“It’s just another test.”
“The test isn’t as hard as people say, it’s a scare tactic.”
“I hear you don’t have to prepare that much to perform well in the test.”
“I don’t understand why studying for the test is so important.”
If you’ve heard any of these statements about the Opportunity Class (OC) placement test, please think again.
What one student may consider easy; another student may find challenging, even if both students are equally capable of learning in an OC environment.
Rather than relying on speculations to determine how you will support your child through the OC application process, it’s important to research and understand the value of adequate preparation.
This blog provides key information to help you start your research and make informed decisions about how your child should prepare for the OC test.
Opportunity Classes are offered in 76 government primary schools and cater to academically gifted students in Years 5 and 6 with high potential. These dedicated classes enable students to learn at a more advanced level with other students of similar academic ability.
The OC application process begins from Year 4, when students sit the OC placement test (usually in July or August). Admission to an OC involves the review of school assessment scores and a placement test for entry in Year 5 for a two-year placement program.
Receiving a placement into OC is a highly competitive process.
There are approximately 99,000 students in Year 4 in NSW in 2023. This year, 13,300 students took the Opportunity Class Placement Test. This represents approximately 13% of Year 4 students in NSW.
The OC placement test consists of three difficult assessments developed for high-potential and gifted students. It is not a comparison of all students in your child’s year or cohort.
Students who devote time to preparing for the OC Placement Test by learning relevant concepts, strengthening abilities, and creating exam-effective approaches are distinguished from those who do not. While proper preparation does not guarantee placement, it is critical for various reasons:
1. The majority of students are working hard to prepare. Most students who take the OC placement test prepare well in advance. If your child does not follow suit, they may be at a disadvantage on exam day.
2. Your child’s preparation now will put them one step ahead if they opt to take the Selective Placement Test. The learning environment in an OC class, given that your child receives an offer and accepts it, will contribute significantly to preparing them for the Selective Placement Test.
3. Test-taking skills are valuable and this is a great chance to develop them. By preparing for the OC Placement test, your child will learn key test-taking techniques (mental stamina, time management, and reducing cognitive load techniques) to perform better in future tests.
4. It’s a step towards your child learning the abilities he or she will need to succeed in high school. Preparing for the test also allows your child to build disciplined study habits that will prepare them for high school learning, which demands a greater degree of commitment.
5. Unpreparedness can be detrimental to a student’s confidence. Preparation contributes to increased confidence as pupils improve their skills through persistent work. Sitting for a test as essential as the OC test with little preparation might cause a student to doubt their ability and limit their future potential.
If your child is taking the OC placement test in 2024, start helping them prepare now. Next year may seem far away, but to prepare effectively for the test requires taking advantage of every day between now and then. Start the journey today if you want your child to build abilities for life rather than simply for the test.
You can start by reading our previous blogs, 7 Study Tips for OC Placement Test Success and 7 Useful Tips on Preparing your Child for the OC Placement Test, to equip you with practical strategies you can implement with your child.
The NSW Department of Education also encourages using sample test papers available on their website to practise answering questions, as running out of time is one of the most stressful things about the test.
We’re here to support you and your child on your journey to Opportunity Class.
At Global Education Academy, we offer OC coaching designed to engage your child in a stimulating learning environment. To give your child an added advantage when taking the OC placement test, find out more about our OC coaching program today.
An OC Benchmark assessment will give you clarity into your child’s current strengths and uncover any weaknesses they may have. It covers the three components of the OC placement test and is our entry assessment into our OC tutoring Course.