Opportunity Class for Year 5 Students

by admin | 07th February 2017 |

Many primary school parents come to us considering whether they should apply for their child to attend an Opportunity Class (OC) during years 5 and 6. There are many reasons why they are considering OC for their child, but not all reasons are good reasons. If you are one of these parents, we have put together a post which we hope may help with your decision making.

What are Opportunity Classes

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.
OC is a full-time, two-year placement program (years 5 and 6). Students who wish to be placed in OC in Year 5 need to sit the test in Year 4.
Students who are offered a placement need to move to a school that offers OC if their current school does not. Most of the primary schools that record the highest NAPLAN results are those with Opportunity Classes.

Why do parents want their child to be in an OC class?

There are different reasons why parents want to have their child in OC. Below are 3 common reasons we have come across and our advice.

  1. My child is bored at school and disengaged. The OC will be more challenging and to his/her ability.
    From our experience, this is a great reason for your child to attend an OC.
  2. I want my child to go to a Selective High School.
    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 School. Furthermore, sitting the test gives parents an indication if the child can perform under exam conditions, in other words, if it is worthy to try for selective or whether extra support or tutoring is needed before sitting the Selective Placement Test.
  3. My friend’s children are going to an OC.
    Unfortunately, this is not a good reason if it is the only reason.

Types of classes

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.

Local Sydney Schools that offer OC

There are 75 primary schools with opportunity classes across NSW. Here is a list of some local schools in St George, Sutherland Shire, Sydney Inner West and Eastern Suburbs offering OC classes:

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

The Test

There are two parts (Part 1 and Part 2) to the test each comprising multiple-choice questions in:
English (part 1 – 10 questions + part 2 – 10 questions)
Mathematics (part 1 – 10 questions + part 2 – 10 questions)
General ability (part 1 – 15 questions + part 2 – 15 questions)

The two parts are not discrete. Each part’s duration is 30 minutes and includes 10 questions of mathematics, 10 questions in English and 15 questions of General Ability.

The OC Preparation course needs to be structured around these three areas that are tested; English, Mathematics and General Ability. It should also enhance students’ 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 improve their cognitive load management.

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 general knowledge.

2018 Entry

Students will sit the test on Wednesday 26 July 2017.

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.

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 sometimes Year 3.

Update: See cut-off marks for each Opportunity Class school here.

GEA’s OC Preparation Course Structure

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.

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

Term 1:
10 weeks
30/01/2017 to 08/04/2017

Term 2:
10 Weeks
24/04/2017 to 01/07/2017

Intensive Holiday Course:
5 full days
10 to 14 July 2017

The program includes a few 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 will receive units written by GEA that are mapped to the syllabus and written based on Cognitive Load Theory.

In week 9 of each term students are assessed to measure their progress. Full feedback is given to students. Parents receive a comprehensive report of their child’s progress. Week 10 is the consolidation week.

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 offer our students many hours of extra support.

Apply for GEA’s OC Preparation Course here.

Or call us on 02 8084 1010

To apply for the OC Placement Test, and for further information, please visit:


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