ISAAGNY Decides on ERB testing for NYC Private Schools

Recently, ISAAGNY met and decided that NYC’s private schools can each use their own approach to assessing young children’s abilities in their admissions process. It looks like some schools will continue to use the ERB, while others may choose a different test or approach to measuring a child’s skills. In fact, this is how private schools in L.A. assess students. When kids come in for their school visit, they are taken aside for part of the time and administered a “test.” Parents don’t know what the test is. Each school does its own thing. It allows the schools to evaluate students based on whatever criteria is important to that school.

For NYC parents, the big question now is, “what do I do?” In the past, you could do a bit of prepping so that children would know what to expect on the ERB, and that would be it. There was only one test to get ready for. Now, depending on the number of schools you are applying to, some may ask for the ERB while others may do their own test (and you won’t know what it is). Here is the good news. There are only so many things that a 4 – 5 year old is expected to know and understand and be able to do. In my book, Testing For Kindergarten, I call these the “7-Abilities” Students need for testing and school success. They are: Language, Information/Comprehension, Thinking, Memory, Fine-Motor, Mathematics, and Visual-Spatial Reasoning. As long as your child is really solid when it comes to these abilities, he or she should do fine on any kindergarten admissions test they have to take. At, we have an entire kindergarten readiness section that takes you through each of these abilities, practice questions from all kinds of different tests that assess these skills, and ideas for parents on how to build these skills with their children through fun activities and games you can do at home. Take a look and get started in making sure that your child is “solid” when it comes to any of the skills and abilities that private schools will be testing for now that the ERB is no longer a requirement in NYC.

Here is Sophia Hollander’s article on what is happening with ERB from the Wall Street Journal. To read the article there, CLICK HERE.

Decision Fragments New York City’s Private-School Process
Universal Standardized Admissions Test Likely Will No Longer Be Used by Most Schools

by Sophia Hollander

A coalition including some of New York City’s most prestigious private schools captured the attention of parents and educators last fall when it announced a search for an alternative to its longstanding admissions test.

Now, the answer appears to be in, and it won’t fit neatly into a test sheet’s bubble: There is no single solution.

For the first time in nearly half a century, there likely will be no universal standardized test used by the majority of the city’s independent schools, education officials said. Instead, each school has been asked to devise its own admissions plan, which may include new exams, strategies and targeted games—or even sticking with the old test, which has been administered in some form since 1966.

Officials at the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York announced the decision at a meeting of school leaders on Wednesday, according to people at the meeting. Association officials didn’t respond to calls and emails requesting comment.

For years, kindergarten applicants to many private schools—most of them 4 years old—have had to go through a fiercely competitive process: take the Early Childhood Admissions Assessment, commonly known as the ERB; go through an interview with school officials; and participate in a play group. Now, families—who are advised to apply to multiple schools—will have to navigate a more fragmented admissions process, officials said.

The decision ended a five-month study of alternatives to the ERB, a version of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. The rise of test-prep companies undermined its validity, some school officials said. Some also worried about the expense ($568 this year). Still, 3,173 applicants took the test in 2012-13.

Some private school administrators praised the schools association for empowering schools to shape their own admissions processes. Others questioned whether the change would create more stress for families.

“I’m disappointed because I would have liked more central direction,” said George Davison, head of Grace Church School in Greenwich Village, cautioning that the changes could “drag out the process” for parents.

Officials at the Educational Records Bureau, which administers the test, criticized the decision. It “will create significant new burden on schools, parents and children,” said Anne Sullivan, vice president of member services, in an email. She said many schools were interested in continuing using the test.

“We’re reviewing the recommendations, and we’ll make a decision about the tools that we’ll use—including the ERB—in the coming weeks,” said Kevin Ramsey, the communications director for Trinity School on the Upper West Side.

The association’s decision to not replace the ERB reflects a growing unease among educators regarding the role of standardized tests for admissions. Earlier this week, the College Board announced an overhaul of its signature test, the SAT, in an effort to improve its fairness and reliability. Last year, New York City revamped the admission tests used for its gifted and talented program, which also covers kindergarten admissions.

