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2017 NSW OC test


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#1 DIY-G&T

Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:16 PM

For those who might be interested

https://education.ns...-classes/year-5

The OC class test for this year is coming soon. The SSU has decided to put the OC cutoff entry scores for 2017 out! This is from the 2016 OC test. There is a link on this official web page.

Another thing is you can get a free set of online OC trial tests at this website.

http://mathemafix.com/

Just register for a free public account into year 4 and you have 5 sets of free OC trial tests! Serious people would pay membership for accessing preparation work and support but the free trials would be great for those who are not too serious about getting OC places. It's a chance to get some idea how your kids compare to others.

#2 Cricket

Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:59 AM

Ive never seen this info in previous years, has the SSU always made it public?  Its interesting to see the huge difference in minimum entry between schools.

#3 Unatheowl

Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:56 PM

View PostCricket, on 12 June 2017 - 11:59 AM, said:

Ive never seen this info in previous years, has the SSU always made it public?  Its interesting to see the huge difference in minimum entry between schools.

The ones with the lower entries seem to be regional schools so that makes sense.  Naturally the ones we put as preferences are wildly high.  then again we are metropolitan Sydney

#4 DIY-G&T

Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:57 PM

View PostCricket, on 12 June 2017 - 11:59 AM, said:

Ive never seen this info in previous years, has the SSU always made it public?  Its interesting to see the huge difference in minimum entry between schools.

This is first time ever that they release it for OC level. They also move to a brand new website this year. The same info for Selective test is still almost 1 year late like before. So there has been a change of heart at the SSU.

There are so many issues now with primary schools. Every primary school seems to do their own "shows" and set different standards and ethos ... Catholic schools now have their own enrichment and they mostly boycott OC and Selective process. Some public schools are extremely academic and cater for the high population of kids from Asian background. Some PS with good academic reputation have grown over 1000 students as parents try to get kids in. Some don't care. Not sure if the rise of Donald Trump or resurgence of Pauline Hanson has anything to do with my local school where top performers (mostly Asian kids) were suddenly and completely removed from last year's academmic awards list (whereas they won most of these awards the year before that). This means more reason to seek OC placement to join another "show".

It seems not a coincidence that the entry scores for OC classes are rising along with real estate prices. You need over 1 million dollars to get a humble place where OC cutoff is over 240.

#5 dadwasathome

Posted 13 June 2017 - 08:30 AM

Thanks for this. DS9 has chosen to sit the test, but we're not pushing him. Not convinced that it would be the best thing for his learning style, but his school isn't fantastic at driving academic achievement.

His brother received a first round offer at one school choice, but not at another. An OC class was perfect for his learning style, and he's now doing very well at a selective high school.

#6 h0liday

Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:01 AM

View PostUnatheowl, on 12 June 2017 - 09:56 PM, said:

The ones with the lower entries seem to be regional schools so that makes sense.  Naturally the ones we put as preferences are wildly high.  then again we are metropolitan Sydney


I think there is big differences within metropolitan Sydney and schools that are quite close geographically.  I'm wondering if the playing field will level out now the results have been published?

For example Summer Hill has a minimum entry of 233 whereas Balmain and Wilkins have min entry scores of 207-208.  That is a huge difference for schools that are so close.  The Balmain score could possibly be explained by poor public transport options.  It's easy to get to Balmain from the city but not so easy from the suburbs..?

It appears that North West Sydney would be the hardest area to score an OC place with North Rocks and Beecroft at  245-242.  That is miles apart from Balmain and even the difference between the min entry between Summer Hill and Beecroft could be the difference between in or out and a child's pathway on to selective school.

Interestingly, areas that I would not consider regional like Penrith and Wyong have scores below 200.

#7 ElevenYears

Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:11 AM

Yeah when we applied for OC and Selective High School, Balmain was ruled out by us because its transport options weren't good.  Whereas Summer Hill was very desirable to us because it was easy to get to despite not being local.

The Balmain campus of Sydney Secondary College has a relatively low selective cutoff too, which doesn't surprise me.

It is substantially easier to get a selective high school position than it is to get an OC class position as there are about three times as many places,  so missing out on OC isn't a huge issue in that sense.

#8 h0liday

Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:18 AM

View PostElevenYears, on 13 June 2017 - 10:11 AM, said:

Yeah when we applied for OC and Selective High School, Balmain was ruled out by us because its transport options weren't good.  Whereas Summer Hill was very desirable to us because it was easy to get to despite not being local.

