Gifted Test – Why yes, I do have something to complain about….

January 10, 2010 at 1:57 am 47 comments

So as I mentioned, I took my son to the gifted test today (testing for a 2nd grade spot.)  Thanks to blog poster “Y” for keeping me company during the test.

Anyhow, to dump a little information:
-I gave my son the COGAT sample questions this morning and he said that the actual test he took seemed different from it. (Man, it is SO great to be able to pump him for information now, unlike when he was 4!)  So, from the mouth of a 6yo, maybe the test is not COGAT (that’s the test that is used in NYC.)
-He did say that a test person read through all the questions, telling them what to do for each and then they had to fill in a bubble with the right answer.

OK, so now for the complaining part.  Keep in mind that my background is in marketing research so I’m all about test validity.  So… they split the kids into 3 color groups and took each group away to another test room.   We waited maybe an hour and 10 min and group 1 comes back.  Shortly thereafter, group 2 comes back.  Waiting, waiting….. our kids’ group was still in the test over a full 30 MINUTES more than the other groups.    I finally went up to the 2 (grad school looking) administrators at the front of the room and started yammering about why it was taking so long and throwing out words like “testing bias” which I *think* accurately describes my issue.
I asked them at what pace the test administrator goes through the questions and whether they wait for each child to finish before moving on to the next question.  They told me that the extra time my kid was gone was most likely due to a longer bathroom break (meaning maybe all the kids had to go) AND they also said that the administrator tries to make sure each kid is ready to progress before moving on.   Uh, WHAT?!  Is it just me or does that seem insane?  THAT is testing bias, people.    There were 3 test rooms today and 2 seemed to move at a pretty good clip while 1 group may have had a couple slowpokes who dragged out the entire test for all the kids.

The question is… how does that influence the results?  One the one hand, a non-slow kid could have more time to think about their choices and do better.  On the other hand, a non-slow kid could get bored out of their mind and lose interest with an extra 30 minutes crammed in there.  Not to mention the having-to-pee-because-your-mom-bribed-you-with-McDonald’s-beforehand factor.

I know I sound obsessed, but it just bugs me because it shouldn’t be THAT uneven of a test time.  And it bugs me that they weren’t concerned about it.

I guess we’ll find out a few days after March 15 when the scores go out.  My son said he did pretty well but then he didn’t do well when he had to pee.  Interesting report.

Entry filed under: Gifted / Classical Testing.

Gifted Practice Test Link Principal evaluation time

47 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nervous  |  January 10, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I have been following your site for some time. Thank you so much for all of your time and insight. I did have a quick question however. I filled out the GEAP application in October. My son was tested in November. I am not sure if we were supposed to take 2 separate tests? A gifted and a classical?

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  January 10, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Going into Kindergarten, the 2 tests (if you signed up for both gifted and classical schools on your list of 6) are taken together.

    Going into 1st grade and up, they are 2 separate tests on 2 different days.

  • 3. LR  |  January 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    My daughter tested last week and her group came back earlier than the other group. I took that as a bad sign, but I don’t know. I also tried to pump her for information. Like you, I have been using COGAT-type practice tests. When I asked her if it was anything like we have been doing at home, she said “no – they did puzzles.” Not sure what that means, but I guess the prep stuff we did could never hurt her.

  • 4. chicago parent  |  January 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    My son tested for Kindergarden gifted/classical. He said that he could not understand anything the man reading the questions said because he had a thick Spanish accent. We then wrote off gifted. But he was accepted to both programs. We later had him re-tested since we moved & we wanted to transfer schools. He said the girl behind him kept kicking his chair during the classical test, which he found rather distracting. Of course, he did not mention this to the test administrator. Maybe the chairs should be farther apart. He did well on both rounds of tests.We didn’t pay that much attention to different start/stop times, although perhaps we should. I wouldn’t stress too much about it. I’m sure that your guy did fine.

  • 5. KCK  |  January 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    cpsobsessed, I wonder why would they split the kids into 3 COLOR groups? Why not based on the SE factor to split them into 4, tier 1-4? Interesting!!!

