All children are amazing, they are! We all want the best education for our kid and that includes doing our best to get our child into the gifted and talented programs at school. At our school all kids are tested in the spring of 2nd grade. I want to share the secret for how to prepare your child for the gifted & talented test.
We are told that there is nothing to do to prep for the testing other than a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast. Well, what if there is another way to prepare? There is! And I am spilling the secret!
I found out through a secret grapevine of moms that you could get copies of sample tests. This is how to prepare your child for the gifted and talented test. Your child can practice the types of questions that will be asked of them. I was shocked! I asked a few others and they had never heard of being able to get sample tests and I let them in on this big secret.
We used this online test prep program by TestingMom.com to get samples of the test our boys were scheduled to take. Here is how we did it.
Step 1 – call the school and find out what test they use for their gifted and talented testing. Our school uses one in the fall (CogAT) and a different one in the spring. Be sure to ask if they take the test on paper or online. I wanted my boys to practice on the same format that they were going to take the actual test.
Step 2 – Go to the test prep program online and purchase a sample test in the same format in which they will take the test. Paper or Online. They have both versions.
Step 3 – Introduce the practice questions slowly. These are new types of questions for most children. The questions really to require thinking through problems to the next level. It isn’t just your kids knowing their math facts, this is thinking beyond the first answer you think of.
Exactly how we used the Practice Test
The first time you practice a few questions with your child there will be some whining. It takes some kids a few times to understand how to think through the answers. This isn’t just 2 + 2 = 4, it is taking cognitive thinking to another level.
I found that my kids could only do 5 questions a day. It made their brains hurt but I really loved having them learn to think intuitively and beyond simply reciting answers. Even if they didn’t get into the Gifted program these questions were making them have to think hard and use their brains, not just memorize answers.
I believe every kid can learn to think in this manner. Once you see several of the questions in a row and practice, your brain learns to think like this. For us, I knew we were not going to get through every question in every section so I worked up to doing at least 10 in each section (5 a day). Then moving on to the next section and type of question. This way they saw a variety of questions and the different types of questions became familiar to them. Once we went through every type of question I could go back to the ones that were the most difficult for them and do more in that particular section.
Of course I was a nervous wreck waiting for the results once my kids took the test. I had some sleepless nights worrying about what would happen if one twin got in and one didn’t. I was concerned with how to deal with hurt feelings. Luckily they both were accepted!! In our school system being in the G&T program means being pulled out of class once a week to do extra projects and to experiment with new ideas and ways of thinking. I believe these practice tests really helped my boys to get into the program. I used these before I even had a blog so it is really a product that I recommend to all my friends.
Other Standardized Tests
If your child is a terrible test taker and gets so nervous they collapse under pressure sometimes practicing is the answer.
I hope this is helpful to others. I know my boys sometimes don’t even want to try to answer a question if they have never seen it before. So having them work on a few practice questions and see how the questions are presented before they took it in a real classroom setting helped to set them at ease.
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Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
These are all great tips. I have a friend that her daughter took the gifted test last year. It took her forever trying to get them proof that she needed to take it.
Angela Tolsma says
That’s awesome you could help prepare you boys for the test. I do think that there is far too much testing in schools and not enough imagination, but it’s always good to have kids excel at what they love.
Melissa Chapman says
The test like so many things in life has a trick and can be improved if you just know where to look. I sometimes fall into the trap of just coasting when it is important to dig deeper and this is just one example.
Ayana Pitterson says
Wow, I was not aware of this at all. My son just finished the 2nd grade and we knew he tested. However, no one got back to us regarding any information. Once school starts next week, I will definitely be asking some questions as to what happened with his scores. Thanks for sharing this information.
I’ve never heard of a gifted and talented program in schools. Though, when I was a kid I got placed in an enrichment program where I got pulled out of class a couple of times a week to do special learning programs. It was so much fun. Glad both your twins got it.
I suspect you were G/T and your parents didn’t want to tell you for fear of blowing up your ego, hah!
These are wonderful tips! Practice tests are so key, especially if kids or teens have anxiety over test taking.
AnnMarie John says
This is definitely going to make them feel more confident when the day for the test comes. I think it’s awesome that there are different reviewers for the kids, depending on the type of test their taking.
I remember when I tested for gifted in elementary school years and years and years ago. Being someone who likes to prepare for things and really know what I am getting myself into, I would have LOVED something like this site!Thanks for the info.
Cindy Ingalls says
As another commentator mentioned above, there is far too much testing going on and not enough learning and play. However, I also see the value in some of these tests and it’s nice to have the chance to practice, especially if your child gets nervous with standardized tests. This can really help them feel prepared so they can just go in and show off their knowledge and skills.
Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says
Oh wow! I had no idea parents prepared their kids to take the G & T test. My son started in G & T in 3rd grade for math, language arts, & science. It’s a great program!
I think these are good tips for parents trying to get their children into gifted programs. It’s important to be prepared for what to expect.
Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman says
While I’m a bit torn about kids “prepping” to take the TAG screening assessment, as a teacher, I’ve seen so many kids struggle with test anxiety: it can definitely affect outcomes. This may be a good tool for helping those kids have a more positive experience with the process.
Claire @ Stroller Lab says
These are awesome tips! Some of these are new to me. Especially step 3. Thanks for sharing the tips with us. I really get helped from it.