For Students in Year 4, during the period of June/July schools will hold an exam for students to be placed in an “Opportunity Class” (Sometime abbreviated to “OC”). If they do well, in year 5 they will be placed in a class with other students that have done well academically, which will give your child an excellent chance to get into a state selective school.
We will work with your child in developing problem solving skills with our learning materials that cannot be obtained anywhere. Our materials are tried and proven texts that have been developed by our team of tutors, you can be rest assured that our weekly homework booklets and “opportunity class” style exams every 3 weeks give your child the boost they need.
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There are two parts to the test. Each part consists of a mix of multiple-choice questions in English, mathematics and general ability. Answers are recorded on computer-marked answer sheets. Students are identified by test booklet numbers only. Students use black pen supplied at the test centre to show their answers. Students have half an hour to complete each part. For marking, students are identified by barcoded booklet numbers only.
What are opportunity classes?
Opportunity classes cater for highly achieving Year 5 and Year 6 academically gifted students who may otherwise be without classmates at their own academic and social level. These classes help gifted and talented students to learn by grouping them with other gifted and talented students, teaching them in specialised ways and providing educational materials at the appropriate level. Parents normally apply when students are in Year 4. Students who are placed then attend the opportunity class full time in Years 5 and 6 at the primary school with an opportunity class. It is a two-year placement program. In the majority of cases, students who accept a place in an opportunity class will leave their current school to attend the school with an opportunity class. There is no provision to apply for Year 6 placement only.
How are students ranked for opportunity class entry?
All students are ranked and placed in order of academic merit. Academic merit is determined mainly by combining the results of primary school assessments in English and mathematics and the Opportunity Class Placement Test. This combination is expressed as a calculated placement score out of 300. For some applicants, extra information is requested. For 5 example, the Report of academic merit must be completed for interstate and overseas applicants.
School assessment scores
The primary school gives school assessment scores in English and mathematics to show each student’s achievement on the school curriculum in English and mathematics in Year 4. The scores are scaled (moderated) according to the performance in the Opportunity Class Placement Test of the candidates from the child’s primary school. This means the moderated school assessment scores can be compared with those of all other applicants in NSW and gives them equal weighting with the English and mathematics test scores. If students do not have school assessment scores that can be moderated, only their test scores will be used to calculate their final placement score.
Government school principals provide scores to the Unit online. If your child is at a non-government school you will need to give the principal’s page to the school to get school assessment scores. The principal’s page will be emailed as soon as you submit your application online. If non-government principals will not give any of their students school assessment scores, you must write an email or letter of explanation to the Unit. Selection committees will consider whether an exemption is justified.
If my child was unsuccessful for opportunity class placement, does it mean he or she will be unsuccessful for selective high school entry?
Not necessarily. The entry requirements for opportunity classes and selective high school placement can vary quite significantly. Moreover, there is scope for improvement in the ability and performance of students over the time since they applied for opportunity class placement. Conversely, not all students from opportunity classes are successful for selective high school entry. There are more than twice as many Year 7 places in selective high schools as there are Year 5 places in opportunity classes.
What score does a student have to gain to be successful for opportunity class placement?
There is no predetermined score that a student has to achieve to receive an offer of opportunity class placement. The minimum entry score for each school with an opportunity class depends on the scores achieved by the candidates applying for that school and can vary from school to school and from year to year. The greater the demand for the school the higher the entry score is likely to be.
What should I do if my child does not get into an opportunity class?
Opportunity classes are only one of the initiatives provided by the Department of Education to meet the needs of gifted and talented students. As there is one place for approximately every six people applying, not all students can be placed. Be supportive and explain to your child that he or she can be very successful at a comprehensive primary school.
For Further infomartion on how the Department Of Education holds the exam, please go to the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8Dgjzr71eKjSWxGa1ZON2gzeUU/view?usp=sharing