Monday, 14 October 2019

2020 Selective School and Private School Scholarship Test Preparation

This blog entry will inform members of the Selective Support group on important issues related to the 2020 Selective Test and scholarship tests to take the heavy load away of the internal message board.

14 Oct
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Now that English is so hard in both OC and Selective test, it is important to look at what it takes to score well. I had a look at past performance and realised that very few students reach over 80% in English reading part of the selective test across the last few years. Students have to be excellent readers and score high distinction in ICAS English year 5 to have chances to get over 80% in selective English. 

So, I have extracted the top readers and their average scores on several  English test series at year 7+ for selective test preparation.


This table shows the test series, the average score and the number of tests done (inside the bracket next to the average score). This reveals that kids must score close to 90% or better across all of these series and also achieve close to 90% in English trials to be at the level to score over 80% in the selective English component. And now that they have made English even harder, getting to 90% or better on the English test series become a must for to readers.  

07 Oct
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There are some early scholarship tests during Oct where the girls can do these and get a report on their performance. Pymble LC is on 19th Oct and Danebank is on 23rd Oct. Unfortunately for the boys, Bark is the only place but it does not provide a test report.

Hurlstone Agriculture HS at Glenfield (will be renamed as Roy Watts after 2022) has received a massive infrastructure upgrade. The name "Hurlstone" will be moved to a brand new selective school in Richmond.

https://www.schoolinfrastructure.nsw.gov.au/projects/h/hurlstone-agricultural-high-school-upgrade.html

This upgrade gives the future new selective school called Roy Watts the best facility (probably only second to the new Hurlstone Agricultural School scheduled to open after 2022 in Richmond) when compared to other public selective schools. The HSC ranking of Hurlstone has recovered a lot and heading back to the 20s. So, it is now probably a good full selective school with relatively low cutoff selective profile around 205-207.

18 Sep
---

The effect of harder English in OC/SS programs.

After the review of OC/Selective programs in 2017, English is now a lot harder than before. They have tried to influence the outcome of OC and Selective placement by making English harder in 3 ways: school English mark, English test component mark and English in GA test component. Teachers are advised to set harder English and give lower marks as the result. The English test component is now way too hard touching 2 years ahead of normal classroom grade. Harder English vocab is put into GA component. I also notice that the NAPLAN Reading component for ear 5 is now a lot harder than before as it is approaching the level of ICAS Reading competition.



It's now important that kids read more, do more vocab & spelling, listen to stories and write more. This needs to start from year 3. Year 4 students who will be in year 5 next year will face a much higher level of English work. As the DE targets OC class teachers more with their professional training for gifted and talented program, OC teachers suddenly become very fussy about English and they give low English marks. OC teachers give year 5 students English work at year 6-7 level and mark them at this level. Normal students get their work at year 5 level and marked at year 5 level. This creates a huge problem at schools hosting the OC class if the principal does not make sure all kids sitting the selective test are given fair marks (by doing the same tests). This is why some students in OC classes are getting lower school marks than those in non-OC classes.



Does this mean OC classes are not worth it? Not really. The scaling of school marks definitely favours OC classes. The school mark ranking penalty will always favour the top kids in schools without OC classes. But overall, the two factors will even out when they are combined to produce the final scaled school marks. The only negative effect for OC classes is that OC students will not automatically fill most places in top 7 selective schools. And it's clear that, OC students without strong English will not get into the top 3 selective schools (especially James Ruse).


For students not having any school marks (Catholic schools), the need to score ok in the English component of the OC and Selective test will be so important from now on. As most students will score under 50% in English, it is now a huge worry for those without school marks. For those who can score over 60% in English, it's great not to have school marks.

This is all part of the fight against tutoring colleges. It is clear that by asking teachers to lift English level at schools, lowering English school marks and making the English part extra hard, students who read a lot, do English spelling and vocab and write a lot will do well. This is something tutoring colleges cannot handle well. The effect is that, in 2019, a lot of students with intensive tutoring at coaching colleges fail to get to top 10 selective schools. The kids who do well in English (especially writing) at schools and read a lot more beat their way into top schools.