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  January 10, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Chicago Parent – that’s funny. I guess there probably never has been much testing validity in the process, eh? I’m not really stressed. It’s just a matter of principal that people who are in charge of testing don’t seem to see any red flags about having an administrator with a thick accent or an excessively long testing session.

    KCK – now that is some good CPS comedy!

  • 7. CPSnewbie  |  January 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    My son tested on Sunday and I overheard another parent talking with one of the IIT admins who stated that last week a 5 yr old tested at a college-level for reading so they pulled the student’s parents aside and asked if they still wanted to participate?!

    The admin then told this parent that if this child’s parents choose to still participate it will throw off the testing curve for everyone?! Does that make any sense? Of course, do we know exactly how they come up with those gifted test scores? Are they some sort of compilation of factors?

    Also, my son’s group took much longer than the others and he told me that their break was long and he was tired by the time they returned to the second half – oh well, we’ll see I guess.

  • 8. cpsobsessed  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    OOh, intersting story. From what I’ve heard, saying the kid would throw off the curve doesn’t make sense at all. The scores (from what I’ve been told) are based on national norms and are compared to kids born the same month as your child. I’m sure they aren’t even re-curved every year. It has to be huge database of test scores to make the comparison.

    OK, so anyone who is still going to the test, when your child is in their color group ready to go, demand that the test administrators take all the kids to the bathroom BEFORE the test. Then all the bladders are starting on equal footing.

    FYI, the rooms were also really hot. My son had Uggs on (well, cheap Target Uggs) and I know his feet were sweltering (as were mine) after 1.5 hours in the test room.

  • 9. VB  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I had much better luck pumping my son for info this year. He’s taken the CPS GEAP test four times (K-3). He’s been in the upper 90% results every year, but that has not been enough. This will be his last year. He’s going for a 4th grade spot for 2010-2011. We heard that the class size is increasing from 28 to 32. That give us a little hope.

    He said that every year, the test content gets less pictorial (pictures of stuff) and more geometric shaped. This year the geometric shapes were very complex, like over-laping and shaded shapes. Ex: a small triangle inside a square with shading outside of the triangle. Also, this year he had verbal analogies like “tree -> grow : cookies -> _____ ” . The answer is “cook”.

    The general test content has been consistent: patterns, sequences, grouping/classes, and analogies.

    He liked the paper folding (hole punch) questions. He said there were no “same/different” and “what comes next” type questions. I’m not certain how he did on the tumbling figural sequences. He said that he did well on the shape analogies.

    We have the book “Building Thinking Skills: Level 1” . The first half of the book, which focuses on figural problems, is applicable. But the GEAP shapes are far more complex. My theory is that they want the kids to be able to see past the shape complexity. I have never seen any book that covers the same figural problems using pictorial content. That would probably be a good test prep for entry level GEAP tests.

  • 10. InTheSystem  |  January 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Tests have different norms. Since we don’t know what test GEAP uses, we don’t know the norms used. Perhaps the test allows them to, to the best of their ability, give each child (group of children) the ‘needed’ amount of time.

    How much of a different experience is a child getting when they go to be tested when they go only once, as opposed to getting many runs at the test? Or when they haven’t been “bribed” – because the test is approached just as an exercise to be encountered? Or where there is no stress associated with the experience because, well, it is just one measure of their ability.

  • 11. CPSnewbie  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Just another observation – my son also took the Classical test a week earlier and told me that he couldn’t tell what some of the pictures were. The tester asked them to pick the object that the boy would measure his wrist with. He told me the choices were a ruler, a tape measure and he couldn’t tell what the third choice was. He said it looked like a clock face attached to a box, but it had too many numbers to be a clock. All I could think of was some sort of scale, like one that would sit on your kitchen counter. But, if that’s what it was, how many kids would easily reference that? Just curious and wondering how often these tests are updated. This generation is exposed to much different technology than we were. My 3 yr old nephew refers to records as “big cd’s”! I was also surprised that the majority of the test answers were pictures (he’s testing for entry into 1st grade.) At all of the Classical school tours that I went to they kept reiterating that all of their Kindergartners could read before starting with them. And he’s testing for a year later. Just thinking out loud…entertaining myself until March!

  • 12. cpsobsessed  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

    CPSNewbie – Ha! I was just discussing this very issue with another parent at the test (and by discussing meaning I was complaining and he was nodding his head appreciatively.)