At the meeting this week, private school administrators were presented with a range of admissions strategies and games designed to evaluate abilities, including one test administered via iPad, according to multiple meeting participants. They also proposed a series of workshops to learn more about different approaches.

Some schools praised the varied approach.

“I think ISAAGNY did a fabulous job in offering all these different ways that we can measure children,” said Teri Hassid, head of the lower school at Friends Seminary, which had already stopped using the ERB.

One game presented at the meeting involved telling a story with three animals or objects as characters, Ms. Hassid said. Midway through, the teacher asks the child to add an additional element, like a toy or a boat. “That measures flexible cognitive thinking,” Ms. Hassid said.

Families may still have to take the ERB, said Suzanne Rheault, CEO of Aristotle Circle, a tutoring and educational consulting company. Some schools, including Horace Mann, have declared their intention to continue requiring the test. Others may make it optional—which families may interpret as mandatory for the most competitive schools.

“I think it’s just a shame to go through all this hassle, create all this uncertainty and at the end of the day what parents are probably going to have to do is continue to take the ERB” while preparing for additional exams, said Ms. Rheault.

Edwin Mullon has two children, now 11 and 10, currently enrolled in private school. The admissions process was a struggle, but he and his wife took solace in knowing that there was a one consistent standard, he said. Parents now might worry about subjective criteria like “who do you know” creeping into the process, Mr. Mullon said.

“I think it’s a nightmare,” he said. “The whole thing is going to become a huge mess.”

Entry Points

Admissions suggestions made to private schools:

Stick with the current standardized test
Add iPad-administered test
Engage kids in storytelling games to test flexible thinking
Ask children to match words with discordant images (i.e., saying ‘day’ to a picture of the moon)
Attend admissions workshops
Source: Private school officials

Richard Scarry’s Books for Busy Children

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Meghan Cox Gurdon writes about the evolution of “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever.” If you would like to read the piece at the WSJ website, CLICK HERE. It is a fascinating piece (for those of us who love Richard Scarry’s books). I never thought about how the world had changed from the time he began writing books until now, but of course it has. And mores that were acceptable to all of us in the 50’s and 60’s are no longer the norm! In Richard Scarry’s world, the woman was the nurse and she worked in the kitchen. The man was the soldier and he worked in the fields. That has changed and with it, editors changed his books. A new 50th edition of “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever” is coming out. According to the author, it’s not as wonderful as the original book. I would absolutely love to get my hands on an original edition and see what she is talking about! Still, if you ask me, there’s nothing like Richard Scarry books for kids!

In my own world of helping children get ready for testing, the one book I invariably recommend to parents is “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever.” It represents page after page of Richard Scarry putting pictures of things that go together into categories. Analogy is one of the first big thinking concepts that children are expected to master for school and testing (and life and thinking). Richard Scarry books help children “get” this in the most delightful way possible. Enjoy this article and if your child hasn’t yet started a collection of Richard Scarry books, why not start with this new 50th Anniversary Edition of “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever!”


Scarry Stories for Small Children
Meghan Cox Gurdon celebrates Richard Scarry’s books for busy children.

By Meghan Cox Gurdon
The grown-up world as depicted in children’s books often seems both dull and taxing, a complicated and distant place to which no child with any sense ought to be in a hurry to get. A couple of generations ago, by contrast, the legendary children’s book author and illustrator Richard Scarry made adulthood seem industrious and purposeful, an inviting realm to which children must naturally aspire. Born in 1919, Scarry imbued his cheerful, colorful work with the can-do spirit of mid-20th-century America. His more than 100 picture books are populated by anthropomorphic animals engaged in productive work: billy goats hoeing fields, owls operating lathes, sows baking bread.

