I couldn’t resist adding this PS to the post I wrote earlier this week.
On Wednesday, we did an event in NYC, where we went over the different tests given for G&T testing in Manhattan for Hunter College Elementary, Private Schools, and NYC District and City-Wide gifted Programs. In Manhattan, children take the Stanford-Binet® V, the WPPSI®-III or “ERB”, and the OLSAT® and NNAT® 2 for these different programs.
I talked about how important I felt it was to prepare children for these tests. For 4-year-olds, test prep is as much about making sure children have the abilities and knowledge a test will assess as it is making sure that children know how to take a test. As part of my talk, I gave parents some practice questions to try with their kids.
The next night, we held an event where we just spoke about private school admissions. A mom who had attended the night before came up to me. “You were right about children not understanding tests!” She told me. “I couldn’t believe it.” She went on to explain just how smart her daughter is (and it sounds like she really is). She told me that she tried a practice question with her daughter, certain that the question was easy and her little girl would get it right. To her surprise, the child chose the wrong answer. “Why did you pick that answer?” the mom asked. “Because it has a butterfly in it. I love butterflies,” the little girl explained.
We’ve taken so many tests in our lives that we think knowing how to take one is automatic. It isn’t! It is a learned skill. To take a test, children need to be able to sit still, listen to what the tester is saying, take it in, remember it while choosing an answer (that’s called “working memory”). The child must know that they are being asked a question that has an answer. They will need to think about what has been asked and come up with the right answer – yes, there is a RIGHT answer. It is important that the child knows to look at every answer choice before deciding what to choose because sometimes there are answers thrown in that are designed to throw the child off! That’s a lot for a 4 or 5-year-old to take on. That’s why practice answering test-like questions can make such a difference in a child’s performance.
If your child is going to take her very first test, try some “practice questions” with her. You can get 100 free practice questions to work with at TestingMom.com. Does your child know how to handle them right off the bat? Or does she get better with practice?
Don’t forget – for your 100 free practice questions, visit www.TestingMom.com.