    In the COGAT practice test we did (16 questions) there was one that was hard to figure out from the picture. My son said “why is that boy dressed in tatters?” thinking that had something to do with the reasoning.
    We’d have other picture issues in his reading from Kindergarten where it was hard to figure out what was going on because the drawings are kind of lame.
    I agree – there are probably some outdated references in there. that’s also why some people claim the tests discriminate based on social class since some kids might not know what certain objects are.
    Oh, how I would love to get my hands on that test and critique every element of it! LOL

  • 13. kg  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Just to let people know, my child is in Kndrgrtn. @Edison Regional Gifted. Currently there are only 26 students and from what I know, another student most likely will not be back next year (family moving, etc.), so there will be 4 spaces avail. for next year’s 1st Grade and possilby another spot opening up over the summer. I hope that gives somebody hope. Anybody else aware of what’s going on at any other CPS Gifted or Classical schools, enrollment-wise?

  • 14. dazedandconfused  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    interesting. i’ll let you know what i find out next week after my daughter takes both the gifted and classical in the same weekend. but skinner west K has two classes – currently one with 30 the other 28. who knows what spots will open but there are at least 2.

  • 15. VB  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I think that the tests absolutely discriminate based on social class. My daughter, who now goes to Bell, told me about a few of the picture questions that were based on farm animals. One example that she gave: she had to match a pair of ponies with a pair of saddles. How many five-year-old urban kids have ever seen a saddle – and know that you need one to ride a pony?

  • 16. Alex  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    My son had a 1st grade test about 2 weeks ago. We bribed him with a new shiny desk, but only if he passes the test. From the morning he was up and excited about the test. For some reason it is really hard to pump info about the test from him. But he said that there were some puzzles, and he proudly stated that he finished 1st in his group. Really not sure how to take it, I’d be more excited to hear “I finished it correctly” 😉 So either it was really easy for him, or this is the way he evaluated the test to be perfectly done – when it is done fast… Waiting for the March now…

  • 17. wondering  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    kg – what score did you son get on the gifted test to get into Edison?

  • 18. wondering  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    ALSO, if there are four openings for a first grade gifted class, how and the world will they select with the new system? 2 on merit, and 2 from which SE groups?

  • 19. kg  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    “wondering”, my child scored 152 on the “gifted” test. We also applied to Classical programs and he tested at the 96%ile –which I was happy about, but I guess kids need to be in the 98%ile or above to get into Decatur or Skinner (I know somebody that teaches at Skinner and she told me so). We called a CPS test person to ask about his 152 score and he assured us that it was “really, really high –way into the top 1%”. For what it’s worth, I know my son is “bright” (what parent doesn’t think so?), but “gifted’? I always thought “gifted” kids were reading Plato at 6, doing Calculus at 11, etc. Yes, I’m glad that he had a good test day and was able to enroll in a great school until 8th grade, but none of the kids in his class are doing freakishly difficult school work for their age, although they are all clearly “high ability” kids. Edison is designed so that kids will be at least 2 years ahead academically, but they do allow kids to go as far as they can (e.g. 3,4,5 years above grade level in reading or math, if need be), which some kids; parents who transferred from Classical schools (where all the kids are doing the same level –albeit a high one) like the “gifted” program –not to mention that the school goes up to 8th grade. I know that as an adult it’s easy to vaingloriosly day dream about your kids’ futures (e.g. “My son the Yale grad, my daughter the surgeoon. etc.”) and part of me is proud that my child was admitted into one of the best “gifted” programs (as if I really had much to do with it), but I’ll really be happy if my child just graduates from ANY college and has the skills to live a decent life. Hard work and perseverance and are the biggest indicators of future success, not a score on a test somebody took when that were 4-years-old. Don’t despair for a moment if things don’t work out for admission to Edison, Decatur, et. al., since plenty of people I know went to “great” schools, but did nothing with their lives, but some people I know that went to “crappy” public schools went on to graduate from great colleges and be really successful (I’m thinking of relatives, friends’ kids, etc.). I KNOW that this was more than you asked, but I wanted to get it off my chest!

