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November 16th, 2016

Ask an Expert: Test Prep Tips for Four Year Olds

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If you’ve got a 4-year-old who’ll be testing for the first time this school year, you may have no idea what to expect. Luckily, we’ve got expert insights on how testing works for Pre-K students from TestingMom.com co-founder/NYC gifted testing expert, Michael McCurdy, and Dr. Kim Har, psychologist and former director of childhood education at Aristotle Circle.  Here they provide the BEST test prep tips for four year olds.

Test Prep Tips for Four Year Olds

BEST Test Prep Tips for Four Year Olds

Will my daughter take the exam with one or more examiners or will it be administered one-on-one? She is in public school.

Michael’s advice: Testing in Pre-K tends to be done in a one-on-one setting, but testing in Kindergarten is less consistent. Your daughter may take the test one-on-one or in a group with three or four other children, depending on how big her class is at her current school. You should check with your daughter’s school first to get information regarding the test administration process, just to be sure.

How do you build up a 4-year-old’s stamina for sitting up to an hour or more during a test?

Dr. Har’s advice: Much like any other skill, the ability to focus and remain attentive for extended periods of time is something that can be improved with practice. Start by finding out what your child’s current “threshold” is by working on practicing together and seeing how long you both can go before your child starts to get distracted or bored. Then, depending on how frequently you work together, try to increase the duration over time. For instance, if your child is already working for 20 minutes with no problem, increase it to 30 minutes the next week, 40 minutes the next, and so on. Most importantly, always provide positive reinforcement and encouragement whenever your child is working hard and staying on-task. Remember: Kids don’t know that they’re doing a good job unless you tell them they are!

Recommended Resource

If you’re looking for ways to effectively prep your 4-year-old for testing, I highly recommend our Kindergarten Readiness Program (it’s included when you sign up for any TestingMom.com membership).

Here’s what other parents of 4-year-olds told us after using our program:

“Karen, we wanted to let you know that our 4-year-old took his gifted test and we think he did well. He at least enjoyed himself because the first thing he said afterward was, ‘I had fun with it!’ We took your advice so he could sit through the test and focus better — and we told him the testers might try to trick him with the answer choices, so he should concentrate. He took his time, finished all the questions and told us ‘They didn’t try to trick me!’ TestingMom.com provided great guidance. He asked to do ‘more puzzle book’ last night — even though he doesn’t have to practice anymore!”

~ Daria, Queens, NY Mom

“My 4-year-old got accepted into a G&T program, so I want to thank you for all your help. I’m going to continue my TestingMom.com membership and use your Skill Building Academy so I can keep my son working and motivated, especially with all your Common Core programs and exercises. I’ve attended all your webinars and read Testing for Kindergarten. Your program helped me build my son’s expressive and receptive language skills. He’s now reading at a first-grade level, and his reasoning abilities are quite strong. He makes incredible connections between things we read about and his environment. He’s such a bright boy and it’s a joy to be his mother. Thank you for all the resources you’ve put together.”

~ Lucy, Florida Mom

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