VIC Selective High Schools

Victoria’s four selective entry high schools provide an educationally enriched environment for academically high-achieving students in Years 9 to 12 with approximately 1,000 places offered in any year.

Department of Education and Training, Victoria conducts a centralised entrance test for Year-9 entry in the following selective entry high schools:

Melbourne High School (boys only), South Yarra

The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, Melbourne  

Nossal High School, Berwick

Suzanne Cory High School, Werribee 

The Selective Entrance Test

Students are selected based on a competitive entrance examination which is made up of both ability tests and achievement tests. The exam consists of five tests in total and takes about three hours to complete.

The entrance exam There are The exam is as follows:

Ability Tests

Ability tests are targeted to measure students’ ability to solve problems without prior knowledge. The aim is to predict how quickly a student can learn and their ability to deal with complex problems. The two ability tests are

  • Verbal Reasoning (multiple-choice, 30 minutes)
  • Numerical Reasoning (multiple-choice, 30 minutes)

Achievement Tests

The objective of achievement tests is to measure a student’s ability to apply the knowledge they have been learning. It measures their actual achievement or performance in key academic areas. The three achievement tests are

  • Reading Comprehension (multiple-choice, 30 minutes)
  • Mathematics (multiple-choice, 30 minutes)
  • Persuasive or Creative Writing (15 minutes writing, no additional reading time)

Sample test papers are available to assist applicants who wish to become familiar with the selective entry high school tests.

Information Source: Victoria State Government: Education and Training

Download Sample Papers
Download Official Information Pack


The enrolments in selective high schools are categorised as per the following

Standard Category - 85 per cent of students are accepted based on examination results only. Within this category, no more than 5 per cent of Year 8 students from any one school can be accepted across the four selective entry high schools.

Equity Consideration Category - up to 10 per cent of enrolments are through the equity consideration category. Students eligible for a place under the equity consideration category are the same as those exempt from paying the application fee, that is:

  • students who have parents with either a Commonwealth Health Care Card or a Pension Card, and who qualify for income support benefits, are eligible to apply for Equity Consideration (see Attachment 2 for an example)
  • students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders on the application form.

Principal’s discretion category - up to 5 per cent of enrolments are made under the principal’s discretion category. The principal of each selective entry high school has the authority to offer up to 5 per cent of places through the principal’s discretion category.

Individual selective entry schools identify from the examination results in those students who they wish to invite to submit an application under the principal’s discretion category. These applications, including the due dates for submission, are handled by the individual schools. An invitation to submit an application for a principal’s discretion category is not an offer for a place at the school.

From the submitted principal’s discretion applications, the schools shortlist and interview students, and make offers directly to students.

The above eligibility criteria apply to students living in Victoria, as well as those living and studying interstate or overseas.

Order of Preference

Parents can list up to three schools they would prefer their child to attend. The order of preferences is important. Applicants should put the most preferred school as number one. 

If a student qualifies for more than one school, applicants will only be offered the highest preference for which the student qualifies. Offers for one selective entry high school are not transferable to another selective entry high school.

If a student qualifies for more than one school, the student will only be offered their highest preference. Students cannot choose a different school from their preferences or transfer an offer.


Places in the selective entry high schools are offered in rounds:

The first round of offers emailed with instructions in early November. Applicants who receive a first-round offer have a deadline to accept or decline this offer. If there is no response to an offer before the offer deadline, or if the offer is declined, it will go to the next highest placed eligible student. Extensions to the offer deadline cannot be granted.

The rounds process means that a student who is unsuccessful in the first round may still secure a place through a later round, or that during a later round a student already offered a place may receive an offer at a school higher in their order of preference.  Offers may continue until the end of December.

Parents must respond to the Selective Entry Unit by email and not to individual schools. Parents who wish to withdraw from an offer that they previously accepted should notify the Selective Entry Unit by email and not individual schools.


Information Source: Victoria State Government: Education and Training