How to Pass SEAL/SEALP Exam (Edutest) in 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Select Entry Accelerated Learning Programs in Victoria (SEAL/SEALP) from how to pass the test to everything else you need to know about these selective programs.

In this guide, you’ll find out how you can help your child prepare for their SEAL/SEALP test. You'll find out what exam format your SEAL/SEALP test will likely look like (number of questions, time, areas tested), the 39 schools where your child can apply for SEAL/SEALP, see scores of a student who successfully got into a SEAL program in a Victorian public school, and some important considerations you may not have thought about when applying for SEAL/SEALP.


What are Select Entry Accelerated Learning Programs (SEAL / SEALP) and why they’re harder than ever in 2019…

Select Entry Accelerated Learning Programs (SEAL or SEALP) are special programs offered in approximately 39 public Victorian high schools. SEAL/SEALP usually starts in Year 7 (so your child sits the exam when they are in Year 6) and these select entry programs mean your child can attend special classes that can ‘fast-track’ their education. For example, in ‘normal’ Year 11 – Year 12 classes, your child may be given the opportunity to do a university level subject.

But, to get into a SEAL program, your child needs to be selected and this depends on how well they do in a very hard and competitive test. Want to see the scores/results of a student that was successful in obtaining a SEAL/SEALP offer? Then, click here.

And, in 2019, SEAL programs are harder to get into.

Why?

Because the Department of Education changed their requirements about allowable intakes and so some schools have been forced to stop their SEAL program intakes in 2019. Buckley Park College stopped future SEAL intakes from 2019 onwards and is an example of the lower number of SEAL program spots available.

With fewer schools offering SEAL/SEALP, it means the number of spots is fewer and the competition much harder.

This means that for your child to get in, they need to be able to ACE their test. We have experience in preparing students successfully for SEAL programs for schools such as Dandenong High, Williamstown, Doncaster East, Werribee and more.

See how we can help your child succeed.



SEAL/SEALP - a Cost Effective Choice that Provides Excellent Education (plus an important consideration about future selective school entry)

There are so many programs around that it is easy to be confused. We'll show you clearly how SEAL/SEALP program differ from selective schools and scholarships.

Firstly, the differences between SEAL/SEALP and selective schools are:

  • Selective schools are public schools where they only admit you if you’ve passed a test – you can’t get in if you’re a local student.
  • SEAL or SEALP students are students in public schools where there are also locally admitted students who do not do a test. However, if your child is part of the SEAL program in that school, your child will attend special classes with other SEAL students in these public schools so that their learning is fast-tracked or accelerated.

The differences between SEAL/SEALP and scholarships are:

  • Scholarships provide you with fee reductions and scholarships are usually offered by private schools where tuition fees can be $30,000 a year. Scholarships mean people can get a discount on their fee tuition for doing well at school. A scholarship doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t pay anything, sometimes a scholarship may only cover 50% of your fees, so in a school, you still might have to pay $15,000 a year (if assuming $30,000 tuition fee a year).
  • SEAL/SEALP are generally in public schools (no tuition fee).
  • Scholarships are also offered to one or two students per year so if your child gets a scholarship, it’s not guaranteed they’ll be with other students who are of similar academic ability. Scholarship students study in same classes as students whose parents have been able to pay their full private scholarship fees.
  • SEAL/SEALP students are often grouped with other students (usually with about 25 SEAL students) so they’re able to learn in groups with other students who are of similar academic ability.

But it's important to note some issues that may impact your child if your child is successful in gaining a spot.

This issue is if your child plans to apply for Victorian Selective Schools such as Melbourne High, MacRobertson Girls' High School, Suzanne Cory and Nossal in a later year, your child's chance of getting it may be lower due to the 5% rule. The 5% rule is a rule where a selective school cannot have more than 5% of the population in a year level coming from the same school. That means, if 5% of the number of students in your child's year level is 5 and there are 25 students in your child's SEAL class, then, even if your child does very well in the test, they may miss out as only the top 5 in their school would likely be admitted, simply because of this rule.

It's an important consideration to keep in mind.

SEAL programs are a great way to give your child a (free) and high quality education that's close to home.



The Scores/Results of a Student who was Successful in Getting a SEAL/SEALP Spot (sat an Edutest exam)

Here is a digram of the test results of student who successfully got into a SEAL program in a Victorian school in the competitive south eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

The test was an Edutest exam (if you don't know what test your school will be using, check out our guide to SEAL/SEALP schools).