  • 20. wondering  |  January 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    KG – isn’t THAT the truth. Nicely stated!

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  January 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I agree KG – nicely put!

  • 22. also obsessed  |  January 16, 2010 at 2:06 am

    KG_couldn’t agree more.

    I have one child at Edison and one at our neighborhood school. She tested well but not well enough to get into Edison., Both are learning at about eh same rate so far, and I have no doubt that both of them will be in a similar place academically as theymove htrough there lives.

  • 23. dave4118  |  January 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    kg- when I took our daughter to the assessment last month, a mom came into the waiting area with her daughter. The mom and daughter each had three-ring binders with pages of what looked to be home-made flash cards; she proceeded to drill her daughter in the five minutes that they waited for the daughter to be called into the assessment. Yikes! Not surprisingly, the poor girl was back in the room in about 5-10 mins. I felt….ill?…disgusted?…sad? you name it.

  • 24. cpsobsessed  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Dave – REALLY!? Jeez, even if I was prepping a kid like that I’d be too embarrased to do it right in the test waiting area!

  • 25. kg  |  January 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    dave4118, that mother in your story is the kind of person that makes us all sick. That poor child! I signed my child up for the test on a whim, without telling my wife. When we received our test date in the mail, she was like, “What’s this?”. Since our school plans were all set (we were in a great private school that went up to 8th grade), she didn’t even want to have him take the test. Finally, on THE DAY OF THE TEST, I was able to talk her into letting one of us take him. She insisted on going and promised me that she’d leave if thing were too crazy,intense, etc. My wife is a loving mother and although she’s really involved in our kids’ educations, she didn’t want her little baby being mentally prodded by a stranger. She wasn’t sure how good an idea it is to label a 4- or 5-year-old child “gifted”, etc. Needless to say, we did no preparation whatsoever. To be honest, we kinda’ forgot about the testing until the results came back. We were admitted to Edison and I was really happy. Even then, my wife wasn’t convinced it would be a good fit for our son, especially since we didn’t really know much of anything about the school. Finally, a friend of hers explained what a coup it was, how many applications the school gets, etc. Also, I pointed out all the money we’d be saving (no expensive private school tuition for nine years=lots of college savings!). We both believe we made the right decision and we’re really happy with the school. I’ve heard from so many CPS parents happy with their kids’ CPS schools. It’s not only selective enrollment and certain magnet schools that are doing a great job, but so many neighborhood schools, too (although it’s still was too ‘hit or miss’ with the neighborhood schools –how many people have complained, “If only we lived on the other side of the street!”). Sadly, there are still so many dysfunctional CPS schools where any parent that cares about education would never send their dog and it really makes me sick when I think of those kids’ at these horrible schools futures’ (or lack thereof).

  • 26. hopeful  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I wonder if CPS has ever done a study on the “drop off” factor, you know, where kids in 3rd or 4th grade retake the gifted test and following national research, the great majority of kids who qualified in K, now do not qualify in 3-4th grade or their peers catch up to them by that point. I still don’t understand why we start gifted ed in Kindergarten or 1st grade.

  • 27. Amused  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I would like to see a parent post that his/her kid did no preparation and DIDN’T get into one of the gifted programs. That would be a great post.
    It’s easy (if you’re one of the fortunate ones with a kid that got in) to feel superior to the mother with the flash cards. But what if this mother didn’t have the resources to send her kid to a great private school? What if she didn’t have a great neighborhood school to fall back on? I could understand if she felt that an RGC was her child’s one reasonable shot at getting a decent education, so I refuse to pass judgment on her.
    I have a “gifted” child, and she has “gifted” friends. I think that the kids are great, but too often, I find their parents insufferably smug, judgmental, and intolerant. Realize that you and your children are the lucky ones, and cut those in the wilderness a little slack.

  • 28. cpsobsessed  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Well, I think about 95% of the city doesn’t prep and doesn’t get in. They just don’t have much to say about it since its the standard outcome.

    Hey, I’m all for prep… I just wouldn’t have the nerve to do it right up to the last minute as though you can cram in some memorization in those final 5 minutes. Then again, if it works… maybe its worth a shot. Those spaces are few.

