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November 28, 2020, 06:40:59 am

Author Topic: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗  (Read 1264 times)  Share 

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homeworkisapotato

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📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« on: September 04, 2020, 11:13:55 am »
+17
Hey everyone!
For the past few months, the ĎRecent Postsí section on AN has been filled with posts in the ĎSelective Schools Admissions Testsí section, and Iíve been wanting to contribute to the community for a long while now so Iíve decided to give some tips which helped me get into Uni Highís AP program in Year 6 (3 superiors and 2 above averages), and Suzanne Cory High school in Year 8 (4 superiors and 2 high averages). Suzanne Cory also does this thing where they make you do the Year 10 Edutest to see if youíve improved and I got 5/5 superiors on that, so you can trust my advice (I just realised this whole paragraph seems like a brag oops). This is mainly for Year 8 entry into Year 9, but some of these tips such as writing can be applied to any selective school exam.

The Edutest usually has 6 components: persuasive writing, creative writing, mathematics, reading comprehension, numerical reasoning, and verbal reasoning. Here are some tips to cover each one:

Verbal Reasoning
-You only have 30 seconds per question so if you see a paragraph before you actually get to the question, skip it and come back to it later
-   If you get one of those ĎAll PUFS are RUFSí questions, draw venn diagrams. Seriously.
-   Read a LOT of books to develop your vocabulary. I remember in Year 7/8 I read the Harry Potter series (which seriously skyrocketed my vocabulary and was a great read), the Divergent series, and the Percy Jackson series. Iím not saying you have to read all of these so pick the genre you like (although I really recommend Harry Potter). I also subscribed to a website called vocabulary.com and it would send you emails quizzing you about the meaning of words. I remember one of the words I did the previous day came in the exam.
-   Learn to skim read. It saves you not just in VR, but also RC and Maths.

Question specific tips
-   If you get the Ďwhich word does/ doesnít fit in the boxí question and do not recognize most of the words, donít worry as some of those questions are put there so you can waste your time freaking out. Skip it and come back to it after youíve guessed your other answers.
-   With the questions which have some alien language in three sentences and the English translation given to you, and ask you to give the alien word for an English word, just cross out the words that it is not, and narrow it down.
For example:
JUMP SUMP RUMP= Happy Easter Dad
RUMP TUMP JUMP CUMP= Dad is happy today
   EUMP JUMP FUMP CUMP= Mum is happy today
What is Easter?
So for this you narrow it down to either SUMP, JUMP, or RUMP. Then you notice that RUMP and JUMP are used in the next sentences. Therefore itís SUMP.
-   For questions which ask for the statements that prove a given statement, donít do what majority does and just read the 5 given statements. Instead, use the multiple choice options given and skim the pairs given. One of them must sound logical, so thatís the answer. For example:
Which statements prove this statement: Kelly has brown hair
1. Kelly's mum has blonde hair
2. Kelly's friend Sharon is in the football team
3.Sharon has brown hair
4. Kelly's brother has brown hair
5. Sharon and Kelly have hair of the same colour

a) 2&5   b)1&5    c)3&4   d)3&5   e)none of the above
Instead of wasting time reading all of the statements, just go straight down to the multiple choice and use the process of elimination.
-   Thereís no way for me to help with the vocabulary questions. Thatís on you to develop your vocab.
DRAW DRAW DRAW for the following questions:
-   Ď6 people sitting around a table. Jenny sits next to Laura. Johny sits next to Will.í Physically draw the tables and write the initials of the names in the corresponding Ďchairs.í This can be time consuming so if the paragraph is a little big then flag it and come back later.
-    ĎAll PUFS are RUFS and all HUFS are TUFS.í Draw venn diagrams. Seriously.
-   ĎTruck A arrives before Truck D. Truck C arrives before Truck Dí or like ĎBaby A is heavier than B.í Literally draw each sentence before moving on to the next one.

Numerical Reasoning
-   The questions on the first page and last page are the easiest. Do those first.
-   You have 50 questions in 30 minutes so you can give yourself some leeway but try and finish the first and last page really quickly, because I guarantee there are questions which may take over a minute which you cannot spare.
-   Master your mental math. Addition, subtraction, multiplication of 2 digit by 1 digit, and division of 2 digit by 1 digit, knowing squares up to at least 15 by heart. This isnít just for the Edutest but also just for life.

