Gifted and Talented Tests
What are Gifted and Talented Tests?
Gifted and Talented tests can be referred to under a plethora of different names – GT, G/T, TAG, GATE, Gifted/Talented Education – but no matter what you choose to call them, the implications for parents remains the same. Your child may soon be tested and it feels like their educational future is being determined solely off of one test. Besides preparing your child for the biggest test of their young educational career, there are also applications and deadlines to deal with. Luckily, TestingMom.com can help guide you through the process.
Understanding the nature of Gifted and Talented (GT) tests can alleviate some of the stress that comes with the process. These exams aren’t designed to categorize children into neat boxes or predetermine their future potential. Rather, they are meant to identify students who show advanced cognitive abilities and might benefit from enriched educational programs. They assess a range of skills such as logical reasoning, problem-solving, mathematical abilities, and language skills. Knowing what to expect from these tests can be a crucial first step in preparation.
Preparation is key when it comes to GT tests, and it goes beyond just academics. While it’s important to familiarize your child with the types of questions they’ll encounter, it’s equally crucial to build their test-taking confidence and resilience. This includes strategies for time management, understanding instructions, and coping with unfamiliar questions. It’s not just about teaching them to find the right answers, but also about nurturing a positive mindset and reducing test-related anxiety.
In addition to test preparation, navigating the application process for GT programs can also be a challenge. Each school district may have its own set of requirements, deadlines, and procedures. It’s essential to stay organized and ensure all required documents are submitted on time. Some schools may require recommendations, portfolios, or additional screenings as part of the application. Understanding these requirements well in advance can help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure your child’s application is as strong as possible.
That’s where resources like TestingMom.com come into play. Such platforms provide comprehensive support to guide parents through the gifted and talented testing process. From offering practice questions to help familiarize your child with the test format to providing expert advice on building test-taking skills and navigating application procedures, they can be an invaluable resource. Remember, while the GT test is a significant step, it’s just one part of your child’s educational journey. With the right preparation and support, you can help them approach it with confidence and calm.
If your child is being tested, it’s important to figure out which GT test will be given and when it will be. This will have a heavy impact on how you will go about preparing for the GT test. Common GT tests include:
- SB5 – Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition
- WISC-IV – ECAA
- WISC-V – ECAA
- AABL – Admissions Assessment for Beginning Learners
- CCAT – Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test
- Chicago CPS – Regional Gifted Centers
- CogAT – Cognitive Abilities Test – Form 6
- CogAT – Cognitive Abilities Test – Form 7
- Fairfax County AAP
- Houston G&T Testing (Vanguard Program)
- KBIT-2 – Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test-2
- NNAT-2 and NNAT3 – Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test
- OLSAT – Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, Eighth Edition
- Raven’s Matrices
- RIAS and RIAS-2 – Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales
- Spatial Test Battery (STB)
- TTCT – Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
- BSRA – Bracken School Readiness Assessment
- CTP – ERB Test
- ISEE – ERB Test
- ITBS – Iowa Test of Basic Skills
- SCAT – School and College Ability Test for Johns Hopkins CTY
- TerraNova, Third Edition
- WIAT-III – Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-III
- Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement
- Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Achievement
Many of these GT tests cover similar concepts – such as verbal and nonverbal reasoning – but the question formats between the GT tests can vary significantly. For the best possible results, it’s important to tailor the preparation process to the specific test your child will be taking. In addition, you will want to go about the preparation process differently depending on the age of your child. Below, you can find prep tips for both older and younger children.
What might be on the GT test for each grade
Since every school district administers a different test here is a list of the high level attributes of the exam for each grade.
Kindergarten: Gifted and talented tests for kindergarteners might focus on recognizing patterns and basic problem-solving skills. They may also assess basic literacy skills, like letter and sound recognition, and simple counting and number identification.
1st Grade: For first graders, tests could include slightly more complex patterns and problem-solving tasks, as well as basic reading comprehension and math skills. Students might also be asked to demonstrate their understanding of basic mathematical concepts like addition and subtraction.
2nd Grade: In the second grade, gifted and talented tests might assess reading comprehension and vocabulary, as well as more complex mathematical concepts, like multiplication and division. There could also be questions designed to evaluate critical thinking and logical reasoning skills.
3rd Grade: Third-grade tests may delve deeper into reading comprehension and vocabulary, requiring students to interpret and analyze texts. Mathematical questions might involve more complex problem-solving, including multi-step word problems.
4th Grade: For fourth graders, gifted and talented tests might require more advanced reading comprehension skills, including inference and prediction. Mathematical questions may cover fractions and decimals, and there might be more emphasis on logical reasoning and critical thinking.
5th Grade: In the fifth grade, gifted and talented tests may include more complex textual analysis and vocabulary questions. Math questions might involve concepts like percentages, simple geometry, and algebraic thinking.
6th Grade: Sixth-grade tests could involve more advanced reading comprehension, with a focus on understanding and interpreting various genres of text. The math portion might delve into more complex geometric and algebraic concepts.
7th Grade: In seventh grade, gifted and talented tests might focus on more advanced critical reading skills, like analyzing arguments and understanding themes in literature. Math sections may require students to solve complex problems involving ratios, proportions, and pre-algebra concepts.
