In 2025, the government has announced that more spots will be opened across NSW for Year 5 Opportunity Classes.

Opportunity Classes (OC classes) in NSW government primary schools are specifically designed for students in Year 5 and Year 6 who excel across their studies. These students are grouped together and taught at a more advanced level to keep them mentally stimulated and academically challenged. Parents usually apply in Year 4, and accepted students then transfer to the hosting school for a full-time, two-year program in Years 5 and 6. Check out the application deadline dates here.

When deciding on whether or not your child would benefit from sitting the NSW Opportunity Class exams, and getting into the class itself, there are multiple factors to look at, which we will explore below. It’s also crucial to engage your child in these discussions at some point to gauge their personal interest, motives, concerns, or desires about the class, the test-taking process, and what to expect if they’re accepted into the program.

You’ll want to get an idea of your child’s:

Current Academic Standing

All children have different strengths and weaknesses, but Opportunity Classes look for consistently high achievement across academic subjects. Based on grades and teacher feedback, does your child currently perform at a high level? If yes, then there is a greater chance they will meet eligibility criteria. However, the further they are from the top performers, the harder they will have to work to close the gap. This means extra study, which takes discipline and determination. Some children may be motivated to challenge themselves to see what they can achieve, but others may find this daunting and not be ready to invest so much energy into academics. Cultivating a love of learning is very important at this age, and if a child feels that the bar is set too high, they may become overwhelmed by expectations, focus too much on numbers, and miss the joy of learning altogether.

General Attitude to Learning

Perhaps your child is already a high performer, and their priorities are aligned with the OC environment. Are they often curious, quick to absorb new lessons, and fascinated by the academic subjects in which they excel? If they possess these qualities, then they will thrive in an environment where they can absorb new knowledge alongside like-minded peers. On the flip side, if they are currently performing highly but are less self-motivated or aren’t emotionally drawn to academics, their wellbeing may suffer with too much emphasis placed on just school performance.

Personality Factors

Some children who are confident in themselves will thrive off group discussions and learning from other kids ‘on their level’ in an Opportunity Class. It could be the case that your child has felt isolated in their experience if they’ve been academically ahead of their peers, and the move could relieve their isolation.  However, others who struggle with self-esteem at this age might also find the OC environment too competitive, comparing themselves to their fellow classmates who perform at higher levels. 

More About the Entrance Exam

The OC test is distributed and administered by the Cambridge Admissions Assessment Testing. It consists of three multiple-choice sections, which are rigorously timed:

  • Reading (25 questions in 30 minutes)
  • Mathematical Reasoning (35 questions in 40 minutes)
  • Thinking Skills (30 questions in 30 minutes)
  • There is no writing section in the OC, unlike the Selective Test.

Marks are awarded for correct answers, whilst incorrect responses and unanswered questions score a zero (0). There are no penalties for incorrect answers and all questions are of equal value in each section.

We encourage you to have a look at some sample questions and explanation of the test format at this link [https://education.nsw.gov.au/content/dam/main-education/public-schools/selective-high-schools-and-opportunity-classes/media/oc-test-information.pdf]

Children should be aware that these questions may feel unfamiliar and difficult, so having a solid literacy and numeracy foundation will be an advantage. 

At C3 Education Group, our educators are skilled in guiding children through the OC exam process and preparing them for the types of questions they may come across. Our bank of practice test questions will help your child with their confidence, as well as identify learning gaps to focus on before the big day.

Whilst only a small percentage of children secure a spot in these classes across schools in NSW, the experience of preparing for such exams is invaluable. As children progress to high school, they will face fast-paced, time-pressured exams. Going through this process, independent of the final result, can set them up so that they feel more prepared when they do get to high school. 

If you would like to enroll in our OC Courses, the educators at C3 Education Group can help! Please reach out to us directly by calling 1300 235 437 (1300 C3 KIDS), or drop us an enquiry here: https://c3educationgroup.com/contact/.