Best Methods for California GATE Test Prep
Because the NNAT®-2 (Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test, Second Edition) and the OLSAT® (Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test®, Eighth Edition) are all traditional IQ/Full Scale Intelligence Quotient exams and the CogAT® Test (Cognitive Abilities Test®) is a group cognitive or intelligence test, we strongly recommend you start your California GATE test prep for your child well in advance of the January testing period each year. However, psychologists and school administrators really don’t like students to be told in advance that they’re taking an IQ or intelligence test. So as much as you possibly can, avoid using the words “test prep” or “IQ” or “exam practice” in front of your child! Instead, call your practice sessions something like “Study Superheroes” or “Brain Blasters” or “Puzzle Solvers” — whatever your child already shows an interest in, try to incorporate that theme into your overall routine. (Especially avoid talking about any specific subtests around your child, because psychologists and school administrators want to ensure that no students have been exposed to the actual testing materials beforehand.) Luckily, our resources are similar, but not identical to questions your child may see on the verbal or nonverbal sections, but it’s best not to discuss your practice schedule or test preparation methods with anyone beforehand.
Kids love to play games on your laptop or tablet, so you can feel confident letting your child practice as much as he or she likes using the interactive questions we offer in Digital Tutor (all interactive learning games available on our site are included with any TestingMom.com membership).
We also strongly recommend using workbooks and educational games to practice with, such as those available from Aristotle Circle. As a bonus, all TestingMom.com memberships include a 20% discount on products that are purchased through our store.
3 Tips to Make California Gifted and Talented Test Prep Fun
- Purchase several jigsaw puzzles and make a family habit of completing them together. Younger kids can start with puzzles that have larger pieces and are quick to assemble, then work their way up to the harder ones. Let your child choose the theme, character or colors so he or she stays engaged in the task and doesn’t get bored.
- To build strong listening and focusing skills, show your child how to put on their “listening ears” and point to your mouth as you speak. Grab your own ears and say, “Do you have your listening ears on?” Then, point to your mouth as you speak. This helps your child pay attention to what you’re saying and avoid getting distracted.
- Plan field trips that offer language-rich experiences where you and your child can explore together. Whether it’s going to the museum to look at sculptures and paintings or a zoo visit to compare different types of animals, getting out of the house and exposing your child to a variety of intellectually stimulating environments can provide a wealth of benefits that will improve his or her performance on a traditional intelligence test, such as: expanding vocabulary and reading comprehension, using visual-spatial reasoning, patterning, sequencing and ordering skills as well as making analogies (i.e., “How are zebras and gazelles alike? What makes them different? Which animals can live in or out of the water?”). Finding activities that will stimulate your child’s mind shouldn’t be too hard in California!