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The Ultimate Guide To The Opportunity Class Test | Thinking Skills

It's not Maths and It's not English, but it makes up one-third of the OC test. What are Thinking Skills?

The OC Thinking Skills 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 OC Thinking Skills test format

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.

Test section Questions Time
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.

Some exam tips students must remember:

  • Make sure your answer sheet and question booklet match up. Check every five or so questions to ensure you are circling the answer for the right question number.
  • Erase corrections on your answer sheet fully. Leaving marks on the answer sheet can cause the computer to read your answers incorrectly.
  • Attempt all questions and don’t leave anything blank. If you don’t know the answer, make an informed guess and return to the question later.


Remember, even a complete guess has a 25% percent chance of being correct!


What are Thinking Skills?

The Thinking Skills component of the OC placement test is designed to test problem-solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning skills. The test requires students to identify patterns to solve visual, numerical, and word problems and puzzles under a broad range of topics.

brain puzzle_opportunity class thinking skills

The two main question types in the Thinking Skills test are:

  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning

We’ll go through a brief overview of each of these question types. After this overview, make sure you use our free downloadable Thinking Skills worksheet to gauge your child’s understanding of these skills!


Spatial 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.

spatial reasoning in space_opportunity class thinking skills


Some of the question types include:

  • Folding and cutting shapes
  • Identifying symmetries and shapes that fit together
  • Recognising the nets of shapes
  • Finding top, side, and 3D views of shapes
  • Identifying odd shapes in a spatial arrangement
  • Identifying visual patterns
  • Recognising reflections or rotations of shapes


Logical Reasoning

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:

  • Logic puzzles
  • Syllogisms
  • Identifying logical fallacies
  • Identifying the strongest argument


Ensure your child aces their Thinking Skills!


What students find most difficult about Thinking Skills

Since the Thinking Skills test examines such a broad range of topics, students struggle with different areas of the exam depending on their individual strengths and weaknesses.

The three most common areas of weakness for students are:


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.


2. Visualisation

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.


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.


child learning_opportunity class thinking skills


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!


How to prepare your child

Acing the Thinking Skills section of the OC test is much less about understanding any kind of theory and more about developing familiarity.


With unlimited time, anyone can get full marks in the Thinking Skills test.


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 be able to do this, students need to develop familiarity with the different question types. 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 Matrix+ Critical Thinking practice questions with the aim of getting them all correct in under 10 minutes.


Ace Thinking Skills with our online Year 3 & 4 Critical Thinking Course

Register your for our Matrix Primary English, Maths, and Critical Thinking courses now!



Thinking Skills outside of the OC test

You may be asking yourself if it’s worth investing so much time on 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.

thinking skills in life_opportunity class thinking skills


For example, students may be asked to write a persuasive text when they sit the NAPLAN exam. In this example, students would need to use logical reasoning skills to rationally organise arguments 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.


The next step…

For a detailed explanation of the Reading and Mathematical Reasoning sections of the OC test, you can check out the other posts in this guide.

So, now you know how to prepare your child for the Thinking Skills section of the Opportunity Class placement test. To get that important practice, your child will need access to a large bank of expertly written practice questions with detailed explanations and solutions.

The Matrix+ Critical Thinking Course for Years 3 and 4 offers an online bank of video explanations, questions, and solutions. Get access to this course for free when you enrol in both Matrix Primary English and Maths courses.


Written by Alfred Cho

Alfred Cho studies at the University of Sydney undertaking a Bachelor of Advanced Studies in Media and Communications and a Bachelor of English. Alfred is an English Teacher at Matrix with a keen interest in film, radio, and TV production.


© Matrix Education and, 2018. 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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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