How To Get Into EBS
Welcome to my video guide. Today, I will be outlining how to get into the selective program/subschool known as Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences or now Elizabeth Blackburn Sciences. I have already created a written guide on atarnotes so if you prefer to consume content in a written form. The link is in the description below. Quick side note: I am Di.dact on Atarnotes so feel free to dm me if you require further information, since I don't reply as fast feel free to add me on one of my social medias.
So let's begin. The application process has 2 parts. The examination under 5 topics; Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning, Science Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and a Writeup. Majority of the exams are multiple choice exams under 30minutes. With the exception of the writeup.
I have created a little checklist outlining all the basic skills that you need for the examination.
Checklist for EBS Entrance Exam
Learn all the topics listed here
- Financial Mathematics - simple interest
- Algebra - Factorising, Expanding
- Surds & Indices - Index laws, Rationalising Denominators, Negative Fractional Powers
- Simultaneous Equations & Inequations - Substitution, Elimination
- Linear Relationships - Gradient formula, Distance, Midpoint,
- Non-linear relationships - Binomials
- Rates and Proportion - Direct Proportion, Indirect Proportion, Conversion: percentage to ratio
- Trigonometry - Pythagoras’ Theorem, Unit Circle, Exact Values
- Mensuration - All 2D & 3D Area, Surface area and Volume equations
- Geometry - Angles of shapes(square, triangles and circle ship , parallel lines
- Statistics - Interquartile range, Range, Average, Median, Mean, Mode
- Probability - Venn diagrams, Tree Diagrams
- Polynomials - Division, Remainder Theorem, Factor Theorem
- Functions and Logarithms - basic questions with log 10
- Circle Geometry - 9 Theorem
- Kinematics - time at which 2 objects meet
Verbal Reasoning [Knowledge in English Language Unit 1&2]
- Understanding of correct sentence structure
- Correct use of grammar
- Wide vocabulary (synonyms and antonyms are asked a lot)
- Antonyms and synonyms
- Relation between words
- __ is to __ as __ is to __
- Finding two statements which strongly suggest _
- Correcting sentences
- Key points within paragraphs
- Correct grammar
- Definition of a word within sentence.
- Cells - Organelles
- Ecosystems - food chains and food webs
- First 20 elements
- Periodic Table Groups
- Organic molecules
- Valence Electrons
- Reactions between elements - finding precipitation
- Laws of motion distance/time = speed
- Gears - rotation between multiple
- Experimental Design Interpretation
- X axis is usually time
Writing Piece - “What do you want to do in the future, why and how can EBSS assist?"
- Have a pre planned writeup as to why you want to come. (although I'm not sure the exam will be the exact same)
Tutoring / Past Experience
My past experience with tutors, I did JAC for JMSS Entrance for year 9-10 since it's provides similar conditions to the EBSS exam. However, their program doesn’t really teach content.
But, EBSS is for year 10-11 entrance. Since, I normally got a superior for Reading Comprehension and Verbal Reasoning. I only got a 1-on-1 maths tutor to improve my basic skills.
There aren’t really any tuitions that tutor for EBSS. I also couldn’t find much information about EBSS, because of that I have created EBSS specific practice tests. They are available for purchase in the link below. I have also aided other students by tutoring them in person focusing on improving their weaknesses for the exam. My rates are $30 p/h so if you absolutely need it or want it contact me over one of my social medias.
By no means do you have to buy the tests or arrange for tutoring. Majority of my friends who got into EBSS and myself recommend just self learning the topics/question types in this guide.
My results + Studying
I did at least 4 hours of Maths Revision each day in the last 2 weeks before the exam. I was quite confident in my English skills so I didn’t revise much. But, I did prepare a pre written writeup.
Results & interviews are sent out 2-4 weeks after the exam.
That concludes the first stage of entrance.
[Cue: Part 2]
Interview [Second Stage]
The second stage is for around 60% of the examinees. TBH: they let people without superiors into the school since only a handful of people apply. Chances of getting into EBSS are quite high with roughly a 1 in 2 or 1 in 3. Depending on the application cohorts. From memory, mine was 150 and the year below was 170. So it seems to be increasing each year.
The second stage is an interview stage. Where the applicants will do a quick little experiment with other candidates and then proceed to an interview. At the interview they will ask you around 5 questions: (These questions were asked for the past 2 years so they might change it a bit).
- Why do you want to come to EBSS?
- What field of science are you interested in?
- What subjects will you be taking next year?
- What extended investigation topic do you think you'll do?
- Do you have any questions?
The 4th question relates to this compulsory VCE subject that all Year 11 EBSS students have to undergo. Extended Investigation is a VCE subject in which a student investigates on a science topic of their choice throughout the year and represent the findings in an interview and report writeup. (I did shiet so don't ask me for advice, I really didn't like the subject/didn't study too hard in year 11). So keep that in mind when applying for EBSS, you might have a 7th subject due to EI.
The 5th question is important and highlights whether you seem interested in the program. So ask them questions like what subjects the interviewer teaches, what’s the class schedule like, can I do other subjects, im interested in doing a university subject etc.