Students seeking entry to an opportunity class should sit the Opportunity Class Placement Test held in designated test centres each year.
Update regarding the Opportunity Class Placement Test
As a result of the most recent advice from NSW Health regarding the duration of COVID-19 restrictions, the Opportunity Class Placement Test has been delayed.
New testing arrangements for students will be announced as soon as possible.
Parents and carers will be contacted with further details as soon as they are available.
The test is held only in NSW and only on the test date each year.
The rescheduled Opportunity Class Placement Test test date is yet to be confirmed.
An 'Authority to sit the Opportunity Class Placement Test' letter will be emailed to parents and carers along with the test centre location and extra information about the test. If you selected 'mail only' for correspondence when you applied, the test authority will be sent by post.
The test information consists of:
- a Test authority letter which must be taken to the allocated test centre on test day
- a Test information sheet for parents and students that explains the test and lists what your child should and should not bring. It also gives instructions for how to show the answers to the test questions.
- information about adjustments to the test for disability, if relevant
- a notice about special parking restrictions if they apply to your test centre.
The Opportunity Class Placement Test format will change in 2021 for placement in 2022. These changes are in response to the findings of the 2018 Review of Selective Education Access report, commissioned by the NSW Department of Education.
The 2021 Opportunity Class Placement Test has been designed to allow students to demonstrate their abilities across a range of areas, including reading, mathematical reasoning and thinking skills.
The test will continue to be paper-based.
The test consists of three sections and is structured as follows:
The reading test consists of 25 questions. Students have 30 minutes to complete the test. The questions are based on a diverse range of texts and assess a range of reading skills.
The reading test questions are based on different genres such as non-fiction, fiction, poetry, magazine articles and reports.
Mathematical Reasoning Test
The mathematical reasoning test consists of 35 questions. Students have 40 minutes to complete the test. The questions are all multiple choice.
The mathematical reasoning test assesses the student’s ability to apply mathematical understanding and knowledge to problems, with questions drawn from a range of mathematical content areas.
Calculators are not used in the mathematical reasoning test.
Thinking skills Test
The thinking skills test consists of 30 questions. Students have 30 minutes to complete the test. The questions are all multiple choice.
The thinking skills test assesses the student’s ability in critical thinking and problem solving. There are a range of different question types in the test.
No previous knowledge is required for this test.
Multiple choice tests are marked by computer.
Preparing for the test
Students will be more comfortable with the test process if they are familiar with the format of the test, the types of questions and what the answer sheet looks like. Sample test questions and answer sheets are provided to help students become familiar with the test and to practise answering quickly. However, the Department of Education does not recommend any specific coaching for the test.
Results of sample tests do not show how a student will score in their Opportunity Class Placement Test. The selection committee will not consider scores on sample tests or any other practice tests.
The sample test papers indicate what types of questions to expect from the opportunity class placement test but are not the questions that will be asked on test day. You can view the questions, the answer sheets, the answers and an explanation of the answers for the three multiple choice tests.
(The sample test papers are intended for printing and do not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility requirements. Students are provided with modified test materials as reasonable adjustments for disability if required.)
|Section||Links to samples|
|Reading sample questions (PDF 717 KB)
Reading sample answer sheet (PDF 591 KB)
Reading sample answers (PDF 8.41 KB)
Explanation of answers - Reading (PDF 387 KB)
|Mathematical reasoning sample questions (PDF 280 KB)
Mathematical reasoning sample answer sheet (PDF 591 KB)
Mathematical reasoning sample answers (PDF35.6 KB)
Explanation of answers - Mathematical reasoning (PDF 857 KB)
Thinking skills sample questions (PDF 604 KB)
Thinking skills sample answer sheet (PDF 590 KB)
Thinking skills sample answers (PDF 46.4 KB)
Explanation of answers - Thinking skills (PDF 411 KB)
Students answer the multiple-choice questions on a separate answer sheet by shading in the circle for the alternative that best answers the question. Students use their own lead pencil to fill in their answers. To change an answer they must rub out thoroughly and show the new answer clearly.
The presiding officer (in charge of the test centre) shows how to record answers on the answer sheets at the start of the test. Students must raise their hands if they have any questions or problems during the test.
Students must show their answers on the answer sheet and not the question booklet unless authorised in advance as a reasonable adjustment for disability. If students need to work anything out they may write in the question booklet but they must show answers on the answer sheet. If your child does not follow instructions and marks the answers on the question booklet instead of the answer sheet, the marks may not be counted.
Reasonable adjustments for disability
At the time of submitting an opportunity class application, applicants may request reasonable adjustments for disability for the test because of a diagnosed disability, medical condition, injury or behavioural condition. In the case of potentially life-threatening medical conditions, parents must arrange adjustments for disability beforehand.
If a student is injured or diagnosed after 14 May 2021, parents should contact the High Performing Students Team for advice about late requests for adjustments.
Find out more about reasonable adjustments for the test .
