Are you the parent of a Year 3 student with high academic ambitions?
If so, you may have begun thinking about applying for an Opportunity Class (OC) for entry in Year 5. If you are yet to consider whether OC is right for your child’s learning journey, we encourage you to start by reading our blog 5 indicators an Opportunity Class is a good fit for you child.
If you’ve already decided to pursue the OC journey with your child, then keep reading to discover how you can support your child as they prepare for the placement test with several effective study tips.
Before we launch into the tips, let’s look at a brief recap on Opportunity Classes.
An Opportunity Class (OC) is offered in government primary schools and caters to academically gifted students in Years 5 and 6 with high potential.
OC enables students to learn at a more advanced level with other students of similar academic ability. The teaching methods and content are designed to challenge your gifted child and help improve their motivation to learn.
The 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.
Placement in an OC program is a highly competitive process and requires a high level of commitment from both the student and their parents. This includes developing disciplined study habits to perform well when the time comes to sit the placement test.
To support your child during their OC application journey, we suggest implementing the following 7 study tips to help them succeed in the OC placement test.
1. Start preparing early
Though the placement test isn’t until mid-2022, it’s not too early to start preparing. As we’ve said before – this may be the most intense test your child has experienced to date so it’s best to start preparing now!
It could be as simple as researching the schools with opportunity classes available (see the list here) or understanding the application process and key dates by reading the information on the NSW Department of Education website.
2. Establish and maintain a study schedule
At Global Education Academy (GEA), we are big advocates of setting study schedules to create consistency and cultivate productive study habits. Sticking to a schedule also helps to teach students time management skills and build confidence over time. Routine is key!
One way to develop a relevant study plan is by working backwards from the expected date of the placement test. What does your child need to cover between now and then? What areas for improvement do they need to focus on? Are there breaks, significant events or holidays you need to factor in? These are all questions to consider as you develop a study schedule tailored to your child’s learning needs.
3. Create a comfortable study space free from distractions
The enemy of focus is distraction. And focus is very important for any student seeking to perform well in a test scenario, especially one as intense as the OC placement test.
To help your child focus and concentrate when studying for the test, create a comfortable study space free from distractions such as technology devices, music, television and even other siblings.
4. Understand the test
Become familiar with the content and structure of the placement test to reduce cognitive load and associated stress levels. The structure of the OC placement test changed in 2021 and now consists of the following components:
The test is continuous with no breaks and is 60 minutes in total. From this year, the test is computer-based, so this is something to consider when completing practice tests at home.
5. Take regular breaks
As we say with homework study tips, encourage your child to break up their workload into manageable pieces and allow a 15-minute break every hour. Taking regular breaks will not only help with their concentration levels but also contribute to good mental health. At GEA, we schedule a mindfulness break during each session with our students to help them reset and re-focus for the rest of the session.
6. Revision is very important
Studying specific material once is not enough. Revising concepts helps instil confidence in students, reduces stress and anxiety and better prepares them for being tested on the concepts. To help your child learn the material as best as possible, try different revision techniques rather than sticking to just one. For example, they could re-write their notes, create visual representations, or you could quiz them using flashcards.
7. Get expert help and guidance
Most students who are sitting the OC test are getting extra help from tutors. Choosing the right tutor or tutoring program is helpful to form a strategy for long-term study and for approaching the different types of questions students might encounter. The best thing you can do for your child is to find someone who can teach them how to learn, how to become problem-solvers and enable them to think outside the box.
To take your child’s OC study practices to the next level, book a Benchmark Assessment with us today to assess your child’s ability.
At Global Education Academy, we also offer an OC coaching program designed to engage your child in a stimulating learning environment. To enrol your child in our OC coaching program, you can do so today, just click here.
For more tips on how to prepare your child for the OC placement test, read 7 Useful Tips on Preparing your Child for the OC Placement Test.
We are now taking expression of interest for our OC Preparation Program commencing Term 1, 2022. Start the journey to unlock a world of potential and confidence. Note: Expression of interest does not guarantee enrolment.
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