Selection process

The High Performing Students Team selects students based on academic merit demonstrated by a calculated placement score. This score is calculated using the scaled results of the Opportunity Class Placement Test.

Selection process

The principal of the school with an opportunity class, in conjunction with an executive officer of the Team, will consider all candidates for that school. The candidates are listed in order of merit based on calculated placement scores.

Principals of opportunity classes and executive officers consider:

  • students to be listed for offers and reserve places according to the number of vacancies at the school
  • the likely impact of any disability
  • reasons for students outside the usual age range or school year
  • students who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • students who have been educated in English for less than 48 months
  • students from interstate and overseas with alternative evidence of academic merit
  • any other relevant factors brought to their attention and
  • other evidence of academic merit, if necessary.

The scaling of the test marks is done on a statewide basis regardless of the schools attended by the students. Each test component is adjusted so they are weighted equally.

Different maximum marks apply to the various test components.

  • English – 20
  • mathematics – 20
  • general ability – 30

Each component of the Opportunity Class Placement Test is scaled to a mean of 60 and a standard deviation of 12.

The following graph shows an example of scaling for the mathematics test. In the example a raw mark of 17 out of 40 was scaled to 60 out of 100 with a standard deviation of 12 – 68% of the candidates received a scaled mark of between 48 and 72.

Bell curve outlining how test marks are scaled

Calculated placement score

The calculated placement score is a mark out of 300. For most students it is provided at the bottom of the email advising the application outcome.

The calculated placement score is made up of:

  • scaled test marks for English
  • scaled test marks for mathematics
  • scaled test marks for general ability.
Test component Scaled test mark
English 100
Mathematics 100
General ability 100

For most students the calculated placement score determines offers of placement. A small group of students may be granted special consideration.

It is unlikely a student will achieve a calculated placement score of 300 as the test is very difficult. You cannot compare scores from one year to another.

See the entry scores (39KB) held by the last students accepting offers to opportunity classes last year. These scores change from year to year.

Score details for parents

Outcome emails and letters advise parents of their child's calculated placement score. A further letter or attachment is provided with the breakdown of the raw test marks. In a few cases the score cannot be published. If parents do not receive their child's score they can write to the Team for an explanation.

During the selection process, a child's score may be adjusted based on criteria such as a student's Aboriginality, length of time doing all school work in English, and a number of other factors. This is why a student may appear higher on a reserve list than another student with a higher calculated placement score.

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