Some resources for gifted/classical test “prep”

December 12, 2009 at 7:39 pm 10 comments

This is some information from Helen at which sells some books that could help your child feel comfortable taking the gifted or classical test.  I’m not calling it test prep per se (because then we’d be like freaky new yorkers) but hey, what can it hurt to have your child practice answering some questions in advance so they know what they’re doing that day?  At the very least I’ve found them fun to do with my son since they’re more like brain teasers than actual school work.  Use your best judgement to see what makes sense for your own child.  Unfortunely none of us know what actual test is used, nor are true test-prep materials actually available for sale.

From Helen:

My top picks for testing before Kindergarten are
Building Thinking Skills Primary and the interlocking cubes that are used
with it (attribute blocks are used too but they can be made out of colored
cardboard) for verbal and non-verbal reasoning.  Done with a parent scribe
who talks the exercises through  with a child this really builds vocabulary.
There is an easier level of this called Building Thinking Skills Beginning
but most Pre K children being tested are ready for the Primary level so long
as the parent remembers that they’re not expected to be reading the
questions or writing the answers.  It’s a read aloud for preschoolers.

BambinoLUK system (books can be purchased in two or three book sets if the
entire set looks like too much.  Controller is needed).  In addition to the
cognitive skills this was developed to teach the design encourages
concentration, perseverance and independence.  Unlike my other suggestions a
child can use this completely independently after they’ve been introduced to
the system. – the product – how it works

Can You Find Me? Pre K  and Can You Find Me? Pre K for logic riddles
requiring listening and identification of a picture solution (a common way
that pre school tests are presented).  Even if the Pre K looks simple it’s
worth doing because many of the questions during testing will be simple and
it’s important for a child to understand that they need to give the correct
answer – the one that most children who answer correctly will choose –
rather than a “smart” answer that they could justify.  That’s a fun thing to
do with a parent but not during testing.

For Preschool readiness (and some tests) a math book is also a good idea.
The Beginning 2 or Level A are the most likely to be suitable.  Beginning 2
develops understanding of numbers up to 20.  Level A corresponds to a
typical kindergarten curriulum.


Entry filed under: Gifted / Classical Testing. Tags: .

What to look for in a gifted or classical program New magnet admission policies

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 2 cents  |  December 12, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    For those wondering if the gifted programs really are 2 grade levels ahead…I have a ‘gifted’ KDGer and a ‘normal’ second grader. They seem to be doing almost the same stuff in school… ‘ Capitalize first letter in a sentence and always finish with punctuation mark.’ Same robust vocabulary. Siimilar homework for math, etc. More science in the gifted program. More projects in the gifted program. Equal amounts of homework so far. The gifted teacher is unbelievable….even turns snack time into a math or science lesson.

  • 2. hopeful  |  December 13, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    2 cents, I was wondering if you had any advice for other parents with two children on very different academic levels. My oldest is so far ahead of grade level, whereas my youngest is pretty typical. How do you help them in terms of accepting each one where they are at? Do your children know they are working on the same material even though the one is younger? Is there any jealousy? In other words, I am nervous my younger is going to pick up on the fact that his older sister learns things so easily and he doesn’t. I don’t want him to feel bad. Thanks for any ideas or tips!

  • 3. 2 cents  |  December 15, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Fortunately, at this point, they are clueless. They are 16 months apart (but two grade levels bcause of birth dates). They are used to doing the same things. They both argue that their school is ‘the best one’. I think ‘normal’ DD just thinks DS is wierd and difficult (which he is). DD is a much easier child to raise. I definately agree that ‘gifted’ kids are ‘special needs’ kids with all of their myriad of quirks and hypersensitivities!

    The real question is, what and the world are we going to do if they discontinue bussing?!?!?!

  • 4. hopeful  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Bussing, or the lack of it, will be a problem. If my family stays in the city, we’ll just have to deal with it. Plus, we chose a magnet instead of a classical program for our oldest, so they’ll be at the same school anyways. But I can imagine the stress of trying to get two kids to two different schools!
    We are not counting on bussing next year and will be shocked if it remains available. Though, with CPS, it is hard to tell what will happen until it does, and even then, it is so convoluted, it is hard to decifer!

  • 5. also obsessed  |  December 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

    2 cents:
    You mean your kindergartener (gifted) and your 2nd grader (standard) are doing the SAME work, like BOTH doing capital letters, or are you saying your kindergarteer is doing what your 2nd grader did in kindergarten?

  • 6. 2 cents  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    They are currently doing nearly the same work. So the kdger is doing the same as the 2nd grade work. I personally was doubtful that they would work the kiddos two grade levels higher, but apparently it is true!

  • 7. FP  |  January 14, 2013 at 7:36 am

    My kindergartener is at a Regional gifted center and she was given the second grade reading book and work. Most of the children are in a first grade book with 2 students even in a third grade book.

    It’s not the same for Math unfortunately. They all work from a 1st grade book.

  • 8. RR  |  October 9, 2013 at 12:22 am


  • 9. GB  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Anyone has feedback fro the Beaubian’s Gifted program? My son got accepted to that program. We are from suburbs and logistically this was the only option we had (will have to move to the city if we accept). Do they really have +2 grade level differentiated learning? There is no feedback on Public forum regarding this specific program..all of it is for the regular program.

  • 10. BC  |  January 10, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    how does someone that doesn’t even live in the city apply for a CPS school? SMH that’s ridiculous!

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