So, the advice is simple, make sure your kids READ, LOOK UP WORDS, SPELL and WRITE more. Mathemafix has all the modules to support these activities. Doing activities is just as important as doing the tests. This is something most kids and parents have overlooked so far.

11 Aug
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By now, most students have moved on to year 6-7 work and the top performers are preparing for early scholarship tests. However, there are weaker students who are still struggling with OC revision and year 5 work. A question in the mind of parents is whether to drop the year 5 work and move on to year 6-7 work even though the scores look very poor. The answer is that students should continue to work on year 5 work and spend plenty of time to build the foundation by doing a lot of reading, complete year 6 school maths lessons and do spelling/vocab ... The year 6-7 work can wait until 3 months before the selective test. There is no point doing what they are not ready for to get more frustration and no benefit. Students who are still doing year 5 and OC revision around Aug would only achieve between 195-210 in the selective test.

08 July
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We are now getting ready to start an early scholarship test campaign. Between Aug - Nov, a few private schools in Sydney offer scholarship tests for year-7 entry in 2021.  These early scholarship tests are much better than mock selective tests offered by big tutoring colleges. They accurately tell the performance of students so parents know the weaknesses that the students should focus on. These tests are good warm up tests for students to get ready for the main scholarship season in Feb-Mar 2020.

On page QUICK LINKS, parents find a document called 2019 Early Scholarship tests in Sydney with all the details about the schools and test dates. The document Early Scholarship Prep Tracking for year 5 shows the work that should be done to prepare for early scholarship tests. And the document Creative Writing Workshop flyer July 2019 is about the creative writing workshop. We will take only 6 students for the workshop. And we will only run it if there are 6 students interested.

We are very proud of the year 6 who managed to win 24 private school scholarships this year (14 in 2017 and 18 in 2018). Hopefully, year 5 students will rise to the challenge and win as many next year.

Another issue is ICAS for 2019. UNSW Global as replaced their old ICAS program by their new REACH program. Their new ICAS program is supposed to be harder and only available as online test in September. Many schools have dropped ICAS or cut down to fewer subjects. Many students will miss out. ICAS results are useful for scholarship applications. If your school does not offer ICAS, Northshore Coaching is the only alternative to do REACH first and hope to reach top 10% to do ICAS with them. The closing dates are fast approaching.

12 May
---
I had a look at the UNSW Global's REACH year 5 paper for Digital Technologies today. It is not easier than the 2018 ICAS year 5 paper for Digital Technologies. It's early to say anything until I see more REACH papers. However, the logical idea which also implied in UNSW Global's description of the new ICAS and REACH programs is that ICAS will be mainly for high performers. As it is done only online, it is not marketed by UNSW Global as their main product. Northshore also refuses to provide ICAS test to those who do not achieve top 10% in REACH. This might mean that ICAS tests will be much harder and more inline with the level of selective school and scholarship tests.

What this might lead to is that the ICAS distinctions and high distinctions will be more valuable than before. Before, one can fail 4-5 questions in some hard  papers like science and DT but still get HD. If they all get harder, one can fail more questions and still get HD.
 
11 Apr
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I checked with UNSW Global and they say that if schools don't offer ICAS, the  only way is to go to North Shore. As North Shore offers REACH first and only top 10% will be invited to do ICAS, it's bad but it's the only choice. Many schools don't want to offer ICAS as they do not have decent computers and network to handle online ICAS. So, a lot of students will miss out of ICAS test. ICAS is only of good value to those wishing to apply for scholarships at private schools. Otherwise just buy the past papers and do them at home to get some idea of performance.

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ICAS will be a problem this year. Schools don't know what to do as UNSW Global's old ICAS has been replaced by their new program called REACH which is more or less a NAPLAN level test for various subjects. Their new ICAS is now for high performers. ICAS also goes online and cramped into 1 week. Many schools don't know what to do and may not offer ICAS at all. Some cut the participation down to only English and Maths.

