Expert Questions / Answers
Questions Answered by Karen
- My daughter is going to be interviewing for private school kindergarten in the next few weeks. Can you tell me what to expect at these school visits?
- My child is taking the Stanford-Binet® to qualify for Hunter College Elementary. I have heard that the tests are scored according to age and kids may have a slight advantage by taking the test in certain months vs. others. Can you advise me on when my child should take the test?
- Both my husband and I are ESL, Polish is our native language. We speak Polish to our kids (2.5 year old and 11 month old). As we are trying to incorporate the strategies you discuss in your book into the daily activities I am struggling with figuring out if we should stick to our native language, mix it or perform testing related activities in English….. Both girls go to a small daycare where they speak English.
- My son is born in the Fall and would qualify for a public gifted (and regular) program next year, but not private school. We are interested in exploring both public and private options. What advice do you have for us?
- My son has his 5th birthday late in the year. So he qualifies for public kindergarten, which has a Dec. 31 cut off, but he doesn’t qualify for private kindergarten, which has an August 31 cut off. Currently he’s in public kindergarten. If we apply him to private school next year, will they make him repeat kindergarten? How strict are private schools about children with late birthdays?
- Do they account for a child’s comfort level when testing? For instance, if a child is shy and has to warm up to the testing administrator before opening up?
- What kind of sample questions can I give my child and how often?
- If a child starts in public grade school, is she at a disadvantage if she wants to go to private middle school?
- What are private schools looking for in applicants?
- Are private schools required to contact you after they receive your application to set up interviews and playdates?
- How do you avoid competition among other parents when going through the admissions process?
- How do you refrain from letting the school admissions process stress you out?
- How is the admission/testing process different for entering a K program vs. a 1st grade program?
- How do we educate our teachers at the Pre-K level to incorporate the 7-abilities into their teaching?
- How do you get a young child in “test mode” on the day of the test?
- Twins! Private school! Any special words of advice?
- If my child gets into private school through testing success, do we have to pay the regular school fees?
- Do most people get their children tutored for the tests or is that counter-productive?
- How do I best prep my child for the ERB without getting a tutor? What kinds of activities can I do?
- How do you feel about tutoring and doing a lot of prep for testing if it affects a child’s ability to keep up when they are in school?
- How do you manage conflicting time lines of private school acceptance and gifted program acceptance? Can I hold a spot at a private school while I wait to hear from the gifted programs?
- Are the results of the test dependent on who administers it?
- How are exams graded (i.e. WPPSI®) in terms of things like coding. For example, do vertical or horizontal lines need to be perfect in order to be counted?
- 100% sure my daughter is ready for the test, should I hold her back a year? Her birthday is Dec. 5.
- My son just turned 3 a couple of weeks ago and is super bright…but he doesn’t like to talk to people, especially people he does not know. This was an “issue” with pre-school admission – where I was told by admissions directors that if he won’t talk to us, we’ll have a hard time testing or placing him. Assuming he doesn’t suddenly ‘morph’ into a chatty, extroverted 4 year old, what am I going to do when it comes to all these interviews and tests???
Questions Answered by Michael
- We live in Quebec and love the questions you send each day and your game, IQ Fun Park. It helped our 4 year old do well on the OLSAT® and get into the private school we wanted him to attend. The problem is our 6 year old. He took the OLSAT® last year and didn’t do well because he had trouble concentrating. He’s going to take it again in the spring. Is he too old for IQ Fun Park? What else can I do to help him focus better when he’s tested?
- Our elementary school has informed us that they will be testing our son using a test called the MAP. Do you have any insight or familiarity with this test?
- My daughter is having trouble with the verbal math questions for the OLSAT®. I keep trying to practice with her using the workbook we bought but she’s not getting it. What do I do?
- Do you have any insight into what happens at Hunter round 2 of gifted and talented testing?
- One mother wanted to know if she should buy the Jr. Test Prep bundle, another wanted to know if she was better off buying the Aristotle Circle OLSAT® test book or just a bunch of Diana Draze workbooks on analogies.
- Will the parents see the exam and her answers after the NYC gifted and talented test?
- Can the child change her answer before the examiner moves on to the next question?
- When answering the questions, does the child mark an answer sheet or tell the examiner verbally? If verbally, does the examiner mark the answer sheet?
- Will my daughter take the exam with one or more examiners or will it be 1 on 1? She is in public school.
- When does the school notify the parents when their child will take the exam? I know the dates for next year, I am looking for a time period. i.e.: one week before the exam etc?
