How to Apply & Get Selected For Opportunity Class

by admin | 23rd February 2017 |

Learn everything about the Opportunity Class placement test

The Opportunity Class placement test also known as the OC test is an important test for students in New South Wales, Australia. The test is used to place students in the Opportunity Class, which is a special class for academically gifted students.

The test consists of two parts: the Cognitive Ability Test (CAT) and the Academic Achievement Test (AAT). The CAT measures students’ abilities in verbal, nonverbal and quantitative reasoning. The AAT measures students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The OC test is a difficult exam that only the most academically selective schools can offer. It’s taken by Year 4 students for placement in these elite programs, so it requires tons of studying! To be eligible for the Opportunity Class, students must score in the top 2% of all students who sit the test.

Read this guide to Know all about the Opportunity Class

We are often asked about Opportunity Class – what is it, who should apply, what are the selection criteria and what does it mean if your child is accepted?

So we have put together a post of our most commonly asked questions regarding Opportunity Class. If you have any questions or want to find out more please contact us.

Q: What is Opportunity Class?

A: Opportunity Classes (OC) are offered in selected government schools across NSW and cater for academically gifted and talented children in Years 5 and 6. They provide a rich and intellectually stimulating educational environment.

It provides an accelerated learning environment for students who are performing well above average in their regular classes.

In order to be eligible for an OC place, students must sit for the NSW selective schools test which is held annually in March.

Q: How long has OC been around for?

A: Opportunity classes have a long history in NSW, with the first ones established in 1932.

Q: What type of child is suitable for Opportunity Class (OC)?

A:  Academically gifted and talented children. If your child has been getting As or Bs in their school reports for the past few years, it is a good indication that he/she can sit for an Opportunity class test. Focus on reading and comprehension skills from early childhood education to improve these results!

Usually, gifted children are bored and disengaged at school. Being in an OC will challenge them and keep them engaged and interested.

Q: How is OC administered?

A: There are several ways in which OC is administered in schools – a Year 5 opportunity class, a Year 6 opportunity class, a Year 5/6 composite opportunity class or a composite class consisting of opportunity class and non-opportunity class students.

How to Apply for Opportunity Class?

There are two ways to apply for Opportunity Class (OC) places:

1. By using the selective high school’s placement system or

2. By applying directly to a participating school

If you live in NSW, you must use the selective high school placement system to apply for an OC place. This is done through the NSW Government’s Schools Admissions website. If you live outside of NSW, you can apply directly to a participating school.

Q: Is OC a pathway to Selective High School?

A: It is important to note that OC is not a pathway to Selective. However, being in an OC class provides a competitive environment and a ‘taste’ of Selective High School. Furthermore, sitting the test gives parents an indication as to whether the child can perform under exam conditions. In other words, parents can see  if it is worth attempting the Selective Test or if extra support or tutoring is needed. OC is also a great foundation for students wishing to gain a scholarship to a private high school.

Q: Is the OC test competitive?

A: The OC placement test is an extremely competitive test. Each year, over 10,000 Year 4 students across NSW sit the OC placement test and only 1800 gain a position. See minimum entry scores for each school here.

Q: What determines offers into OC? Is it only the OC placement test mark?

A: No. Entry into OC is administered by High Performing Students Unit of the NSW Department of Education and determined by two factors:

  1. Students’ results in the OC Test – English (reading comprehension), mathematics and general ability.
  2. Students’ school’s assessment of their performance in English and mathematics in Year 4 and occasionally Year 3.

Q: If my child is accepted into OC, will they have to move schools?

A: The OC only runs in selected government schools. There are 75 primary schools with opportunity classes across NSW. If your child’s current school does not offer OC, then yes, they will have to move schools. Parents can always decline the offer if they wish.

Q: Which local schools offer OC?

A: Please see list below of local schools in southern Sydney.