Question specific tips
-   The Ďwhich number goes in the gridí pattern is usually very simple. If thereís more than 3 steps then youíre overthinking it. Very common patterns are: plus/minus by one/two, times by a number, times/divide by a number (usually 1,2,3,4,5, or 10) and add/minus a number (1,2,3,4,5, or 10). If the pattern is really complicated analyse the alternating numbers and if squares are involved. Obviously there are exceptions to throw you off but most of the grid questions I got had these patterns. This tip can also be used for the normal sequence questions too.
-   With Ď6 pairs of this costs that and 7 pairs of this costs thatí use algebra. Assign a pronumeral for each item. Suddenly, youíll finish this question within 30 seconds if you have even decent mental math.
-   With the compound interest or basically the money questions which are huge, my tip is unless you can do them quickly and usually get them correct skip them. I have never done them. Ever.
-   This tip works in Maths too so Iíll put this in the Math section but remember basic formulae like area, volume, and speed/distance/time, and also basic convertions between units such as meters and that shebang, litres and that shebang, and dollars and cents (AUD only ahaha)
-   With questions such as ĎRick does not know how many cars he has. He arranges them into groups of blah and thereís blah left over,í thereís usually one number which can narrow the options down. For example, if you times something by 2, to get none left over the number must be even. If you times something by 5, the number must end in 0 or 5. If you have 3 left over, that narrows that the number ends with 8 or 3. Multiplying by ten has to end with a 0. Only narrow it down. Use the multiple choice options to check the conditions. There should be one that sticks out.


Reading Comprehension
-   You have 50 questions in 30 minutes. But donít get complacent. You may read slower than you think you do. Try and finish the questions as fast as VR.
-   To improve in Reading Comprehension, you need to know what your worst text is. Do you do horrible in poetry, or comics? What type of questions do you keep stumbling upon and getting incorrect? Once you find a pattern you need to expose yourself with these questions as much. If itís Ďwhat does this word mean in this contextí then you need to improve your vocab
-   Unless the paragraph is like two sentences skip the Ďwhat statement best conveys the theme of this paragraphí question. Itís a waste of time.
-   The grammar questions and vocab questions are the easiest ones. Donít lose marks. Perfect your grammar.
-   With the question that swaps clauses in a given sentence and asks you to pick the best option to finish the sentence, pick the option with all the words in it.
For example: Once Jimmy lifted his knife, killing became easy
If we change the sentence to: killing became easyÖ
What will the sentence become?
The correct answer needs to be Ďonce Jimmy lifted his knife.í Sometimes they donít give you the exact replacement so pick the option which most resembles the clause.
-   With the proverb questions, I had this proverb book which I used to read which really helped me analyse the given quote. The best way to get this answer is elimination and picking what sounds the most logical in comparison to the proverb.

Mathematics
-   This is the worst test for most people, so itís easier for you to stand out
-   First of all, please know basic BODMAS. Please master mental math for your own sanity.
-   This tip works in Maths too so Iíll put this in the Math section but remember basic formulae like area, volume, and speed/distance/time, and also basic convertions between units such as meters and that shebang, litres and that shebang, and dollars and cents (AUD only ahaha)
-   Learn the Year 9 content from a textbook. Iíll list down most of the topics on the exam (btw this is coming from my Uni High Year 8 textbook). Most of you should probably learn these topics in your own time though.
o   Algebra
o   Linear equations and graphs
o   Some quadratics, parabolas, and factorization
o   Surds, indices, and some logarithms (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, simplifying)
o   Basic probability
o   Reading different types of graphs
o   Simultaneous equations
o   Financial math and the jargon like deposit, compound interest, simple interest, etc.
o   Perimeter, area, volume, surface area
o   Speed, distance, time questions
o   Angles
o   Trigonometry (sine, cos, tan, Pythagoras theorem)
o   Ratio
o   Fractions, decimals, percentages. Being able to convert between them
Iím not going to go through types of questions as a Year 9 math book can help you with that, but consistent practice in these topics under timed conditions can definitely help you improve!

