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Thread: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

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    Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Hey guys!

    So, I'm currently in year 10 and I really want to go to SMSHS next year.
    So could you tell me, how easy is it to get into SMSHS?
    What advice would you give a year 10 student who is seeking to attend the school for their senior years?
    What does SMSHS look for in a student? What do they prioritise when it comes down to the selection?

    Thank you in advance! All help is really appreciated!

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    My advice;

    Don't

    I hear many a bad story about SMSHS

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    What was the top ATAR your school obtained in the previous HSC

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Go to penrith or something

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    I hear Chifley is pretty good
    someth1ng and sirable1 like this.
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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Woahhhh there, wasn't expecting to be getting this. ARE YOU GUYS TROLLING OR--
    Well, regardless, I really want to go to SMSHS and I really appreciate your help and errythang, like I'm sure your comments are very helpful, but I understand that SMSHS is a school for independent learners and I'm ready to take that on.
    Btw, Cleavage, what do you mean by "bad stories"? o_O
    And yea totes, Chifley's the greatest.

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    SMSHS look for well-rounded students. So not just smart ones, but ones that can contribute to the culture of the school by say like band or dance or stuff. Or even leadership qualities.

    It's not a purely academic school, iirc it's partially selective - so... just be smart, and show them that you will add to the life of the school.
    B Arts / B Science (Advanced Mathematics), UNSW

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    ^ it is a selective school in the sense that they only select the Asians. My white friend (smart and plays chess) applied and so did my Asian friend (not so great at his studies he was more social) but the asian guy got in but the white guy ended up going to the school that competes with st marys (the one in the hood)
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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Ohh yeah that independent learning thing is true, they don't mark attendance at classes (only if you show up to school) and the teachers just give you stuff and youre expected just to learn it. The competing school (the one I went to) was more spoonfed everything to you and help you as much as possible (and I liked that)

    Yeah I know that "it doesn't prepare you for uni" but you don't have to worry that's 2 years away
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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    What's this "competing school"? I don't think I've ever heard of one.

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kavaianas View Post
    What's this "competing school"? I don't think I've ever heard of one.
    the one in the hood; you know, mounty county. I'm sure you'll figure it out. I went there :P
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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kavaianas View Post
    Woahhhh there, wasn't expecting to be getting this. ARE YOU GUYS TROLLING OR--
    Well, regardless, I really want to go to SMSHS and I really appreciate your help and errythang, like I'm sure your comments are very helpful, but I understand that SMSHS is a school for independent learners and I'm ready to take that on.
    Btw, Cleavage, what do you mean by "bad stories"? o_O
    And yea totes, Chifley's the greatest.
    I know a few people who regret going, others love it


    ATAR aim: 30>

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Hey guyz, thanks for all your comments! I know you are trying to help, but we're not deciding if we want to go there. We would just like to know what to do to boost our chances of getting in.

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Do alot of EC's and get good grades. What else would they expect?
    B Actuarial Studies/Commerce @ UNSW

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowdude View Post
    SMSHS look for well-rounded students. So not just smart ones, but ones that can contribute to the culture of the school by say like band or dance or stuff. Or even leadership qualities.

    It's not a purely academic school, iirc it's partially selective - so... just be smart, and show them that you will add to the life of the school.
    Errr...no.

    Obviously, they look at a lot of things but you don't necessarily need to be well rounded. If you're decent at academics and have not much else, that should be enough. Also, it's not a selective school, at all - you just apply and they consider you.

    Anyway, SMSHS isn't very competitive - I know lots of people that got in and they weren't exceptional at academics...or anything else, really.
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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    So I made this account just to post here. I'm a year 11 student at SMSHS (just started last last week ).
    I would disagree to everyone saying you'll have a horrible time here, it's just a matter of opinion I guess. IMO, it's a relaxed environment and they really emphasise the adult learning environment they have here.

    Anyways, if you really want to get in, I suggest getting good grades (around B's) for semester 1 this year as they usually open up applications Term 3 or 4, meaning you'll only have your semester 1 report to show. Also, you'll have to write about why you want to get in. I'd suggest you write that you want to get in because you want to be more independent, you want to get good grades, and because you heard that St Marys Senior High is a good school to learn in. All that stuff, I can't exactly remember what I wrote for my application but it was something along the lines of what I've mentioned.

