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What is the CTBS ™ Test?

What is the CTBS ™ Test?

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - January 5th, 2015

The CTBS ™ Test, which stands for Canadian Test of Basic Skills™, is a competitive gifted and talented test given in Canada to students aiming to get into advanced programs. The test is anxiety-producing for Canadian parents since it can determine whether a child makes it into the program of their choice.

The test is given to kindergartners through 12th graders, and consists of a variety of subtests. Parents getting their child ready for the CTBS test should start preparing early, and should use as many materials to prep as they can. It’s best to use workbooks, online games, and other materials so that your child doesn’t get bored or antsy during preparations.

The exact subtests of the CTBS test that are given to a student depend on what grade the child is in. Specifically, students in kindergarten through 3rd grade take the following subtests:

  • reading
  • vocabulary
  • word analysis
  • language
  • listening
  • sources of information
  • science
  • math concepts
  • math computations
  • math problems

Students in grades 3 through 8 take the following subtests:

  • reading comprehension
  • vocabulary
  • punctuation
  • capitalization
  • spelling
  • reference materials
  • usage and expression
  • science
  • maps and diagrams
  • math computation
  • math concepts and estimation
  • math problem solving and data interpretation

It’s also important to decrease or eliminate any testing anxiety ahead of your child taking the CTBS test. If you are nervous about the test it will rub off on your child and negatively affect their score. The best cure for this is to be prepared. The more you know about the test and how to get ready for it, the better you’ll feel and the less potential there is for surprise.

Canadian Test of Basic Skills™ – CTBS™ is a trademark of Nelson Education, or its affiliate(s), or its licensors. is not affiliated with nor related to Nelson Education or its affiliates (“Nelson Education”). Nelson Education does not sponsor or endorse any product, nor have products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Nelson Education. Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.

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