The Right Way to Do Practice Questions for Entrance Exams

Some people approach practice questions in an unproductive way.  There’s no need to buy 1000s of questions from different providers.  The reason why too many practice questions is not productive is because firstly, the main focus of practice exam questions is to improve for the main test and to do that, you should be using practice questions to gain depth in understanding and improving your exam process as opposed to just ‘doing them’ at a superficial level.

I tutored many students and we don’t complete practice exam questions all the time, we focus on how to do exam questions and how to approach certain questions.   There’s a slight different and this “how to” strategy is what I believe has helped students do better in the exam.  So here’s the approach you can take if you’re at home:

The best way to improve with practice questions is this:

a) Download the freely available practice test papers (with questions).  You can find them here:

For the NSW Selective Schools High School Placement Test (Year 7 Entry)

 Reading Comprehension Practice Test 1, Reading Comprehension Practice Test 2, Reading Comprehension Practice Test 3

Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Mathematics 3 and Mathematics 4

General Ability 1, General Ability 2, General Ability 3 and General Ability 4

Sample Writing Prompt 1 and Sample Writing Prompt 2

For the Victorian Selective Schools Entrance Exam (Year 9 Entry)

You can access all six practice exams here: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, Creative Writing and Analytical Writing

If you are doing just the NSW HSPT you could also try the Victorian papers for additional help.  If you want more practice papers, we provide some here.

b) Complete one practice test.

If it’s the first practice test, take your time.  Make sure you aim for accuracy as you can work on time later on.

c) Correct your test and note your score.

‘What scores are considered good?’ is a common question asked by most parents.  In my view, in practice questions, you’re looking at a score greater than 80% to be somewhat competitive.  Even then, students may perform differently in the exam situation.

d) Understand why a particular choice was incorrect.  If you selected any ‘incorrect’ options then go back and try to understand why that was the case and why the solution provided is correct.  It’s really important to do this part as this is where you’ll get the most learning from practice questions.

e) Repeat until all practice questions done.

Try to improve on your exam process each time you complete a new practice test and work towards completing the practice test within the set exam time period.

It is true, practice does make perfect!


Next: 5 Things That Helped Me Get Into A Selective School


How to Prepare for the Victorian Selective School Test by a Former MacRob Girl | Exam Success Blog April 06, 2015

[…] Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning - Again, it’s about doing in depth practice and understanding the logical links within reasoning.  See this past article on how to do practice questions properly! […]

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