    And really, the most important thing is to submit your application really really early. When they give you a reply back, it actually shows what your application number was (I was the 45th person). My friend who submitted his at the last minute didn't get accepted (he was 800 something) due to the amount of people applying to SMSHS. There's around 400 people, so only 50% get in. It shouldn't be that hard though, just get good grades and apply early.

    tl;dr get good grades (B's), apply early, don't half-ass your application form where it asks you why you want to get in SMSHS.
    Hope to see ya there next year

    EDIT: What I forgot to mention was that SMSHS doesn't only accept high-achieving academic students. If you're good at sports and you have the qualities, as someone above me has stated, you can get in.
    Last edited by alvin21au; 6 Feb 2014 at 7:19 PM.

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Quote Originally Posted by alvin21au View Post
    So I made this account just to post here. I'm a year 11 student at SMSHS (just started last last week ).
    I would disagree to everyone saying you'll have a horrible time here, it's just a matter of opinion I guess. IMO, it's a relaxed environment and they really emphasise the adult learning environment they have here.

    Anyways, if you really want to get in, I suggest getting good grades (around B's) for semester 1 this year as they usually open up applications Term 3 or 4, meaning you'll only have your semester 1 report to show. Also, you'll have to write about why you want to get in. I'd suggest you write that you want to get in because you want to be more independent, you want to get good grades, and because you heard that St Marys Senior High is a good school to learn in. All that stuff, I can't exactly remember what I wrote for my application but it was something along the lines of what I've mentioned.

    And really, the most important thing is to submit your application really really early. When they give you a reply back, it actually shows what your application number was (I was the 45th person). My friend who submitted his at the last minute didn't get accepted (he was 800 something) due to the amount of people applying to SMSHS. There's around 400 people, so only 50% get in. It shouldn't be that hard though, just get good grades and apply early.

    tl;dr get good grades (B's), apply early, don't half-ass your application form where it asks you why you want to get in SMSHS.
    Hope to see ya there next year

    EDIT: What I forgot to mention was that SMSHS doesn't only accept high-achieving academic students. If you're good at sports and you have the qualities, as someone above me has stated, you can get in.
    WOAH THANKYUU SO MUCH. Reeally helpful.
    And oops sorry for the late reply, I kinda just abandoned this thread for a while bc I didn't think people would actually give advice lawls.
    BUT HERE YOU ARE YAY.
    Yup, I really hope to see you next year. If I make it, just know you helped ALOOOTTT.

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    They normally select on the basis of behaviour and involvement within community as supposed to your academic merit like other selective schools. Other than that you should be fine, also add some certificates you achieved from your school and show that you interact well with other lol

    It's a great school with very welcoming people and staff. The culture and warmth you receive there is amazing!! but yes you have to be independent and push yourself.

    All this coming from a student who just graduated last year from there



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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    It's an amazing school & you'll love it so much you wouldn't want to leave!

    Best decision ever.

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    HEY GUYZZ! I heard somewhere that in SMSHS, it is compulsory to do an after school sport!!!???!?!??!?! IS THIS TRUEEEEEEEEEEE---THIS CANT BE TRUUUUUUUU!!!

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Hey!
    Im one of the 2014 captains at SMSHS and honestly half the things that people are saying about SMSHS are only half true.

    Yes, it is an adult learning environment. No, you are not expected to magically know everything on day 1. In spending the last 2 years there I can assure you that the teachers will support you in every possible way. The adult learning environment really means that they expect you to make the effort to come and see them if you're having problems with the course work. They will not spoon-feed you the answers, but they will never pass up an opportunity to share their knowledge. Almost all the teachers have degrees relevant to the subject (ie the legal teachers have law degrees, economics teachers have eco degrees, etc), and they will use their knowledge to show you the world outside the confines of the syllabus.

    SMSHS is looking for students who want to see the world different, who want to talk about why things are the way they are, and who want to engage with everything outside of their box of comfort and ease. If you fit that bill, then definitely apply, and I promise you that you will not regret it for a second. You will fall in love with everything that we do with our SRC to foster a strong and vibrant SMSHS culture. You will fall in love with the teachers and the passion that each and every one of them has about their subjects. You will fall in love with learning, and THAT, i believe, is the heart of the adult learning environment. You will develop such great relationships with all of the teachers who will throw their experience and knowledge at you, and you will see the world in a completely different light. I could not recommend doing something more.

