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This article contains information that is for general information only and should not be used for the basis of making any decisions regarding education or anything else. It is solely the writer’s opinion of the writer’s experience of one open day at the school and the writer’s interactions with the people present on that day. The writer’s article is purely subjective. Facts and information may or may not be complete, accurate, reliable or valid reflection of the school in question.

I encourage you to personally tour the school and meet the educators and students, form your own opinion and leave a comment here.

Best of luck with your search for the perfect school!

Embarking on the journey towards securing a private school scholarship can often feel like navigating a labyrinth, fraught with various challenges and checkpoints. But fear not, for this comprehensive guide is designed to illuminate the path, demystifying every aspect from the application process to preparation strategies, ensuring you and your child are well-equipped to embrace this opportunity.

What are the benefits of a private education vs. a public education?

Choosing between private and public education in Melbourne involves considering various factors and private education offers distinct benefits that might appeal to different families and students. It’s worth noting that public education offers numerous advantages, including accessibility, diversity, and a strong sense of community. When choosing a school for your child, it’s crucial to select a school that can nurture your child’s individual talents and many public schools in Melbourne are known for their high educational standards, programs on offer and achievements.

Since this article does focus on private school scholarships, here are some advantages often associated with private schooling:


1. Smaller class sizes

Private schools often boast smaller class sizes, allowing for more individualised attention from teachers and a more personalised learning experience for each student.

2. Specialised programs and curriculum flexibility

Many private schools offer specialised programs, advanced placement courses, or unique curriculums (like International Baccalaureate) that might not be available in public schools. They also often have the flexibility to incorporate innovative teaching methods or focus on particular areas, such as arts, sciences, or languages.

3. Extracurricular opportunities

With typically more resources at their disposal, private schools can offer a broader and more diverse range of extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, music, and clubs, providing students with a well-rounded education.

4. Facilities and resources

Private schools in Melbourne often have access to more advanced or specialised facilities, such as state-of-the-art science labs, performing arts centres, and sports facilities, enhancing the learning experience.

5. Community and networking

Private schools can foster a close-knit community environment, with strong alumni networks that may benefit students professionally and personally in the long term.

6. Values and cultural education

Some private schools are affiliated with religious or specific educational philosophies and offer education aligned with those values, providing families with options that match their personal beliefs or educational preferences.

7. Selective environment

The selective nature of many private schools means that students are often in an environment with peers who are similarly motivated and high-achieving, which can foster a culture of academic excellence.

It’s important to note that these benefits can vary significantly from one private school to another, and the best choice depends on the specific needs, values, and circumstances of each student and their family. 

Private school scholarships and their advantages

Private school scholarships represent a valuable chance for students to obtain a high-quality education, frequently with financial benefits that reduce or eliminate the substantial cost of tuition, which can surpass $35,000 annually. These awards are more than just financial support; they serve as symbols of recognition for outstanding talents, whether in academics, athletics, or extracurricular activities. The advantages of these scholarships go further than just easing financial strains; they instil a feeling of pride and encourage motivation among students, driving them towards higher levels of academic excellence and personal development.

How schools use scholarships to support and attract talent

Scholarships play a crucial role in schools by both aiding and attracting a diverse group of talented students, thereby enhancing the educational experience for all. By offering financial assistance, these scholarships make education accessible to students who might otherwise face barriers, creating a richly diverse student body. However, scholarships do more than provide financial support. The strategic use of scholarships not only attracts and supports talented and ambitious students to join the school, fostering an environment of  excellence, but it  also elevates the school’s status as a place where future leaders and innovators are shaped.

The wide range of scholarships: from academics to athletics and more

Scholarships come in many forms, each designed to recognise and support different areas where students can excel. 

Academic scholarships

The most common are academic scholarships, which can cover a large part, if not all, tuition fees. These scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, often through competitive exams or academic records.

Sporting/ Athletic scholarships

Awarded to students who excel in sports, usually through trials or assessments of athletic ability.

Artistic scholarships

Offered to students with outstanding skills in visual or performing arts, such as painting, drawing, drama, dance, or music. These scholarships typically require auditions a portfolio or performances as part of the application process.

