Reward outstanding academic performance

The ACER Scholarship Tests are used across Australia to identify academically able students for the award of a scholarship. The tests are designed to rank applicants, finely differentiating the top end of performance.

Applicants are required to demonstrate a range of skills such as the ability to interpret, infer, deduce and think critically. The tests are not curriculum based and do not test the ability to retrieve learned knowledge, nor are they diagnostic. 

  • High quality, extensively trialled test items
  • Available to Australian and international students
  • Flexible test program
  • Skills-based, highly refined tests designed to identify outstanding performance
  • Easy online registration

ACER Scholarship cycle

  1. School registers test date with ACER
  2. Parents register and pay for each school they wish to apply to
  3. Student sits the test
  4. ACER marks applicants’ test papers
  5. ACER reports back to school
  6. School informs parent if a scholarship is awarded
  7. ACER or school distributes result reports to parents

ACER Scholarship Test structure

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Primary level tests
(entry into Years 4, 5 or 6)

Test 1: Reading and Viewing (multiple choice, 30 minutes)

The Reading and Viewing test provides a single measure of achievement reflecting comprehension and interpretation of written and visual material from a range of curriculum areas. Students read several short passages and answer 25 multiple-choice questions.

Test 2: Mathematics (multiple choice, 30 minutes)

Students apply mathematical skills and knowledge to answer problems, including short calculations in each of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). The test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions.

Test 3: Writing (2x extended response of 20 minutes each, 40 minutes total)

Students write two short pieces in response to two separate prompts and will be assessed in terms of:

  • the quality of content and ideas
  • the structure of expressions
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Secondary level tests
(entry into Years 7 to 12 – Levels 1, 2 and 3)

There are a maximum of four separate sub-tests administered.

Test 1: Written Expression (extended response, 25 minutes)

Two topics for writing will be set to allow students to use different styles of writing. They are presented as two separate tests (one in Test 1 and one in Test 4). This test is concerned with the student’s ability to express thoughts and ideas in writing.

Test 2: Humanities – Comprehension and Interpretation (multiple choice, 40 minutes)

This test asks students to answer questions related to written and visual material. The material may be drawn from subject areas such as English, Art, History, Geography and Social Studies. No specialist knowledge in these areas is assumed – – all the information needed will be provided. Students are required to think critically and make judgements about different types of texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cartoons, diagrams and maps.

Test 3: Mathematics (multiple choice, 40 minutes)

This test attempts to measure mathematical and scientific abilities rather than school achievement in these areas. The material used for the questions is selected from a wide variety of sources, and may differ from standard school-based curriculum materials.

Test 4: Written Expression (extended response, 25 minutes)

Two topics for writing will be set to allow students to use different styles of writing. They are presented as two separate tests (one in Test 1 and one in Test 4). This test is concerned with the student’s ability to express thoughts and ideas in writing.

The actual time at which the first test starts can be determined by the school. A break should be allowed between Tests 2 and 3.

Stay up-to-date with ACER Scholarship Test dates

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