Select Entry Accelerated Learning SEAL SEALP scores and results of a successful student

Here are things you should note carefully about the results:

  • It's not enough just to pass the test. You need to perform BETTER THAN the other students and your total score should place you in the top 10% (at least). With a lot of very smart students who prepare beforehand, you need to make sure you're doing the same or better.
  • There are some areas in which you need to score "Superior" for - this student scored "superior" in maths and numerical reasoning. There are many students who do well in mathematics so your mathematics should be at a very good level.
  • The written expression is above average and close to superior. It's important that your child's writing is just as good as their maths.
  • We helped prepare this student in under 3 months (for all parts of the test).



39 Public Schools in Victoria Offering SEAL Programs & The Companies That Prepare Their Test

There are approximately 39 public school that offer select-entry accelerated learning programs (SEAL/SEALP) or other similar learning programs e.g. GAPP, ALPHA or AELP.

For your convenience, a list of schools offering SEAL programs is provided below along with the organisation that prepares their test.


Edutest


The Edutest exam format typically has five parts being:

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Mathematics
  • Reading comprehension
  • Written expression

All parts, except for written expression, is multiple choice and the estimated time limit is 30 minutes. Writing is typically 15 minutes and is usually a persuasive or narrative task, although discussion pieces have be requested previously.

The Teaching Test Bank (600 questions + detailed video solutions) are now ready for SEAL test preparations. You can find them by clicking on "Test Papers" here.

Schools (including link to the school) that we believe to use an Edutest exam are:

Other


The following schools have not explicitly stated that they are using a well-known test provider. Some may set the test themselves.

Schools (including link to the school) that we believe to use their own exam or their exam provider is not explicitly stated on their website are:

ACER Higher Ability Selection Test (HAST)


The ACER HAST typically comprises of 4 parts being:

  • Mathematical Reasoning – 40 minutes (multiple choice)
  • Reading Comprehension – 45 minutes (multiple choice)
  • Abstract Reasoning – 30 minutes (multiple choice)
  • Written Expression – 25 minutes (written)

Will you be sitting a SEALP test for any of the schools below? Teaching Test Bank (600 questions + detailed video solutions) is available - Check out the SEAL ACER HAST - Teaching Test Bank.

Schools (including link to the school) that we believe to use an ACER HAST exam are:

UNSW Global - Scout Assessment (GAT)


The General Achievement Test (GAT) as it is previously known and set by UNSW Global (the same company that does ICAS), is now known as the Scout Assessment. It has 3 parts:

  • Mathematics (40 questions in 40 minutes)
  • Reading (40 questions in 40 minutes)
  • Writing (1 writing piece in 30 minutes)

Will you be sitting a SEALP test for any of the schools below? Teaching Test Bank (600 questions + detailed video solutions) will be ready soon. To be kept in the loop when this happens, please click here to let us know.

Schools (including link to the school) that we believe to use a UNSW Global Scout Assessment are:


What’s in a SEAL/SEALP (Edutest) Year 7 exam – test format, number of questions and time limit?

A SEAL program Edutest exam for year 7 select entry has 5 parts - 4 parts are multiple-choice questions and 1 part is an essay. This is the general structure although schools can customise for their own needs.

Specifically, the Edutest test format has 2 ability tests (these are about thinking and problem solving), while their test for reading comprehension, mathematics and written expression are achievement based (i.e. more based around what you get taught at school). This differs from other exam providers like ACER where mathematics is heavy on the reasoning side rather than what your child learns at school.

The 5 parts along with their description (including time limits and estimated number of questions per test *) are shown below:


Written Expression


Number of questions: 1 writing prompt
What’s the time limit*? 15 minutes
Time per question* ~ 15 minutes

In this part, your child needs to write a written piece. But not any style they want, they need to answer the question. The question may request that they write a creative, descriptive, narrative, persuasive, expository or informative piece. If the questions requests this, they must write the correct style or risk losing marks. We recommend you have a set structure going into the exam so that you can do your piece quickly and in the right layout - Exam Success' writing club has set layouts that have been proven to work in a 20 minute time limit.

Just because your child can write sentences with perfect spelling and grammar, doesn’t mean they’ll get a good mark. They’re just the basics. Select entry programs requires higher skills – these are:

  • Relevant to the topic – your child can’t write anything they want, they need to come up with a piece that is directly related to the stimulus/question they’re given. This could be an image, a statement or both. Students that don’t do this risk getting a nil mark. It’s important your child relates to the prompt because in the past, students have come into the exam with rehearsed essays. We do not recommend you memorise essays beforehand. However, we highly recommend you practice a lot and have ‘backup’ sentences that you can use.
  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar, proper sentence structure and paragraphing – your child should write clear sentences that are in order and can be easily understood. So not to write: “Yesterday, I will eat dinner”, but write: “Yesterday, I ate dinner”. Also, one of the biggest misconceptions that students and parents (and teachers) have is that to score well in this area, you have to use a lot of ‘big words’. Using a ‘big word’ incorrectly and in the wrong context will lose your child marks. Also, if you don’t know how to spell the word, it will also likely lose you marks. Remember, words need to be selected carefully to ‘enhance’ your piece. Poorly chosen words will lead to loss of marks. For example, “A plethora of reasons why” is better written as the simpler “A number of reasons why…”

Most importantly, if your child's piece is unique and not like the others, it will stand out. But again, these need to be written well and planned carefully to fit within the 15 minutes you are provided.