Leadership/ General excellence scholarships

Awarded to students who demonstrate strong leadership qualities and look at a wider set of criteria including, involvement in extracurricular activities, and a commitment to community service.

Need-based scholarships

Provided to students based on financial need, often requiring documentation of family income and assets.

Subject-specific scholarships

Awarded to students who show exceptional proficiency or interest in specific subjects, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), humanities, languages, or other specialised fields.

Boarding scholarships

Available for students who reside in remote areas or require accommodation, covering part or all of the boarding fees.

It’s important to research individual schools to understand their scholarship offerings, eligibility criteria, application processes, and deadlines. Additionally, some schools may offer combination scholarships, which include elements from multiple categories mentioned above.

How hard is it to successfully get a scholarship to private school? 

Getting a scholarship is highly competitive, with fewer than 5% of applicants being successful, highlighting the need for candidates to really stand out through their exceptional skills and commitment.

How to apply for a private school scholarship – understanding the scholarship application journey

The process of obtaining a private school scholarship starts with filling out an online application, which initiates the more rigorous assessment phase that follows. 

This subsequent stage usually includes a set of standardised tests administered by recognised testing organisations like ACER, EDUTEST, and Academic Assessment Services, designed to evaluate a wide range of abilities including analytical and mathematical reasoning, writing skills, and creative thinking. Schools may also opt to design and administer their own exams.

Students who perform well on these tests are then invited to an interview, allowing the school to assess their suitability. During this final interview, candidates have the opportunity to showcase their personality, extracurricular achievements, and how they align with the school’s values, providing a comprehensive view of their potential contribution to the school community.

What is the structure of these exams?

While there are slight differences in how each test company approaches the assessment process, scholarship and selective school exams consistently include sections on reading comprehension, advanced mathematics, and writing, testing students’ abilities to understand complex texts, solve challenging mathematical problems, and express themselves through written words. 

In addition to these, the exams might also have tests focused on verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and abstract reasoning. These can either be presented as individual sections or combined into one comprehensive ‘general abilities’ test, aimed at assessing a wide range of cognitive skills and the ability to think critically and solve problems in different contexts.

Let’s have a look at each test structure more thoroughly:


The ACER exam contains four sections

Test 1 Written Expression25 minutes
Test 2 Humanities40 minutes
Test 3 Mathematics40 minutes
Test 4 Written Expression25 minutes

ACADEMIC assessment services

The AAS exam contains four sections

Test 1 General Ability45 minutes
Test 2 Mathematics45 minutes
Test 3 Reading Comprehension45 minutes
Test 4 Written Expression25 minutes


The EDUTEST exam contains six sections:

Test 1 Written Expression – Creative15 minutes
Test 2 Written Expression – Analytical15 minutes
Test 3 Mathematical Reasoning30 minutes – 60 multiple choice questions
Test 4 Reading Comprehension30 minutes – 50 multiple choice questions
Test 5 Numerical Reasoning30 minutes – 50 multiple choice questions
Test 6 Verbal Reasoning30 minutes – 50 multiple choice questions

For information about which schools conduct which type of exam, please visit scholarshipsearcher.com.au

How to prepare for the scholarship interview – aligning personal aspirations with school values 

Your child has successfully passed the test and now you have been invited for an interview – congratulations! They’ve worked exceptionally hard and have overcome significant challenges.

This interview stage is critical as it looks beyond academic scores and extracurricular achievements to understand the candidate’s personal fit with the school’s values and community life. If your child makes it to this stage, encourage them to familiarise themselves with the school’s mission and activities by exploring its website. This preparation will empower your child to discuss how they can enrich and thrive in the school’s setting, aligning their personal aspirations with the school’s offerings.

Your child may be asked a variety of questions during the interview, from recommending a favourite book to sharing their enthusiasm for certain extracurricular activities and the reasons behind their choices. Despite a potentially informal interview environment, be ready for deeper questions into how your child embodies the school’s values. Adequately preparing will demonstrate your child’s dedication and forward thinking approach.

The importance of preparing for scholarship exams

Like many endeavours, thorough preparation is essential for instilling confidence, which is one of the keys to success. Given the significant advantages of securing a scholarship and accessing private education, competition for such opportunities is fierce among students. For high achievers, tackling the challenge of scholarship preparation, regardless of the outcome, equips them with the mental resilience, determination, and fortitude to confront other life challenges. 

