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?"

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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 value Type of High School
Academic Environment Fully Selective
Diversity and Cross-cultural Communication Partially Selective
Rural Background/ Agricultural Education Agricultural 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 Schools Cons 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 gender Lack 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.

Rank School Minimum Entry Score 2021 Minimum Entry Score 2020 Minimum Entry Score 2019
1 James Ruse Agricultural High School 248 246 250
2 Baulkham Hills High School 233 234 230
3 North Sydney Boys High School 228 231 234
4 Hornsby Girls High School 221 222 227
5 Girraween High School 220 218 225
5 North Sydney Girls High School 220 222 226
5 Sydney Boys High School 220 219 229
8 Normanhurst Boys High School 217 220 225
9 Fort Street High School 216 216 222
10 Sydney Girls High School 215 219 225
11 Chatswood High School 214 213 215
12 Penrith High School 209 208 215
13 Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus 208 207 217
14 Parramatta High School 204 201 210
15 Hurlstone Agricultural High School 202 200 207
16 St George Girls High School 201 198 207
17 Ryde Secondary College 198 200 201
17 Sydney Technical High School 198 190 198
19 Caringbah High School 194 196 198
20 Blacktown Girls High School 192 187 189
21 Blacktown Boys High School 191 189 195
22 Tempe High School 189 188 189
23 Sefton High School 188 192 197
24 Gosford High School 187 185 188
24 Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus 187 179 186
26 Merewether High School 184 185 191
26 Smiths Hill High School 184 181 194
28 Prairiewood High School 181 174 177
28 Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus 181 198 182
30 Macquarie FIelds High School 178 178 179
31 Alexandria Park Community School 176 174 186
32 Moorebank High School 171 170 176
32 Rose Bay Secondary College 171 174 184
34 Bonnyrigg High School 165 160 162
35 Armidale Secondary College 162 161 160
36 Elizabeth Macurthur High School 161 161 162
37 Auburn Girls High School 160 161 160
37 Aurora College (Virtual) 160 170 172
37 Gorokan High School 160 160 161
37 Grafton High School 160 160 161
37 Granville Boys High School 160 161 161
37 Karabar High School 160 166 160
37 Kooringal High School 160 161 160
37 Peel High School 160 160 161

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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