Now the writing. The only time Iíve gotten a superior for writing was last year for Creative, so Iíll address only the creative. My persuasive was never all that good and I donít remember what I did so Iíll post some super cool links from other AN users:

Essay writing tips from pi (who went to Uni High for their AP program as well whaat!) http://www.atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=40269.msg425216#msg425216

Awesome Usernameís Guidelines for writing a persuasive essay:
http://www.atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=148442.0

And another amazing post by pi:
http://www.atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=155074.0

The Creative
-   Donít try to cover a lot of plot points. Instead focus on a couple of scenes and really show your creative writing skills (attention to detail, show donít tell, basic grammar and punctuation, etc.)
-   Try and incorporate something deep in your writing. Last year, majority of us (including me) responded to a prompt by writing about this rich aunt in a mansion, so I was really shocked when I found out that I got a superior! After some thinking, I realized that I addressed cancer a lot in my piece and mixed it with some creative elements such as setting the story during the medieval period. I didnít outright say that it was set in the medieval period, but I hinted towards it by mentioning hiding daggers in cloaks or something.
-   Have a clear idea in your head before you write. Then, really think about your next sentence before you write it. Remember, you want to showcase your creative writing skills so try to show that through each sentence. You want your story to capture the examinerís attention.

Tuition
I highly recommend going to James An College. I went there for both Year 6 and Year 8 entry, and if it wasnít for them I would not have gotten into the school. I learnt to finish questions under timed conditions and learnt what topics come in the exam. The week after you finish their tests, they give you these red and blue sheets with the topics of the questions you get wrong and right, how many students got the questions right, and your percentile (superior, above average, high average, etc.). The key to improving is to analyse the sheets given over a month or more and find any patterns in the questions you get wrong. You should target your practice on those topics. Asking your teachers to clear your doubts along with this should almost guarantee a skyrocketed improvement.
That being said, you donít need to go to a coaching centre, and many of my friends have gotten into MHS and MacRob without them. Itís just playing safe if you do. James An College has a great success rate, and sometimes their tests are harder than the Edutest, but your performance in the actual Edutest can be improved significantly if you do go.

Unfortunately, I can't give tips for the interview as I don't think I did that well in Year 6, and I didn't have to do an interview in Year 8, but there are AN users who are happy to help and a lot of tips on Youtube you can check out.

Anyways, those are my tips and it may not work for all of you. Your dedication is already miles above other people if you willing to come to these forums and ask for help. With hard work, you all will surely pass! All the best for the exams!



 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 07:33:57 pm by homeworkisapotato »
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Selective School Entry Tips

Polemos

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 12:20:22 pm »
+1
Cool guide, the tips are pretty helpful.

When you talked about being deep, and how you did it by mentioning cancer, how exactly did you do that? Was it one or a few lines about like "Death gets us all somehow, he's getting me with cancer" or was it more prevalent in the story.

I'm just having trouble incorporated something deep into my stories, and I don't know how much deep stuff I need to have. If you could elaborate a bit more on how to do that or how exactly you did it, that would help me a lot!

:o                                                                                                               :o                                                                                                               :o                                                                                                               :o                                                                                                               :o                                                                                                               :o                                                                                                               :o

homeworkisapotato

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 05:50:16 pm »
+2
Cool guide, the tips are pretty helpful.
Thank you!!  ;D

When you talked about being deep, and how you did it by mentioning cancer, how exactly did you do that? Was it one or a few lines about like "Death gets us all somehow, he's getting me with cancer" or was it more prevalent in the story.