The Balmain campus of Sydney Secondary College has a relatively low selective cutoff too, which doesn't surprise me.

It is substantially easier to get a selective high school position than it is to get an OC class position as there are about three times as many places,  so missing out on OC isn't a huge issue in that sense.

True, except that as DIY G&T comments "Every primary school seems to do their own "shows" and set different standards and ethos."  So, a quite academically able child might not get the extension they need in their public school compared to an OC and for that reason not make it onto selective.  But yes, its not a given.

#9 ElevenYears

Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:03 AM

IME, you don't actually need extension to get a selective high school offer unless you are absolutely set on somewhere like James Ruse.  Even within Sydney, some selective options (ie, Balmain) drop quite low.

We missed out on our first preference of selective high school (by one point!),  but got an offer for the second preference school.   After weighing up the pros and cons of travel time, extracurricular programs etc we decided that on balance it didn't have enough to offer, and enrolled him in a G&T program (which required a test, portfolio and interview for entry) at a local school instead.  

I am not quite sure what the point of that story is, except maybe that selective schools aren't the only option around for naturally bright but unextended kids, and that it is definitely worth exploring other options.  People thought we were mad for turning down the selective school position, but everything is going so well in the current setting I can't imagine a selective high school being any better (for my kid, at least).

Edited by ElevenYears, 13 June 2017 - 11:04 AM.


#10 DIY-G&T

Posted 13 June 2017 - 12:10 PM

The choice of schools is complex due to so many factors

- Tyrany of distance! Poor kids have to wake up so early to travel and miss out on a good breakfast or coming home late and miss out time to relax or Sat sports putting pressure on parents to drive the kids ...
- Some schools don't careless and with kids throwing chairs across the room or yelling at teachers ... nothing much get learned if they are stuck in the bottom 3-4 classes.
- Some HS cannot offer extension courses because they just do not have the number of students interested or the qualified teachers to run them
- Culture is important, and if the culture of a school is not academic and it has just one student getting an ATAR over 95 every 10 years then parents would have little hesitation to avoid it.

... and lots more

Selective schools are safe choices as there won't be many of the things that stop learning and there will be enough qualified teachers to get the job done and that means high ATARs. Top private schools are too expensive and only the top 2 classes have strong academic students.

OC and Selective path is still the safest, cheapest, most reliable and transparent way to get high ATARs for competitive Uni entries. People talk abbout the cost of tuoring and negative cultural aspects of public selective school ... but the alternative of elite private schooling is just beyond the reach of most people.

School do wax and wane over the years. Some PS schools lose a principal for 2 years before a new one is appointed. When there is no principal to watch, we all know what will happen to academic performance (: As paernts have less kids today, they want the best for the kids (often just 1 kid) so the seek for the best school is no joke. Being rich is "double income and no kids". Second on the list is "double income and 1 kid". It looks like one cannot go wrong investing in real estate close to a PS with a strong OC class and a good selective school near by.

Another game is to cherry-pick the top private schools by gatecrashing them by winning full scholarships. However this is only for the best of the best.

#11 maxvaio

Posted 13 June 2017 - 04:53 PM

'best of the best?' That's a very narrow / shallow view.

OP tends to value the education only from the perspective of exam scores, which is not even representational for academic merits.

One of the logic flaws in OP's posts is, from her own angle (which may not be right): if OC is so good, why would you even attempt private school scholarships?

In my opinion, OC/Selective High schools have lost their initial intentions and have long become mostly an exam preparation / tutoring proliferation arm race. In the current form, it is not a good selection of students with true academic talents (read true potentials).

#12 h0liday

Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:23 PM

Schools that offer selective streams (like Balmain Secondary College) are probably more like regular High Schools with G&T classes than they are like fully selective schools anyway?

you avoid the chair throwing and get an academic culture within the class. But what you might not get is highly specialized teachers and possibly not the same number of extension courses. but you don't get the hyper racialised culture. If Christina Ho is to be believed on that.



#13 ElevenYears

Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:28 PM

Balmain secondary college has a G&T class as well as its selective stream.

And you don't necessarily get highly specialised teachers at selective schools.  You get the same mix of great teachers and good teachers and crap teachers you get at any government school.  My son's science teacher's last job was at a selective school, for example (she is great, btw).

Edited by ElevenYears, 13 June 2017 - 07:30 PM.


