[NSW] OC & Selective Tests to Go Online

The Opportunity Class (OC) Placement Test will be conducted online from 2021, and the Selective Schools Placement Test will go digital from 2022.

This follows a 2018 review finding the Selective Schools Placement Test too easy and ‘coachable’, making it hard to differentiate students at the upper end of the performance curve.

“High scores could be achieved by correctly answering moderately difficult questions with great consistency — which can result from preparation and practice,” the review found.

Additionally, it is believed that modern assessment formats such as an online assessment model will provide “greater confidence in the precision of student test results, which will provide a fairer and more accurate picture of student ability”.

The changes will also permit the testing of a greater range of skills and question types, setting of more intricate difficulty levels. Gifted education expert Rosalind Walsh says that the digital tests will be advantageous in being able to “move well beyond five multiple-choice answers”, such as incorporating animations, videos and graphics in questions. However, she notes that it is difficult to know whether the tests will be significantly different than the old ones. “There are things that will probably stay the same, because they are the way we have been measuring general ability for a very long time,” she said.

This new online version of the placement tests will further broaden the Department of Education’s capacity to “equal the playing field and assess the ability and potential of students from a diverse range of backgrounds including gender, social, cultural including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, language, geographical and disability”.

Online assessment will also allow OC and Selective results to be processed and delivered to parents and students more quickly.


At North Shore, we pride ourselves on our expertise, with decades of experience preparing students for examinations like the OC, Selective test and beyond. However, we also recognise the need to adapt to changes in the educational system.

Our teachers and curriculum developers have been and will continue adjusting our strategy as necessary in order to provide the best educational services possible – developing critical thinking and problem solving skills relevant not only for the OC and Selective placement tests but for a continuous, lifelong journey of learning. Our focus has always been on academic enrichment rather than rote learning, and we welcome the changes to make the assessments as equitable and effective as possible.

North Shore Coaching College remains the leading tuition centre in Australia, with 65 campuses across Australia, and 29+ years of experience and success stories. The best way to prepare your child for the OC and Selective tests (and for school success in general) is to enrol in our primary school programs for Tuition That Works!

Contact your nearest North Shore Coaching College campus today to see hos we can help your child achieve their educational goals.

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