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How is the admission/testing process different for entering a K program vs. a 1st grade program?
This will depend on the school district you are in. In some cases, the same test is given for kindergarten entry and for 1st grade (and beyond) entry. If the test is the same, it tends to get more difficult as the grade levels go up. In other cases, the tests themselves may change to a completely different assessment at higher grade levels.
Another thing to ask yourself is, what is the main entry point for the program you are applying your child to? If kindergarten is the main entry point, then 1st grade spots will only become available if students leave the program after their kindergarten year – you will be depending on attrition for your child’s spot and fewer spaces will be available. It’s always best to apply during a year that the school considers to be an entry point, when they open up many spaces.
Test administration may also change from kindergarten to 1st grade. When children turn 5 and are entering 1st grade, tests are often given in small groups. Pre-K students applying for kindergarten are most often tested one-to-one with a psychologist or proctor.