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posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - December 20th, 2011

OLSAT Level A is the lowest level of the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, which generally assess the learning and school competencies of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. The OLSAT Level A measures a child’s ability to follow directions, as well as general knowledge that is not usually taught in school.

Additionally, the OLSAT Level A tests the child’s arithmetic reasoning and aural reasoning skills and examines the child’s pictorial reasoning which includes OLSAT Level A items on picture classification, analogy and series. Figural reasoning is also measured through OLSAT Level A items on figural classification and analogy, pattern matrix and figural series.

OLSAT Level A test are commonly used by educators for their pre-kindergarten students. Children aged 3 and 4 years old are asked to answer 40 of the 60 OLSAT Level A questions. If the child is 5 years old, he or she must answer all 60 OLSAT Level A questions. OLSAT Level A test also adhere to certain age range limitation for children.  Results are evaluated and compared against children within the same 3-month age group.


The OLSAT, also known as the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, is broken down into seven different levels, A through G. The OLSAT level A test is intended for children ranging in age from pre-K through kindergarten. Unlike the higher levels of OLSAT testing, the level A examination is read aloud to students. It is also given on an individual basis, instead of the group settings used in higher grades.


OLSAT level A testing, like all other levels, is designed to assess a child’s comprehension and reasoning abilities. These are not universally taught subjects such as reading or math, but rather cognitive abilities relating to problem solving and other areas. Therefore, some parents have trouble figuring out how to prepare for the Otis Lennon School Abilities Test. Since the material isn’t taken from traditional school subjects, it’s necessary to find materials that will employ the skills used in the test. These can range from practice workbooks to online materials to games played between parent and child.


In younger children, OLSAT level A testing is used for several different purposes. In many cases it is administered as part of an entrance or acceptance program for school. An overview of the test’s goals and sub-tests can be found at  Some schools use the test to assess students once they are accepted. In either case, the test provides an excellent method of determining whether a child will benefit from gifted or advanced classes, as well as where they are in terms of their reasoning abilities compared to other children of the same age.


To prepare for the test, parents should spend a little time each day with their child, going over the concepts that are tested and making use of practice materials. It can be helpful to use a variety of materials, so that your child has experience with as many types of questions as possible. That way he won’t be surprised if he encounters a rare or difficult area on the exam.

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