Hurstville Public School
Earlwood Public School
Caringbah North Public School
Sutherland Public School
Picnic Point Public School
Wilkins Public School
Alexandria Park Community School
Summer Hill Public School
Ashfield Primary School
Greenacre Public School
Balmain Public School
Woollahra Public School

Click here for a full list of NSW schools offering Opportunity Class.

Q: When do students sit the OC placement test?

A: Students who wish to be placed in OC in Year 5 need to sit the test in Year 4. The placement test typically takes place in July.

Q: How do I apply for my child to sit the OC placement test?

A: Parents of prospective applicants for OC must complete an “Intention to Apply” form provided by the school, then complete an online application. For further information please click here.

Q: OC test structure and What does this test involve?

A: The OC test is a challenging 1-hour and 40-minute paper-based exam that can be taken in one day. All three tests consist solely of multiple choice questions, so there’s no need to worry about any writing section!

Test Section Question & Test Duration
Reading 25 Questions, Duration 30 Minutes
Mathematical Reasoning 35 Questions, Duration 40 Minutes
Thinking Skills 30 Questions, Duration 30 Minutes

Q: When do I apply?

A: The key dates for the OC test in 2017:

Date Activity
13 January 2017 Authority to attend letter sent to parents for enrolling at the school in 2017
26 April 2017 Application opens online
12 May 2017 Application closes (no late applications)
26 July 2017 Opportunity class placement test for entry in 2018
9 August 2017 Requests for consideration of Illness or misadventure submitted by applicants
9 October 2016 (approx) Placement outcome information sent to parents
20 October 2017 Appeals due to principals
17 November 2017 Outcome of appeals sent to parents
12 January 2018 Authority to attend letter sent to parents for enrolling at the school in 2018

Q: Are there any past tests available?

A: No, there are no past tests accessible to the public. However, there are sample tests and also mock tests available.

Q: Does Global Education Academy run mock tests?

A: Yes. GEA runs an OC Preparation course which includes 5 mock tests.

Q: What is GEA’s OC Preparation Course?

A: At Global Education Academy, our OC Preparation Course exposes students to the structure and types of questions commonly used in the OC Placement Test and gives them systematic instruction and practice to cultivate higher order thinking skills.

With her extensive knowledge and experience in ICAS-maths at Educational Assessment Australia – UNSW, our founder Dr Awawdeh has developed a comprehensive program that involves all the techniques needed to answer questions that require higher-order thinking, particularly multiple choice questions.

Q: How is the GEA OC preparation course structured?

A: The GEA OC preparation course is structured around the three areas that are tested; English, mathematics and general ability. It also enhances student performance across these disciplines. Students need to have exceptional skills in reasoning, problem-solving, exam strategies, extended vocabulary, extensive general ability, time management (as they have less than one minute to answer each question) and the ability to manage their cognitive load effectively.

The program allows students to consistently practice problem-solving strategies and mathematical reasoning skills to achieve exceptional performance. It also improves their reading comprehension and expands their vocabulary and general knowledge.

Students attend a 4-hour class once a week for 25 weeks. Term 1 and Term 2 and 5 intensive days in the holiday before the test (July).

Term 1: 10 weeks
Term 2: 10 Weeks
Intensive Holiday Course: 5 full days

The program includes 5 mock tests where students complete each test under exam conditions. These mock tests mimic the actual test. Comprehensive feedback is given to students in the following session.

Each week, students receive units written by GEA that are mapped to the syllabus and written based on Cognitive Load Theory.

In week 9 of each term of the course, students are assessed to measure their progress. Full feedback is given to students. Week 10 is the consolidation week. Parents receive a comprehensive report of their child’s progress and full support in the application process.

Q: Where is GEA located?

A: GEA is located in the heart of Kogarah in an easy access to trains and buses. Plenty of carparks and street parking.
Sessions at Global Education Academy are conducted in a supportive, friendly, and engaging learning environment where the academic development of each student comes first. We also offer our students many hours of extra support.

Q: How do I apply for GEA’s OC preparation course?

A: To apply for GEA’s OC Preparation Course please click here or call us.

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