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Are you ready for the Selective School Placement Test?

The Selective High School Placement Test is undertaken every year in March of Year 6. It is designed to measure the student's academic ability and provide opportunities for students to enter selective high schools.

The exam itself consists of 4 parts: a 20-minute writing test and three 40-minute multiple-choice tests focused on the key areas of Reading (45 questions), Mathematics (40 questions) and General Ability (60 questions).

Understanding the format of the exam, as well as the number of questions that need to be answered in designated time frames is essential to ensuring that your child finishes the exam on time. As a general guide, each Reading question should take 30 seconds excluding reading the passages, each Mathematics question should take 1 minute, and each GA question should take 40 seconds to complete.

"Practice makes perfect"

"How do we prepare for the Selective Exam?" is common question. The key is to be prepared. Your child needs to understand they types of questions that will be asked and understand how to solve these particular question types in the most efficient way possible.

The following are a few examples of questions which have been commonly seen year to year:


  • Area

  • Perimeter

  • Ratio & Rates

  • Data interpretation

  • Algebra

  • Percentages & Fractions

  • Averages

  • Volume

  • Number patterns and sequences

  • Speed, distance, time

The key to acing the Mathematics section of the paper is to answer the above question types using the fastest method possible. For example, there are countless methods to solve algebra questions, but do you know the quickest? This is where the trained students will out-perform the untrained. Trained students will have the ability to solve all the questions in the given time plus have extra time to check back on difficult questions.

General Ability

  • Vocabulary questions (synonyms and antonyms)

  • Word classification

  • Logic and reasoning

  • Matrices

  • Anagrams

  • Analogies (verbal and non-verbal)

  • Codes

  • Patterns (numbers, letters and mixed)


Looking at the Writing section more specifically, students are given a stimulus which they must incorporate into their answer effectively. The stimulus could either be an image, a statement, a heading or a question. A specific textual form may be asked, for example persuasive writing. Practice and engagement with different stimuli online and textual forms will be crucial to achieving well.


The Reading section requires students to read short passages and then answer multiple-choice questions testing their understanding of the text. We have developed a very specific formula to answer multiple choice questions related to reading comprehension. Remember, the key is to answer these questions in under 60 seconds, therefore we don't always have the luxury to go back and find the answer in the text.

If you are reading this thinking whether it's too late to start now, the answer is 'no'. There is no time like the present.

Call us today to enquire about our Selective Testing Course.

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