Scarry loved to depict tools and machinery in his drawings—combine harvesters, forklifts, trowels, saws and gears. He died in 1994, so he missed the next great blossoming of American ingenuity. With his knack for finding witty, telling details, he might, in time, have slipped smartphones and earpieces into his characters’ possession. That he would have chosen to depict the passivity that technology has brought to the culture—adults with heads bowed and thumbs scrolling in silent thrall, sedentary children living virtually—is harder to imagine. There are no inactive creatures in Scarry’s eventful tableaux, let alone portrayals of indolence or torpor.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the book that made the Boston-born illustrator famous. In the fall of 1963, Golden Press published “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever” to immediate acclaim. With its large, inviting pages, bright colors and hundreds of droll little drawings, the book introduced young children to the splendid panoply of objects and personalities that they might see in a city, or at the beach or at the airport, as well as to various professions, parts of the body, and shapes and sizes, and to the many types of cars, trucks, ships, planes, trains, foodstuffs, clothes, toys and zoo creatures.

With more than 1,600 labeled objects, the book had, as Leonard Marcus put it in “Golden Legacy,” his 2007 history of the deliberately affordable children’s-books imprint, “the festive atmosphere and compressed design of a theme park.” Scarry’s first best seller offered a commercially successful combination that “translated for parents to good value, and for children to a bounty of worldly possibility to explore.”

Never out of print, “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever” has sold 4.5 million copies in the U.S., and Random House is marking its half-century anniversary by reissuing it—and other books in the Scarry oeuvre, including “Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town”—with a clean, streamlined design and unifying logo. The anniversary edition is welcome, of course, not least if it brings Scarry to parents or children who may somehow have missed him. But it is a sad fact that the book of 2013 is a bland simulacrum of the original. As a cultural artifact, it shows in sometimes poignant ways how much half a century has wrought in cultural expectations—and perhaps in childhood itself. A young child picking up the new edition may well feel the delight of his counterpart 50 years ago—Scarry’s charm survives the relaunch—but he will have no way of knowing that children in 1963 held a heftier and much richer volume.

The world that Richard Scarry presented in the original edition was excitingly broad and open and chronicled with vivid specificity. Children could pore over pages crowded with labeled pictures of all sorts of birds (the quail, pheasant, wren, bittern), buildings (a cathedral, pyramid, fort, skyscraper), flowers (clover, pansies, asters, foxgloves) and houses (the igloo, grass house, half-timbered house, chalet). These images drew young imaginations up and out, inviting them to appreciate the astonishing variety of things. The labels gave children a kind of mastery over them.

The world as it appears in the 2013 relaunch is narrower in scope and confined to categories already familiar to most little children. Oh, a bunny still works as a cashier at the supermarket, uniformed cats patrol the zoo and we see a tiger cub getting his checkup from a lion-doctor with a hurt tail (the bandage forms a neat bow). But gone are all the vivid and particular birds, plants and buildings, the “Out West” tableau, with its covered wagon, blacksmith and frontier locomotive, and two pages about tidying up one’s house, along with the category of “music making,” which showed animals making merry on instruments such as the bassoon, piccolo, cornet, saxophone and oboe.

Gone, too, are courtly little authorial observations and depictions acceptable in the “Mad Men” era that today would irritate feminists. The “handsome pilot” and “pretty stewardess” who used to work on the passenger jet have been dryly replaced by a “pilot” and “flight attendant.” Two pages dedicated to fire fighting used to show a “brave hero” in fireman’s garb climbing a ladder to save a “beautiful screaming lady.” The drawing is unchanged, but now it is simply a “fire fighter” rescuing a “cat in danger.”

These aren’t sudden changes. Over the years and through ensuing editions, successive editors have tweaked Scarry’s labels and small bits of text to remove traditionalist presumptions and install a more egalitarian, “enlightened” view. A small bear in the original book “comes promptly when he is called to breakfast,” whereas the same bear in the new edition “goes to the kitchen to eat his breakfast,” uncommanded by his parents. The sex of characters has been changed throughout so that males and females aren’t confined to traditional roles.

