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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