What are Opportunity Classes and how to prepare?

The Opportunity Class is a two-year placement program, designed to cater to academically gifted students about to undertake Year 5 within New South Wales. The class enables like-minded students to comfortably explore their promising intellectual achievements and build a safe community. Students learn from specialised teaching strategies and educational materials that are appropriate for the level of their potential. 

The topics of work covered in an Opportunity Class are more complex, challenging and engaging. The teachers allow students to work at their own intellectual level, study topics of interest to them and complete tasks that are suited to their ability.  

Opportunity Classes also provide an opportunity for students to embrace competitions and activities such as the Newcastle Permanent Maths Competition, the ICAS competitions, and the internet-based environmental mystery game ‘Murder Under the Microscope’.


What is the Opportunity Class Placement Test?

Now that you understand what Opportunity Classes are, are you considering completing an application for your child? If you answered yes, keep in mind that applications need to be filled in when your child is in Year 4, with tests being conducted every year in July or August.

After your application has been lodged for your child, students will be required to take the Opportunity Class Placement Test. From 2022 the test changed from a paper-based format and changed to an online format due to COVID restrictions. It has yet to be decided if future tests will be online.

In response to the 2018 Review of Selective Education Access Report, commissioned by the NSW Department of Education, the NSW Opportunity Class Placement Test now has a greater emphasis on reading comprehension, thinking skills, and mathematical reasoning.

The General Ability Test has been replaced by a Thinking Skills Test. The new test adjusts and balances the weighting given to Reading, Mathematical reasoning, and Thinking skills components. 

In most cases, students will leave their current school to accept a place in an opportunity class, as only 76 NSW schools cater for the opportunity classes; and with just under 2000 places available, it is vital for students to prepare for the Opportunity Class Placement Test.


How Can My Child Prepare For the Test?

Your child may dread taking the test as they may not be familiar with the type of questions that could be included. They might also feel anxious with only limited spots available, creating pressure to perform. 

Research shows that Practice Tests can improve test results, more than devoting the same amount of time reviewing school notes.

Excel Test Zone provides Online Practice Tests for Opportunity Class Placement, within the Year 4 Opportunity Class Placement–style Test Pack. The Test Pack has been prepared by a team of educators with extensive experience in publishing quality educational resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum.

The Year 4 Opportunity Class Placementstyle Test Pack includes over 1000 questions across 37 practice tests for your child. Your child can have 365-day access to the Test Pack, making it great for not only test preparation, but beneficial for general practice throughout the year to improve in key subjects and prepare for school exams! Excel Test Zone also offers a FREE 7-Day Trial, so you can try the online test environment and get a free snapshot of your child's level


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