Parents will be notified of their child's test centre location two weeks before the new test date. The test centres cannot usually be changed after allocation.
Candidates from the same primary school are usually sent to the same test centre, with some individual exceptions. See a full listing of test centres (available two weeks before the new test date).
See a map of test centres (available two weeks before the new test date).
Students must attend the test centre to which they have been allocated.
If you have not received notice of your child's test centre , send a message to the Team in your application dashboard or contact the principal of your child's NSW government primary school.
Students should wear school uniform, including a jumper if it is a cool day and a hat for the break.
Parents must drop students off at the entrance to the test centre school by 9.00am. Do not arrive before 8:30am as there is no supervision available. As parents will not be allowed to enter school grounds, notices will indicate which school entrance to use. Students will be met at the entrance and directed to the area where they will be assembled in primary school groups before entering the test room.
Students who arrive late may be allowed to take the test but will be required to finish at the same time as other students.
Students found to be cheating risk disqualification from the test.
There is a short break between each test, however, students remain in the test room, unless they need to use the bathroom.
The finishing time will be approximately 11:40am. The finish time will vary according to the size and location of the test centre. If the test is delayed, please wait quietly at the school entrance and take care to avoid disruption to the school. Students are not to be left waiting after the test. If the test finishes early, students will be supervised.
If you arrange for your child to be collected by someone else, please send a note with the child advising of the arrangement and taking responsibility for your child's safety.
Parents must observe any parking restrictions near the test centre. Parents must not enter the school or park on school school grounds unless authorised by the High Performing Students Team prior to the test. If parents are required to wait at the test centre as a reasonable adjustment for disability they will receive specific instructions and a letter of authority.
What should students bring to the test
Students must bring a printed copy of their Test authority letter with their application number. Students bring two of their own 2B lead pencils, sharpener and eraser. Students can bring a clear bottle of water to keep under the desk during the test.They should also bring any items approved as adjustments for disability , including anaphylaxis kits containing an EpiPen, the 'Action plan for anaphylaxis' and the medication. Students who wear glasses and those who require asthma inhalers and spacers, tissues, diabetes equipment, or FM transmitters should bring them to the test.
Other items to bring will be notified to parents on the test day along with test information.
Students should not bring pens, rulers, note paper, or books. Smart watches, phones or other devices that compute, photograph, communicate or make a noise will not be allowed at or near the student's desk in the test centre.
A wristwatch that does not make a noise, calculate, compute, communicate or photograph can be worn but the test centre clock is the official time-keeper.
Information for students
A short video shows an overview of the test format and content and shows what to expect on the test day.
Video - Opportunity Class Placement Test - A Guide for Students
Duration – 4:56
Opportunity Class Placement Test
A guide for students
We respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which this learning takes place and respectfully acknowledge Elders past, present, emerging and future.This video about the Opportunity Class Placement Test will provide an overview of the format and content of the test, to let you know ‘what to expect’ in preparation for, and on test day.
The Opportunity Class Placement Test has been designed to allow you to demonstrate your ability across a range of subject areas.
This means that rather than focusing on the ability to memorise and recall factual information, it tests your skills in thinking and reasoning to find the best answer.
There are three tests, which are Reading, Mathematical Reasoning and Thinking Skills.
You will take the tests one after the other, and you may not use a calculator for any part of the test, though you can write down your working out.
Let’s take a look at each test.
For the Reading test, you will have 30 minutes to answer 25 questions.
The questions are based on a diverse range of texts and assess a range of reading skills.
Reading questions come in different contexts to test a range of skills.
The questions are based on different genres and include non-fiction and fiction, such as poetry, magazine articles, reports and extracts from books.
This is an example of a Reading question taken from the sample question paper available on the website.
It contains multiple choice questions which aim to assess the reader’s understanding of the poem. You will be given multiple answers to choose from.
More Reading example questions are available in the sample test.
For the Mathematical Reasoning test, you will have 40 minutes to answer 35 questions.
The questions are all multiple choice. You will be asked to choose the best answer from five options.
This tests mathematical reasoning skills, and your ability to apply your mathematical understanding or knowledge to new problems.
You can’t use a calculator for any part of the test.
Questions can be drawn from a range of mathematical content areas.
This is an example of a Mathematical Reasoning question, taken from the sample test.
Select the best answer from the five options provided.
More Mathematical Reasoning example questions are available in the sample test.
For the Thinking Skills test, you will have 30 minutes to answer 30 questions.
The questions are all multiple choice. You will be asked to choose the best answer from four options.
This test will assess your ability in critical thinking and problem solving. No previous knowledge is required.
There are a range of different question types in the Thinking Skills test.
When preparing for the Opportunity Class Placement Test, make some plans:
- refer to the ‘Test authority’ letter to check your test location, date and arrival time
- organise your transportation and allow adequate time for travel.
