The selective schools’ entry scores in NSW showed a decline as highlighted by The Sydney Morning Herald. The minimum marks required for admission into the selective schools of the state have substantially fallen this year by a surprising 21 points after some significant changes were implemented to the assessment test.
This year’s cut-off points dropped compared to that of last year across thirty-eight of the forty-four partially and fully selective schools in which the scores are published.
In comparison with last year, the entry scores dropped for just 5 schools and rose to sixteen points at a few schools. The highest rise this year was a mere 6 points.
Students who appeared for the test during mid-March faced a few initial changes that were planned to make accessibility to selective schools a bit fairer for the disadvantaged students.
The set of intended changes that will be implemented in the years ahead includes enhancing the psychometric pattern of questions to make them adapt better to the abilities of the students, causing the weightage of Mathematical and English abilities more uniform, decreasing the “coachability” and predictability of the assessment test.
The selective schools where the minimum scores for entry dropped the most in 2020 were Girraween High, which registered a fall of 21 points, Smiths Hill High showing a reduction of 13 points, Alexandria Park Community School declining by 12 points, and Sydney Boys High, Rose Bay Secondary College, and Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus with a slide of 10 points each.
Even the cut-off’s score this year for entry into James Ruse Agricultural High that is the state’s highest dropped by 4 points to 246. Last year, it went up 9 points to touch 250, which is among the highest scores of the history of this school.
In the test, students can get a maximum score of three hundred points, of which one hundred points are for school assessment marks, and 200 points are for test scores.
Among the 6 schools in which the entry scores have increased include 4 schools which previously had the state’s lowest cut-offs – Karabar High has registered an increase of 6 points, and Kooringal, Auburn Girls, and Armidale have registered an increase of 1 point each.
The remaining 2 schools were Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus that has registered a rise of 4 points, and Baulkham Hills High, which also registered a rise of 4 points and also holds the state’s 2nd-highest cut-off.