Posts tagged ‘Chicago CPS gifted classical test prep’

Test Prep for 4 year olds?

I’ve seen a couple people asking whether it is worth buying some test prep materials for kids entering K and taking the gifted/classical test.

For the gifted test, the questions are more logical in nature: analogies, patterns, logic, which item doesn’t belong, etc.
The classical test measures pre-reading and pre-math skills (not sure how they test pre-reading if a child can’t actually read, but it happens!) 

For the classical component, I would say that you can do that yourself with having kids practice letter sounds and basic number concepts.  I had some of those colorful magnetical letters and a little board and I’d try to trick my son into playing some fun games as I made simple words like BOO and change it to POO to see if he could tell that it said.  Hilarious!  He barely realized he was reading.  I’d make up little funny stories to go with the changing words.  For “math” you’re probably all doing it anyhow – taking 2 action figured and another 2 and making the team of 4.  Look, 4!  Woo! 

The gifted stuff is a little hard to “practice” on a daily basis as we don’t typically make simple analogies throughout the day.  I do think some simple practice could make sense here just to get them used to the idea of these questions. 

To me, the concept of test prep is making them feel comfortable with what is going to happen in the room, rather than drilling on stuff.  So being able to follow directions, circle things on a piece of paper (i.e. which doesn’t belong, which comes next, etc) probably helps a little bit and may relieve some confusion in the room.   Heck, they may not even use pencils for the K testing.  It probably would help to also practice having them point to the right answer from a group of 4 possible answers. 

In NYC, they all know that the test used is the OLSAT but we don’t know which test is used here.  So to me, it could be risky trying to practice a lot of one type of question, only for your child to get in the room and it’s all different.

If you order any workbooks, read the description carefully to see what’s inside and if there’s a variety of questions (or if not, is it all the type that you want?)  Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) most of the books avaible are just general practice books, not true test-prep like you can do for the SAT’s or other standardized tests.  One thing I do like about the general prep books is that you can see what areas your child can answer questions and those that stump them… and hopefully make up some games, questions, drawing, quizzes of your own to help them with those skills in a way that is fun and relevant to them.  Or if you help them solve the questions, they can get an idea of the thought process used.  Sometimes that is half the battle with my son and math problems.

I’ve emailed to see if they have any specific recommendations for kids entering K in CPS.  I’ll let you know what I hear.
Think Tonight has good information and the owner Helen is very helpful if you want to email her.  One polular test that *might* be the one they use here is called the OLSAT and ThinkTonight has a lot of materials for that test:
I just found this site. COGAT is the test they used to use in NYC, I think.  I’ve seen some practice questions and they’re probably good basic practice ones for any kids (and fun if you are nerdy like I am.)  Not sure if there is a prep book for just K either.

The booklets about gifted testing in NYC are very interesting to read and also have a short practice OLSAT test at the back (different one for each grade.)  Check them out here:

October 12, 2010 at 11:02 am 50 comments




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