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Opportunity Classes in NSW, are government primary school classes for the academically gifted Year 5 and Year 6 students with high potential. These classes bring together students who possess similar learning abilities along with that they are provided with specially trained teachers who help them grow to the fullest of their potential.
Parents typically apply when their children are in Year 4. Students who are placed attend the opportunity class full-time in Years 5 and 6 at a primary school that has an opportunity class. It is a two-year program of placement. Students who obtain a place in an opportunity class will typically leave their previous school to attend the school with an opportunity class.
There is no option to apply only for Year 6 placement.
Academically brilliant children who are placed in an Opportunity Class can benefit from the experience and move forward in their preparation for the subsequent Selective School Placement test.
In NSW, 77 primary schools provide opportunity classes. The 77 NSW primary schools in 2023, offer 1840 placements for Year 5 opportunity classes.
The majority of schools provide 15 or 30 OC placements. For 2023 Artarmon and Woollarah public schools each provided 60 OC placements, while Aurora College provided 100 virtual OC placements (remote and online).
Yes, it is extremely beneficial to apply for OC classes. Students are trained to work in a high-achieving setting through these classes. The schedule they have and the problems that they tackle daily help them to be prepared for their future.
Taking the OC test in itself is a terrific learning experience, even if you are unsure that the OC stream is appropriate for your child. This will enable students to gain a better understanding of testing circumstances and prepare for future exams like the Selective Test and any private education scholarship test.
Whether or not an Opportunity Class is suitable for your child’s education will depend on many factors. However, younger children could experience too much stress from this demanding academic atmosphere. Additionally, not all institutions offer OC streams, so students who want to register in an OC class may need to apply to another school.
Here’s a quick summary of the things you need to know about the OC test:
1. Submission of an Online Application Form
The first step is for parents to apply online via the NSW Government Public School Website. The applications are open for a two-week window, which is usually in the first half of May. This application must be completed the year before admission, i.e. when their child is in Year 4. On the application, parents can select up to two primary schools that offer opportunity classes.
2.Include Supporting Materials
You must include necessary support materials with your child’s application. In addition, the school principal at your child’s current school will automatically provide the school’s scores in Mathematics and English.
3. Post application
Parents will be notified of the date of the upcoming placement test and the location once their application has been received and processed. For students in Year 4, this exam will be held in July. The exam is frequently held close to the child’s current school, at a government high school.
4. Notification of result
After the tests have been scored, parents are notified in October. If your child is chosen, he or she will be offered a position at the school on their list. Some students may have been put on a waiting list, while others may be told they have been rejected.
Please keep in mind that all students were first scored and then listed based on their academic merit. This is determined by combining primary school Math and English assessment scores, as well as the Opportunity Class Placement Test results.
The exact application date varies from year to year. Usually, applications open at the end of the first school term. It is important to regularly check the OC application process page to make sure you don’t miss out on any important updates.
It’s very important to choose the right school to go to for OC classes and you might get confused regarding the same. Here are the key aspects which you should consider while making a decision:
School rankings by the government are an important factor that one should consider as it determines the quality of education. Schools that have a higher ranking will be in higher demand and would have higher entry scores. It might be a safe option for you to apply to the top-ranking primary education schools since they rank around the same top numbers each year.
Traveling long distances can be a major headache. Thus it is good if the school you choose is nearby as it would save you the trouble of traveling long distances.
To choose an appropriate school it is important to keep in mind the rankings of the schools that you are looking at and if your child can match the entry score of your selected school.
Your child’s opinion is important as well since it’s their last two years of primary schooling and they should have a say in which school they want to go to. However bear in mind their decision might be influenced by their friends, extracurricular activities, or some other reason. It’s therefore important to make a practical decision here.
The selection process is conducted in an extremely fair and just manner. The students are adequately judged on their academic merit based on their OC placement test.
The Equity Placement Model addresses unplanned obstacles to entry for students from low socioeconomic advantaged backgrounds, Aboriginal students, remote and rural areas students, and students with disabilities to promote fair and equal opportunities for all potentially high and gifted students.
If a student is absent from a test for a genuine reason, an alternate solution is given in which you need to provide evidence of intellectual qualifications to evaluate the student. The selection panel will then use this rank to make placement decisions.
The OC Placement Test is a paper-based exam that awards a place (out of 1840) in academically selective classes at one of 77 NSW public schools.
The test starts at 9 a.m. sharp, so make sure you arrive on time or a little early to be on the safer side. Nothing is more stressful than scrambling into an exam hall with only seconds to spare.
The OC evaluation is a one-day paper-based exam that lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes.
There are 90 questions in total.
The OC test is separated into three sections:
All three tests contain only multiple-choice questions, and the OC test does not include a writing section.