    But yeah, pretty much everyone I know has a highly intelligent child who isn’t being challenged enough at school. 😉

  • 29. two cents  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I was one of the parents who didn’t prep (unless bedtime stories count). My elder child did not come close to getting in on the gifted (123) and scored 95% on classical. We enrolled her in parochial school for 1st grade then public (magnet) for 2nd due to finances. We tested child #2 just to see what he would score. We were not sure if he was difficult or gifted…lol. Fortunately, he had a good enough test day and got the ‘gifted’ label. Believe me, it felt like winning the lotto! However, he now thinks that he is the dumbest kid in the class, even though he is very bright. My friend’s daughter went to Decatur…she went through school feeling stupid because most of the other kids were so darn smart. Her self esteem still suffers in young adulthood.

  • 30. no prep/ no admission  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    OK, I’ll bite. My kid didn’t prep and tested when she was 4. This was back in the day when they did stanines and her scores were abysmal at best. My husband and I joked that maybe we needed to look into special needs programs for her based on the results. Flash forward to 1st grade and her scores were merely horrible for the gifted tests but surprisingly high for classical (though not high enough to get it). Second grade- we didn’t even go to the test as she said she would purposely answer every question wrong.

    Here we are in 5th grade and we have a relatively happy girl in a good magnet with good grades and still (for the most part) underachieving test scores. Of course her scores are high enough for the school (it really doesn’t take a lot to meet/achieve state standards) but still have a lot of room for improvement.

    Kid 2 comes along 4 years later. No prep (but she was beginning to read) and she did well enough to get into a RGC and classical school.

    And for the record we didn’t have a good neighborhood school, decent private option as a back up. We were persistent and eventually got into the magnet. With the freeze on magnets this year we would have been out of luck.

    I’m so glad we are done with this phase of our lives . . . on to high school – – –

  • 31. Stephanie  |  February 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Hi: My son took the “gifted” test for 1st grade today. He was in the first group which was the “red” group. We were informed before his group was taken out that the test would be an hour and a half, possibly longer if the bathroom break was long. My son came back after an hour and fifteen minuted, including a bathroom break. He told me they skipped over some pages. I asked him if it was just him and he told me no, they all skipped over the pages. Does this make any sense to anyone? How are they getting an accurate score if questions are skipped?

  • 32. cpsobsessed  |  February 6, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Stephanie – OMG, that is nuts! I would call someone somewhere (I think you can contact IIT) to inquire about it. Between my son’s long experience and your child’s short one, I would say it’s clear that they’re not enforcing consistency (although yes, I would rather have the long time than find out they’d skipped some pages!)
    Honestly, as a research person I find this horrifying.

  • 33. parent  |  February 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Our son tested yesterday too and they were in about an hour and 15 minutes. Heard about going ahead in the booklet on both classical and gifted, maybe they contain more than one test?? He told us another kid didn’t answer all the questions. We wondered how he would know and yikes what happens then?! According to him the child answered some questions then was thinking about something else so forgot to answer. They read the questions again. Always wondered if kids can ask for questions to be repeated.

  • 34. CPSnewbie  |  February 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    My son said they skipped over pages as well and that the questions got harder once they skipped to the new section.

  • 35. KateH  |  February 10, 2010 at 11:30 am

    We tested at ITT. The ladies room consisted of a single handicapped stall w/a waiting room — it took 10 little girls forever to finish! You should have heard the giggling, storytelling (w/a moderator in charge) …. very entertaining.

  • 36. interesting  |  February 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Heard different story about skipping pages. Sounds like they did couple pages then went to page 32. Not necessarily skipping around. Maybe the first pages were practice problems so kids knew how to bubble in answers. So possibly those were easy, more how to do the test.

    Did anyone get feedback from their kid on tests classical/gifted being easier or more difficult than the other?

    Our son said 1st one was easier (classical) than the second one (gifted). Funny because last year his gifted score was high enough to gain placement and classical ok but not high enough for acceptance.

  • 37. McDade Mom  |  February 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    My daughter is in the 1st grade at McDade Classical. We love McDade but we’re now concerned with the school only going to the 6th grade. We submitted the application for both the classical and gifted tests and only chose Skinner and Keller for the schools.

