2 Past Sample Persuasive Writing Prompts for Selective School Entrance Test – Part 1 of 2

The writing test or written expression in a selective entry test is arguably one of the hardest parts of a multi-part test that generally examines reasoning (verbal, numerical), reading and maths.

The writing test appears under the following select entry exams:

  • Victorian selective school entrance exam for Melbourne High, MacRob, Suzanne Cory and Nossal or,
  • SEAL - select entry accelerated learning program for Box Hill, Balwyn High School, Dandenong, Williamstown, Werribee and University High School just to name a few.

Why is the writing test hard?

Because it’s free form - not multiple choice!

This means everything from how your child thinks, how they express themselves and more is tested and there for the examiner to see (this is why we developed Writing Club - an online writing improvement program to help students with their persuasive writing).

In this first of 2-part blog post, we’re going to go through very very similar past persuasive writing prompts that have appeared in Edutest Victorian Selective Schools test for schools like Melbourne High and MacRob.

Moreover, we’re going to give you advice on what your child should do if they get these prompts. We’ll go through:

  • What arguments would be outstanding?
  • What’s ideal in each argument to make it complete

Getting a sneak peek as to what prompts have appeared in the past helps your child understand the types of prompts your child may get when they sit THEIR exam!

So… let’s see what these prompts where and most importantly, how your child could ace writing!

Prompt 1:

Should elite sportspeople’s salaries be capped? (similar to Vic selective school past prompt)

Like many written expression prompts, the Edutest Victorian Selective school prompts are definitely difficult because they aim to use a current topic and one that has many angles.

It’s not impossible though for your child to come up with arguments. It just involves two parts:

  1. a bit of thinking and then,
  2. expressing this in a neat and nice paragraph.

This is what we do in our writing club – our writing improvement program for Vic selective school and SEALP programs (Plus, it also provides your child with a step-by-step way to come up with arguments).

Let’s think about the key words and what they mean…

Well…salaries being capped means that no one can really pay so much for ‘star’ players (“elite”) meaning that there is an argument about equality that your child could use.

Let’s think further beyond just the players now.

Well… in any sport there will also be spectators – the people who pay to watch. What does this mean for them, if there’s no one elite super team because salaries are capped, it means that audiences will keep coming back and paying money to watch. Now…this is an argument about money.

That’s two different and strong arguments. Now it’s a matter of expressing them in two separate arguments. Let your child have a go at doing this on our [free writing app](https://www.examsuccess.com.au/practice-writing-app/grades/grade-9-persuasive-writing-free-practice-writing-questions%20(PS.%20Select%20question%2018). You’ll need to first sign up for a free account, and do the practice question here with a count-down timer (PS. Select question 18)

Prompt 2:

Should every weekend be a 3-day weekend? (similar to Vic selective school past prompt)

The above question seems really simple and many students may come up with arguments like:

  • More time to have fun More relaxation time (which is pretty much like the one above)

The outstanding arguments are one that can be explained using examples and are show to the assessor that your child can ‘think outside’ the most easiest and obvious arguments.

So what are these outstanding arguments?

First, let’s look at what a 3-day weekend will mean. It means that you don’t have to work for 1 day.

When you reduce working hours, this means that places like schools and offices won’t generally open. Offices and schools use power and electricity so a 3-day weekend will lead to lower energy use, which is better for the environment.

What else could it mean?

Well… it means that you don’t have to travel that day. This is also an environment argument. When you don’t have to travel that day, it means you cut back on carbon emissions.

Finally, the most obvious is that it gives people extra time but how can you make it so that your writing is interesting? Why is time so important? Well… when people work a lot, they’re stressed. A day off each week through a 3-day weekend will help people with their mental health and well being. This is a health argument.

If your child wants to practice on this prompt for free with a count-down timer, they can do it here (remember to select question 14).

So there you have it, two past sample written expression prompts that are very similar to the Victorian selective school’s entrance exam.

Please leave a comment below – are there any prompts that you’d like to see featured? Do you want to see Part 2? Do you have a past prompt you can share?

Next: IELTS Writing Task 1 Preparation – Checklist to Write Clear Sentences (with Samples)


Victoria July 13, 2018

Wow. Really some great tips in this, very useful. Thanks

Victoria July 13, 2018

It would be great if you could post more blogs similar to this one. It would help my child a lot.

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