This is a problem for our students because the high performers would want to do scholarship tests. They want ICAS results to be in the portfolio to support the scholarship application. In this case, parents may need to use North Shore  Coaching who is a partner of EAA to participate in REACH. North Shore wants kids to do REACH first then top 10% will be invited to do ICAS. Parents should check if they will allow kids to do ICAS without doing REACH and getting into the top 10% first.
 
07 Apr
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The attention is now being turned to 2020 selective test. A glimpse of the success of 2019 selective group has so far been seen by the number of scholarship offers from private schools. It is at 18 and expected to rise a bit more. This means, we will beat last year's record of 18 scholarships.

Year 5 students will follow the same path to Oct 2019 where some will sit a number of early private scholarships on offer. The schools expected to offer early scholarships are: Pymble LC, Abbotsleigh, Danebank and Barker College. Only Barker College is available to boys. All the others are for girls.

Top performers

This means strong performers and those wishing to do scholarship tests should be on the fast pace. By Aug, these students would already do some year 7 work and try 2 selective trials by Sept and early Oct. There is a document to guide students wishing to do early scholarship test. Top students who may not wish to do any of these early scholarship tests would still want to work at this pace. 

Normal performers

A lot of students are not among the top performers. They need more time. So, they might only finish OC revision by Sept and get on year 6 and 7 level late. They will have to work harder during Sep - Dec and work very hard in Jan-Feb 2020 to be ready for scholarship tests and the selective test.

Other events

The NAPLAN test is important even though it is easy. NAPLAN 2019 will be in May. Even though, NAPLAN is known to be easy, we have a few issues to consider. It is an online test. And writing online is not easy if students are slow in typing. The other issue is that students often score poorly in writing. This can affect the school report and also affect the English marks going into the selective school application. Students must prepare for NAPLAN writing by working on both narrative and persuasive writing even though only one type will be tested in the NAPLAN. No one knows which type it will be for the year!

ICAS can be important. It is certainly important for scholarship applications. This year, EEA has changed ICAS. They offer two programs called REACH and ICAS. ICAS is now for high performers while REACH is for all students. Perhaps, they hope to get more low performers doing their tests. The trouble is that ICAS is now cramped into 1 week in Sept. It is also changed into online test including writing (only year 3-4 are exempted from online writing). Students will need to type fast enough. The preparation will be very cramped in a critical time where a lot of school work will be going on to collect marks for the selective school application.






Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Preparing for online ICAS competitions

Year 5-6 students

To target ICAS science top 2% students should complete Mini Science and General Problem Solving series with average over 85%

To target ICAS mathematics top 2% students should work on

OC Mathematics Booster
< target average 85% plus
Mini Math Challenge Grade 4-5
< target average 80% plus
Mathematics Grade 5
< last 3 tests at 90% plus
Mathematics Grade 6
< first 6 tests at 90% plus
Mini Math Challenge Grade 6-7
< 1/4 of the test with average 75% plus
Mini Math Problem Solving Grade 6-7
< 1/4 of the test with average 75% plus

To target ICAS English top 2% students should work on

English Reading Skills Grade 6   
< target average 90% plus   
English Comprehension Grade 6
< target average 90% plus           
English Reading Skills Grade 7
< target average 90% plus
English Comprehension Grade 7
< target average 90% plus

To target ICAS Digital Technology top 2% students should work on

Computer Skills Grade 3-4
< target average 80% plus
Computer Skills Grade 5-6
< target average 75% plus

The failed questions for Computer Skills series should be reviewed by actually running application and practising the skills. Just look at the right answer will be of very little help. This is why DT is difficult to get high scores.

To prepare for ICAS writing, students must prepare for persuasive writing this year. They need to get the structure right (see the writing guide on page QUICK LINKS). They must learn to write good arguments. They must practise online and type 350-400 words over 30 minutes. Use the module read-summarise-write for practice.