    She took the classical test on 2/12 and she said it was very easy. She scored a 130 on the classical portion when she was 4, so we’ll see what happens with her scoring this year. She was able to tell me almost everything that was on the test. It was math and reading only. They provided scratch paper to do the math problems. She said she used mental math for most of the problems…OH LAWD!! SOMETIMES SHE MAKES CARELESS MISTAKES!! The math consisted of bar graphs, one clock question, simple addition and subtraction and a few word problems. The reading was read a paragraph, answer the questions.

    We decided not to take the gifted test which was scheduled for the next day. She only scored 112 previously so I was already contemplating not going the gifted route. She woke up with a nasty cold Saturday morning and that was my sign from above.

    My questions are, does anyone have any insight on how many spaces will be open for 2nd grade at Skinner West? I saw an earlier post for open spots for 1st grade. And my take is, we won’t know if she gets in until later in the year as opposed to one week after the scores come out, right? I say this because the schools won’t know approximately how many spots are open until later. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!

  • 38. Laura  |  December 11, 2010 at 12:57 am

    My son tested 153 for classical and 126 for gifted last winter… We wanted Edison – but got Decatur (3rd choice) I dread going through this again this year. Because we are looking at a few private schools we had his IQ tested with WSPPI-III. The report came today. The psychologist said if he didn’t get into our choice of schools there was something seriously wrong with the test. He is going into 1st grade next fall 2011- and reading at the 5th grade level with 4th grade math skills. Looking at the conversations on this blog makes me think about the outrageous private school tuition is worth it.

  • 39. cpsobsessed  |  December 11, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I don’t think any public schools in any city (with a few exceptions) are probably ideal for a child who is working that far ahead. There’s no way a system like CPS can always test accurately (especially at age 4,) nor handle kids like that… just a fact of a big system. It’s probably worth the search to find the right school and pay for it (and hey, maybe you’ll end up with a full college scholarship to make up for it!)

  • 40. Grandma Mary  |  March 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I have bee reading this site, because a former teacher I have
    found it intersting. It seems to show the anxiety that so very
    many parents have over finding a suitable school placement
    for their children However, this whole tier thing has me bewildered. If there can be no discrimination because of race, gender, religious affiliation, etc. How can you discriminate
    agaiinst a child because of his/her address? Additionally
    what athletic coach would stand for a similar method of
    selection required of him when he chooses a team? Being
    an old lady with all my chiildren raised, I have “no skin” in
    this game, but I do question the present means of selecting
    gifted or academicly advanced students. Perhaps the more
    legally aware parents could explaing the system to me.

  • 41. Marian Weber  |  March 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    If your son or daughter is gifted, the school will indeed pursue you and let you know. When my son entered kindergarten, his teacher approached me about his unqiue abilities. He was tested/identified as gifted. He went to another school, and before his full academic record had been transferred, the new teacher called me about his abilities. We moved to another school, and they tested again, and had him skip a grade and be in gifted pull-out classes. Extreme work-load for gifted kids, and they don’t always fit in with other kids. WIth that being said, I would never consider having my other child “prep” for gifted or even yearly standardized tests. She is not gifted as my son, and I can’t imagine the stress she would be under to try and perform in gifted classes if she wasn’t naturally gifted. Gifted kids think ENTIRELY DIFFERENT from regular kids….I am an educated mother and yet my now 6th grade gifted son can casually throw questions my way for which I do not have answers. To be truthful, he has been able to do that to me since he was in pre-school… asking me why October is the 10th month, when OCT means the number 8….yes he threw this out at us at the dinner table SEVERAL YEARS AGO. Please do not pressure your kids to be in gifted classes. Can you imagine how inept non-gifted kids would feel in classes with the gifted? GIfted kids have problems of their own, typically socially. Nothing is perfect, and so accept your child as they are naturally.

  • 42. Laura  |  April 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Well, we too had only about a 1 hour 15 minute test – including a restroom break. My son related that he didn’t know what an apron was, but knew every other question, and yes, they did skip some questions. Then the scores came back – we selected Edison only (because we had a car pool at the ready), and his scores dropped from last year…and he wasn’t admitted. (My husband wonders if the fact that we turned down a Decatur placement last year had anything to do with it.)