Bring with you:
- your ‘Test authority letter’, to show the supervisor upon arrival
- 2B pencils, a standard eraser and pencil sharper in a clear snap lock bag
- a clear water bottle
- a letter from your parent or carer, explaining if you are going home with someone else after the test or if you have permission to walk home.
At the test:
- when you arrive, follow the signs to the test entrance
- you will meet the supervisor who will take you to the test room and provide you with all the instructions you will need
- the test room is a quiet space
- prior to starting, you will be asked to write your personal details on both the question paper and answer sheet
- there will be a short break between tests.
Things to remember:
- get a good night’s sleep – a rested brain thinks clearly
- attempt all questions – you don’t lose marks for incorrect answers, and the test is designed to be challenging
- manage your time – do your best to answer each question. If you find it difficult, choose your best guess and come back to it at the end if you have time
- check your question number matches the answer sheet number when shading in the bubbles
- you can rub out an answer if you change your mind – be sure to show your new answer clearly
- try to keep calm – it’s understandable to feel nervous about a test
- do your best – the test is your chance to show your strengths.
For further information and support:
- visit the Selective high schools and opportunity classes site
- view the online sample question papers
- ask your parents to contact the High Performing Students Team by sending a message in the application dashboard if they still have questions.
- There is nothing you should study especially for the test. It is most important to think clearly and to use your ability to deal with new problems and situations to choose an answer.
- Pay attention when the presiding officer (the person in charge of the tests) or other supervisor talks to you and shows you where to record the answers for each test.
- If you have any problems understanding the instructions put your hand up and the presiding officer or supervisor will help but they cannot help you choose your answer.
- Do NOT open the question booklet until the presiding officer tells you to do so.
- Read each test question carefully and think about what it asks you to do.
- Use your time wisely. Work steadily. Choose the answer that you think is best. If you find a question too difficult, do not spend a long time on it. Mark the answer you think is best and come back to that question later if you have time.
- If you change your mind about your answer, rub it out completely and mark the new answer clearly.
- Stop work immediately when you are told to.
- Marks are awarded for each correct answer. Incorrect, double or blank answers score zero. Marks are not taken off for wrong answers. It is better to have a guess rather than leave an answer blank. Not leaving any answers blank helps you make sure you are answering on the correct line.
- Keep checking that the number of the question you are working on in the question paper is the same as the number you are marking on the answer sheet. If you find you are answering a question at the wrong place, put your hand up and tell a supervisor. The supervisor will record the details. Start the next question at the correct place and come back to fix the problem later if you have time, changing one question at a time. You should not rub out a whole group of answers at once as you could run out of time correcting them.
- If you want to work anything out in the multiple-choice tests you can make notes on the question booklet or on the back of your personal details sheet. Any notes that you make in the question booklet or on the personal details sheet will not be marked.
- There will be no time warnings during the test. You will need to check the test centre's clock to find out how much time you have left. The presiding officer will tell you which test centre clock is the official one. Put your hand up if you cannot see it clearly.
- Put your hand up if you have any other problems or any questions at any time.
- Be careful not to look at the work of others or talk to others during the test. Students suspected of cheating risk having the test marks not counted.
- Follow the presiding officer's and supervisors' instructions both during the tests and in the breaks.
Illness or misadventure
Illness/misadventure refers to events that occurred to prevent students from performing their best or attending the test or affecting the student's performance at school during Year 4.
Events affecting performance on the test
If your child sits the test but is sick or injured and it affects performance on the test, you must get a medical certificate on the test day. If the events affecting performance on the test are not about medical issues, you will need to supply other relevant evidence.
To make a request for special consideration of illness/misadventure affecting test performance, you will need to submit the request in your application dashboard within 5 working days of the test, by 28 July 2021.
It may be better for the student to sit the test and make an illness/misadventure request afterwards. However, students must not attend the test if there is a risk to their health or the health of others, such as in cases of contact with contagious disease. Students with signs of respiratory illness may not be admitted.
If the student is unable to sit the test
If your child was prevented from sitting the test for a good reason you can make a request for special consideration of illness/misadventure based on missing the test.
You will need to have a medical certificate or other evidence to support the request that covers the test day. You will also need to fill in an Independent evidence of illness form that you will find when you make the request online.
To make a request for special consideration of illness/misadventure based on missing the test you will need to submit the request in your application dashboard within 5 working days of the test, by 28 July 2021.
Find out more about illness/misadventure and how to submit a request.
Marking of the test
The introduction of the new test format in 2021 will mean the test is marked differently to previous years. The new placement test will be scored out of 100 (previously scored out of 200).
Raw tests scores will be scaled to reduce the variability in test question difficulty. This scaled score will be added to the moderated school assessment score to determine the placement score.
See the selection process page for information about scoring.
It is expected that parents will be notified of the release of the outcome of the placement process overnight on 1 October 2021.
Review of selective education access
In December 2018, the NSW Minister for Education, Rob Stokes, announced the findings of the Review of Selective Education Access: Findings and Action Plan.