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June 09, 2023, 09:38:20 pm

Author Topic: How to Study for the Selective Exam  (Read 1333 times)  Share 

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How to Study for the Selective Exam
« on: January 09, 2022, 03:32:41 pm »
About Me:
Hey! I am a year 9 who will be attending Nossal this year and I sat the selective exam in 2021. I started studying in February of 2021 and I often found myself feeling lost to WHAT I should study and HOW to study for this exam. Because this exam feels so obscure with what would be on the exam, you probably won't know how to study properly. Now there are a bunch of other posts that show you what could be on the exam but they never tell you HOW to actually study. Here, I will explain what and how I personally studied for this exam.  (My discord is Sqka#7741 please DM me if you have any troubles)

Math definitely has the most 'content' to cover compared to the other components. So firstly, I would recommend getting a 'math checklist' so you can get a general idea of what topics are needed to study for the exam. Secondly, you should probably get a year 9 textbook (you can also get year 10 if you want but year 9 is a necessity). I would highly recommend the Cambridge textbooks as they have more questions, better explanations and examples but you can really get any math textbook. So depending on how much time you have, you could either work throughout the whole textbook and complete almost all chapters. Or, you could follow a checklist and just work specifically with those chapters/topics (I will have a 'resources' section which includes these checklists). Now, there may come a time where you struggle to understand these concepts (such as trig/quadratics). In this situation, I would highly recommend watching some YouTube videos, using khan academy or simply ask someone for help. MAKE SURE TO 100% THESE CONCEPTS. It is really crucial that you learn these big math concepts by heart as they will become prevalent in the exam but you'll also use them in later years. Don't leave any gaps with learning. This is pretty much how I would study for the math section. After you have learnt these concepts, you can start doing practice tests that may contain these topics and that is where you can apply and practice them.

Reading Comprehension
Reading comp is an interesting section. Personally, I was never that good at reading comp but I learnt throughout the year to improve on it. This component can be split up into 2 sections. The 'reading and then answering questions part' and the 'grammar section'. The typical 'reading then answering part' takes about 75% and the 'grammar' takes about 25%. Firstly, to improve on the 'reading and answering part' I would highly recommend using a website called 'Read Theory'. Its basically a website designed for reading comprehension and gives you passages to read then answer questions about. There is also a grading system where if you 'pass' an quiz (which is one passage with a few questions) then you move up a grade. If you can consistently get between year 9 to 10 standard in this website, then things should be looking good for you. So now for the 'grammar part'. It is mostly just learning grammar/spelling and punctuation and actually using it properly and apply it. I would say practice tests are most helpful when trying to improve with this.

Numerical Reasoning
Studying this section is really difficult, mainly because its so hard to actually find resources to help you with. I would say this component is split up into 2 sections. The 'patterns' and the 'worded problems' (Both take up about 50/50 of the test). So firstly, patterns. Its really hard to study this part as there aren't any 'formulas' or really a 'cheat' to this, its simply just practice. Some patterns you may get in 5 seconds whilst others it takes a minute. Obviously there will be certain types of patterns what you will see often but still it is very difficult to consistently complete them quickly. Honestly, getting quick and good at patterns is just practice and grinding out questions. Overtime, you would've done so many to the point where you actually see 'duplicates' or a 'variation' of a question you solved previously. The worded problems are something you can learn luckily but it just all depends on if they'll actually show up on the exam. For example, I followed this 'worded problem checklist' with 'types' of worded questions that might come up. But in total, only about 3-4 of them actually showed up on the exam. So you kinda have to be generally good at solving these questions. And of course, the best way of improving is just practising them. There is no other way to really put it.

Verbal Reasoning
I would also say that this section is split up into two. The 'vocabulary side' and the 'logical questions side'. It goes without saying that you'll need a large range of words/vocab to answer some of the questions. So how exactly you do 'expand your vocabulary'. Well, this is how I did it personally. First, choose 5 words to study (you can choose however many you want but don't do too many), you can get them from a year 9 word list or really anywhere. Then create a new list on 'vocabulary.com'. This website is basically designed to help people learn more words. So once you've create a 'new list' with these 5 words, you can then 'study' them on the website. It gives you a wide range of questions to help learn the definition. Try to fully study these lists and complete the 'study section' fully. Once this is done you can create a google doc and write down these 5 words with there meanings. Every now and again just practice these definitions on your own to really get it into your memory. And repeat this whole process every few days and over the months you will have a much larger vocab. Now for the other section, the 'logical side'. These part really takes up the 'reasoning' in the title of 'verbal reasoning'. Its pretty much questions that makes you logically think. To improve with this, use a checklist for certain types of questions and then really master these types of questions (checklist will be in the resources section). You can also practice these questions using practice tests.

I am not going to cover this section as for one, we didn't have writing in our exam so I kinda stopped studying it awhile ago and also with the new '15 minute time frame' there will be a whole change of structure when writing these essays.

General Advice when Studying
This exam is really tough and competitive so obviously study is going to become a priority but don't make it your life. I learnt this mistake as I pretty much spent the whole year studying for the exam and doing copious amounts of hours per day. Although I made it in, it was physically and mentally draining to do this for the whole year and sometimes I would go through a mental breakdown if I didn't get a good result on a practice test (Tiny bit of an exaggeration but you get the point). You shouldn't be too obsessive with this exam and sometimes just take a break when needed. Even just studying 1 hour could be enough for you. An important tip is to focus on your weakness. It may sound like a cliché but its honestly true. But as well, don't procrastinate or don't leave everything to the last month to study all of this. If you end up doing this, it simply just shows that you don't ACTUALLY want to get in. Although that sounds like the most cheesy thing to say, I know a lot of people who did this and ended up regretting heavily on it. One last thing is to not dwell on a bad practice test result. This happened to me countless times and it would make me lose faith and confidence about passing this exam. But honestly DON"T STRESS. Firstly, these practice tests are not 100% accurate to the actual exam, so getting a low score does not mean you'll get a low score on the real exam. Secondly, these practice tests are designed to make you learn and practice your knowledge. So getting a low score can tell you want you need to work on and what to focus on. Anyways, sorry if this post is a bit long but I just wanted to put my knowledge of what I have to help people. Hopefully this helped at least one person who is sitting the exam this year. Once again, please DM on discord (Sqka#7741) if you have any questions. I am very happy to help anyone and possibly provide for extra resources if needed. So anyways, GOOD LUCK!

https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=193899.0  (This is a checklist for all the components)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KFCd1ZpzYDAuyoDtSmPjevXr_Fpk3Khf/view?usp=sharing (Another checklist)
https://www.fepl.ca/pdf/9th_Grade_Spelling_Words.pdf (Word List)
https://www.oztests.com.au/vic-sel-free-resources/ (Free practice tests)
http://derozaedr.com.au/free-sample-tests/ (More free practice tests)


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Re: How to Study for the Selective Exam
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2022, 09:11:21 pm »
Hi, I took the test in 2021 and I wanted to share my experience on the exam and some tips and tricks so see below for a Youtube video I made.