#14 Kreme

Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:55 PM

View PostElevenYears, on 13 June 2017 - 07:28 PM, said:


And you don't necessarily get highly specialised teachers at selective schools.  You get the same mix of great teachers and good teachers and crap teachers you get at any government school.  My son's science teacher's last job was at a selective school, for example (she is great, btw).

My kids are in a G&T unit at a primary school. Many of the kids have older siblings at selective schools. I was chatting to a mum who said her daughter had been so disappointed by the English teacher and the depth of lessons in her first year at her selective girls school.

#15 ElevenYears

Posted 13 June 2017 - 08:13 PM

Yes!  Like any school, it's a lottery.  

I have been incredibly impressed with every one of my son's teachers this year (first year of high school) and a little taken aback at the depth of analysis required in English, science and geography.  And at the speed with which they crack through material (it is amazing how much you cover when the teacher has to spend no time on behaviour management).  

But I don't know if the amazing collection of teachers is pure coincidence, or if the school is actually stacking its most enthusiastic teachers onto the G&T class.

I went to quite a rough high school (regional QLD) and I can't get my head around the idea of a high school class where every kid is well behaved!  But I guess that is what you get when the class is hand picked.  I think my son is unbelievably lucky, and I wish my daughter could access something similar, but unfortunately her strengths lie in directions other than academic.

Edited by ElevenYears, 13 June 2017 - 08:13 PM.


#16 waawa17

Posted 13 June 2017 - 08:47 PM

I'm really confused at this "gifted children are completely well behaved and obedient, and only non-gifted children have behaviour issues" subthread here.

Edited by waawa17, 13 June 2017 - 08:48 PM.


#17 qak

Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:00 PM

I think the behaviour questions is mainly because interested kids are occupied kids. A lot to do with the teacher!

#18 ElevenYears

Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:24 PM

View Postwaawa17, on 13 June 2017 - 08:47 PM, said:

I'm really confused at this "gifted children are completely well behaved and obedient, and only non-gifted children have behaviour issues" subthread here.

No subtext, just the single scenario I have firsthand experience with.  At my son's school it's an engineered scenario - the G&T program at my son's school has both good behaviour and continued high academic achievement as prerequisites for ongoing inclusion in the class.   Kids who disrupt it on a regular basis don't get to stay in it, as there are plenty of non disruptive kids on the waiting list waiting for a spot to come up.   The offer in the first place was as a result not only of academic testing but of interviews and portfolios, and even a submitted reference.  It was probably handpicked to be a well behaved class (I don't know that though).

There are equity issues there I know.  I love that my son gets to learn in this environment, but yeah, most kids don't, and as you said, a child can be both very bright and disruptive and limiting their enrichment opportunities seems like a counterintuitive way to approach the situation.

Edited by ElevenYears, 13 June 2017 - 09:27 PM.


#19 h0liday

Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:29 PM

ElevenYears

Do you know if the selective stream at Balmain outperforms the G&T class at the HSC or are the results between the two streams similar?

#20 ElevenYears

Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:46 PM

I have no idea!  It's an interesting question.   When we were choosing which selective schools to apply for, we wondered about the effect of being 'selective' on a mainstream campus.    They'd probably both get the same enrichment opportunities.  

At my son's school the G&T kids have to attend an extra class each week,(based on higher order thinking skills, but it is different each term - sometimes science, sometimes politics, sometimes philosophy etc).  So they finish an hour later than everyone else once a week.   But while it is compulsory for his class, it is open to anyone else who wants to join in.


#21 weta

Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:07 PM

View Postwaawa17, on 13 June 2017 - 08:47 PM, said:

I'm really confused at this "gifted children are completely well behaved and obedient, and only non-gifted children have behaviour issues" subthread here.
The word 'gifted' in this context is probably not accurate. However I do think academically inclined children are better behaved in a setting where they are engaged and enriched academically. That goes without saying surely? Just as a child who excels in say sport or music will be more motivated to do well at a sports or performing arts high school.

Thanks for the link OP. Our closest OCs have the highest entry scores in the state according to this list. I think our kids will sit for the test when the time comes. If they receive an offer we would certainly consider accepting.

#22 amdirel

Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:17 PM

Thanks for the link OP. Our OC had a quite high entry score, over 200. Hmmmm. Oh well, we'll keep doing some practice tests and see how we go!
Although it's definitely not necessary to be in the OC to be able to get into a selective school, it does help.