8th Grade: Eighth-grade tests could involve more complex literary analysis and advanced vocabulary. The math portion might cover more advanced algebraic concepts, as well as the basics of geometry and statistics.
Do you have prep for the GT Test?
There are many tests used for G&T (Gifted and Talented) programs. Regrettably we do not know the specific test for many districts, so we do recommend you reach out to your district to get information regarding the test used. If they will not provide the test name, they may describe the test. With over 30 tests used Worldwide, it is impossible to prep without some guidelines regarding at least the type of test to be used. (Abilities, Achievement, Intelligence Scales/IQ) Please get back to us with the information they do provide so we can guide you accurately.
Sample GT Practice Test Questions
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Tips for Younger Children, who are Testing for the First Time
- Avoid the “T” word when preparing! When doing test prep activities, call what you’re doing “brain games,” “special homework,” “puzzles” or something fun and motivating to your child. You want to take all the stress out of your preparation and (in most cases) it helps to avoid the word “test.” Here’s the only exception – some parents have had good luck telling their children that the “special work” they were doing was to prepare for “The Future Scientists of America Test” or for “The Princess Test” (or whatever your child aspires to be when she grows up). When it comes to explaining what he will be doing on “Test Day,” you can say something like this: “You’re going to be meeting with a special teacher who wants to know everything a 4-year-old knows. She’s very nice and loves little kids, just like your teacher Mrs. Jones. So just go in there and show her everything 4-year-olds like you know, and you’ll do great. Do your very best to show her how smart 4-year-olds are!”
- Keep your test prep fun and playful. Anything you can do to make your test prep feel like a game to your child will motivate her to prepare!
- Mix up your test prep activities. This tip goes hand-in-hand with the tip above. Young children have a hard time focusing and paying attention to printed practice questions or workbooks. If your child starts to lose interest working through questions, switch over to one of our online games that is designed for the test you are preparing for. By moving to different prep activities, your child will strengthen his focusing skills (see next tip!), build up his test stamina, and have fun at the same time.
- Work on focusing skills. Early childhood tests can take as long as an hour. That’s a long time for a little one to pay attention. To help your child focus, time how long she can focus during your first practice session using a fun egg timer. Then, the next time you prep, tell your child, “Yesterday you paid attention for 15 minutes. Today, let’s see if you can focus for 18 minutes.” Allow your child to set the timer. If she can pay attention for the full 18 minutes, give her a small reward like a sticker or temporary tattoo. The next day, let her set the timer for a longer session. Each day, increase the time you work together until your child is able to do test prep activities (which can be varied) for 45 minutes to 1 hour!
- Work on listening skills. Most early childhood tests have questions that are read aloud to children – then, the child must choose the picture that answers the question. For most tests, the questions can only be read aloud once. Kids must listen to what is being asked, remember the question, and then choose an answer. When you first start preparing, tell your child to “Put on your listening ears” before you ask a practice question – be sure they are “prepared to listen” before you ask the question.
Tips for older Children Taking Gifted and Talented Tests
- Tap into your child’s own motivation to get into the gifted program or private school. With younger kids, we rarely tell them that they are practicing to take an important test. We don’t want to stress them out, and for very young kids, they can’t process the importance of doing well on a test that will get them admitted to a better school program. It’s different with older kids. Often, they are coming from a place of being bored in their classroom. Or they have a friend or older sibling who is already in a gifted program or private school that they want to join. If this is the case, your child is old enough to understand that practicing the types of questions that she may see on a group intelligence or achievement test can help them do better and can get them into the program they want. If your child wants to get into the program, it will be easier to motivate her to do the practice questions that will help her excel.
- Make sure your child practices each type of question he’ll see on the test. Most tests are comprised of a number of different subtests – each with a different type of question – that make up the whole test. When doing practice questions, make sure your child gets experience with each type of question that will be on the test. This way, he won’t need to spend valuable time during the test itself trying to figure out what he’s being asked to do.
- Help your child avoid some of the most common mistakes in test-taking. For example, kids rush through the questions, they don’t consider all answer choices, they don’t eliminate absolutely wrong answers before they guess, they skip questions that are too hard, they lose focus, they don’t read directions, and more. Your child will lose valuable points if she makes these common mistakes, and they can be avoided if you gently correct your child when she makes them during practice.
- Start with questions that are too easy for your child, then do grade level, then do one grade ahead. No matter what grade your child is in, always start with questions that are too easy for him – at least one or two grade levels below your child’s grade if possible. This will give your child confidence that he can handle the questions. Let your child work up to grade level and then go at least one grade level ahead if he can do these questions without frustration. Often questions build on concepts introduced in easier questions, so doing this helps kids handle the tougher questions more readily.
- Practice Filling Out a Bubble Sheet. As kids get older, they are required to fill out separate bubble sheets when they take important tests. Give your child practice ahead of time. Kids lose points if they don’t fill bubbles in correctly, or if they lose track of the question they are on and fill in the wrong bubble. Sometimes kids spend so much time filling in bubbles perfectly that they lose test-taking time – and these tests are timed!