Year 3-4 students

To target ICAS science top 2% students should complete Mini Science and General Problem Solving Grade 3-4 series with average over 85%

To target ICAS mathematics top 2% students should work on

OC Mathematics Booster
< target average 85% plus
Mini Math Challenge Grade 4-5
< target average 80% plus

To target ICAS English top 2% students should work on

English Comprehension Grade 5
< target average 90% plus            


And revise all failed questions from OC English Boosters and OC English Trials 

To target ICAS Digital Technology top 2% students should work on

Mini Computer Skills Grade 3-4
< target average 80% plus

The failed questions for Computer Skills series should be reviewed by actually running application and practising the skills. Just look at the right answer will be of very little help. This is why DT is difficult to get high scores.

To prepare for ICAS writing, students must prepare for persuasive writing this year. They need to get the structure right (see the writing guide on page QUICK LINKS). They must learn to write good arguments. They must practise online and type 300-350 words over 30 minutes. Use the module read-summarise-write for practice.

Monday, 1 July 2019

2019 OC preparation

This blog will take the load off the Mathemafix message board by hosting important information about 2019 OC preparation. 


11 Oct
---
2019 OC results are out.  The results are rolling in and pretty much as expected. The raw marks seem to suggest that it was about the same level of difficulty as the test in 2018. But the profiles seem to be higher for the same raw marks. This has something to do with scaling. English  was hard and had big impact on the profile.


About 3 students made a simple fatal mistake of not skipping hard questions! One has to skip all hard questions (maths and GA) and do the easier questions to avoid running out of time. As English was really hard, those who wasted time on some hard maths questions tended to panic and guess English questions (without time to read properly) so they ended getting 25% for English (like doing random guessing). 
 
07 Oct
---
The OC result will be out in just over 1 week. It's time to have a look at the results for 2018 and 2017. The 2018 OC test was much harder than the 2017 OC test. This impacted the profiles and cutoffs at OC classes. In 2018, not many parents reported the results even though we had more students than 2017. This was probably because they were disappointed with the results due to more competition for OC classes. We are in the period where the kids from the Howard baby boom years have grown old enough to do OC and selective test. Also, the population has increased a lot but the number of OC places have not increased.


18 Sep
---

The effect of harder English in OC/SS programs.

After the review of OC/Selective programs in 2017, English is now a lot harder than before. They have tried to influence the outcome of OC and Selective placement by making English harder in 3 ways: school English mark, English test component mark and English in GA test component. Teachers are advised to set harder English and give lower marks as the result. The English test component is now way too hard touching 2 years ahead of normal classroom grade. Harder English vocab is put into GA component. I also notice that the NAPLAN Reading component for ear 5 is now a lot harder than before as it is approaching the level of ICAS Reading competition.



It's now important that kids read more, do more vocab & spelling, listen to stories and write more. This needs to start from year 3. Year 4 students who will be in year 5 next year will face a much higher level of English work. As the DE targets OC class teachers more with their professional training for gifted and talented program, OC teachers suddenly become very fussy about English and they give low English marks. OC teachers give year 5 students English work at year 6-7 level and mark them at this level. Normal students get their work at year 5 level and marked at year 5 level. This creates a huge problem at schools hosting the OC class if the principal does not make sure all kids sitting the selective test are given fair marks (by doing the same tests). Often schools with OC classes (and many others) now send a note to all parents early to ask if they want to apply for selective school test, and then get the kids who expressed interest to do some tests at the school to gather marks for the selective application. The problem is not all schools will do this. Parents need to check with their schools.



Does this mean OC classes are not worth it? Not really. The scaling of school marks definitely favours OC classes. The school mark ranking penalty will always favour the top kids in schools without OC classes. But overall, the two factors will even out when they are combined to produce the final scaled school marks. The only negative effect for OC classes is that OC students will not automatically fill most places in top 7 selective schools. And it's clear that, OC students without strong English will not get into the top 3 selective schools (especially James Ruse).



For students not having any school marks (Catholic schools), the need to score ok in the English component of the OC and Selective test will be so important from now on. As most students will score under 50% in English, it is now a huge worry for those without school marks. For those who can score over 60% in English, it's great not to have school marks (as school marks will be scaled down badly anyway for the average of school marks to match the average of real test marks).