Reading Comprehension


Number of questions: 45 multiple-choice questions (estimated)
What’s the time limit*? 30 minutes
Time per question* ~ 40 seconds

Your child will be presented with a range of texts - this includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cartoons, and more. They'll need to read and interpret meaning from the text. This means they need a structured thinking process to get through this section quickly. Unlike the ACER and Academic Assessment Services test, the Edutest reading comprehension does ask students to correct, complete and punctuate sentences. Many students find this easier to do (than the interpretation part) and there are quick marks to be gained in this area.

Mathematics


Number of questions: 40 multiple-choice questions (estimated)
What’s the time limit*? 30 minutes
Time per question* ~ 45 seconds

According to the Edutest website, the mathematics test "measures year-level appropriate mathematical knowledge, including...., measurement, algebra, space and data."

While some questions may be straightforward, there are likely to be more complicated questions. An example question could be:

A game show contestant must jump blindfolded into a pool filled with a thousand balloons that are coloured red, green or white. The contestant must select a white balloon to win. The ratio of red to green to white balloons is 3:7:10. What is the chance that the game show contestant will select a white balloon?

a) 10
b) 1
c) 0.5
d) 1/10

Students learn ratios and probability at school and would have already learnt how to add and multiply. These are all needed to answer the above question. But knowing these things individually doesn’t ensure that a student will know how to use them in combination to answer the question correctly or go about it in the most time-efficient way. To answer this question correctly, students need to figure out:

  • That the word “chance” means probability. This means that the answer must be less than 1 (because the chance of something happening is expressed as less than 100%. 100% is certainty).
  • That the ratio figures added together create a whole. So 3 + 7 + 10 adds up to 20 and when you multiply that by 50, you get 1,000 balloons.
  • Select the part of the ratio that is important – “white balloons” and calculate the probability of selecting a white balloon. So 10 / (3 + 7+ 10)) is one-half and this is 0.5 in decimal format.

The exam questions are likely to require your child to synthesise the information provided and make decisions about what to use, how and when.

Verbal Reasoning


Number of questions: 60 multiple-choice questions
What’s the time limit*? 30 minutes
Time per question* ~ 30 seconds

Verbal reasoning is largely about pattern detection using words and language. The language doesn’t need to be English, sometimes; verbal reasoning questions are about decoding a code written in some alien language. Other possible verbal reasoning questions that could appear in the exam are:
* Odd word out.
* Word that has the closest meaning to another word.
* Adding or removing a letter to make a different word.
* Logical consequence based on a statement.
* If & and statements.
Because of its heavy reliance on words, those with a wider vocabulary range (this means knowing how the word is spelled and what it means) may find verbal reasoning easier compared to those with a limited vocabulary range.

Numerical reasoning


Number of questions: 50 multiple-choice questions
What’s the time limit*? 30 minutes
Time per question* ~ 36 seconds

Numerical reasoning is about solving problems that have to do with numbers. Your child may be asked to detect the pattern in a sequence of numbers, select a number that should go in a sequence and more. Usually, there are also worded problems like “If a person is 2 times another person’s age now, how old will they be in 10 years time”. There are strategies your child can learn to help them answer these types of questions quickly and accurately.

﹡ The number of questions and time limit have been estimated from the Edutest website and other publicly available information. Please note that the authoritative body can change the number of questions and time limits from year to year so please refer to their websites for the most up to date information. Time per question is calculated by taking the time limit divided by number of questions.



Here's test preparation designed for your child's success


Packages

6 Courses Package

Your choice of 6 individual courses to include in your package.

Includes 5 individual & personalized Expert Writing Insights (ranking, weakness identification & improvement tips) - see an example of Expert Writing Insights.

After purchase, you get immediate access to your courses for 6 months so your child can get a head start on their test prep!

Don't know what courses or test papers to choose for your exam? Check our course and test paper selection guide based on your exam .

$AU418.00 + GST

Individual Online Courses

Reading Comprehension

Great for:

  • Vic Selective Test - Macrob, Melb High, Nossal and Suzanne Cory
  • NSW HSPT (Reading Test)
  • Brisbane SHS
  • Perth Modern School

After purchase, you get immediate access to your courses for 6 months so your child can get a head start on their test prep!

$AU139.99 + GST

Mathematics

Great for:

  • Vic Selective Test
  • NSW HSPT (General Ability)
  • Brisbane SHS

After purchase, you get immediate access to your courses for 6 months so your child can get a head start on their test prep!

