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How difficult is it to adjust to a selective high school environment? Is it a high atar still possible? (1 Viewer)

vsyie

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Hi all people kind enough to read this (and hopefully answer),

I seek answers to a number of questions, so prepare yourselves! Basically, I applied for St George girls for yr 11 entry and had an interview. Although I'm not sure if I have made it in, I want to be prepared if I do, to make the right decision. I have had doubts about rankings and ATAR if I move schools, so below are a few questions I have about the school and environment that I really hope someone can answer! :) Also, I don't mind if you share transfer stories to schools other than St George- it's all relevant and I'd really appreciate it!

Question 1) Do you think teachers mark more harshly at selective schools?

2) Is it difficult for transfer students to fit in?

3) In the past, have transfers been able to compete with the original cohort and achieve competitive marks and ranks?

4) How competitive is St George? Will I struggle to get top 20 in a subject?

5) Are the teachers good at St George? (I have good teachers now so this is really important!)

6) Are the girls generally supportive of each other/ kids in selective schools?

7) Have transfers in the past been able to achieve high atars?

8) How much homework is handed out? What is the expected minimum of study each day?

9) Is it a wise decision to move to a selective school if I am practically top for all my classes, have good teacher relationships, but really struggle in the lousy environment of my school and finding like-minded individuals?


Thanks so much if you only answer one of these questions! As you can tell, I have my doubts so I'd appreciate any help you can give. :)
 

elobski

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hey!
i was in your situation about a year ago when i applied for sydney boys from a non-selective public school so i'll not be able to answer your school specific questions but here goes:

1) this really depends on your current teachers/school. what you'll find is that teachers definitely do mark quite harshly because the standards of everyone at the school is quite high. despite this, if you are doing well at your current school, it is also quite likely that you will do well in a selective school if you hold yourself to the same standard that you have been.

2) what ended up happening with me was that i kind of floated around and tried to get acquainted with everyone in the first week-ish of school. what i found at sydney boys is that it's very "clique-y" in that pretty much everyone at the school have been friends with their friends since year 7, so it's kinda difficult to join directly into a group of friends if you don't already know those people outside of school or whatever. therefore, all of the new guys kinda just started hanging out with each other because everyone was in the same situation and so it was comforting for all of us to hang out together. i guess the main thing to keep in mind is that everyone in your year is experiencing the same stuff as you schoolwise so don't be afraid to just walk around and get to know people even if you may not end up becoming super close with them. also, try not to make any enemies because that really just doesn't get you anywhere as any kind of student, old or new.

3) short answer is yes. you as a student are chosen because the principal sees your record and thinks that you would be a good asset to the school, and if you're pretty much topping every class then she'll be able to clearly see that you're a worthy candidate for the school. all you have to do is to sustain your effort and dedication (maybe even a little discipline) and you'll see good results no questions asked.

5) in my experience, the teachers at sydney boys are not as great at teaching as the teachers at my old school were. i have many theories as to why this might be but i think one of the main reasons is that most people at the school are so advanced (and do alot of tutoring!) so the teachers kinda get out of the habit of actually having to teach. with that being said, there are a couple of teachers i have who are really great at teaching and are really dedicated to their students. the one thing that i absolutely urge you to do as a new student is ask your teacher when you don't understand something. ask them in-class, after class, at lunch, at recess, email them, whatever. your teachers are there to explain things to you and just because you didn't understand something the first time does not disqualify you as a student so please make sure you ask your teachers for help!!!

6) i have no idea what goes on at girls' schools but in my experience the guys either made an effort to get along or they didn't really care. despite this, my advice to you (again) is to just make acquaintances. act warmly and kindly towards people and people will either do it back or they won't react, and in that case it's their loss ;)

8) this kind depends aswell, both on how much homework you receive from your old school and the teachers you get. thankfully, alot of my teachers don't insist on homework and believe that it is only for the students' benefit but those who do give homework give it in truck loads. my estimate in hours would probably be more than you may normally do but i guess that's something you expect when you're going up a grade anyway.

9) this is really up to you. if you are doing really well at your old school then it wouldn't really be a hindrance for you to stay but if it's really unmotivating for you then i think you'll be right at home in a selective school environment. you'll be pushed by your teachers and peers and if you choose to take that as a challenge and have it motivate you then by all means you should go and also the new people that you'll meet will only benefit you as you go through high school and beyond. at the end of the day it is up to you whether or not you want to go through with it but just know that you are fully capable of doing so.

whewie wasn't expecting to write a whole bloody essay tonight sorry about that lmao. i hope you found some of this useful atleast. good luck in your decision!
 

vsyie

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hey!
i was in your situation about a year ago when i applied for sydney boys from a non-selective public school so i'll not be able to answer your school specific questions but here goes:
Thank you so much for all your insightful words! You have definitely quelled some of my fears and I'm feeling more comfortable with potentially going to St George (which I now think is likely if I'm accepted). Good luck in your future studies :)
 

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