This is all part of the fight against tutoring colleges. It is clear that by asking teachers to lift English level at schools, lowering English school marks and making the English part extra hard, students who read a lot, do English spelling and vocab and write a lot will do well. This is something tutoring colleges cannot handle well. The effect is that, in 2019, a lot of students with intensive tutoring at coaching colleges fail to get to top 10 selective schools. The kids who do well in English (especially writing) at schools and read a lot more beat their way into top schools.



So, the advice is simple, make sure your kids READ, LOOK UP WORDS, SPELL and WRITE more. Mathemafix has all the modules to support these activities. Doing activities is just as important as doing the tests. This is something most kids and parents have overlooked so far.
 
11 Sep
---
The OC result is expected to come out at the middle of Oct. That's about 5 weeks away. The English score will be the most watched. It is expected to be like OC test in 2018 where English was extremely hard.

After the OC result is out, parents should think about sending the kids back to Mathemafix for OC revision to prepare for selective preparation in year 5. While all students need to revise OC, the top performers can delay OC revision until Jan 2020. From past experience, a lot of the low and average performers take 6-8 months to revise OC program! This means they end up finishing the revision at the same time of next year's OC test. This helps lift their second attempt on OC trials from 55%-70% to 80%-85%. At this level they are ready to proceed to year 6 and 7 work to prepare for the selective test.

This is why in the selective group, kids have access to the harder part of the OC program to redo advanced year 4 and year 5 work again. Then they do OC boosters and OC trials again.

4 Aug
---
The deadline for changing OC choices is 9 August 2019, on page QUICK LINKS you have the latest entry scores into OC classes for 2019 school year start. School marks tend to be unreliable. OC English test marks tend to be very low. In 2018 OC test, the English test marks for good readers tend to be around 35%-65% with most stay under 65%. I expect the same problem for 2019 OC test. This creates two issues.

- School English marks for English under 80% will affect the profile pretty badly.
- A crash in the OC English part with a score under 50% will cause a huge problem.

OC English test < 50% without school marks = disaster!
OC English test < 50% plus school English marks < 80 = disaster!
OC English test > 65% but < 80% plus school English marks < 80 = ok
OC English test > 50% but < 65% plus school English marks > 90 = good
OC English test > 80% without school marks = great
OC English test > 80% plus school English marks > 90 = great

Students from Catholic schools without school marks who is facing the risk of crashing in English can have a bad OC profile unless GA score is over 85%. Maths won't rescue the situation. Only GA can.

Parents should be very careful with 2nd OC choice. Getting a low OC placement does not mean you would accept it however it helps when you ask the current school to put the kids into enrichment classes.
 

29 Jul
---
Looking beyond the OC test, there are several important questions. Should a kid continue to work on academic extension or take a break? How long is the break? Is the performance in the OC test help predict the performance in the selective test 19 months down the track?

- Every kid deserves a break after OC preparation. This is true unless the kid did not do any OC preparation and just sat the test.
- How long the break should be depends on many factors such as how hard a kid has worked before the OC test,  how well the kid scored on OC trials and other tests, what level of performance is required for entering a target selective school, what other priority such as sports and music ...  It's generally safe for the kids to have a break until they starts year 5. However, those who scored under 70% in OC trials and generally scored around 75% or less in year 5 work are considered 1 full year behind those who scored around 80% plus in OC trials and 85% in other works. And this means the ones who scored under 70% in OC trials won't make it to top 10 selective schools unless they took shorter breaks and re-do or revise the OC preparation program extensively. Those who did not even prepare for OC should do the OC preparation program from scratch (at a faster pace).
- The performance in OC test "unfortunately" predicts the performance in the selective test 19 months down the track rather well. Most students will get similar selective test result to their OC result. The ones who do better or worse are in the small minority who either work work very hard do don't do much at all. Maturity is also a big factor. 