On the first front cover, a female bunny makes breakfast while her farmer-husband works outdoors; the new book loses the logic of the original by depicting one male-and-female pair in the kitchen and another couple in the field. Driving home the idea that daddies cook too, one of the little piglets helping mother pig in a kitchen scene has been—rather alarmingly, when you think about it—relabeled “father pig.” In a section titled “When You Grow Up,” the (male) soldier has been replaced by a (female) judge. One may be sympathetic or not to the editorial urge to modernize, but the result here is an artifact with less pungency and a lot less information. The new edition has 21 fewer pages than the original and some 360 fewer objects. So while it may still count as “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever,” it definitely isn’t his most comprehensive. The original is more striking and delightful, whatever you may think of its traditional gender depictions or the retrograde inclusion of “Indian” and “squaw.”

Such terms were, of course, uncontroversial when Scarry got his start in children’s-book illustration shortly after World War II. During the war he had worked for the Morale Services Section of Allied Headquarters in North Africa, illustrating manuals and drawing maps with skills he had developed at art school in Boston. By 1948, he was illustrating ad copy for Simon & Schuster, a job that quickly turned into a contract to create artwork for Golden Books. In his history of the imprint, Leonard Marcus writes that Scarry’s editors found him “round-faced and wide-eyed,” a tall and “meticulously groomed, solemn young man.” It was while pursuing his new career that he met and married Patricia Murphy, an advertising copywriter. Along with their domestic collaboration, the two joined creative forces for picture books, including “The Bunny Book” (1955), a cozy, lovely and still popular paean to the twin joys of work and family.

Scarry was a warm and playful parent, according to his son, Richard “Huck” Scarry, who has perpetuated his father’s legacy by completing unfinished manuscripts as well as producing Richard Scarry-style books of his own. “My father intensely loved what he was doing. His drawings are so fun and funny because he had fun creating them,” Huck Scarry said recently in an email from Switzerland, where Richard moved the family in 1968 after discovering the thrill of downhill skiing. The illustrator was fond of the Mittel-European aesthetic and often added alpine touches to his drawings. The oft-occurring character of Lowly Worm, for example, wears a green Tyrolean hat modeled after one that Scarry bought in 1950.

Poking around his father’s studio not long ago, Huck Scarry—who himself inspired the oft-appearing character of Huckle Cat—discovered a portfolio of unfinished sketches under a table that seemed to form an entire, if unfinished, book about Lowly Worm. He has completed and colored in the undated drawings, which he believes his father created around 1990. Random House plans to publish “The Best Lowly Worm Book Ever” in August 2014. It is an agreeable thing, this discovery, for in our sedentary, touch-screen era, young children surely need the industrious and purposeful animal role models of Richard Scarry’s busy world more than ever.

By interesting coincidence, “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever” came out at the same time as a very different but also popular and enduring work, Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” The two books seem almost, at this remove, to be like the two faces of the era. Whereas the young Sendak went for moody colors, emotional ambiguity and the lurking id, Scarry gave children the friendly assurance that life is pleasant and comprehensible and chock-full of whiz-bang inventions. There is no need to choose between the two authors, of course. But there is every reason to take Scarry’s worldview, for all its sunniness, just as seriously as Sendak’s, and to make Scarry’s books—updated or not—part of every child’s experience.

NYC ERB Will Use WPPSI®-IV for ECAA Testing for Private School Admissions

The ERB recently revised its “What to Expect on the ECAA” brochure to reflect the changes it is making on the test for NYC kids applying to private kindergarten. They are using the new WPPSI®-IV to assess Manhattan children applying for kindergarten admissions. For those of you who have been doing practice questions with your child for the WPPSI-III, don’t worry – many of subtests are very similar to what was on the WPPSI®-III.

The Early Childhood Admissions Assessment or ECAA is the IQ test that is given to little NYC independent school applicants one-to-one by a psychologist each year. It takes about 40 – 50 minutes to administer and is given in the spring and fall before children apply to NYC independent schools. Many kids are tested in their nursery schools, while others are assessed at the ERB office at 470 Park Avenue South. If you visit the ERB website at, download the ECAA What to Expect brochure, and you will get an idea of the types of questions your child will be asked.

