As a parent, you want to provide the best possible guidance and support for your child. Here we provide information to help answer your questions, ease potential concerns, and assist you in preparing your child for the upcoming tests.
Tests come in many different forms and are used to measure a wide range of abilities and knowledge. Learn the difference between ability and achievement tests and their importance.
Tests can be stressful for children, but as a parent, you can help alleviate some of that stress by preparing them beforehand. We have provided some helpful tips to get your child ready for their ability test.
In this video, the authors of the Naglieri General Ability Tests explain how these engaging tests differ from other gifted tests and why they seem to ease students’ test anxiety.
You have been informed that your district is administering testing to determine eligibility for gifted services and you may be wondering, “How should I prepare my child for this test?” The information included here can help answer your questions, ease potential concerns, and assist you in preparing your child for the upcoming tests.
There are many ways in which schools use tests. Some types of assessments that are given in school are assessments that children should prepare to take. These types of tests are called achievement tests, which are designed to measure retention of knowledge taught in school. These include unit tests given during the school year, end-of-year standardized tests, spelling tests, math exams, grammar quizzes, etc. These assessments are administered so teachers will know what your child understands about the curriculum and what support they may need.
Testing that is used to qualify students for entrance into gifted programs are called ability tests. Generally speaking, when a child takes an ability test, the goal is to determine their general ability in comparison to their peers. An example of an ability test are the Naglieri General Ability Tests. General ability is what allows us to solve many different kinds of problems which may involve reasoning, memory, sequencing, verbal, and quantitative concepts, patterning, insights, making connections, drawing inferences, and analyzing simple and complex ideas. For this reason, ability tests should have little to do with knowledge or skills taught in school and more to do with how a child thinks.
We often hear about parents “prepping” their children for ability tests. Educators with experience administering these tests have noted concerns from students who claim they have been “practicing” using questions or items that are similar (or even the same) as those encountered on the actual tests. It is important to recognize that while the student may have seen items similar to those administered in the ability test, in this case, the Naglieri General Ability Tests, what determines the score is the student’s ability to fully understand the relationships among the pictures or numbers provided in the test questions and to decide which option among several is the correct answer.
Some commercial test prep guides can inhibit student performance when taking tests since students who have been previously exposed to test items sometimes feel overly confident during the actual testing period. Having familiarity with the test items, students are more likely to rush through the test without taking the time to carefully consider what each item is asking. This familiarity greatly increases the likelihood of test error, and despite good intentions by parents, is often disadvantageous to students.
The overall goal of an ability test is to test students’ true intellectual ability, not their learned
knowledge. Therefore, we discourage the use of prepared materials to practice test content. Instead, we offer the following advice.
Here are some tips to set up your child for success when taking an ability test:
Join us on Saturday, April 20, 2024 for an event sponsored by the LaFetra College of Education Center for Learning Innovation and Center for Neurodiversity, Learning, and Wellness. Register today!