    Sadly, there are 900-1000 students in both years, and so 400-500 students in a year. We receive more than double the amount of applications we can accept. It is a hard process and a lot of great and deserving people are rejected. It's not a matter of being asian like one of the people above said (I am definitely white), but it is about more than your marks. I can tell you that WE DO NOT LOOK AT MARKS. We are ranked fairly well and get good marks and that is for 2 reasons.
    1 - Quality of teaching staff/support services (free tutoring, teachers running tutorials, etc)
    2 - The people who get in are the sort of people who care about their education.
    Expanding on 2, the entire school is full of bright people who want to do the best that they can and maximise the millions of opportunities that SMSHS offers them. SMSHS is looking for those bright people, who will be able to jump into St. Marys life from day 1. We want the people who will embrace the freedom and the maturity that our unique environment provides to come flooding through our gates every morning, not the people who will want to dip their toes in first and slowly settle in. There are only 7 terms in year 11 and 12, and anyone in year 12 will tell you that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. SMSHS goes faster than usual because you're meeting 1000 new people at the same time as you're learning the layout of a new school and starting completely new subjects.
    If you can prove in the application form that you will whole-heartedly embrace the energy and the culture of SMSHS, then you will bump your chances up extremely. They don't want to read about your 100% in your exams, they want to hear about your passions, your interests, what you love about SMSHS, how what you've heard makes you excited about learning, THAT is the stuff that St. Marys is all about.

    Sorry for that being so long, but there are so many amazing things to say about SMSHS that it's hard to condense down into a sentence or 2 response. I hope that it helped you out a bit, and I'll be sure to look out for you during the open days and stuff later on in the year!
    HSC 2014 - Adv Eng | Drama | PDHPE | Society and Culture | Economics | 2014 ATAR - 95.35 & B. Economics/B. Laws @ ANU

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kavaianas View Post
    HEY GUYZZ! I heard somewhere that in SMSHS, it is compulsory to do an after school sport!!!???!?!??!?! IS THIS TRUEEEEEEEEEEE---THIS CANT BE TRUUUUUUUU!!!
    Nuuuuuuuuu, you (quote unquote) have to do sport outside of school, but it's something like 30 hours over a year in compliance with the Board of Studies rules because we don't do school sporting carnivals. That being said, I know nobody that has done it in my year or in the grade above, so long as you hand in a form saying you've done it it's fine hahahaha
    HSC 2014 - Adv Eng | Drama | PDHPE | Society and Culture | Economics | 2014 ATAR - 95.35 & B. Economics/B. Laws @ ANU

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Quote Originally Posted by ss09 View Post
    They normally select on the basis of behaviour and involvement within community as supposed to your academic merit like other selective schools. Other than that you should be fine, also add some certificates you achieved from your school and show that you interact well with other lol

    It's a great school with very welcoming people and staff. The culture and warmth you receive there is amazing!! but yes you have to be independent and push yourself.

    All this coming from a student who just graduated last year from there



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    Definitely! You'd have to push yourself over the next 2 years regardless of what school you were at, but the staff at SMSHS are super helpful and just amazing at giving constructive and regular feedback. The push comes from a hugely increased workload from year 10, and the competition between all the students. The total amount of students doing 1 subject may be bigger than the amount of students in your entire year at your previous school, so a mark can be worth a whooolleeee lot hahahaha
    HSC 2014 - Adv Eng | Drama | PDHPE | Society and Culture | Economics | 2014 ATAR - 95.35 & B. Economics/B. Laws @ ANU

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerwin View Post
    It's an amazing school & you'll love it so much you wouldn't want to leave!

    Best decision ever.
    skuxxxxxxxxxxx jerwin
    HSC 2014 - Adv Eng | Drama | PDHPE | Society and Culture | Economics | 2014 ATAR - 95.35 & B. Economics/B. Laws @ ANU

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    Re: Advice for Applying to St. Mary's Senior High School?

    WOWOWOW THANK YOUUU! I love it when people actually give insightful asnwers! lol jk
    No but seriously, that was a biiiiiig help. sorreh for the late reply. but I can't not let you know how much I (and all the random lurkers) appreciate this!

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