I make the aunt tell the main characters and I make it seem like a plot twist rather than using flowery language. I'll just quickly explain the plot so my explanation makes sense. This brother and sister arrive at the big creepy mansion and they make like jokes about how creepy the mansion is, have some funny banter and then ponder over why they were even called despite not ever having seen her in their lives. I make the conversation seem more natural rather than being there for the sake of the audience to get some background by describing the scenery and comparing the main characters' looks and appearances (they're siblings). Then, they like go and meet the aunt and they sit on the terrace and have coffee and she tries to make some pleasant convo and the main character snaps and asks her why she invited them. THEN I make the aunt put down her cup and look up at the character solemnly and say "I am dying from cancer." and then talk about how she will die within a year but she has no heirs for her company. She then asks if the main character wants to take it and the story continues with the main characters arguing and making up with her and staring out at the sunset in the garden while having cake. Do your best to have these deep stuff revealed in a more straightforward manner rather than in a flowery poetic manner as you want to maintain the same writing style throughout the piece. Write with your writing style rather than trying to sound poetic as suddenly switching to poetic language takes the authenticity out of your piece and makes it look like a cliche. Also, with such plot twists, once it's been revealed start a new paragraph as it makes it more dramatic.

I'm just having trouble incorporated something deep into my stories, and I don't know how much deep stuff I need to have. If you could elaborate a bit more on how to do that or how exactly you did it, that would help me a lot!
 
Try not to force something deep, I suggest picking and writing about something personal to you or something that happened in your life.  I just planned to wing it on the day but halfway through writing I just wanted to make it more personal, so I decided to take some inspiration from my relative getting cancer recently. The original story was meant to have the main characters dying. The important thing is to not force something deep as the examiners are testing your writing skills, attention to detail, vocab, grammar, etc. so it's best not to incorporate something deep and not write it properly. If you do pick something deep, it's best to go with something that touches you so it's easier for you to write it accurately. For example, someone who writes the thoughts of someone with depression but has never felt depression may not write it properly.

To avoid making the above blunders I suggest having a different character go through the 'deep stuff' and your character finding out in the story. A couple of my friends wrote about depression I think and one of them got superior and the other got average, despite writing similar stories and this is probably because of how they actually wrote it. I highly implore you not to go TOO deep and graphic though as this it still has to be appropriate (so no nudity, gory violence, or disturbing things). You don't have to revolve the whole story around something deep, you could use it as a plot twist like me and go more into it in the second half of the story. As you only have like 15 minutes, don't go too much into the story writing about how the condition has affected the character and instead focus on the main characters' reaction. I suggest reading quite a few fiction books to get a hang of how authors wrote different deep stuff as I found my writing style became similar to the books I read over and over again in my spare time. Also, if you have a genre you really like, try incorporating that in your piece. I had a bit of fantasy in mine with my characters wearing cloaks and having daggers hidden in sheaths around their waist.

I hope this helped and wasn't a huge word vomit. If you need me to clarify something or want to ask more questions don't hesitate  ;D
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 05:53:29 pm by homeworkisapotato »
2020: Biology
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Selective School Entry Tips

runa123

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 09:45:03 pm »
+2
We actually have half an hour, I think it changed so we're only doing one of the two of persuasive and creative (every is doing the same though) Just to let you know.

homeworkisapotato

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2020, 09:47:47 pm »
0
We actually have half an hour, I think it changed so we're only doing one of the two of persuasive and creative (every is doing the same though) Just to let you know.
Oh sweet, thank you for letting me and others know!

Then disregard my comment and feel free to go into a bit more detail in your creative then!
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Alomoac

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2020, 01:08:55 pm »
0
When you say that the examiners are looking for "attention to detail", do you mean how the writer describes the setting and uses figures of speech in their writing piece to enhance the pieces quality.
This is my final message... Change the world.