If your child is entering Pre-K to 1st grade, he will be given 8 subtests for a full scale IQ score and the assessment should take about 40-50 minutes. Here are the 8 subtests that will be administered:

Verbal Subtests
1) Vocabulary
2) Similarities
3) Information (replaced “Word Reasoning” from WPPSI®-III)
4) Comprehension

Non-Verbal Subtests
5) Block Design
6) Matrix Reasoning
7) Bug Search (replaced “Coding” from WPPSI®-III)
8) Picture Concepts

Practice questions for all of these subtests are available at

WPPSI®-IV – The New ERB – How is It Different From the Old Test…and How to Prepare?

In yesterday’s post, we talked about how the ERB administers many tests to children for private school admissions in NYC. In the last few years, they gave 8 out of 14 subtest from the WPPSI®-III and called it the ECAA or Early Childhood Admissions Assessment. The WPPSI®-III has been updated and is now the WPPSI®-IV. It is a good bet that the ERB will adopt portions of this test to assess children applying to private school in NYC. Throughout the U.S., the WPPSI®-IV is administered as a qualifier for children applying to private schools. Today, we’ll talk about some of the new subtests on the WPPSI®-IV. If you want to learn more about this test, you can CLICK HERE to learn what Pearson, the test publisher, says about it in material it has published on-line.

Below, I will tell you about the new subtests on the WPPSI®-IV. At, we have practice materials to help your child build the skills needed for each subtest. These activities, questions, and games are immediately accessible as soon as you join the site. I always recommend joining at the top 1% level as that is where you will get the most practice materials. I would also like to suggest some publicly available games and activities you can do to build the skills needed to do well on each subtest. Please note that if your child is taking the WPPSI®-IV through the ERB in NYC, we don’t know which of the subtests they will be administering – that has not yet been announced.

3 New Measures of Processing Speed

Processing speed captures how quickly your child can perform the activities on the test. Faster processing speed means that your child is able to absorb information and master material at a quicker pace. Being able to work quickly requires your child to focus his attention, scan, discriminate, and manipulate visual information in his mind. Children whose brains work faster are thought to be “smarter.” On tests that measure processing speed, children are timed and given a limited amount of time to complete the task. With the 3 subtests we are about to cover, children use an ink dauber or “stamper” to indicate their responses. Each of the subtests below require solid visual-spatial reasoning, thinking and memory abilities in order to excel.

Bug Search

This is essentially a “matching” activity done within a specific time limit. The child sees the bug in the far left box and must “stamp” the matching bug with his ink dauber. This activity is used with children ages 4:0 – 7:7. There are 66 matching questions. Below (top) is the sample of “Bug Search” that can be found on the test publisher’s website.

You can find similar activities to this one in many educational workbooks designed for children. To build up your child’s “matching” skills, there are tons of early childhood education games you might consider purchasing for your child. Just go to and type in “match game” and many games designed to build these skills will pop up.


With this subtest, a sample of which is shown from the test publisher’s brochure, children ages 4:0 to 7:7 are shown a series of related objects – in this case, items of clothing. They are then shown an organized (i.e. in rows) and later, an unorganized (i.e. “random”) page filled with items of clothing mixed with other child-friendly items like toys, animals, cars, etc. The child must use his ink dauber and stamp each item of clothing that he sees within a specified time. Some good activities to do with your child to build the skills required to do well on this visual-recognition/classification subtest are the “Spot it, Jr.” games, which can be found at I would also recommend “Where’s Waldo” books, also available at Another great item to build your child’s visual-spatial reasoning skills needed to perform this activity are the “I Spy” books. You can buy these at the pre-school level and let your child work her way up to trickier and more complex arrays of hidden items. Children love these books and they have no idea that they are building their non-verbal intelligence when they work with them. You can also get these books at

