Education Minister Kate Jones with students in Mackay earlier this year.
Education Minister Kate Jones with students in Mackay earlier this year. Peter Holt

Queensland to scrap OP system in 2018

HIGH school students in Queensland will face a mix of internal and external exams as part of plans to scrap Overall Position (OP) scores from 2018.

The changes will start with students entering Year 11 in three years time - students currently in Grade 8.

Education Minister Kate Jones announced on Tuesday that Labor will go ahead with the overhaul, which was proposed by the former Liberal National Party.

The current OP system will be replaced by the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank system, in line with other Australian states and territories.

Ms Jones said the nature of the new external exams were yet to be decided.

External assessment trials will begin in 2016.

Ms Jones said school-based assessment in place as part of the OP system will be strengthened and remain under the new system.

What do you think of scrapping OPs

This poll ended on 09 September 2015.

Current Results

Good move. There's too much emphasis on a score


Not great. Don't like the idea of external exams


Depends on how it is implemented


It is going to be a costly change


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

A Senior Secondary Assessment taskforce will also be created which will include teachers, parents, the Queensland Curriculum Authority, the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre and universities.

The shake-up will come in a year after first proposed by the LNP.

Queensland has had the OP system in place since 1992.

The LNP commissioned an independent review of the Queensland system by the Australian Council for Educational Research - including extensive consultation with teachers, universities, parent associations and unions.

The Australian Council for Educational Research made 23 recommendations and the Queensland Government published its response to the review last December.

The proposal called for senior subject should results to come from three school-based assessments plus one external assessment and will result in students being given a national Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) rather than OP.

The independent review was led by Professor Geoff Masters and Doctor Gabrielle Matters.

What do you think about this? Do you approve of Queensland scrapping OP scores? 

Join our daily watercooler by leaving a comment below.

What you're saying on Facebook:

Nathan Gardiner: "Yes, scrap it, kids are stressing out to much towards the end of grade 10 about uni choices, no system will be perfect but surely there is a better one.... And not to mention lots of kids get pushed in to doing OP subjects/course and don't even use it."

Corey Dark: "I'm a past student and all the teachers said it's a wast of time and continue to dislike the OP system. They've been saying the op system would be scrapped for years now so like most government announcements I'll believe it when I see it."

Sue Blake: "Just because you get an OP !, doesn't mean you make a good Doctor/dentist! Has been irrelevant for years."

Dorothy Ireland: "Another decision to decide how to rate students!!!"

Gemma Blanch: "Speaking as an ex yr 12 OP student (graduated last year) I think it should be scrapped. The amount of pressure and unwanted stress that it causes is insane. Spending two years working towards a number that "determines" your intelligence in a comparison to your peers, ridiculous. Even if you do well and achieve, if others don't your OP gets lowered. Why should we have to compare ourselves to the other hundred plus year 12's in the school? It should just be about your own academic success."

Debra McDonald: "I think they way they do the OP needs to overhauled. It should be done on an individual not the whole class. A person with a very high Op gets dragged down by others with not so good scores."

Bree Coleman: "I think that's a great idea! I remember being judged and thought less off because I didn't get an op. It was just so much added stress. And now I'm a qualified EN, going into my dual degree of nursing and midwifery, and I made it this far without an op! Always other options around study, and I think scrapping the Op will only give students more confidence and determination to get into uni. Anyone could be "smart enough for uni" but the OP score limits how smart people feel."

Lana Morphew: "That's great it puts to much pressure on the students."

Scott Rath: "You can't crunch down a person's abilities, talents and work ethic into one number."

Bryce Harberger: "I can only assume it would be replaced with something that's a bit more thought out than the OP system. I was an OP kid, and due to the fact that I had a bad year in grade 11, it completely screwed my score, despite the fact that I was nearly straight A every other year..."

Jess Weeks: "This is awesome. It will give us a system more like the one in place in NSW, one where there is less emphasis on standardised testing and school averages. Students would be assessed on skills and content that they're actually learning, and it will be a far more effective means of assessment than the QCS test that we have now, with a greater focus on students as individuals. And the OP doesn't really disappear in terms of a rank- students get an ATAR score instead ( out of 100), so they still need to strive to achieve the number that they want or need, exactly as they do now. And, lets face it - this will align Queensland with the other states so that our national education system is more cohesive."

Robert Reakes: "Leave it alone. the op score gives students something to achieve. stop creating a society of kids that expects everything for nothing."