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Results and selection

What you need to know about the selection and offer process

First round offers

August 2023

Exam results

September 2023

Offers process

August - October 2023

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Exam results

A report outlining each candidate’s performance in the exam will be emailed to parents/carers in September 2023.

To maintain the security of the exam, access to the tests or individual scores after the exam is not permitted. The exam is designed to identify high-achieving candidates and examination results are not necessarily directly comparable to any other test (e.g. NAPLAN).

Receiving an offer

Places in the Selective Entry High Schools are offered in rounds.

In 2023, the first round of offers will be sent via email in August 2023.

You will be advised in the email of the timeframe in which to accept or decline the offer. The email will also include instructions on how to accept or decline the 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 candidate. Extensions to the offer deadline cannot be granted.

Your child may secure a place through a later round. Also, if your child has already been offered a place, they may also receive an offer in a later round for a higher preference school.

The offers process may continue until the end of Term 4, depending on availability of places at the Selective Entry High Schools. Following the formal offers process, any late offers will be filled based on a combination of factors including: candidate’s school preferences, ranking and gender balance of the school. 

It is the responsibility of the designated parent/carer to monitor the receipt of text messages and emails at critical times, such as when outcomes and offers are due to be communicated.

Common questions

When you receive an email with the offer, you will be advised of the timeframe in which to accept or decline the offer. The email will also include instructions on how to accept or decline the offer.

You will receive a receipt of accepting or declining the offer within 24 hours. Please contact ACER if you do not receive confirmation within this timeframe.

If your child qualifies for more than one school, they will only be offered their highest preference. They cannot choose from their preferences or transfer an offer.

If you wish to withdraw from an offer that you previously accepted, please notify ACER by email at and not the individual schools.

The selection process

A centralised selection process is used whereby every candidate must sit the entry exam. While each school fills 85% of its Year 9 enrolment based on a candidate’s performance in the exam, there are a range of variables that may affect final offers each year. These include:

  • Variable entry score from year to year depending on the demand for places at the school and the scores achieved by those candidates who have listed the school as their first preference.
  • Only a maximum of 4% of students in Year 8 from any one secondary school can be accepted into a selective entry high school, with a maximum of 10% of students from p-9 schools. Candidates currently enrolled in an home, interstate or overseas schools are treated as discrete school cohorts, with a cap on the placements on offer.
  • Up to 10% of enrolments are filled through the equity consideration category.
  • Up to 5% of the enrolment will be filled through the principal’s discretion category.

Common questions

A cap applies which limits the number of offers that can be made to candidates from a single source school. A source school is the school the candidate attends in Year 8. 

Candidates enrolled in a home school, an interstate school or overseas school are treated as discrete school cohorts, with a cap on the places on offer. 

The caps policy means that no more than 4% of students are offered 'standard' or 'principal discretion' places at Selective Entry High School from a single source school (excluding Prep-Year 9 schools). For schools that are Prep-Year 9 only, a 10% cap applies. 

To implement the caps that apply to source schools in a way that is fair to both schools and students, a standard approach for rounding is used. Consequently, in some years offers may be slightly over or below 4%.

The equity consideration category is not subject to the source school cap policy.

The principal's discretion category offers are released after the initial round of standard offers and can only be provided when the cap from any one source school has not been reached.

An illustrative example of the caps process is offered below. At ABC High School, the maximum number of standard offers that can be made is 4 based on 100 students enrolled at Year 8. The principal's discretion category cannot be used as the Year 8 cap for this school has been reached. However, offers can be made under the equity consideration category to eligible candidates as this category is not subject to the cap policy. 

For school Example P-9 School, these numbers reflect a possible outcome and not the maximum numbers. If there are 50 students enrolled in Year 8 at this school, the 10% rule means that 5 students may be offered a place. However, in this example, 4 students are offered a standard place, while 1 student is offered a principal's discretion category. This means that no more than 10% of students have been offered a place across the standard offering and the principal's discretion category. The equity offer remains unaffected, as it does for ABC High School.

School name Year 8 student enrolment Standard offers Equity offers Principal's discretion offers Total offers
ABC High School 100 4 1 N/A 5
Example P-9 School 50 4 1 1 6

The entry score required for each school varies from year to year depending on the demand for places at the school and the scores achieved by those candidates who have listed the school as their first preference.

It should be noted that exam outcome reports are confidential and should not be compared with other candidates’ reports as a range of factors are taken into consideration when making offers, for example, caps on source schools, school preferences etc.

Equity consideration helps ensure that all students have access to the same opportunities.

Candidates are eligible for a place in the equity consideration category if they:

  • have parents with either a Commonwealth Health Care Card or a Pension Card, and who qualify for income support benefits
  • identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

Eligibility for the equity consideration category is verified at the application stage.

The principal of each Selective Entry High School has the authority to offer up to 5% of places under the principal’s discretion category, as long as this does not exceed the Year 8 cap of students from any single school.

Principals from each Selective Entry High School identify from the examination results those candidates who they wish to invite to submit an application under the principal’s discretion category. Principals may also consider a range of other factors such as candidates' preferred school, gender, twins or siblings of candidates. 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 of a place at the school. The principals shortlist and interview candidates from the applications received and make offers directly to students.

If your child accepts an offer at a Selective Entry High School and receives an offer to apply for principal’s discretion for a higher preference school, you can retain the initial offer while the principal’s discretion process is undertaken.

The application process for the principal discretion category varies across each school, however candidates may be requested to provide academic results, a personal response for wanting to join the school, an overview of academic and co-curricular achievements, and/or consideration of compassionate factors. The decision of the principal is final and is not subject to appeal. 

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and pay respect to the ongoing living cultures of First Peoples.

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