Victorian Selective schools: Melbourne High, Mac.Robertson, Nossal & Suzanne Cory entry

Selective entry academic schools provide an educationally enriched environment for academically gifted students who are also high achievers.

There are four selective entry high schools in Victoria for students in Years 9 to 12:

The Education department uses a centralised selection process to admit students to all selective entry schools for the 2019 school year.


  1. Students must be in their second year of secondary school (Year 8)
  2. Australian Citizen or, permanent residency status or, an appropriate visa.
  3.  Must indicate your choice of schools, in order of preference.
  4. Copy of last two school reports (Year 8 end of year, Year 9 midyear)
  5. Written application: includes a statement of achievement against the selection criteria
  6. Supporting documentation
  7. Single A4 page personal statement

The maximum number of students admitted to the four schools from any one school must not exceed 5% of that contributing school’s year 8 enrolment.  If there are 200 in year 8 at a school, then no more than a total of ten may be selected, even though more students may have reached the required academic standard. Find more here. (Link to 5% rule page)

These schools have a main year of entry at Year 9. They have an entrance exam where the Year 8 students’ aggregate scores are ranked. An acceptable standard in all sections of the exam is required.

Examination format

Writing Sections- 15 minutes each

  • Creative Writing paper
  • Analytical, Informative, Persuasive or Discussion Writing paper

Multiple Choice Sections- 30 minutes each

  • Reading Comprehension paper (50 questions)
  • Mathematics paper (60 questions)
  • Verbal Reasoning paper (60 questions)
  • Numerical Reasoning paper (50 questions)

The selection process can vary depending on the year level and the school the child plans to attend.

Year 9 Entry – All schools

Around 2700 to 3400 students will sit the entrance exam at the old Melbourne Exhibition centre in Carlton for places at one of the four schools.

Out of the students that sit the exam: 

  • 85 per cent of places are allocated through the examination process described above with no further information or interview required.
  • 10 per cent of places are allocated according to rank, score and equity considerations. (Further information is on the Education Department website) 
  • 5 per cent of places are allocated through a ‘Principal’s discretionary selection category’.  They are asked to write a letter and present a portfolio of achievements.  

Year 10 and 11 Entry

Melbourne High

Year 10 Entry

A minimum of 28 students are selected to enter Year 10, as the total number of places is dependent on natural attrition.

Entry via application, examination and interview.

On the day of application all candidates hand in:

After completing the exam, a selection panel reviews the results and letters of application in order to select candidates for interview. Usually, about sixty students are assigned appointments in groups of six. They are then reviewed on the way in which they interact with other students, perform group exercises and have one-on-one interviews with the principal or vice principal.

Year 11 Entry

There is no entrance exam.

Students must submit an application giving evidence for academic and co-curricular achievements and a personal statement outlining reasons for wanting to join Melbourne High. They also send a copy of their current mid-year report.

Mac Robertson Girls

Year 10 Entry

Students are selected for Year 10 based on application and examination. The number of spots available is based on natural attrition. While it is preferable that applicants for Year 10 study one of the four languages offered at the school (French, German, Indonesian and Japanese), it is not mandatory for students entering Year 10 and selection will not be based on language choice.

Year 11 Entry

Applicants are selected by application, entrance exam and interview.  The entrance exam format is the same as the Year 10 entry and girls must submit an application giving evidence for academic and co-curricular achievements and a personal statement outlining reasons for wanting to join Mac.Rob.

A short list of candidates will be interviewed by a school panel.  Hendersons do not have workshops available for Year 10 &11 students looking for entry into Year 11 or 12.  However, we offer application assistance and interview preparation to give your child the best opportunity to obtain a place at the school.

Nossal High and Suzanne Cory

Schools indicate on their website each year if they will accept applications for places for Year 10 and Year 11.


JMSS is a specialist high school for up to 660 Year 10 to 12 students.  This specialist school focuses on science, mathematics and associated technologies.  It opened in February 2010 with 220 Year 10 students.  The school has been built in the grounds of Monash University, Clayton. Further details about the school and the enrolment conditions can be found at

Examination Format

Writing Sections- 25 minutes each

  • Science Report Paper
  • Analytical, Informative, Persuasive or Discussion Writing paper

Multiple Choice Sections- 30 minutes each

  • Science Based Reading and Reasoning paper (40 questions)
  • Mathematics paper (60 questions)
  • Numerical Reasoning paper (50 questions)