$AU139.99 + GST

Creative Writing – Written Expression

Great for:

  • Vic Selective Test
  • NSW HSPT
  • Brisbane SHS
  • Perth Modern School

After purchase, you get immediate access to your courses for 6 months so your child can get a head start on their test prep!

$AU139.99 + GST

Discussion and Argumentative Writing – Written Expression

Great for:

  • Vic Selective Test
  • NSW HSPT (General Ability)
  • Brisbane SHS
  • Perth Modern School

After purchase, you get immediate access to your courses for 6 months so your child can get a head start on their test prep!

$AU139.99 + GST

Numerical Reasoning

Great for:

  • Vic Selective Test
  • NSW HSPT (General Ability)
  • Perth Modern School
  • Vic Police Test and PSO Test

After purchase, you get immediate access to your courses for 6 months so your child can get a head start on their test prep!

$AU139.99 + GST

Verbal Reasoning

Great for:

  • Vic Selective Test
  • NSW HSPT (General Ability)
  • NSW Police Force Test
  • Vic Police Test and PSO Test

After purchase, you get immediate access to your courses for 6 months so your child can get a head start on their test prep!

$AU139.99 + GST


Frequently Asked Questions

See answers to frequently asked questions by parents:

How does the extension work for courses only (not test papers or test banks or books)? I need more than 6 months.

It's great that you're planning ahead. Once you purchase, access is provided for 6 months from the date of purchase. An extension is $19 per month for an individual course or $39 to have your whole originally purchased course package renewed per month. To get extension access, just extend on the website where you access your course.

How do we get more practice worksheets to work on? The videos are helpful but we need more practice material to practice under time constrraints [sic].

As a minimum, per course there are 10 questions x 10 checkpoints = 100 questions (some courses/checkpoints have more). The final checkpoints (Checkpoint 11 / 12) is the practice exam which has for the Year 7 exams, approximately 30-45 questions depending on the course and for Year 9, this is 50-65 questions depending on the course. The course should provide all the practice questions you require in order to prepare effectively for the exam.

Parents don't often realise that too many practice questions is not a good thing because students are more likely to skim over the question and 'do it' and opposed to understanding the logic more deeply. Understanding the logic leads to Exam Success!

I've seen this problem happen a lot where parents buy all this practice material and become confused and stressed not knowing where to start! Focus on quality of practice questions over quantity and your child will be less stressed, more focused and better prepared for the exam. It's about studying smarter not harder!

If I wish to purchase whole package, how much time (approx.) should it take for my 10yr old to complete all the units?

If you have the time for example, 6 months to spare, I'd recommend 3.5 hours each weekend. Each course has 12 checkpoints and there are 7 courses altogether (84 checkpoints - approximately 84+ hours of exam preparation. If you have 3 months to the time of the exam, I'd recommend doing a checkpoint per day (if doing the full package of 7 courses). Some students say it takes on average 37 hours to complete one course (for 7 courses that would be 210 hours) so potentially, your child could do the course full time during the summer holiday period and beyond.

If we complete certain units but want to go back to previous units, can we do that? How long are the videos available to us? Can they be downloaded?

Yes - that's what we wanted as students often have to reinforce their knowledge. You can revisit the unit whenever you like. It's like having the ultimate text book in video format and you can flip ahead or back whenever you need. Access is granted for a period of six months. If you need an extension it is $19 per month for an individual course or $39 per month to have your whole package extended per month.

No the videos cannot be downloaded, everything is available to access on the site.

Is there a discount if we want to buy more than 2 packages? If I plan to buy all packages, it comes up to almost $700/- which is quite pricey

There are packages available that provides savings.

Individual packages are there as sometimes, students may only need to polish up on one area and this provides them with that polishing up.

We price our products based on the work involved to prepare them and we put in alot of effort as shown by our results and reviews from students and parents. When you think about it, we are value for money compared to other providers as:

Hendersons charge around $180 - $270 for a 1-day workshop on 1 subject only. Ours is $150 and students have access for six months AND they can revisit whenever they need.

James An's selective trial test course cost around $1090 for four subjects over a 10-week term (Herald Sun 2013). Exam Success' full package is $449 which includes +3 more subject but also $641 LESS expensive than James An.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald article, "Mr Mysore said he had spent about $3000 to help prepare his son, who went to coaching for four hours a week, for the selective exam." (Herald Sun 2013). Exam Success' course is less than 1/3 of the cost and doing the full package (7 courses) over 6 months would take around 3.5 hours per week.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the teacher. I've heard stories where students have a good teacher at a tuition school and when they don't they don't really take much in.

At Exam Success, we make sure that what your child is watching is effective so that they get the best learning possible and preparation for their exam.

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