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Best Methods for CTP Test Prep

CTP 4R is not one test, but a battery consisting of a series of multiple-choice and open-ended question tests administered to groups of students over the course of several days, either in the spring or the fall. CTP 4R has 10 levels; a different level is used with each grade from 1 through 11. Students in the early grades take the test under untimed conditions and mark their answers in the test booklet. Students in the middle and upper grades take CTP 4R under timed conditions and mark their answers on a separate answer sheet. The time limits are generous, and all but a few students are able to complete the test in the time allowed. There is also an option for schools to include open-ended reading comprehension and mathematics questions in the test that provides for full, partial, or no credit.

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Breakdown of the CTP 4R Series

For auditory and reading, focus on the following:

  • Vocabulary – define words in context
  • Explicit information – recognize supporting details and understand ordered information; identify main ideas
  • Inference – infer implicit main idea, details, ordered information, and character motives; draw conclusions
  • Analysis – understand cause and effect, comparison and contrast, or conditional relationships and a character’s or author’s intentions
  • Reading for Understanding – identify key details and provide interpretation of selected readings and describe relationships between two different reading passages

For vocabulary, focus on these:

  • Word meanings – determine correct definition from multiple meanings; identify antonyms; identify word meanings and pair words with their synonym
  • Application – recognize a word’s conceptual attributes, categorize words, and identify illustrations of the word
  • Precision – select a word that is more precise than others

*All vocabulary questions are presented in context, through reading passages.

For writing mechanics, focus on these:

  • Spelling – apply knowledge of phonics, frequently used words, or structural analysis to identify correct and incorrect spelling
  • Capitalization – identify proper nouns, adjectives and first-person pronouns, and the beginning of a sentence
  • Punctuation – identify proper and improper use of end punctuation, commas, colons, apostrophes, hyphens, and dashes
  • Usage – identify correct conventions and forms of titles, dates, quotations, abbreviations, outlines, and letter formats; identify grammatically correct written language
  • Topic development – understand relationship between purpose and audience; determine cohesiveness and relevance of ideas to topic.
  • Organization – determine logical progression of ideas, including effective transitions between paragraphs and appropriate conclusions; determine cohesiveness and clarity within a paragraph unit
  • Supporting details and examples – recognize the relevance and effective use of ideas for a specific writing sample.
  • Style – recognize effective and fluent sentence structure, appropriate word choices, and the writer’s voice in a variety of writing samples

For mathematics, focus on these:

  • Numbers & Number sense
  • Whole number operations
  • Reasoning
  • Geometry – Spatial sense
  • Problem solving
  • Measurement Computation
  • Statistics & Probability
  • Patterns
  • Fractions & Decimals
  • Functions
  • Number systems & theory
  • Procedural knowledge
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Pre-Algebra
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2 Responses


I’m a learning specialist looking for the best materials to practice for the CTP. Any book recommendations? Thanks!

Hi Claudia –

With a membership to, you have access to our CTP specific section that includes printable practice questions for children from Kindergarten – 6th grade.

All the best,


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