Much like Selective High Schools, Opportunity Classes offer high-achieving students the opportunity to study with like-minded and equally intellectual students. This post focuses on tips that may help you to succeed in an OC Placement Test and secure a place in an Opportunity Class School of your choice. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to experience education from a different perspective and learn through a specialised curriculum that is designed to polish and enhance their skills and talents. These courses are offered in more than 70 schools across NSW and are operated by the NSW Department of Education and Communities.
What are Opportunity Classes?
Opportunity Classes are a specialised 2-year program that offers gifted students a break from their regular schooling and puts them together with students of a higher intellectual capability. These classes begin when students are in year 5 and end after two years. Students and parents start the application process during year 4. It is not possible to join these classes during year 6.
The application process for Opportunity Class Placements
Applications for Opportunity Class placement tests open during May and tests are conducted in July or August. Parents can apply for selection in these classes when their child is in year 4. Application forms are made available online, which need to be filled out by the parents.
Public School Applicants have to get an ‘intention to apply’ form filled by their current school. To make the process easier, a complete step by step guide for the online application is available on the NSW Education Department’s website. In case a family does not access to the internet access at home, they can use a public library to fill out the application forms. The High-Performance Students Unit looks after the entire application process.
OC Placements tests
Opportunity Class placement tests are made up of three sections, i.e. English, Mathematics and General Ability. There are two tests: Test A and Test B. These tests comprise of 35 different multiple choice questions, designed to test a student’s ability to resolve complex situations using their conceptual aptitude rather than the focusing on rote working.
It is vital for students to be clear in concepts to be able to ace this placement test.
Opportunity Classes are a rare chance for students to be part of a much more advanced learning system. Students should, therefore, prepare extensively for the test through a variety of resources that are readily available online. Sample tests and OC practice test materials are abundantly available as long as you know where to look for them.
Parents or tutors need to remind students that only half an hour is given for each test, so students need to know how to manage their time well. Sample tests not only familiarise students with the format of the test but also help them to gain confidence.
The burden of applying for Opportunity Classes lies more on parents than students though. They must start applying for the tests during year 4, fill out the applications along with the necessary documentation, arrange for appropriate preparation material and techniques, and then ensure that their child appears for the test on time.