OC Test & Selective Schools Test Preparation

“Real education is unlocking your intelligence and realising how much of it there is. It’s such a good feeling.” – Hayden Yung


For those of you who are pondering about your child’s education, especially the quality of it, I’d ask you to spare a thought about opportunity classes (OC) and selective high schools. The former begins in year 5, for which your child has to sit an entrance test in year 4 mid-June while the latter begins in year 7, for which there is an entrance test in March of year 6.

However, before I delve into the details of how you can best prepare your child for these two tests, let me inform you about the benefits of going to an OC and selective high school. Click here to find out: Link to ‘Selective High Schools and OC: What’s the Point?’

Part 1 – Buying Books or Tutoring: Preparing for the Opportunity Class (OC) and/or Selective High Schools Test

You’ve some options but I’ll only elaborate on two.

The first option is teaching your son or daughter at home. You can buy work books and study guides for your child to learn from and work on. Some books that I would recommend are, in order of increasing difficulty:

  1. The Excel Tests and the Basic Skills Books published by Coroneos Publications
  2. The harder and more specialised books such as the SIGI Learners ABC OC Tests (mock tests) & A2G series (selective schools mock tests)
  3. 100 Mini Exams (math)
  4. Basic Skills Mathematics Tests (Coroneos Publications) and
  5. Scholarship Tests: Year 5 & 6 Maths (Author: Kiyoaki Suga)

The problem is that if your child has difficulty understanding the explanations in the books, then it’s hard for them to learn.

Alternatively, you can try the tutoring path. Without going into too much detail, I want to say that I support the tutoring system only because I believe in SIGI Learners’ system. It’s created with the philosophy that learning should be as organic as possible, that there must be deep understanding even though rote learning is effective to an extent for exams. Our classes cap at 14 students with plenty of relevant discussion and interaction. Students are not test machines by the end of our programs but stimulated, little intellectuals who are inspired to learn and strive to improve themselves in the real world with not just academic knowledge but social and interpersonal skills.

As a side note, I’d like to add that tutoring is not a contrivance of the 21st century but an ancient custom which first started with the privileged (kings and queens like Queen Elizabeth the 1st had tutoring). Then it was adopted by the elites and now, I am truly happy that more and more parents are embracing it – well, those who come to SIGI Learners at least. It is my dream that, one day, every household has access to high caliber and inspiring tutors.

I read from somewhere the quote below and even though I don’t think it can be fully attributed to Roger Ascham (tutor to Princess Elizabeth 1st), I’m sure it was associated with him:

“A single fable of Aesop that you read for yourself will do you more good than listening to the entire Iliad recited in Latin by even a very learned man.”

Basically, it’s analogous to saying that a student will get more from an interesting lesson that they can understand than a lesson that is too technical and complex.

I agree!

So here you are: there are at least two ways for your child to prepare for the O.C. and selective high schools test. Books cost less but tutoring provides explanations that are typically better than those from the books – but beware of the tutoring centres that are more about business than education. After all, tutoring is not yet a regulated industry. At SIGI Learners, we have a strong record of helping students prepare for the O.C. test, selective high schools test and the HSC.

Part 2 will contain information on how your child can prepare for the reading, mathematics, general ability and writing (selective test only) sections of the O.C. test and the selective high schools test.

Click here for Part 2: Link to ‘Reading, Mathematics, General Ability & Writing: Preparing for the Opportunity Class (OC) and/or Selective High Schools Test – Part 2