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Navigating Kindergarten Gifted Testing: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

Navigating Kindergarten Gifted Testing: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - July 7th, 2023

As parents, we all believe in the unique capabilities and potential of our children. Some children, however, display advanced cognitive abilities at an early age that may qualify them for gifted education programs. Kindergarten is typically the time when schools begin identifying these students through gifted testing. The prospect of your child undergoing such tests can be daunting, but fear not. In this blog post, we will provide you with a guide to different types of kindergarten gifted tests, as well as some tips to help prepare your child.

Types of Kindergarten Gifted Tests

Test NameDescription
CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test)Assesses students’ abilities in reasoning and problem solving using verbal, quantitative and non-verbal (spatial) symbols.
WPPSI-IV (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Fourth Edition)Measures cognitive development in children, focusing on verbal intelligence and performance intelligence.
OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test)Assesses abstract thinking and reasoning abilities of children.
Stanford-Binet Intelligence ScalesEvaluates cognitive abilities across five factors: knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, working memory and fluid reasoning.
NNAT (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test)Evaluates nonverbal reasoning and general problem-solving abilities, often used to identify giftedness in linguistically and culturally diverse populations.


Understanding these tests and their purpose is crucial for parents. The key is not to focus on getting a perfect score, but instead on understanding how your child processes information and solves problems.

These tests help identify children who would benefit from a more enriched, rigorous academic program. It’s important to note that each test has its strengths and weaknesses and scores are just one piece of the larger picture. A child’s creativity, leadership skills, or artistic talents, for example, may not be captured in these assessments.

Tips for Parents

So, how can parents prepare their child for gifted testing? Here are some tips:

  1. Familiarize Your Child with the Test Format: Help your child understand what to expect during the test. While you cannot get the exact test content, you can find practice questions and sample tests online. This can help ease anxiety and improve performance.
  2. Enrich Their Learning Environment: Provide a variety of resources for your child to explore at home. Books, puzzles, educational games, and open-ended toys can stimulate curiosity and learning.
  3. Encourage Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Discuss everyday problems and find solutions together. Ask open-ended questions that promote reasoning, such as, “What do you think will happen if…?”
  4. Promote a Positive Attitude Toward Testing: Frame the test as a chance for your child to show what they know. Avoid creating a high-pressure situation. Your child should understand that their worth is not determined by a test score.
  5. Ensure a Healthy Routine: Regular sleep, physical activity, and healthy nutrition can greatly influence your child’s performance. Ensure these habits are ingrained well before test day.


Remember, preparing for gifted testing shouldn’t be about intensive studying or coaching. At this age, learning should be enjoyable and curiosity-driven. Your goal should be to foster a love of learning in your child, as this will not only help them in testing situations, but throughout their academic journey.

Lastly, understand that every child is unique. A single test score does not define your child’s capabilities. Gifted tests are merely tools to identify how best to meet a child’s educational needs and a predictive measure of how they will do with academics. Whether your child is identified as gifted or not, they remain exceptional in their own unique ways.

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My daughter (4 years old) is becoming bored in Pre-K. I would love some information about the advancement test.

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