School189188189
23Sefton High School188192197
24Gosford High School187185188
24Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus187179186
26Merewether High School184185191
26Smiths Hill High School184181194
28Prairiewood High School181174177
28Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus181198182
30Macquarie FIelds High School178178179
31Alexandria Park Community School176174186
32Moorebank High School171170176
32Rose Bay Secondary College171174184
34Bonnyrigg High School165160162
35Armidale Secondary College162161160
36Elizabeth Macurthur High School161161162
37Auburn Girls High School160161160
37Aurora College (Virtual)160170172
37Gorokan High School160160161
37Grafton High School160160161
37Granville Boys High School160161161
37Karabar High School160166160
37Kooringal High School160161160
37Peel High School160160161

Consideration #4: Location and choosing a Selective School in your area


While Selective Schools have no catchment area, you may want to consider how long it takes for your child to get to school every day. Keep in mind that in high school, students can have after-school activities til 7pm. If your child lives an hour away from school, this can take a serious toll on their studies or it might discourage them from participating in extra-curricular activities.

We have included a few maps so you can see which Selective Schools are near you.


Sydney Metropolitan Area



Sydney North

Selective Guide Sydney North


Sydney South

Selective Guide Sydney South


Sydney West

Selective Guide Sydney West


How do we apply?

Now that you have picked the 3 best Selective Schools for your child, find out how you can apply!

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