The Opportunity Class Placement Test will be conducted on Wednesday 27 July 2016 in test centres usually established in government high schools. All applicants in NSW at the time are required to sit for the test, unless there are extenuating circumstances. The test is conducted only on this day and only in designated test centres.
Students who miss the test through illness or other unavoidable mishap may be considered through the illness/misadventure process. Students unable to take the test because they are interstate or overseas at the time should contact the Unit to determine whether they should apply to be considered under the illness/misadventure or the interstate/overseas procedures.
The Opportunity Class Placement Test is written by the Australian Council for Educational Research. It is a secure test and papers cannot be viewed before or after the test session. The test does not normally contain any questions used in previous tests. Students' final scores include a component based on school assessment scores.
All parents will be sent a Test authority letter by mail and email by Wednesday 13 July 2016 advising them of their child's test centre.
Applicants will also receive a Test information bulletin which explains the test and lists what students should bring. The bulletin explains how to show the answers to the questions in the test.
Parents must arrange to take their children to the test centre and pick them up again.
Note: Parents must not remain on the school premises during the test unless special permission has been granted in writing for student welfare reasons.
If you have not been advised by Wednesday 13 July 2016 about the test centre your child has been allocated to, you must ring the Unit on 1300 880 367.
All candidates from the same primary school are usually sent to the same test centre. Students must have their Test authority letter with them at the test centre. Students who have not been sent a test authority letter will not be allowed to sit the test.
A list of all test centres is shown at the following link: List of test centres
A map showing all test centre locations can be found at the following link: Map of test centres (Note: Once you receive advice about the test centre your child has been allocated to, you can map your route from home to the test centre.)
Test answer sheets are marked by the Australian Council for Educational Research using booklet numbers not student names.
If your child is not eligible for placement in an opportunity class because of residency or other status you should not assume that your application has been approved because your child has been assigned to a test centre.
There are two parts to the test: Parts 1 and 2. Each part consists of a mix of multiple-choice questions in English, mathematics and general ability. Students show their answers on computer-marked answer sheets. Each part lasts half an hour.
Past test papers are available which can assist applicants to become more familiar with the format of the Opportunity Class Placement Test. The past test papers include only the questions and answers for the mathematics and general ability components of the test.
A complete sample test paper is also available for applicants to use to familiarise themselves with the test format. The sample test paper contains a selection of questions used in previous tests including English, mathematics and general ability.
A sample answer sheet is also available to allow students to practise showing their answers by colouring in one of four bubbles on each line.
The Department does not endorse coaching for the Opportunity Class Placement Test as it is designed as a measure of ability. Practice with multiple-choice questions of any sort may help students to become familiar with test technique. There will be a practice session before the test begins to make sure students are fully prepared. Students must be careful not to look at the work of others during the test. Students found to be cheating risk losing some or all of their test marks.
Applicants will be sent a copy of Test information for parents and students (68kB) at the same time as they are sent their test centre advice. This information will advise parents more about the Opportunity Class Placement Test procedures, show how students should mark their answers and list the equipment to bring. The Department of Education recommends that you use this information and the past papers to make sure your child becomes familiar with the test format and knows how to record his or her answers.
Use of a black pen to mark answers in the Opportunity Class Placement Test
Students are to use a black pen to mark their answers.
Students are to bring two black ballpoint pens.
It does not matter which brand of black ballpoint pen students use but they should take care not to bring roller ball type pens which can smudge or bleed through the paper.
Students are not to bring:
- erasable pens
Students will colour in the bubble to show the answer they want and will put an X over any answer that they want to change. If they decide to reuse an answer they have crossed out, they must circle the answer. This will all be demonstrated at the beginning of the test. You may also refer to the answer sheet which shows students how to mark their answers.
The marking computer will recognise any line where a student has made more than one mark on the paper. Any such line has to be presented to a human marker who will confirm which answer the student meant to keep.
Special Test Provisions
Parents may request special test provisions for their children because of disability, medical condition or behaviour disorder. Requests for special test provisions should be made by the student's parents or school principal in the application. Parents will need to provide written evidence showing their child's official diagnosis.
Applications for special test provisions will be assessed individually.
The fact that one student has previously been granted a special test provision before does not necessarily mean that another student with the same condition will be granted the same provision. In the past students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Asperger's Syndrome have been seated at the front of the test centre; large print papers have been arranged for students with vision impairments; and FM transmitters have been arranged for students with hearing impairments. Some requests such as extra time to complete the test are not usually granted although these requests are also considered individually.
While the Unit will try to assist in unforeseeable emergency situations (e.g. a broken arm just prior to the test) special test provisions for existing conditions cannot be modified or added to after Wednesday 6 July 2016.
Parents and the student's current government primary school principal will be advised in writing whether or not the special test provisions can be granted.
Where special test provisions cannot be granted, applicants can make an illness/misadventure claim. The selection committee has the discretion to consider the student on alternative evidence of academic merit such as moderated school assessment scores.
Any special test provision granted must not provide an unfair advantage to the student.