The Truth About Selective Schools: Long-term Benefits and Placement Test Difficulty

Did you know that the median annual earnings of Ivy League graduates, ten years after having graduated, starts at $70,000, as compared to the median salary of non-Ivy League graduates of $34,000?

The fact is, attending selective schools, whether that’s at the university or the high school level, has a huge impact on the future of students. There are many benefits to attending selective schools, both short-term and long-term.

However, you may have some worries regarding selective schools. Maybe, you want to know more about them, before making a financial investment.

Maybe, you’re worried about your child’s chances of getting in, or how stressful it might be for them to apply for admission.

As they say (and as demonstrated by this article), knowledge is power. By having the answers to all your anxieties, you’ll be able to make an informed choice that will help your child have the right education.

You’ll also find out about placement test difficulty, and how your child can get ahead. Read on to learn more.

What is a Selective School?

If you’re wondering, “What is a selective school?” then we’ve got the answer. Selective schools aren’t ordinary schools; they are high-level high schools for students with promising academic talent that are an alternative to ordinary high schools.

Run by the government, these schools are put into place so that there’s an affordable option for intelligent students who may not have the socioeconomic status that can get them into a good privately-run school.

In order to get into a selective school, your child will have to demonstrate that they have the academic caliber required for the high-achievement environment of the school.

In addition to having the needed skills, they’ll also have to take an entrance examination. This exam is used in order to ensure that all students can handle the challenging academic environment of the selective school.

The Short-Term Benefits of Attending a Selective School

There are many short-term benefits that come from attending a selective school. For one thing, your child will be happier because they will be surrounded by students who are intelligent and high-achieving just like they are.

This creates a feeling of solidarity and community for the students.

This in turn makes them work harder and be more productive, because they feel they are thriving in a supportive environment. Additionally, teachers will be excited to work with students at this level, which will make the environment even more supportive.

If your child has experienced any bullying because of their academic successes, it is far less likely this would happen at a selective school.

Another benefit is that your child will feel driven in this new environment. Because other students are at the same academic level, and there is competition, they’ll want to challenge themselves, and become even more intellectually skilled.

Finally, there’s the fact that, with selective schools, your child is getting a high-end education without the high-end price tag. Unlike private schools, these schools are funded by the government, so it will be affordable for you.

The Long-Term Benefits of Attending a Selective School

The long-term benefits of attending a selective school are incredibly impressive. By going to a school that has a strong academic reputation, your child is more likely to end up at a better university, which improves their chances far into the future.

This is in part because attending a better school will look better when they’re applying for jobs or graduate school. Additionally, the connections your child makes can help them find jobs in the future.

All of these elements together will also help your child, when they’re an adult, have more career stability and a higher income.

Additionally, attending a selective school will teach your child the importance of studying and working hard. This will have long-term effects on their work ethic later on.

In a similar way, your child will become more confident. Confidence is powerful in many aspects of life, so it’s important to build it.

According to the NIH, your self-esteem, when it’s high and you are struggling with a chronic illness, has a daily positive impact on:

  • Your stress levels
  • Social interaction challenges
  • The severity of symptoms

Both your child’s entire life and long-term career will be positively impacted by having attended a selective school. This means happiness both at school and later on, when they have a career they’re proud of.

The Challenges of Getting into Selective Schools

However, it can be challenging to get into a selective school. The exam that students are expected to take can be stressful to prepare for, and then there’s applying for the school itself. If your child is stressed about this time, it’s important to understand that’s normal.

However, by understanding how it works, you (and your child) can be more prepared for these challenges. Let’s review how the selective school general ability test works, and how test scores are viewed by selective schools, so you know more.

Selective School General Ability Test

The selective school general ability test is what schools use to assess whether applicants have the high academic level needed to succeed at their school. After all, if the schools had students at many different levels, it would defeat the purpose of the school.

Additionally, a student feeling out of place at a school can actually impact them more negatively than if they were at a school with students who are closer to their academic level.

In terms of what’s on the test itself, it has different sections. These include:

  • The Writing Section (20 minutes, written out answers)
  • The Reading Section (40 minutes, multiple choice)
  • The Math Section (40 minutes, multiple choice)
  • The General Ability Section (40 minutes, multiple choice)

Chances are, your child might do better in some sections than others. Not to fear! There are strategies you can use to help your child improve, which we’ll cover later in this article.

Selective School Test Scores

For a potential student to get into a selective school, the selective school test scores need to be a certain minimum. This minimum can vary from school to school, but a score of 170 at least is best.

The higher the score, the more schools your child can get into, so aiming for closer to 200 is even better.

In terms of how many points your child should aim to get in each section, it looks like this:

  • The Writing Section and the Reading Section combined: 50 out of 100
  • The Math Section: 50 out of 100
  • The General Ability Section: 100 out of 100

By getting a minimum of these scores, your child will get a minimum of 200, which will grant them placement into a majority of selective schools. That’s why it’s so important to use all the right strategies so that the scores can be improved.

How Your Child Can Improve Their Scores

If your child is struggling to get a high score, there are many ways they can improve their scores. These include:

  • Taking a selective high school practice test every week to improve with practice
  • Knowing the test format well, so that they can be mentally prepared for every section as they complete it
  • Figuring out which sections they struggle with most, so they can practice and improve
  • Getting help from tutors and teachers so that they can fully understand what’s expected of them, and learn any new material if needed
  • Ensure that they get the right amount of sleep the day before the exam, so they aren’t stressed or tired

Additionally, selective exam preparation can help your child. Consider enrolling them in a course so that they’re getting the best attention possible to improve.

Using the Right Test-Taking Strategies

It will also help your child to know all the best test-taking strategies. For example, with multiple-choice questions, they can slowly narrow down their options until they’re guessing between a couple answers, which will improve their chances of marking the right one.

Other strategies include:

  • Learning how to read strategically, so the right information is picked up on for answering critical reading questions
  • Learning how to plan writing under timed constraints, by brainstorming first, then planning, and then writing
  • Figuring out how to turn word problems into mathematical problems, so they can be solved more quickly

Other strategies include using mnemonic devices and timing certain sections of the test while your child practices so that they can complete the section in under the time required.

What Do You Think?

As you can see, there are many ways that your child can benefit from attending a selective school. However, there are some challenges to getting into selective schools, especially succeeding with the placement test.

However, with the right preparation, your child can succeed.

How do you think your child would benefit from attending a selective school? If you’re worried about how they might do on the selective school general ability test, what strategies do you think would work to help them improve?