#23 DIY-G&T

Posted 17 June 2017 - 12:11 PM

What some parents don't realise is that we have moved beyond the simple all rounded education and racialised selective school culture ... long ago. And Chrisina Ho's post at The Conversation website is biased and narrow-sighted unworthy of academic discussion.

There is NO selective school racialised culture. While up to 80% of students in top selective schools are from Asian backgrounds. I emphasize the 's' in backgrounds. There are so many backgrounds with different languages. Then we have up to 20% of European backgrounds (again different backgrounds). So, these schools have the most diversed number of backgrounds if you compare across to similar high performance schools in private sector where teh dominant background is Anglo Celtic and that is what you called homo culture. In an interview a, an Asian doctor who went to The Scots College said family were yelled at "Yellow, go home" around 40 years ago when Australia was mainly white.

What language would a kid with Korean parents speak with a kid from Indian background? Chinese? Malay? Indonesian? Russian? They have to speak Australian English! And Australian English is the only language they know well.

On the all-rounded education front, we have moved way beyond that. The only different thing that worth notice is many parents from Asian backgrounds have is the idea that school is mainly for academic learning (vs. sports and music and other activities). So they get their kids to do  sports and music outside schools. As they have few kids today, kids get a lot of activities outside schools in sports, music, ... Private schools provide one stop shop, public schools provide mainly academic learning but the kids do activities outside ... Recently I see a clear change in public schools where they let businesses bring sports, music, activities into public schools and share the income. So I am paying a lot for fun activities at my local PS right now. Kids get a lot of extra activities even though they do not have a pool on school site or a footy field and 10 tennis courts like some private schools do. We even have buses taking kids to a swimming centre each week. We have a martial art class, chess class, footy group, badminton class, dancing class, music band, athletic class ... throughout the year. And ofcourse parents send kids to music lessons, tennis lessons, ... outside schools if they want to.

What we have now is like old-culture competition exactly like what has been happening for hundreds of year in the UK grammar schools and Asian countries with influence of Chinese confucious leaning. This is running in parallel with Western elite private schools for the ones with money.

Also it is a bit silly of some people not to think that the kids from Asian backgrounds are Australians! They are Australians and they could hardly speak their own languages. It's silly to confuse them with their parents. And being academic oriented, they become "English-speaking only" people. They might be forced by parents to learn a bit of their parents' languages but they forget most of that by the time they start working.

I agree with many that teachers are of mixed abilities in most selective schools. However, there is a subtle difference at top selective schools where the principals expect teachers to be highly qualified for difficult subjects in science and maths to be able to cater for the fact that 80% of students who choose a course will also do extensions for that course. So the appointment of new teachers tend to be rigorous. Most of the principals at these top schools now have a PhD. And this type of principals expect a lot more from their staff. I had a child going to a top private school and many nieces and newphew going to top public selective schools, I could see that the academic standards are so high for the top classes. Of course, this carries a bit of silly and unreasonable expectation that kids in these top classes must get ATARS at 95 as the minimum. But that's the new normal (not good) for kids going to the top schools. They are expected to enter Sydney Uni or UNSW rather than WSU or ACU or the like.

#24 DIY-G&T

Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:32 PM

View Postamdirel, on 15 June 2017 - 08:17 PM, said:

Thanks for the link OP. Our OC had a quite high entry score, over 200. Hmmmm. Oh well, we'll keep doing some practice tests and see how we go!
Although it's definitely not necessary to be in the OC to be able to get into a selective school, it does help.

They don't release stats but I would say most of the places in top 7 selective schools (in Sydney) are taken up by OC students. The failure rate of OC students to enter a selective school is almost zero. These class are specialised in dealing with students who are 1-2 years ahead of the others. The majority of them would target top 7 selective schools unless they have a good full selective school very close to home.

#25 DIY-G&T

Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:47 PM

View Postweta, on 15 June 2017 - 08:07 PM, said:

Thanks for the link OP. Our closest OCs have the highest entry scores in the state according to this list. I think our kids will sit for the test when the time comes. If they receive an offer we would certainly consider accepting.

The problem now is that in your area, sitting OC test without preparation will probably carry a chance of zero. And sitting it with moderate preparation probably carries the chance of nearly zero. The competition has reached an insane level. Kids who could score 245-250 in the OC test are 2 years ahead of normal kids and 3 years ahead in some areas.

Demographic changes and real estate prices seem to be closely associated to this stratosphere level of competition.




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