[NSW] Opportunity Classes: Guide for Parents

Many of you will have heard about the NSW Opportunity Classes (OC). In this article, we explain what an OC is, how to apply, and how to prepare for the Opportunity Class Placement Test.

 

What is OC?

Opportunity Classes are classes in selected government primary schools catered especially towards gifted and talented students in Years 5 and 6. By bringing together bright minds and using specialised teaching methods, Opportunity Classes create a more suitable learning environment for high performing students. You can read more about OC on the official NSW Department of Education website.

 

How can my child get into OC?

Entry into Opportunity Classes is currently decided on academic merit using scores from school assessment and the Opportunity Class Placement Test. To apply for Year 5 placement in the following year, Year 4 parents must submit an application (usually around May) and have their child sit the placement test (usually around July).

Parents can choose up to two school choices, with the first one being the first preference. There are currently 75 schools offering Opportunity Classes, mostly with around 30 places each, so there are about 2,000 places in the OC system each year. Over 12,000 students sit the OC placement test, so only the top 15% (roughly) will be accepted into OC. You can view the minimum entry scores for schools’ Opportunity Classes here.

Click here to read more about the application process. You can also come along to one of our Education Seminars to learn more about applying for OC, Selective High Schools, Scholarships and other educational topics.

 

How can we prepare for the OC test?

It’s never too early to start thinking about boosting your child’s academic journey, and it’s never too late to make a difference by supplementing their education with external coaching. That said, it’s generally more effective to work consistently over a longer period of time than (just) to prepare intensively in the lead-up to examinations. If you think your child would benefit from regular, personalised learning outside of school, weekly tuition might suit you.

In terms of the OC test specifically, around Year 3 is a good time to begin preparation, giving your child approximately a year to develop their knowledge and skills. A small number of sample tests are available from the official website, but the best way to prepare is through North Shore Coaching College’s Year 3 and Year 4 Fastrain programs. We provide expertly developed courses focusing on English, Mathematics, General Ability and Writing (the four components of the OC test). FREE mock tests & review sessions are regularly provided as part of the Programs, as well as personalised homework help, additional exam preparation workshops and the Selective Written Assessment Test.

 

Why choose coaching?

It is well established that preparation improves performance in the Opportunity Class Placement Test, and that schools do not provide preparation specifically for the OC test. Entry to Opportunity Classes is highly competitive by nature, but coaching gives students an edge by developing critical thinking and problem solving skills that will be useful throughout all of their schooling — even if your child misses out on Opportunity Class placement. Education is an investment in your child’s future, and here at North Shore Coaching College we take the responsibility and privilege of nurturing young minds very seriously. In providing tuition that works, our aim is to set your child up not just for the OC test, but for a lifelong learning journey.

 

Summary

  • Opportunity Classes (OC) are classes in selected government primary schools for gifted and talented Year 5-6 students.
  • To apply for Year 5 placement in the following year, Year 4 parents must submit an application (usually around May) and have their child sit the placement test (usually around July).
  • Based on both school assessment scores and placement test scores [in 2020 – school assessment scores will not apply], applicants to a school’s Opportunity Class(es) are placed in order of their scores until vacancies are filled, with some reserve places.
  • The best way to prepare for the OC test (and for Selective, Scholarship and school success in general) is our Year 3 and 4 Fastrain Program.

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