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At, we’ve received thousands of calls and emails from concerned parents regarding the OLSAT 8. . Here’s our comprehensive list of OLSAT 8 FAQ asked by parents like you.

What is the OLSAT?

The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is a multiple-choice standardized test used to measure abstract thinking and reasoning abilities in children. It’s often used for identifying gifted and talented students or for admissions to select schools or programs.

What does the OLSAT test assess?

The OLSAT measures reasoning skills, problem-solving abilities, and the capacity to learn new information. It’s divided into verbal and nonverbal sections, each assessing different cognitive skills.

What ages is the OLSAT appropriate for?

The OLSAT is designed for children from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, with different levels of the test appropriate for different age groups.

How is the OLSAT scored?

The OLSAT uses a three-pronged scoring system, providing a raw score (the number of correct answers), a School Ability Index (SAI), and a percentile rank. The SAI is a normalized score with a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 16.

What is a good score on the OLSAT?

A score above 132 on the School Ability Index is typically considered superior, placing the student in the top 2% of their age group. However, a “good” score can vary depending on the purpose of the test.

How can I help my child prepare for the OLSAT?

Familiarizing your child with the type of questions on the test can be beneficial. There are practice tests and workbooks available. Encourage logical thinking and problem-solving activities. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can also help optimize performance.

How long is the OLSAT?

The length of the OLSAT can vary depending on the level of the test, but it generally takes between 60-75 minutes to complete.

What is the format of the OLSAT?

The OLSAT is a multiple-choice test administered either on paper or digitally. It’s divided into verbal and nonverbal sections, with several subtests under each category.

Can my child retake the OLSAT if they don’t do well?

Policies for retaking the OLSAT vary by school district. Typically, it’s allowed after a certain period, usually a year. It’s best to check with your local school or test administrator.

Is the OLSAT a timed test?

Yes, the OLSAT is a timed test. The time given varies depending on the level of the test, but it’s usually about 60-75 minutes.

What type of questions are on the OLSAT?

The OLSAT includes both verbal and nonverbal reasoning questions. This might involve analogies, pattern completion, classification, serial reasoning, and more.

How often is the OLSAT administered?

The frequency of the OLSAT depends on the school or district. It’s often administered annually, but some schools may choose to administer it more or less frequently.

Does my child need to study for the OLSAT?

While the OLSAT is designed to measure innate abilities, familiarizing your child with the test format and type of questions can help reduce anxiety and improve performance. There are practice tests and preparation materials available.

Is the OLSAT used for grade placement?

The OLSAT is often used to identify gifted and talented students and may be used for placement in advanced or gifted programs. However, it’s typically not used for general grade placement.

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How long does the OLSAT 8 take?

If the OLSAT is given to younger students (K – 2nd grade), the teacher sets the pace and the test may take up to about an hour.

For older students, the test takes approximately one hour. Ten to  twenty minutes are dedicated to filling out the ID info and answering sample questions on the bubble sheet. Students are then given 40 minutes to complete the entire test. Unlike the CogAT (a similar intelligence test) the OLSAT 8 is not given section by section. They start at the beginning and move through the entire test. The same types of questions are not given together. Instead, students will see a variety of questions  throughout the test.

Is there a penalty for guessing on the OLSAT?

It is advised that students use their best judgement when it comes to choosing an answer, as there is no penalty for guessing. However, help your child solidify a technique for eliminating answers that are clearly wrong.  This way, it will be easier to guess between the answers that are leftover (to increase the chances of guessing right!).

Are OLSAT questions read aloud to the children?

At the 2nd grade level, the questions are read aloud to the kids. Your child will probably be with a group of other students so when you practice, encourage him or her to listen carefully. This way they will be prepared for this group dynamic.  When the teacher is reading the question, your child should either be looking at his or her answer choices in their  test booklet. They should not be looking around the room, or at other students. Instead, they should focus on hearing what is being said.  This is especially important for the verbal questions.

Will they go through the questions one at a time?

Yes, they will go through questions one at a time.

Will the children answer on a separate answer sheet?

Some schools have the children use a separate bubble sheet as they reuse the test booklets. Other schools let the child directly mark an answer in the test booklet.

Will the student be able to revisit any question if they choose to?

Probably not, especially because the teacher reads the questions to the child. Teach your child to look at every answer choice. Then progress to practicing how to eliminate answers that are definitely wrong. This process is especially important before choosing an answer. If they aren’t sure, they should guess between the answers that they did not eliminate.

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Tell us about your experiences

2 Responses


How long will it take for me to do the whole thing


Do the students have to answer all the questions? What if there is not enough time to finish?

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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