Animal Coding

The next subtest you’ll find on WPPSI®-IV is Animal Coding, designed for children ages 4:0 – 7:7. Here is a picture of an animal coding worksheet from the Test Publisher’s brochure: Here, children use their ink daubers and stamp the shape that goes with each animal according to the “key” given to them. So (for example), they would stamp a circle when they see a fish, a star when they see a cat, and a square when they see a turtle. There are 72 items. While the child is able to look back at the key to remind himself what to stamp with which animal, that will slow him down. So having a good working memory really helps a child move quickly through this subtest. This subtest has taken the place of “Coding” on the old WPPSI®-III, where children used to make a specific mark when they saw a particular shape tied to a key. The new Animal Coding is much more child-friendly for young kids whose fine-motor skills are just emerging.

New Working Memory Subtests

Another change to the WPPSI®-IV is that Working Memory tasks have been added. Unlike the subtests measuring processing speed, these are not timed. If you read Testing For Kindergarten, you’ll remember that memory – including working memory – is one of the 7 abilities children need for success in school and on tests. Memory is fundamental to higher order thinking. Without it, you cannot think, reason, hypothesize, solve problems or make decisions. Working memory is your child’s ability to retrieve information he was just given, hold on to it, and then do something with it. It is critical to a child’s long-term cognitive success, which is why it has been added to the WPPSI®-IV. The two new Working Memory tasks are both visual. You’ll find aural working memory tasks on tests such as WISC®-IV, where children listen to strings of numbers and letters given to them by the tester – they then have to repeat the letters and numbers back to the tester in a different order. This requires hearing and not seeing the information they must work with. On the WPPSI®-IV, it is visual working memory that is assessed.

Picture Memory

This image comes from the Test Publisher’s brochure on the WPPSI®-IV. In this case, the child from age 2:6 to 7:7 would have previously been shown a “stimulus” picture of one of these items – the star, perhaps. Then the child would be shown the star mixed into an array of other items. She is asked to look at the “stimulus” picture for a short period of time, remember it and then point to the item she just saw. This subtest can get harder by having more “stimulus” pictures and/or more pictures within the array of answer choices. Pictures children have seen earlier in the test may also be repeated, so the child has to remember if this was something she just saw, or something she saw earlier on a different question. There are 35 items on this subtest.

Zoo Locations
Here is what Zoo Locations looks like – the source of the image is the Test Publisher’s Brochure. With Zoo Locations, the child (age 2:6 – 7:7) views an animal card (or cards) that has been placed on a zoo location map for a brief period of them. The card(s) is removed and the child must place the card(s) where it was located before. There are 20 questions. As with the Picture Memory subtest, doing well on this requires strong visual-spatial working memory skills.

To build your child’s visual-spatial working memory abilities, any game that is similar to the old “Concentration” game is recommended. CLICK HERE for an Arthur Concentration game that I found on If you go to Amazon and type in “memory game,” a number of fun memory games come up, including the Original Memory game and some themed-memory games (such as Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street) that may appeal to your child.

There are many other differences between the WPPSI®-III and WPPSI®-IV, which I will write about in future posts. For now, I wanted to show you some of the biggest changes, which are reflected in the sections I wrote about above. At, we have created practice questions and activities that build skills needed for each of the subtests on the WPPSI-IV. If your child will be taking the WPPSI®-IV anytime soon for school admissions consideration, I’d encourage you to join at the top 1% level and work with our materials that are original and different from the test, but designed to help your child build the underlying skills needed to do well on the WPPSI®-IV. I’d also encourage you to mix the activities with some of the games from Amazon that I suggested above. Always keep your test prep fun and playful – that is how your child will learn best.

Sources of Information about WPPSI®-IV:

Test Publisher’s website:
Test Publisher’s brochure:

Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence™ – Third Edition (WPPSI™ – III) and Fourth Edition (WPPSI™ – IV) are registered trademarks of Pearson Education, Inc or its affiliate(s), or their licensors. and are not affiliated with nor related to Pearson Education, Inc or its affiliates (“Pearson”). Pearson does not sponsor or endorse any product, nor have products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Pearson. Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by and for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.

