Best Methods for CCAT Test Prep
Because the CCAT 7 is neither a true intelligence test nor an achievement test (covering what is learned in school), helping your child become familiar with the types of questions typically asked on it by practicing a few minutes each day at home should help your son or daughter earn the highest score possible on test day.
Sample Practice Questions
Since the CCAT 7 is a cognitive test that assesses your child’s thinking and reasoning abilities in areas of language, math and spatial relations, using TestingMom.com’s variety of different practice questions can be very helpful in building the underlying skills, experience, and confidence your child will need to do well. The test itself is given in black and white, although many of our site’s practice questions are shown in color to make the test preparation process feel more interesting and fun for children.
Test Prep Tips
There are several ways to prepare for the CCAT 7. Your child can sharpen their skills for the following question-types using the strategies below.
Figure classification, on the whole, is essentially designed to be practiced and taught through real world examples as well as practice questions. It is all about how things are combined into categories. In life, there are so many moments when you can help your child see how this works – putting your darks and lights together when doing laundry, organizing your pantry by types of food items, choosing vegetables to go in your salad, reading poems that are in a book of poetry – anytime you help your child see how items belong together because they share a common characteristic, you are helping her learn more about classification skills. Figures are just one item out of many in the world that can be classified by their shared characteristics.
On the CCAT 7 test, figure matrices are expressed as sentences. However, to teach your child the skill of working with this type of question, we encourage you to work with all the types of matrix or analogy questions.
Figure Matrices questions stretch your child’s logic muscles, forcing her to examine a complex series of figures and see how they progress and fit together. Having her learn to complete the third and fourth figures so that they are analogous to the first two is a skill that will be helpful in nearly every other subject she encounters in school – vocabulary, math, geometry, and everything in between!
In this section, your child will be given a group of pictures (younger children) or words (older children) that all adhere to a certain rule.
These questions require that your child have an understanding of word meaning, a strong foundation in categorical thinking, and a keen eye for detail.
Because these questions require a variety of skills, there are a few things you will need to focus on in order to make sure your child really excels at these types of questions. First and foremost, he must be comfortable making connections between objects, and a really have a good understanding of what is going on with these types of question. Often, these questions will be designed to trip up unwary children with confusing answers that can seem correct, but on closer examination are wrong.
A great game to play to get ready for this subtest is “The $25,000 Pyramid.” Remember that game? Take turns with your child describing words that go together and let your child guess the category. This will help your child see that the items that go together must be the same. For example, you might say, “guitar, harp, banjo, violin, bass, mandolin, cello,” and your child should shout out, “string instruments!” Then it is your child’s turn to say, “apple, orange, pear, grapes, bananas, watermelon, peaches,” and you can shout out, “Fruit!”
Verbal Analogies will be presented two ways. For younger children, they will be asked to solve a picture analogy puzzle that is similar to figural matrices. When a child is older, Verbal Analogy questions are presented with words instead of pictures. The good news about this type of item is that they are multiple choice questions, so your child will have some hints. The answer is always the choice that best fits the example, and there will often be a few red herring choices designed to trick your children.
Verbal analogies assess your child’s cognitive skills, particularly their conceptual and abstract thinking abilities. These skills can be practiced in your daily life with ease. For example, if you happen upon a bird’s nest with your child, ask him to tell you other kinds of homes that animals have. If your child tells you he’s “happy” today, play a word game to describe other words that describe how happy he feels. When you ask your child what “vegetable” he wants for dinner, talk about all the different kinds of vegetables you can cook. The most important thing with these types of question is that you do your best to train your child’s analytical muscles. Answer questions, encourage him to consider the relationships between objects – how they are the same and how they are different, and do your best to keep him engaged!
Time management is a critical skill that a child should learn to prepare for the CCAT. Here are some tips on how a child can learn time management for the CCAT:
- Understand the test format:
- Understanding the CCAT format is essential for time management. Parents can help their child familiarize themselves with the test format by providing practice questions from Testing Mom. This will help them understand the types of questions, time limits, and how to move through the test efficiently.
- Time practice tests:
- Parents can provide timed practice tests to help their child get used to working under time pressure. Start with a relaxed time limit, then gradually decrease the time limit to mimic the actual test conditions.
- Break down sections:
- Breaking down each section of the test into smaller parts can help the child manage their time effectively. For example, if there are 40 questions in a section and the time limit is 30 minutes, the child should aim to answer one question in less than 45 seconds.
- Prioritize easy questions:
- The child should prioritize the easy questions first, as they can quickly and accurately answer them. This will help them save time and avoid getting stuck on difficult questions.
- Don’t get stuck:
- If a question is too difficult or time-consuming, the child should move on to the next question and come back to it later if time permits. It’s better to answer all the questions and leave the challenging ones for later than to spend too much time on a single question.
- Practice mental math:
- Improving mental math skills can help the child save time during the quantitative reasoning section. They should practice mental math techniques such as estimation, breaking down problems, and quick calculations.
- Start with basic arithmetic: Before moving on to more complex problems, it’s essential to have a good understanding of basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Encourage your child to practice these operations regularly until they become second nature.
- Use flashcards: Flashcards are an excellent tool for practicing mental math. Create flashcards with math problems on one side and the answers on the other, then have your child practice solving them quickly and accurately.
- Play math games: Math games can be a fun way to practice mental math. Games like Math Bingo, Math War, and Math Dice can help your child practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in an engaging way.
- Practice estimation: Estimation is a valuable skill in mental math. Encourage your child to estimate answers before solving problems to improve their accuracy and speed.
- Break down problems: Mental math can be challenging when dealing with larger numbers. Encourage your child to break down problems into smaller, more manageable parts. For example, when multiplying two-digit numbers, they can break down the problem into multiplying the ones digits first, then the tens digits.
- Practice regularly: Consistent practice is key to improving mental math skills. Encourage your child to practice mental math every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Use real-life situations: Encourage your child to apply mental math skills to real-life situations. For example, when shopping, they can calculate discounts and sales tax in their head.
- Use a timer:
- Using a timer can help the child become more aware of time and work efficiently. They can use a timer to time themselves during practice tests, individual sections, or even individual questions.
By practicing these tips, the child can improve their time management skills and perform better on the CCAT.
3 Tips to Make CCAT 7 Test Prep Fun:
- Don’t call it “test prep” – instead, find some other fun way to talk about it to your child, like “brain boosters,” “smart puzzles” or “future scientists of America try-outs.”Whatever your child likes best (reading, math, puzzles, building blocks), tie it back to that interest. You know your child best, so use language that will help your practice sessions resonate and motivate!
- If your child gets frustrated, ask fewer practice questions or start with easier ones from a lower grade level.Success builds confidence and stamina, and both are key skills for finishing the test and performing well on it.
- Make it a bonding experience.Find quiet, one-on-one time for you to practice together, even if it’s when your child is in the bathtub. Compliment your child afterwards for working hard followed by a big hug! Kids thrive on positive attention and praise.
See if TestingMom.com supports your child’s test by your school district. If you don't see your child's school district listed, check with us! We have practice for other tests as well.
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