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Student and
parent information

Scroll down to order sample test papers and read our FAQs for parents. Contact your administering HAST school to register or ask a question.

Practice materials

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FAQs - Parents

General information and registration

HAST is a selection test used by schools to determine academic performance at the top end of achievement. Schools have different purposes for selection tests. Selective government secondary schools and some independent schools in Australia and overseas use HAST to determine which students will be admitted. Other non-selective government secondary schools offer places to students from out of the school zone, based on the results of selection tests. Alternatively, schools might use the tests to determine which students entering or enrolled at the school are eligible for gifted and talented or accelerated learning programs. The selection tests can also be used to identify high-achieving students to offer them extension activities within mainstream classes.

Register your child at a participating school. Check the list of participating schools then contact the school directly to register.

HAST Primary is used for Upper Primary (grades 4 & 5).

HAST Secondary is used for Junior Secondary (grade 6/year 7 for entry into year 7/8); Middle Secondary (years 8/9 for entry into 9/10) and Senior Secondary (year 10 for entry into year 11).

If the schools that you are applying for have different test dates, then each will use a different test. Your child will need to sit the test at each school on their nominated date.

No, choose one school for sitting the test.

Contact the school to find out what fees are payable.

Contact the school directly as they set their registration closing date.

Check with the school to find out if they will consider this option.


You can purchase HAST sample question booklets from the ACER shop

The following student information bulletins are also useful in preparing for the test and include practice questions:

The HAST Student Information Bulletin and HAST Sample Question Booklet will give you a very clear idea about the kinds of questions that will be asked. You will be more confident in facing multiple-choice questions, in particular, once you have worked through the samples. In responding to the Written Expression topics, you might be asked to think about the topic, organise your ideas, and express yourself clearly and succinctly. These skills are learned over your lifetime both in and out of school so short-term training for the tests is unlikely to improve performance. Your best preparation is to read widely and think critically.

For a more in-depth guide, Scholarships and Selection Tests: A guide for students and parents 2nd edition provides information about the tests, the skills and abilities required to do well in the test and preparing for the test day.

Does my child need tutoring or coaching for the test?

No. The ACER HAST Tests focus on measuring students’ general ability through assessing thinking and reasoning skills. These skills are learned over a lifetime, both in and out of school, so short-term training for the tests is unlikely to improve performance. Their best preparation is to read widely and think critically. The ACER HAST Sample Question Booklet will familiarise students with the style of questions and tasks.

ACER is not affiliated with any tutoring or coaching college and does not endorse any of the products or services being offered by these organisations. If purchasing practice materials, we recommend verifying that these are purchased directly from ACER as we do not distribute practice materials through other organisations or companies.

 Sample Question Booklets are downloadable PDF files (not hardcopies).

For further information about the Higher Ability Selection Test, please email your administering HAST school.

Purchase the HAST Sample Question Booklet in the ACER online shop. The HAST Student Information Bulletins also contain a small number of sample questions at no cost. They can be found in the 'Can I purchase past papers or sample questions?' Past papers are not available.

Under certain circumstances, and with supporting medical evidence, testing can be provided for candidates with disabilities. For example, test material can be provided for candidates with sight disabilities; for candidates with arm or hand injuries, a scribe may be permitted. Please contact the school where your child is registered to test to discuss the relevant issues and requirements. The school should then contact ACER for guidelines on the provision of testing for students with disabilities. An arrangement will be made between the school and ACER to provide the necessary measures for your child.

Please read Special Testing Accommodations for specific requirements.

Reports & Results

ACER will provide your results to the school you've registered with. The school will then contact parents about results.

The report shows how your child has performed relative to all other students of a similar age who have sat this particular test. An individual’s standardised score is compared to other students’ standardised scores and then converted to a percentile rank. An arrow indicates your child’s level of performance for each sub-test and overall.

As with all test results, HAST provides a snapshot of performance on the day of the test. There are various reasons why a student may not have performed to the best of their ability, such as illness, anxiety or other distractions. Also, unlike NAPLAN, your child is being compared to a different group of students. These students sit the HAST as part of a selection process for a gifted and talented program so their scores may reflect a test population of above-average ability rather than the range of ability found in the general population.

The ‘total’ arrow does not show the sub-test scores on your child’s report added together. The ‘total’ arrow shows how your child’s total score compares to all other students’ total scores, but expressed as a percentile rank. The position of the arrow on the total score column depends on how the other students have performed.

It is natural to be disappointed if your child hasn’t been selected, especially when they are used to excelling and receiving high marks at school. Remember that these tests are designed to be challenging for high-achieving students, and although your child may not have received a place, it doesn’t mean that they performed badly on the test. For any group of students sitting a selection test, the overwhelming majority will be students who achieve in the top 20 per cent of students nationwide, so even if they scored at the lowest range on this test, they may still be performing at a relatively high level compared to the general population. Also, the individual school will have their own criteria for selection, and these may not be based entirely on the test results. They may also be looking at particular aspects of the results, a strong result in mathematics rather than a strong overall result for example.

If you have further questions, 

please contact your chosen school from the participating schools page.