The Path to Scholarships - A Guide for Parents

Q - Should my child sit for a scholarship at a school?

A - Sitting for a scholarship is a really personal choice and it comes down to what you are hoping to achieve. A scholarship may increase the school options available to you, making some schools more accessible to more families. Other families may want to sit them as a means of gaining more external data on their child’s progress, increasing the ability to target focus areas. Some families may see scholarships as great practice for formal assessment by exposing their child to different styles of questions. All of these reasons are valid and positive reasons for sitting scholarships and I think it is important to remember that everyone has different motivations for pursuing scholarship opportunities.

Q - How do you know your child is ready to sit a scholarship and that it will be a positive experience for them?

A - If your child has a comfortable level of self-confidence, independence and curiosity, then regardless of age, they will have a positive experience in a scholarship environment.

In terms of academic readiness, think about what your child’s rigour and attention looks like when completing tasks, homework exercises or even writing stories. You need to be able to be confident that they can be focused and self-directed for extended periods of time with little assistance or encouragement from a teacher or parent.

Q - What types of scholarships do you offer at Toorak College ?

A - At Toorak College, we offer a range of scholarships including Academic Excellence (Years 4-9, 2025), General Excellence (Years 4-9, 2025), The Margaret Wallace Reid Scholarship (Year 7, 2025), The Hamilton Society Scholarship (Year 7, 2025), Swift Science & Technology Scholarship (Year 10, 2025) and The Alice Sloan Memorial Scholarship (Year 10, 2025).

Our diverse range of scholarships means we look at a range of skills that are developed within a young person. The test they sit will tell us who’s performing at a really strong academic level now but it also allows us to look at what the academic potential is too. This means we can meet students who could have very high academic potential, however, may not have been taught the key skills or fundamental framework to be able to show what they know or what they can do. They might simply have not been in the right environment that has enabled them to thrive.

On or prior to the day, we would love you to submit a school report and NAPLAN results to allow us to cross-check what we see in the scholarship test with those reports. Sometimes the student may not perform well on test day due to nerves and a range of other factors, but by having these other supporting documents, it gives us a framework and an overall picture of your child.

Q - What is the best way to prepare for scholarship testing ?

We look at four different parameters for the test which includes literary and mathematical skills and understandings. In terms of formal training or preparation for a scholarship test, there is no need to undertake formal test preparation. The tests look at a student's ability to think, reason, express and engage, so these skills have been developing for years. Practising a task under test conditions that will simulate the testing environment is the best thing you can do so that they have an understanding of what to expect and gain a sense of control over their environment.

Q - How much should I disclose to my child about the scholarship process?

A - On scholarship testing day we try to be selective with the language used, we avoid using the word ‘scholarship’, this allows parents to craft their own messages to their child. I often feel the best thing you can say is, “We are exploring different school environments for you and we want to learn more about what you can do. Going to the school and showing them what you can do helps them to learn about you and helps us to see which environments you like too.”

If you would like more information about the scholarships on offer at Toorak College please visit our website:

2025 Scholarship testing will take place on Saturday 2 September 2023 at Toorak College.

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