The three OC test segments are as follows:
|Test Section||Questions||Test Duration|
|Reading Skills||25||30 minutes|
|Mathematical Reasoning||35||40 minutes|
|Thinking Skills||30||30 minutes|
Your OC placement results will be one of the following options:
If your child has received an offer for Opportunity Class placement, you should reply to the placement offer before the deadline. If you haven’t received any offer letter, your child would have been added to the OC reserve list for the schools of their choice. If this is the scenario, keep in mind that this list will be active until at least the end of Term 1 of Year 6.
The OC Placement Test Reading test is to assess students’ ability to think critically in verbal ability. Students are supposed to read a variety of texts and answer related questions on the Reading test.
On the day of the OC test, the first test is the OC Reading test. Students are given 30 minutes in which they will receive a Reading question paper containing 25 multiple-choice questions. In the Reading test, students can expect to read 4-5 longer passages.
This section of the test assesses comprehension ability by having students read a passage and then answer questions that test their understanding of the passage.
1. You must possess the ability to understand the information before you.
2. You should be able to guess the meanings of words and phrases.
3. You need to understand a text’s literal and inferred meaning.
Your child’s foundational English skills play a role in order to crack this section. You should prepare your child for the kind of questions that are likely to appear in the exam. Begin by having your child complete the sample Reading paper available on the NSW Department of Education website. The more exercise you get, the better.
In the OC test, the Mathematical Reasoning section evaluates students’ critical thinking abilities in problem-solving with questions drawn from a variety of mathematical content areas. The OC test requires students to apply their mathematical knowledge and skills to difficulties from a variety of math content areas.
There are 35 multiple-choice Mathematical Reasoning questions to solve in 40 minutes on the day of the OC test.
The Mathematical Reasoning test includes, but is not limited to, the following question types:
It is essential to have a good foundation in math as it will guide you to solve the questions without difficulty. Your child might find it difficult to solve Worded Puzzles question type if they lack the necessary knowledge and skills in Year 3 and 4 Mathematics.
Students have just over 1.1 minutes per question to answer 35 questions in 40 minutes. Students must be able to identify the type of questions and apply the right technique to solve the question if they want to finish in time.
You should have mock tests for your child under time-constrained conditions, this would help them to work under pressure. Your child finds the right balance between speed and accuracy for the Mathematical Reasoning Test if you follow this.
The OC Placement Test’s Thinking Skills section is intended to assess students’ critical thinking abilities. In this section, students are supposed to identify patterns to solve visual, numerical, crosswords, and puzzles covering a wide range of topics on the Thinking Skills test.
Students are given 30 minutes on the day of the OC test and have to answer 30 multiple-choice questions in it.
The Thinking Skills test questions can be classified as Spatial Reasoning or Logical Reasoning.
There are nine different types of questions in Spatial Reasoning and four different types of questions in Logical Reasoning.
These questions involve shapes and visual pattern recognition. Spatial Reasoning is similar to Nonverbal Reasoning. However, Spatial Reasoning questions emphasize the ability to visualize various arrangements of the same image or shape.
Some examples of question types are:
Logical Reasoning is all about using logic to solve, deduce, and draw conclusions based on any given set of rules.
Some examples of question types are:
The Thinking Skills test measures students’ critical thinking abilities across a variety of topics. We discovered that tackling the following basic areas of weakness can help you improve your ability to answer Thinking Skills questions:
1. Solving verbal problems
Students with poor reading and writing skills might find it a bit hard with the Logical Fallacies and Strongest Argument sections. If students struggle with this component, they should begin by improving their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Spatial Reasoning questions are more difficult for students who struggle with mental deception and visualizing shapes. When practicing, drawing diagrams, and using physical models can often help students improve their visualization skills.
3. Pattern recognition
If your child is weaker at pattern recognition and completing sequences, they might find the Non-verbal Reasoning sections more difficult. Try to point out everyday patterns and sequences to expand the scope of your child’s experience with pattern recognition.
It might get overwhelming to prepare but structured test preparation is essential to crack the OC Test. The key to success is to practice and keep yourself up to date with the updates regarding the OC application form. If your child has doubts and needs tutoring you can check out Wiingy, which offers a variety of specialized tutors who can help your ward. They offer various courses in Math, English, Coding and many other subjects which will help gain knowledge and expand your learning arena.
How long is the OC Placement Test?
The OC evaluation is a one-day paper-based exam that lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes.
How do you pass the OC test? To prepare for the OC test you should begin by reviewing the topics briefly and explore your strengths and weaknesses. Create a time table which you can follow and maintain notes, the key to success is to remain consistent throughout the preparation. Do everything step by step and make sure to practice through the sample papers.