    I am happy to report that we found a Catholic school with a gifted pull-out in a neighboring parish, and when the principal saw his test scores (not the CPS ones, but the ones we paid for for the private gifted school), she didn’t hesitate to set up a private meeting with us and the teachers involved to set up a plan for his education. Additionally, she admitted up front that by the time he is in 5th or 6th grade, we would need to find a private tutor or a gifted school setting for him, unless some kind of great funding came through. Proactive and realistic – I am hopeful. The pull-out teacher emailed me today, and asked that I email her the test results we had, as well as give her a lead on some of Nick’s interests so she could begin planning his lessons – FOR NEXT FALL.

    There is a great gifted school in DesPlaines, but we can’t afford it. So we’ll use the little Catholic school til 5th grade and save our money until then.

  • 43. Maria  |  January 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

    My son just took his Cogat test in 3rd grade public school. It is a timed test so I’m not sure how your son got extra time to take the test. My son didn’t finish one of the Math tests on time. ( he’s really slow). He misses 8 questions because of that were marked wrong. Why are parents giving their child this test when the are 6 or in kindergarten? There is no way you can tell how smart a child is at that age. There are so many factors at that age that can trick parents in thinking their child is more academically advanced when they aren’t. How long they went to preschool, where they went to preschool, if they went to preschool, if their parents works with them at home before kindergarten. You can start to determine how well your child is doing in 3rd grade. My son never went to preschool. Could barely hold a pencil in kindergarten. Of course he’s gonna look like the dummy in class. Fast forward to 3rd grade. Just took the Cogat test. He’s recieved a 97%in Math and 95% in reading. As you can tell, he didn’t get his brains from his mom. Lol

  • 44. Norwood  |  January 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    The COGAT is trying to determine how smart a child is, but measure a set of skills that predict how well they will do in a learning environment. Things like evaluating a novel diagram, correcting wrong answers, applying an example in a new situation, or just thinking through something challenging. The normal way a 4 or 5 year old picks up these skills is by lots of early reading or math related hobbies like puzzles or Legos. Of course, there would be no race to pick up a strong skill set if it weren’t for selective enrollment programs that begin in K and 1st grade like we have in Chicago. It’s hard to imagine a preschool setting making a big difference, but it might.

    The problem for children who are way ahead, for whatever reason, is that they will be bored in school. The opportunity for parents is if your child is ahead enough, the child will get into a really great learning environment early, maybe a more convenient school. I strongly recommend parents do everything they can to teach these skills to their children. It doesn’t take much, and there’s nothing to lose. The worst that can happen is that their child becomes a more capable learner.

  • 45. Newcomer  |  January 10, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Hi Marian Weber,
    The new year of the Gregorian calendar was initially March 1. They really ought to explain that in kindergarten because the oct- sept- nov- dec- prefixes can be very confusing for many children. Cheers!

  • 46. Gretchen  |  February 4, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Maria, the CogAT is different for every age and starts testing at 4years,11months. the younger kids are not timed like the older kids. My son is 6, he started reading at 3 (because I started teaching him at 2), and reads adult novels with inflection and full comprehension. He also does long division in his head and plays the piano by ear. The CogAt doesn’t test knowledge, it tests the ability to learn and HOW they learn…NOT what they know. The fact that your son knows less simply means he wasn’t taught more…but he still has the ABILITY (naturally) to learn very quickly…meaning the more he is exposed, the quicker he will advance. For those of you who are considering prepping your child for the test…DON’T do it…it WILL hurt them! The CogAt is NOT a test you can prep for like other tests.

  • 47. Norwood  |  February 5, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Telling someone not to prep for the COGAT is horrible advice, almost as bad as telling them that IQ is hereditary. For those of us who didn’t think about reading or piano until K or 1st grade, test prep is a great way to pick up the skills that the COGAT is measuring and close the gap. Test prep done right drastically accelerates learning and helps the child survive the first year of a GAT program while he’s catching up. Here we are 6 years later, preparing for a strong 7th grade in one of the best schools in the country, simply because I had the sense to spend a month doing hard core test prep. I really admire the kids in the program who were strong readers at a young age, but there’s some satisfaction in just cheating you’re way top without really trying.

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