Mathemafix's selective program is designed to be the continuation of the OC program. About 1/2 of the hardest work in the OC program is part of the beginning of the Selective program. This allows students who did not prepare for OC (or those who score around 70% or under in the OC program) to revise the OC program. These students tend to come back quickly from the OC test date after a short break. This allows them time to narrow the gap between themselves and the top students. Even the top students, who often come back at the start of year 5 in late Jan of year 5, would also do OC revision. Past experience shows that top students finish the revision of the OC program quickly by Mar-Apr while weaker students tend to finish the revision by Aug-Sep of year 5. If the weaker students also finish the revision about Mar-Apr, they would have a chance to compete for a place in one of the top 10 selective schools.

At Mathemafix, we focus on the foundation before the extension. So, the result is very consistent. However, factors such as luck in school marks and on the test day, maturity, over-coaching could produce considerable variations. The overall picture shows that Mathemafix helps a lot more students gain extra points than those who lost points in the selective profile vs the oc profile. The extreme cases of gain all came from students who either had bad luck in OC test then good luck in SS test or simply had massive improvement from 1-on-1 tutoring or help from parents.



27 Jul
---
We are getting so close to OC test now that students should be resting! It is a mistake to ask students to work right until the day before the OC test. They must rest for the big day. They should not take any risk in sports or bad weather in the days leading to the OC test.

This year we have so many strong students in OC group. We are expecting a very good set of OC results. However, as they make English so hard, the school English marks will become more important because the English test marks will be low. Also the scaling for English test marks will be high and this is why English worths a lot more than maths.

As students are likely to do poorly in English, it is probably a better idea to select the maths and GA questions to do first and then do the English questions last. This is because students are expected to fail many English questions, so it's best to move them to the end to give more time to get maths and GA done properly.

11 Jul 
---
The selective result confirms what the SSU says in the review of the OC and Selective program. They put very hard English in to the test. In fact, this was seen in the 2018 OC English part of the OC test. So, it's either the same or even hard for OC English this year. The impact is heavy on students who get poor English school marks and Catholic school students who don't get any school marks. If these students score under 50% for OC English, the profile is likely to be low. It is expected that very few students will get over 65% for OC English.

Students are advised to work hard on OC English Boosters and do the year 5 English comprehension series. Review failed questions carefully with parents. Do a lot of ReadTheory.Org quizzes.

2018 OC test results
 
 
09 July
---
We are now at the stage where the top performers should really be relaxing and finish off trial 8. This is why being among top performers is great. One can relax while others have to work to catch up. Those who are behind a lot now need to take advantage of the school holidays to catch up with OC trials, OC boosters and do a lot of revision of failed questions.

Trial scores for kids who have done at least 6 trials vs last year's students' and their real OC profiles.


01 Jul
---
We have now reached the most critical of OC preparation. We have a week to go until the school holiday before the OC test. The two weeks of holiday gives students much needed space to relax a bit and also do a bit more of what they struggle to find time to do. The aim is to wrap up OC prep 1 week before the OC test date to allow students to relax just before the OC test.

Here are some useful tips

- Students should have a few days of fun when school holidays start then settle into some more hard work. Do not take a long holiday overseas or interstate.
- Plan to relax the week before the OC test to avoid panic, sickness and tiredness.
- Kids should avoid risky activities, eat safe food and stay healthy. A common problem is getting a cold just before the OC test. This is why kids should avoid risk exposure to big change in weather/temperature.
- Many students still need to improve exam techniques.  Use the document Exam Techniques Guide on page QUICK LINKS to improve.
- Become very familiar with the OC test format. Parents should print the sample OC test from the SSU out and get kids to practise this sample paper and fill in the answer sheet. Use a timer to set strict time.

https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/selective-high-schools-and-opportunity-classes/year-5/the-test#tabs289960

NW Sydney OC classes are very competitive. It is getting so insane that the cutoff scores are now around 245+ for top ones like North Rocks, Beecroft,  Ermington. It's so hard to get into these classes. However, many schools offer enrichment classes. They use OC test performance to offer places to students. So, make sure you put your 2nd choice low enough to guarantee a placement to get a good chance to enter enrichment class (in case OC placement of 1st choice is not possible).