- How long is the NYC Gifted and Talented test?
- How do I tell if my child is gifted?
Questions Answered by Dr. Blank
- What is your advice about warming up a shy child who has to be tested or interviewed for private school?
- At what age should I begin teaching my child sight words? When should I start trying to teach my child to read? Should parents do this or should we wait for school to start?
- How do scores between the Stanford-Binet®, OLSAT®, and WPPSI®-III correlate? If we know a child’s Stanford-Binet® score, does that indicate how they will score on one of the other tests?
- My 3.5 year old is bilingual, with English spoken at school, not at home. How do I evaluate his language skills to see whether he can do well on the OLSAT® in English? What I can I do to enhance his skills? Is there research on whether being bilingual presents a disadvantage for children being tested?
Questions Answered by Dr. Har
- My child is getting ready to take the WISC for a gifted assessment. He is a complex person and I am concerned about what I should tell him about the test process. For background, you should know that he is the youngest of two boys. His older brother is gifted and is extremely competitive….
- Our daughter currently speaks 3 languages at home (Japanese, Chinese, and English) with a heavier emphasis on Japanese and Chinese. What challenges and/or accommodations might we expect from the testing process? What is your advice to parents regarding children who speak multiple languages and testing?
- When I ask my child questions to try to prepare her for the test, she sometimes gives wrong answers on purpose just to be silly. Or she’ll roll her eyes and say, “that’s too easy, Mommy,” and then give me the wrong answer. I’m afraid she’ll do this when she’s actually tested. Any advice?
- If I am going to prepare my child for testing, how often can I give her sample questions? How much time should we spend on it each day? Should I stop working with her closer to the test so the material is fresher when she’s actually tested.
- How do you build up a 4-year-old’s stamina for sitting up to an hour or more for a test?
- What one piece of advice do you think is most important in preparing your child to take these tests?
- Is preparation really necessary for these tests? If parents prepare their child for testing using the test prep game or the workbooks, how can we make sure we aren’t overdoing it and stressing our child out or putting them in danger of being disqualified?
Questions Answered by Beth Barbaro
- I know there are math questions on the OLSAT®, but my daughter is not interested in doing math questions when I try to do them with her. Any suggestions for making math interesting and something she’ll want to do?
- What advice do you have for helping a very shy child warm up to a tester or interviewer when going through the admissions process? When my daughter first meets a new adult, she rarely speaks and sometimes hides behind me. Once she gets to know someone, she can become very talkative.
- How do you suggest I help my child hone his fine-motor skills?
- How do you prepare your child (a boy!) to focus on a tester’s or an interviewer’s questions. My son is very smart, but easily bored and distracted. He is also fidgety and has trouble sitting still if he isn’t engaged.
- What is your best advice to parents who want to make sure their child is ready to start kindergarten ready to hit the ground running?
Questions Answered by Dana Kaplan
- Is there anything special about the 5 NY citywide TAG programs that make them better than the regular TAG programs?
- Are children in G&T programs also in a nurturing environment? Will they get help if they have difficulty adjusting to the pace of the curriculum?
- In terms of reading, do most kids come into your gifted class already reading? Or is it enough that the recognize letters and know letter sounds?
- As parents, what can we do to build our child’s chances of testing well and being selected for a gifted program?
- Can you talk a bit more about the gifted & talented curriculum and how it is different from a curriculum in a regular public school kindergarten?
- What kind of child do you think does best in a gifted classroom?
Questions Answered by Vicki Goldman
- My bright son has a July birthday and while he’d be in the middle of the class age-wise if we sent him to public school, we’re not sure a private school would take him with his late birthday. We know he’s ready for school, and we’d like to send him to a private school. Any advice?
- Can factors like a good interview and recommendation from the nursery school make up for lower scores at the top schools like Dalton, Trinity or Riverdale?
- We applied to several private schools before our daughter took the ERB. I’m so nervous that she won’t score well and we’ll be knocked out of consideration for many schools we applied to. How important are the scores in the overall decision?
- What advice do you have on how to pick the right private school that is a good fit for your child and your family? It’s so hard to know after just a tour and a few visits which school is the best for you.
Questions Answered by Jill Moylan
- My daughter just turned 3 and seems to be bright as she has been reading for the past year and seems to enjoy it. However, when she was born she had some fluid in both of her ears and this went unnoticed for 1 year…
- My child is taking the second grade Bracken™ for NYC. Do you have those questions on your site?
- My child is taking the OLSAT in 6 months. How far in advance should we start practicing? Since the test is so far away, I don’t want to overdo it.