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 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.


Selective Schools Ranked According to 2018 HSCTypeEntrance Score
1James Ruse Agricultural High SchoolFully Selective Co-educational250
2North Sydney Boys High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex234
3Sydney Girls High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex225
4Baulkham Hills High SchoolFully Selective Co-educational230
5North Sydney Girls High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex226
6Sydney Boys High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex229
7Hornsby Girls High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex227
8Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly CampusFully Selective Co-educational217
9Fort Street High SchoolFully Selective Co-educational222
10Normanhurst Boys High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex225
11St George Girls High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex207
12Girraween High SchoolFully Selective Co-educational225
13Sydney Technical High SchoolFully Selective Single-sex198
14Penrith High SchoolFully Selective Co-educational215
15Hurlstone Agricultural High SchoolFully Selective Co-educational207
16Caringbah High SchoolFully Selective Co-educational198
17Smiths Hill High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational194
18Gosford High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational188
19Merewether High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational191
20Sefton High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational197
21Chatswood High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational215
22Tempe High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational189
23Ryde Secondary CollegePartially Selective Co-educational201
24Prairiewood High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational177
25Rose Bay Secondary CollegePartially Selective Co-educational184
26Macquarie Fields High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational179
27Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt CampusFully Selective Co-educational186
28Sydney Secondary College Balmain CampusFully Selective Co-educational182
29Parramatta High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational210
30Moorebank High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational176
31Bonnyrigg High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational162
32Elizabeth Macarthur High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational162
33Alexandria Park Community SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational186
34Auburn Girls High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational160
35Karabar High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational160
36Duval High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educationalN/A
37Blacktown Girls High SchoolPartially Selective Single-sex189
38Farrer Memorial Agricultural High SchoolFully Selective Single-sexN/A
39Armidale High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational160
40Blacktown Boys High SchoolPartially Selective Single-sex195
41Kooringal High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational160
42Peel High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational161
43Grafton High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational161
44Gorokan High SchoolPartially Selective Co-educational161
45Aurora CollegeVirtual172
46Granville Boys High SchoolPartially Selective Single-Sex161

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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