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What is Opportunity Class and How to Apply?

Opportunity Class (OC) is offered all around NSW primary government schools since 1932. They are administered and offered to children in Year 5 and 6 who are academically gifted and highly talented. It is offered in selected government schools across NSW, there are 75 primary schools that offer opportunity classes as of now. These classes are meant to provide a highly educational and intellectually stimulating environment to students, so that their mind is always engaged in class and they are equipped with the skills that are required for shaping their future. As many psychological studies have shown over time, highly intellectual children, that is, those who have a high IQ, are prone to getting bored and disengaging during class quickly. Opportunity Class provides these unique children with a highly engaging and competitive environment, so that their performance is always on the highest level.

This class is administered in various ways which gives the students a flexible choice as to when and how they must apply to this class. There are a few strategies wherein OC is administered in school, which comes looking like a Year 5 opportunity class, a Year 6 opportunity class, a Year 5/6 opportunity class and furthermore, a composite class that comprises of chance and non-opportunity class students. It is also important that being enrolled in an Opportunity Class is not a surety that the student will get into a Selective High School. But, that does not mean that students should not get enrolled in OC if they are capable, as it provides a competitive environment and gives a glimpse of being enrolled in a Selective High School. One of the reasons of OC being like a Selective High School is because OC tests are highly competitive. Statistics show that over 10,000 Year 4 students across NSW give the OC Placement Test and only 1800 get a position. However, there are different OC scores for each school. Sitting an OC exam provides a fair idea to the students’ parents at how well their children can perform under highly competitive situations.

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The selection procedure for Opportunity Class is administered by the High Performing Students Team at the NSW Department of Education. Students willing to sit the OC exam have to fill out an application at the NSW education website. The application process involves the following steps:

  1. Fill out an ‘intention to apply’ form from your current primary school.
  2. Read the Application Guide available at https://education.nsw.gov.au
  3. The Application has to be filled online by Friday 7 May 2021. The application site will close at 5pm on 7 May 2021. Make certain to fill the application before due date as the end date will be rigorously noticed.
  4. You have to register using your own name, valid email address and a password in the online form. Be sure not to use a student’s email address.
  5. After receiving confirmation from your email, you can login using your credentials and complete the registration process.
  6. If your child has any form of disability, be sure to mention it in you application.
  7. Upload the relevant documents.
  8. You must choose more than two schools that offer an OC class. If you want to change your preference later, you can do so, the last date for the same is Friday 6 August 2021.
  9. Please check all the relevant details you have uploaded before submitting. If you make any error, you can login and correct it in due time. Be sure to click Submit after you make the necessary changes.
  10. The parents applying from Non-Government Schools, must ask the Principal to complete the ‘Principal’s page for provision of school assessment scores’ (school marks) and ensure it is sent to the Team at NSW Selection by Friday 28 May 2021.

The selection procedure for OC is based on academic merit, which is shown by a calculated placement score. The score is utilized to think about singular students, and is a blend of moderated school appraisal scores from Year 4 and conceivably Year 3, and scaled results from the Opportunity Class Placement Test. Entry into OC is administered by High Performing Students Test of the NSW Department of Education and determined by two factors:

  1. Students’ results in the OC Test- English (reading comprehension), mathematics and general ability.
  2. Students’ school’s assessment of their presentation in English and Math in Year 4 and Year 3.

Upon having a closer look at the selection procedure, we can rightly say that preparation for NSW Opportunity Class requires some serious effort and attention. Therefore, in order to make sure that students are ready for the examination, the focus of parents must be on their child’s overall score and development.