Preparing for a scholarship can be akin to training for an elite sports event, where the level of commitment and meticulous preparation can significantly impact results. Whether starting from scratch or building upon a strong foundation, success in both endeavours hinges on a structured and dedicated approach to preparation.

Doesn’t the idea of preparing for scholarships contradict what these assessments are supposed to measure?

In the quest for scholarships that unlock the advantages of private education, it’s crucial to recognise that some applicants may excel in specific areas, for example in mathematics, but need to polish other skills, for example in writing, to fulfil the comprehensive requirements of securing a scholarship. This doesn’t mean these students are any less deserving. A student can be an avid reader, but need extra support with structuring their  writing within the very tight timeframe allocated. 

Additionally, the intense examination schedule demands endurance, a quality not all students may have developed, potentially placing those unprepared or unfamiliar with the expected question formats at a disadvantage. Just as professional athletes work on different aspects of their game to compete at the highest level, scholarship aspirants need a comprehensive preparation plan, particularly if they are not yet confident in all areas being assessed. 

By honing their existing strengths and improving in areas where they are less confident, they can build the well-rounded profile sought after by scholarship selectors, ensuring they are well-equipped to unlock their potential and improve their chances of  success both for the exam while also building a solid foundation for their high school education. 

How to prepare for the scholarship exam 

Preparing for the scholarship exam is a marathon, not a sprint and the extent to which you prepare is up to each individual student. It involves a balanced regimen of study, practice, and rest, with a focus on enhancing core skills, familiarising oneself with the exam format, and honing test-taking strategies. It’s crucial to approach this phase with a growth mindset, viewing each challenge as an opportunity to learn and improve.

At Spectrum Tuition, our approach to student success is structured around a five-step pathway, detailed below:

Step 1: Assess and elevate

We start by assessing a student’s proficiency in key areas to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. This evaluation forms the basis for a personalised learning plan.

Step 2: Craft your path – design your journey

Achieving any significant goal requires careful planning. This involves dedicating time and acquiring the necessary tools, which may mean signing up for additional courses or tackling practice tests to bridge any knowledge gaps.

Step 3: Foster a growth mindset

The path to mastering new skills can, at times, appear slow. Recognising and accepting this reality is crucial as it helps maintain momentum and perseverance through challenges.

Step 4: Master consistency

For students aiming for scholarships, maintaining a consistent study habit is vital. At Spectrum Tuition, we support this by assigning regular homework to reinforce learned concepts.

Step 5: Embrace growth: pursue continuous improvement

Completing assigned work is just the start; learning from mistakes and correcting them is equally important. Regularly revisiting and rectifying incorrect answers is an integral part of our students’ weekly routines.

Circling Back to Step 1: Assess and elevate

Learning never stops. We continually assess our students based on their performance on recent topics through weekly quizzes before moving them to more advanced concepts, ensuring a cycle of ongoing development and improvement.


Just as in marathon preparation, where the journey involves consistent training, learning the course, and mental conditioning, preparing for a scholarship encompasses a range of activities aimed at enhancing a student’s readiness and performance.

Securing a private school scholarship is an ambitious yet attainable goal, with the right mix of talent, preparation, and guidance. By understanding the landscape, embracing the challenge, and harnessing available resources, students can be empowered to reach for the stars, turning the dream of a prestigious education into reality.

Click the link below to discover how one student progressed from a D to an A grade in a single term, ultimately securing multiple scholarship offers by the end of the year.

Click here to download the free report

* Spectrum Tuition is a sponsor of Melbourne Schools. Learn more about them here​ *

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One Comment

  1. It is a good content on your page. we have same types of educational scholarships in Pakistan .Benazir Educational Scholarships for Pakistani girls is a program designed to help girls from low-income families continue their education. Named after Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister, this initiative aims to reduce financial barriers that prevent girls from attending school. The scholarships provide financial support for school fees, books, uniforms, and other educational expenses. By offering these resources, the program encourages more girls to stay in school, improve their academic performance, and build a better future for themselves and their families. This initiative is crucial in promoting gender equality and empowering girls through education in Pakistan.

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