homeworkisapotato

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2020, 04:34:49 pm »
+1
Basically yeah! Without some descriptions of the setting or the characters, or even some nice dialogue to cut back the fast pace, your writing is just going to seem very rushed and not fluid. Because of some 'attention to detail' my story was a lot more fluid and pleasant to read with the pace being: arrive at gates> describe scenery while walking> banter with some background plot filling> description of castle> enter castle> greet aunt and describe her> walk to the terrace> describe the journey on the way in between dialogue with the aunt> sit in the terrace and talk with the aunt with some sensory details about the cake> fight, resolution, sunset.  Without some description and banter my story would have been: arrive at castle>fight>apology>resolution> the end. That being said, it may seem like I put a lot of descriptions but my prompt was pictures of a gate, castle, and cake so I had to describe them and give them some love to make sure I was addressing the prompt properly.
It can be descriptions of the setting or anything, using figures of speech, humour, thoughts of the character (I wrote first person which let me do this better and I suggest you try to do it as well so the descriptions of the setting and all don't seem too dry). Attention to detail also refers to the idea that when the writer is reading your story, they feel like they are there with the main character or they ARE the main character. Of course, balance is key. You don't want to have 2 pages of how the bush is green and no plot so the best thing to do is weave in the descriptions between your plot. If your setting changes dedicate a 1-2 sentences max to each description.
By using descriptions and the ideas I've written above, you'll be able to pull the examiner into your world. Read a couple of novels you love and try to analyse what in the writing makes you hooked. 
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scientificllama

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2020, 04:56:58 pm »
+3
As someone who has done the selective school entrance exam and many scholarship exam, this is an amazing and incredibly detailed guide. Just like to remind those who are to complete the exam that the results and you gain entry into a selective school does not define you as a student or your intelligence. All you can do is try your best and make sure you undertake tests in timed conditions (as you will need to develop quick thinking skills).

Amazing guide homeworkisapotato :)
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homeworkisapotato

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2020, 05:10:12 pm »
+1
As someone who has done the selective school entrance exam and many scholarship exam, this is an amazing and incredibly detailed guide. Just like to remind those who are to complete the exam that the results and you gain entry into a selective school does not define you as a student or your intelligence. All you can do is try your best and make sure you undertake tests in timed conditions (as you will need to develop quick thinking skills).

Amazing guide homeworkisapotato :)
Thank you so much for your kind words scientificllama!!! It means the world to me <3
You're absolutely right that this test does not define you as a person!!
Thank you for stopping by <3
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Alomoac

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2020, 08:52:43 pm »
+1
Basically yeah! Without some descriptions of the setting or the characters, or even some nice dialogue to cut back the fast pace, your writing is just going to seem very rushed and not fluid. Because of some 'attention to detail' my story was a lot more fluid and pleasant to read with the pace being: arrive at gates> describe scenery while walking> banter with some background plot filling> description of castle> enter castle> greet aunt and describe her> walk to the terrace> describe the journey on the way in between dialogue with the aunt> sit in the terrace and talk with the aunt with some sensory details about the cake> fight, resolution, sunset.  Without some description and banter my story would have been: arrive at castle>fight>apology>resolution> the end. That being said, it may seem like I put a lot of descriptions but my prompt was pictures of a gate, castle, and cake so I had to describe them and give them some love to make sure I was addressing the prompt properly.
It can be descriptions of the setting or anything, using figures of speech, humour, thoughts of the character (I wrote first person which let me do this better and I suggest you try to do it as well so the descriptions of the setting and all don't seem too dry). Attention to detail also refers to the idea that when the writer is reading your story, they feel like they are there with the main character or they ARE the main character. Of course, balance is key. You don't want to have 2 pages of how the bush is green and no plot so the best thing to do is weave in the descriptions between your plot. If your setting changes dedicate a 1-2 sentences max to each description.
By using descriptions and the ideas I've written above, you'll be able to pull the examiner into your world. Read a couple of novels you love and try to analyse what in the writing makes you hooked.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your helpfulness and contribution!
This is my final message... Change the world.

runa123

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2020, 10:02:01 pm »
+2
Honestly, these posts are amazing though. They're so helpful. Thanks for the huge amount of effort you've been putting into these. You didn't have to do this yet you completed an amazing and detailed guide for people you don't even know, so thanks you so much.

homeworkisapotato

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Re: 📗 Tips for Getting Into Selective Schools 📗
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 12:49:01 pm »
0
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your helpfulness and contribution!
Thank you! All the best with your prep!

Honestly, these posts are amazing though. They're so helpful. Thanks for the huge amount of effort you've been putting into these. You didn't have to do this yet you completed an amazing and detailed guide for people you don't even know, so thanks you so much.
Aww thank you so much! It means the world <3
All the best with your studies!
2020: Biology
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Selective School Entry Tips