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Understanding the Select-Entry High School Acceptance Rates in Victoria

Are you considering the path to a select-entry high school in Victoria? The journey to these prestigious government schools is competitive, with only a limited number of spots available. Let's delve into the numbers and understand the acceptance rates for select-entry high schools in Victoria.


Acceptance Rates: The Competitive Landscape

Every year, thousands of students across Victoria aspire to gain entry into select-entry high schools. These schools, renowned for their academic excellence and challenging curriculum, attract top-performing students who are ready to excel. However, with a limited number of places available, the admissions process is highly competitive.


Acceptance rates for select-entry high schools vary. Schools such as Melbourne High School, Mac.Robertson Girls' High School, Nossal High School, and Suzanne Cory High School typically receive a large number of applications for a relatively small number of places. This results in a rigorous selection process where only the most qualified and prepared students secure admission.


Factors Influencing Acceptance Rates

Several factors contribute to the acceptance rates of select-entry high schools in Victoria:


  1. Competition: The academic abilities and qualities of other students applying (your competition) have a direct impact on where a student is ranked. This can vary from year to year, but students who apply are usually already top academic achievers in their current schools - so competition is fierce. There is also a 4% rule to keep in mind - the maximum number of students admitted to the four selective schools from any one school must not exceed 4% of that contributing school’s Year 8 enrolment. So, if there are 100 students enrolled in Year 8 at a school, then no more than 4 students from that school's Year 8 cohort can be offered a place.

  2. Performance in Entrance Exams: The primary criterion for admission to select-entry high schools is performance in entrance exams. Around 85% of places are offered based on examination results. These exams are designed to assess students' academic abilities, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking. Students who excel in these exams have a better chance of securing a place.

  3. School Preferences: Students often apply to multiple select-entry high schools, which can influence acceptance rates. Some schools may be more popular than others, leading to higher competition for places. Offers at the co-educational selective schools might also be impacted by measures to maintain gender balance.

  4. Additional Requirements: Apart from entrance exams, select-entry high schools may have additional requirements such as interviews, portfolios, or submission of past reports. This might fall under the 5% of enrolments offered under the Principal's Discretionary Category. Meeting these requirements is crucial for securing admission. Make sure you check the requirements of your preferred school to ensure you have submitted all required documentation with your application.

  5. Equity consideration category: Up to 10% of enrolments are filled through equity consideration. Eligibility for this category should be checked on the Victorian government's Select Entry High School website.  

An infographic titled 'Year 9 SEHS Entry Acceptance based on'. Three pie graphs representing the three categories for entrance to select entry high schools. 85% based on entrance exam results, 10% based on equity considerations and 5% on principal's discretion.

How Hendersons Can Help

Navigating the path to a select-entry high school can be daunting, but Hendersons Educational Services is here to support students and parents. We provide:


Our team of experts is dedicated to helping students showcase their full potential and stand out in the competitive admissions process.


The journey to a select-entry high school in Victoria is challenging, but with the right preparation and support, students can achieve their goals. Understanding the acceptance rates and factors influencing admissions is the first step toward success.

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