This is the OC trial ranking against past students for those who have done at least 5 OC trials




04 Apr 
---
The 1st OC trial set is now open. Top students would want to stick to the normal schedule doing 1st trial on week 1 of April and then 1 trial set every 2 weeks until they finish all 8 trials just before the OC test. On the other end, weak students would plan to have trial 8 done 1 week before the OC test, and one trial is done every week. This means top students start 1st trial around the 17th week away from the OC test. Weak students will delay and start the first trial 9 weeks away from the OC test date. Other students would start a bit later than 1st Apr but finish 1 week before the OC test.

To be ready for the 1st OC trial set, one should have done a lot of the English comprehension Grade 4, start a bit on English comprehension grade 5. In maths, they would have done some of the maths challenge grade 4-5 and 1/2 of the Mathematics Grade 5 series. They would have completed all General Ability Year 3-4. At this point they also start to work on OC Booster Series and do the tests between the trials.

As far as learning is concerned, students who starts 1st OC trial set should have completely covered all year 5 school maths (see Maths Lessons guide) and done enough reading at year 5 level (using books or online reading program such as ReadingEggpress). Use ReadTheory.Org now to boost performance. Top year 4 students should read at grade 7 (US level seems easy).


OC trial averages for 2018 can give some idea about student performance




02 Jan
---
I found a ridiculously generous scholarship test for year 4 girls. Kambala offer some scholarships for year 5-12 (8 years). Girls at year 4 can sit this scholarship test on 2nd Mar for a chance to win 8 years of scholarship!

http://kambala.nsw.edu.au/entry/#scholarships

Even though this one is academic, I do expect that the winner is likely to be a kid with super academic ability plus with music, sport and other qualities and coming from a middle/upper class family. 

Junior scholarships at 50% for 8 years

https://www.knox.nsw.edu.au/enrolments/scholarships

Various junior scholarships without clear indication of discount percentage & number of years

Academic Scholarships – St Andrew's Cathedral School

https://www.sacs.nsw.edu.au/enrol/scholarships/academic-scholarships

Only partial scholarships

https://www.pittwaterhouse.com.au/join-us/scholarships

https://www.stpauls.nsw.edu.au/contact/schols/

https://sgs.nsw.edu.au/enrolment/scholarships/

https://www.tara.nsw.edu.au/enrolment/scholarships

http://www.btac.nsw.edu.au/enrol/scholarships/



In NSW outside Sydney

Nowra Anglican College
Mamre Anglican School 
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College 
Wollondilly Anglican College


01 Jan
---
We are now entering a serious phase of OC test preparation for 2019. Students are entering year 4 and will do the OC test on 31st July 2019.

At this stage of starting year 4, it is important to think about getting good marks from the  schools. Here are some tips that parents must keep in mind.

- School marks are quite important. Some kids did well in OC test but the poor school marks caused a lot of problems and they ended up getting poor OC profiles.
- There is NO STANDARD on how teachers give the school marks. This is a weakness for students in public schools. Some schools are even against OC test so teachers may deliberately give poor school marks. Most Catholic schools will not give school marks and this is a good advantage for students going to Catholic schools. If they do well in the actual OC test, they automatically get the equivalent of about 96-99 in school marks.
- Maths is often not a problem except when the  teacher or the school management is against OC test. English school mark is the trouble area. Often bad English marks come from poor spelling and poor writing as many teachers give English marks mainly from writing works.

For students in NW of Sydney, the entry scores into OC classes  are getting ridiculous. Beecroft cutoff for 2019 (2018 test) is 250 at reserve #3. Northrocks was at 245. It is becoming impossible for many to compete for places in this area of Sydney. What this means is the impact of school marks will be extreme. Kids cannot get OC placement without school marks close to 99. What this means is that Catholic school kids are now at a big advantage in this area as they only need to do really well in the OC test.

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We had a very successful 2018 OC preparation. The link be low leads to the web blog for what happened during 2018 OC preparation.

https://mathemafix-users.blogspot.com/2017/11/2018-oc-preparation.html