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Best Methods for ERB-CTP5 Test Prep

How to Prepare for the ERB-CTP5 Test

In an article entitled “Strengthening the Student Toolbox: Study Strategies to Boost Learning,” by John Dunlosky, American Educator, Volume 37, No. 3, the #1 most effective learning strategy is to do practice questions and practice tests that tap into the same content that is expected to be on the actual test.  With over 6,000 practice questions for CTP on, your child will have plenty of material to work with before taking the actual test.  Here are some other tips that will help your child prepare for CTP:

  • Do as many practice questions as you can – the more comfortable you are with the material, the more confident you will feel!
  • Study in 25 – 30-minute chunks, then take a break. Your practicing is 100% effective at first and 20% effective after 30 minutes. By taking a break, you’ll go back to 100% effective when you start again.
  • There’s no penalty for guessing, so always make your best guess.
  • To improve your odds of guessing right, ALWAYS eliminate answer choices that you feel are wrong before you guess.
  • Watch out for “distractors” – answers that seem obvious but are incorrect.
  • Read the instructions and the full question before answering. If there are charts or pictures that go with a question; look them over – they are there for a reason.
  • Don’t lose focus or get distracted by those around you.
  • Manage your time – don’t rush, but don’t get stuck on one question either.
  • If you feel anxious, use breathing techniques and positive self-talk to calm yourself. Reframe your anxiety as a positive. Tell yourself that you’re excited to take the test; it matters to you. According to Harvard psychologist, Jeremy Jamieson, “Recent research suggests that stress doesn’t hurt performance on tests and can even help performance. People who feel anxious during a test might actually do better. If you find yourself feeling anxious, simply remind yourself that your stress could help you do well.”


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Frequently Asked Questions about the ERB-CTP5 test

  • What is the ERB-CTP 5 test? The ERB-CTP 5 is a comprehensive assessment designed to measure a student’s abilities in key academic areas such as reading, listening, vocabulary, writing, and mathematics. It’s administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and is commonly used in private and select public schools across the United States.
  • What grades take the ERB-CTP 5? The ERB-CTP 5 is typically administered to students in grades 1 through 11.
  • What does the test measure? The ERB-CTP 5 measures a range of skills, including reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing mechanics and expression, listening, and various math skills, such as computation, algebra, and quantitative reasoning.
  • When is the ERB-CTP 5 administered? The ERB-CTP 5 is typically administered twice during the school year, in the fall and spring.
  • How long is the test? The duration of the test varies depending on the grade level and the number of subtests administered. However, each subtest typically takes between 20 to 40 minutes to complete.
  • How is the ERB-CTP 5 scored? The test provides several types of scores, including a scaled score, a percentile rank, and a stanine score, each offering different insights into a student’s performance and growth.
  • How should my child prepare for the ERB-CTP 5? Familiarity with the format of the test can help. Regular reading and math practice can also be beneficial. However, the test is designed to measure a student’s overall understanding and application of skills learned throughout the school year, so there’s no need for intensive test-specific preparation.
  • Can my child use a calculator on the math sections of the test? The use of calculators is generally not permitted, as the test aims to assess a student’s understanding and application of mathematical concepts.
  • What if my child has a learning difference or requires accommodations? If your child has a documented learning difference, accommodations can often be made. Contact your school’s test coordinator to discuss your child’s specific needs.
  • How are the test results used? Test results can be used to guide instruction, identify areas for support or enrichment, track a student’s academic growth over time, and evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum.
  • What happens if my child doesn’t perform well on the test? A single test is just one measure of a student’s abilities. If your child doesn’t perform as well as expected, it could simply mean they had an off day. However, if low performance is consistent, it might indicate areas where additional support is needed.
  • Will the test results affect my child’s grade or promotion to the next grade? Typically, ERB-CTP 5 results are not used for grading or promotion decisions. They’re primarily used to understand a student’s academic progress and to inform instruction.
  • What is the difference between the ERB-CTP 5 and other standardized tests? The ERB-CTP 5 is unique in its focus on assessing not just a student’s skills in various academic areas, but also their reasoning abilities. It includes both multiple-choice and open-ended questions to measure a student’s critical thinking skills.



Contact your school for testing dates and which CTP subtests will be administered.

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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,


See if 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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