Thinking Skills in the OC test assesses students' critical thinking abilities in spatial reasoning and logical reasoning. Read this guide to learn how to ace the Thinking Skills section of the OC Test.
In this post, we’ll outline what you need to know about the Opportunity Class Thinking Skills test. read on to learn about the OC Thinking Skills test format, the question topics, what students find most difficult, and how to prepare your child.
The Thinking Skills component of the OC Placement Test is designed to assess students’ critical thinking abilities. The Thinking Skills test requires students to identify patterns to solve visual, numerical, and word problems and puzzles under a broad range of topics.
On the day of the OC test, students are given a Thinking Skills exam paper with 30 multiple-choice questions to solve in 30 minutes.
|Thinking Skills||30||30 minutes|
The Thinking Skills test is conducted last after Reading and Mathematical Reasoning. No extra paper is given for working out, but students are encouraged to write on the question paper.
Students are required to solve one question every minute.
Some exam tips for Thinking Skills students must remember:
Questions in the Thinking Skills test can be categorised into Spatial Reasoning or Logical Reasoning.
Each category can be further broken down different questions types.
There are 9 questions types in Spatial Reasoning and 4 questions types in Logical reasoning.
Spatial Reasoning is similar to Non-verbal Reasoning as both question types involve shapes and visual pattern recognition. However, Spatial Reasoning questions focus more on being able to visualise different arrangements of the same image or shape.
Some of the question types include:
Below are two Spatial Reasoning questions from Matrix Year 4 Critical Thinking Skills Course.
As the name suggests, Logical Reasoning is all about applying logic to order, solve, deduce and draw conclusions based on any given set of rules.
Some of the question types include:
Thinking Skills questions in the OC test is considered the most difficult for the following reasons:
The Thinking Skills test assesses students’ critical thinking ability in a broad range of topics. We’ve discovered that you can increase your ability to solve the Thinking Skills questions by addressing the following common areas of weakness:
1. Verbal problem solving
The Logical Fallacies and Strongest Argument sections will likely be more difficult for students with weaker reading and writing skills.
Students should start with improving their vocabulary and comprehension ability if they struggle with this component.
Students who struggle with mental manipulation and visualising shapes have more trouble with Spatial Reasoning questions.
Sketching out diagrams and using physical models when practising can often help students to develop their visualisation ability.
Below is a Spatial Reasoning question involving 3D block fitting from the Matrix OC Preparation course.
Below is a Spatial Reasoning question involving surface area of 3D shapes from the Matrix OC Preparation course.
3. Pattern recognition
If your child is weaker at pattern recognition and completing sequences, they might find the Non-verbal Reasoning sections more difficult.
Try to point out everyday patterns and sequences to expand the scope of your child’s experience with pattern recognition.
Below is a pattern recognition question from the Matrix OC Preparation course.
Your child may fall into one or more of these categories. The good news is that all three of these weaknesses are essential learning points for all students.
How is this good news?
Identifying and developing these weaknesses early on in your child’s academic career is essential for future success. Using thinking skills as a way to practise and improve on these weaknesses is killing two birds with one stone!
Without the essential knowledge and skills in Year 3 and 4 English your child will struggle with the questions in Reading and Thinking Skills tests.
Without the essential knowledge and skills in Year 3 & 4 Mathematics, your child will struggle with the questions in Thinking skills tests.
You can use school reports and NAPLAN test results to identify the areas of your child’s weakness and address them through a structured English and Maths programs like the one offered by Matrix.
With 30 minutes to answer 30 questions, students have around just 60 seconds to answer one question. Being able to complete the exam quickly and accurately is key to OC Thinking Skills success.
To ace Thinking Skills test, you must be able to determine the question type and apply the right technique to efficiently solve the question.
Students need to develop familiarity with the different question types for OC success.
Acing the Thinking Skills section of the OC test is much less about understanding any kind of theory and more about developing familiarity.
We recommend the following proven process used by Matrix students
Having a repeatable process is important for identifying your areas of weaknesses more efficiently.
The only reliable way to do this is to practise.
Get your child used to exam conditions by regularly getting your child to attempt small batches of questions under a similar time limit. For example, your child could attempt 10 Critical Thinking practice questions with the aim of getting them all correct in under 10 minutes.
Below are paper-based sample Thinking Skills tests from the NESA website:
Below are Thinking Skills tests from the 2021 Opportunity Class Placement Test from the NESA website:
You may be asking yourself if it’s worth investing so much time in Thinking Skills.
The short answer is yes.
Thinking Skills appear in the later Selective School test, too. Additionally, the abilities learnt in Thinking Skills are essential critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will set your child up for success in all areas of their life.
For example, students may be asked to write a persuasive text when they sit for the NAPLAN exam. In this example, students would need to use logical reasoning skills to organise arguments rationally in a cohesive manner.
Additionally, mastering the principles of Thinking Skills will prepare your child for future STEM subjects requiring strong pattern recognition and logical reasoning.
Enrol into the Matrix Online OC Preparation Course and develop your child’s critical thinking ability. The structured course teaches all essential techniques and comprehensive coverage of all question types for the OC test.
© Matrix Education and www.matrix.edu.au, 2022. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matrix Education and www.matrix.edu.au with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.