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Embarking on the journey of scholarship entrance exams can be daunting, but with the right guidance and preparation, rest assured that success is within your child’s reach. At Tutoring for Excellence, we understand the intricacies of these exams and are dedicated to helping students navigate this challenging yet rewarding path.

What is a scholarship entrance exam?

A scholarship exam is not like a regular school-based test. It is a specially designed assessment to determine a student’s ability level and intellectual prowess. Schools offering scholarships are looking for students capable of applying knowledge across various subject areas, from musicality to sports or the ability to excel at a particular subject.

Ordinary tests look to question and evaluate a student’s memorised and practised knowledge. In contrast, scholarship tests aim to assess complex intellectual abilities, problem-solving and logical understanding that drive the parameters of an assessment — skills that cannot be memorised twenty-four hours before an exam.

Appropriate preparation for this type of situation is too often left to chance rather than taking the time to fully understand the process and what the exam is likely to assess. This useful guide will help parents and children understand what’s to come and how to achieve their desired results.

Here are some ways to prepare for such exams and give yourself the best chance for success.

Be prepared

Preparation is the cornerstone of success in any scholarship entrance exam. Students must be aware of the assessment format of the exam to apply their skills and knowledge in an exam environment. That means knowing what skills are assessed, as these can differ in each scholarship exam.

The key is to start early and create a structured study plan. Your child should break down the syllabus into manageable, bite-size sections and allocate specific times to focus on each subject. That way, they can avoid getting overwhelmed by everything on their plate and focus on the task at hand. Retrieval practice means taking regular breaks to avoid burnout and helps them prevent procrastination. That way, your child can better focus over short periods.

Allow your child to familiarise themselves with the exam format and understand the question types, the exam duration and the marking scheme. This way, they can strategise their approach to tackling the exam efficiently. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle with adequate sleep, nutritious food and physical activity is crucial to ensure their health and wellbeing and that they have the energy to perform to the best of their ability.

Practice, practice, practice

The organisational bodies that some institutions enlist to facilitate and create these exams also offer a wealth of resources to help your child prepare for them. There is a selection of practice tests, open questions and past papers to ensure your child is familiar with the type of questions and gains confidence in their studies. Acer has a whole site dedicated to preparing students across Australia, broken into states and territories.

Focus on key learning areas

Every child has their weaknesses and strengths when it comes to their academics. When preparing for the scholarship entrance exams, allow your child ample opportunity to review the different sections of the exam and address the specific areas they could improve on. With the help of one of our tutors at Tutoring for Excellence, your child can learn from a customised learning program designed to suit their preferred learning style and address their areas of concern. Topics our tutor will help your child prepare for include:

Verbal reasoning, essay writing and English skills

Verbal reasoning tests assess your child’s ability to understand and process language. A key skill for exams of this nature is testing the ability to name, implement and explain the appropriate use of selected words.

Your child must enhance their vocabulary, grammar and comprehension skills to excel in this area. They can build their language skills by immersing themselves in diverse materials, from novels to journals or signing up for a ‘word of the day’ app as a fun way to build their vocabulary. Practice questions are available from the leading exam bodies, such as the Verbal Reasoning Test Organisation.

At Tutoring for Excellence, we provide fun and engaging resources and exercises specifically targeting verbal reasoning and essay writing skills, ensuring your child is well-prepared for any verbal reasoning challenges they may face.

Numerical reasoning and mathematics

Numerical reasoning involves dealing with numbers quickly and accurately. This section typically includes basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data interpretation questions. To prepare, your child should revisit fundamental mathematical concepts and practice calculations without a calculator to test their ability. Time management is crucial in this section. Practising solving problems under timed conditions will give your child a taste of what to expect in the test and help them succeed in time constraints.

One great online resource is the Numerical Reasoning Test Organisation.

Reading comprehension

The tests examine how well students understand and interpret the ideas they read in a language arts text, including written and visual material. To prepare, your child should practice reading and interpreting various texts and focus on extracting the main idea, theme and details. To hone their skills, they can practice answering different question types, from multiple-choice to True/False and short-answer responses. We encourage students to practice summarising paragraphs and identifying key points, as this sharpens comprehension skills and prepares them for any question they may face in this section. A great website for practising these skills is, which has a list of interactive games aimed at several age levels.

Abstract reasoning

This skill relies on a student’s ability to use abstract reasoning to recognise relationships and perceive ideas theoretically. It requires identifying patterns, logical rules and connections in new information, typically presented in a non-verbal format. This skill is less about rote learning and more about thinking critically. To prepare, your child should engage in exercises identifying relationships between shapes and patterns. Practice with puzzles, logic games and diagrammatic reasoning exercises to enhance their abstract thinking capabilities. Since this section tests their problem-solving abilities, your child should be encouraged to keep an open mind and try different problem-solving approaches.


The science component of the scholarship entrance exam requires a strong grasp of basic scientific principles and theories. This often encompasses biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. Rather than memorising facts that are not guaranteed to be in the exam, your child should invest their time trying to understand key concepts that may be explored in the exam. Where possible, they can experiment with hands-on activities or practical experiments to deepen their understanding of scientific concepts. Regular revision and practice tests are a must to keep scientific principles fresh in their mind and ready to be applied within exam conditions.

Why choose Tutoring for Excellence?

With over 20 years of industry expertise under our belts, helping over 50,000 Australian families, you can trust that you’re partnering with the best when you choose Tutoring for Excellence. We understand how much pressure students can face to balance their priorities, from schoolwork to extracurricular activities and making time for the things they enjoy.

That’s why we allow your child to choose where they study, whether they complete their tutoring online from the comfort of their own home or at an agreed location with one of our qualified tutors. All our tutors are qualified teachers, University graduates or students studying relevant disciplines. They bring the level of enthusiasm and nurturing required to help your child succeed to the best of their ability.

Enrol your child at Tutoring for Excellence today

Preparing for scholarship entrance exams requires a well-rounded approach of thorough study, consistent practice and a healthy lifestyle. At Tutoring for Excellence, we believe in taking a holistic approach to exam preparation that builds confidence, sharpens skills and fosters a deeper understanding of subjects for students. We encourage our students to remember that the journey to exam success is a marathon, not a sprint. With dedication, persistence and the proper guidance, your child can achieve excellence in their scholarship entrance exams.

By enrolling your child at Tutoring for Excellence, your child will have the support of a qualified and experienced tutor to guide them through and engage them in all the essential skills that a scholarship exam is looking to assess. Our tutors specialise in various disciplines, including Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry and more. If you have any questions, contact our team, who are happy to assist you further.