The Scholarship Selection Tests consists of a series of academic ability tests used to select students for the award of a scholarship.

Presently the Spectrum Tuition Centre is only preparing students for Level 1 tests, which are designed for students in their final year of primary school, for entry into first year of secondary school in the following year. Level 1 tests may be suitable for students in Year 7 moving on to Year 8.

The format of the test depends mainly on the company that has been commissioned by the school to write the papers. The main companies writing entrance exams are ACER (Australian Council of Educational Research), ITSA (Independent Testing Service of Australia) and Edutest. Some schools decide to write their own whilst others use independent educational consultants.

It is therefore important to understand which company is preparing the exam for your school. This information can be found by clicking on the participating schools links on the left.


Scholarship Selection Test (SST)

There will be a maximum of four separate tests. Schools have the choice of offering all four tests or choosing various combinations. You should check with the school as to which of the tests they will be sitting.

The time allowed for each, and the order in which they will be taken if all four are offered are as follows:

Test 1: Written Expression – Creative Writing
(Illustrations are often used as stimulus)
25 minutes

Test 2: Humanities – Comprehension & Interpretation
(Inferential skills needed to interpret written text, maps, diagrams or cartoons)
40 minutes with 40 questions

Test 3: Mathematics
(Problem Solving)
40 minutes with 28 questions

Test 4: Written Expression
(Opinion or Argumentative Piece)
25 minutes

Scholarships – ACER participating schools

Higher Ability Selection Test (HAST)

HAST is an ability test used by secondary schools to identify academically gifted students for participation in accelerated learning and enhancement programs.

The format of the test is as follows:

1. Mathematical Reasoning Test
(25 multiple choice questions – 30 minutes)

This test measures mathematical ability and may differ from standard school-based curriculum materials.

Candidates must apply logical and strategic thinking to work through the questions in the test. The tasks are presented as numbers, text, diagrams, graphs and tables. Subject areas include number, measurement, space, time, logical relations and problem solving.

2. Reading Comprehension Test
(25 multiple choice questions – 30 minutes)

This test measures how well students can understand and interpret ideas in language. The test asks students to look at written and visual material and answer questions on it.

3. Abstract Reasoning Test
(30 multiple choice questions – 30 minutes)

This test assesses a student’s ability to use abstract reasoning skills in order to recognise relationships and to perceive ideas at an abstract level.

Candidates are required to identify a pattern shown in a sequence of diagrams. The pattern may need to be continued or completed. The diagrams comprising the pattern may have a number of elements (size, shape, shading, orientation) that need to be considered when deciphering the pattern.

4. Writing Test
(Writing task – 30 minutes)

This test is concerned with student’s ability to express their thoughts and feelings in writing.

Written Expression is generally a creative task and prompts narrative or personal/narrative writing. The stimulus is usually visual. Students are expected to respond to the stimulus in the way that is most interesting to them, and which best displays their ability to write and express themselves.

Assessment is based on thought and content, structure and organisation, expression, style and the mechanics of the candidate’s response.

Higher Ability Selection Test (HAST) – participating schools


This company uses the same format for scholarship and accelerated programs.
Those students wishing to apply for scholarships or places at two different schools will need to sit at the earliest exam and share the results with the other school, after paying a fee to each school.

Their format for the exam is as follows:

1.Written expression (creative piece) – 15 minutes
2.Mathematics – 30 minutes with 60 questions
3.Reading comprehension – 30 minutes with 50 questions
4.Numerical reasoning – 30 minutes with 50 questions
5.Verbal reasoning – 30 minutes with 60 questions

Scholarships – EDUTEST participating schools


1.Scholastic Aptitude: measuring verbal and numerical reasoning ability
2. Reading Comprehension
3. Mathematics
4. Spelling
* Some schools also choose to administer a Written Expression test


1. Writing (Creative or Opinion) – 25 minutes
2. Mathematics – 60 questions
3. Reading – 45 questions
4. General Abilities – 72 questions
(Includes verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning)

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