New ERB Exam for Private School Kindergarten Admissions in April – What’s the deal?

Hi all, here is an email I just received from a member and I wanted to share it with you. A NYC member wrote, “I just read in yesterday’s NYT that the ERB exam will be different beginning April 1. Can you tell me more?”

First, let me clarify one thing that is a bit confusing to some parents. The ERB isn’t a test. The ERB is the Educational Records Bureau, an organization that administers many different tests to children, mostly for school admissions. Until now, they have given a shortened version of the WPPSI®-III to kids who were applying to private school in NYC. This shortened WPPSI®-III is called the “Early Childhood Admissions Assessment” or ECAA. All kids in the NYC area applying to private school take the same test, so schools around the city have one point of comparison for all the children applying. It also makes it easier for families, whose kids only have to take one test if they are applying to private schools in the city.

In October this year, the WPPSI®-III was updated and the test became (ta-da!) the WPPSI®-IV. About 8 new subtests were added (modifying or replacing former subtests on the WPPSI®-III) and Word Reasoning was dropped altogether. Slowly, psychologists around the country have started to adopt the new test. The ERB didn’t adopt it when it was first introduced because more than half the children who were applying to private schools in NYC that year had already taken the WPPSI®-III. Had they introduced the new test in the middle of the process, half the kids would have taken the WPPSI®-III and half would have taken the WPPSI®-IV, and you couldn’t really compare the kids’ scores to each other. According to the NY Times article, a new version of the test will be used starting April 1. This has not been officially announced by the ERB, but it’s a good bet that they will be giving the WPPSI®-IV in April.

The NY Times article also talks about a big ISAAGNY meeting happening in March where schools will vote on whether or not to keep the ERB test. Odds are that the test will be maintained. We will keep our eyes and ears open for announcements about what is happening with the WPPSI®-IV. Even if the ERB adopts the test, we don’t know which of the subtests they will use. As with the ECAA, I’m sure they will use a shortened version of the WPPSI®-IV as well. So we’ll just have to wait and see which subtests they adopt.

If you would like to do some practice questions for the WPPSI®-IV, visit, where there are well over 1,000 practice questions for WPPSI-IV. More details on the new subtests for WPPSI-IV will be covered in future posts.

School Admissions Testing – How can I prepare my child?

These days, children are regularly tested to get into private school or gifted and talented programs. If you live in the NYC, the ERB or WPPSI®-III test is given for private school admissions. The OLSAT® and NNAT®2 is given for gifted & talented qualification. The Stanford-Binet is given for Hunter College Elementary qualification. But even if you don’t live in NYC, children around the country are being tested for private school admissions and gifted and talented qualification. The CogAT® Form 6 and Form 7 are commonly given, along with the ITBS® (Iowa Test of Basic Skills), the KBIT®-2 and more.

There is so much you can do to prepare your child for these tests at home. If you have some time, I highly recommend that you pick up my book, Testing For Kindergarten. It is full of games and activities that are fun for your child to do and preparatory for the most common tests that young children are given. IQ Fun Park is a wonderful game you can play with your child that will prepare him for testing. It’s actually a test prep kit, but to a child, it’s play. If you would like your child to do practice questions for the most common tests children are given across the country, offers thousands of practice questions that she can work with either pencil to paper or even as games.

When you do work with your child to prepare for testing, keep it light and fun. Never talk about it as test prep. Call it special homework, brain teasers, or puzzles. Give your child brightly colored stickers for doing a good job. We find that children generally love doing this special work with their parents – it’s a bonding experience. And it is great for you because you get to see what your child is good at and what they need to work on. Once you see that, you’ll want to work on the things that give you’re your child trouble outside of the test prep situation. So, for example, if you learn that your child doesn’t know his letters or numbers during test prep, you’ll want to play fun games with him to teach him those things.

For 100 free practice questions, visit

Visit IQ Fun Park!