Best Methods for CCAT Test Prep
Because the CCAT™ 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™ 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. 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™ 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!
3 Tips to Make CCAT 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.
Additionally, here is a video that may shed some light on the test itself: