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OLSAT Test Prep Methods

The OLSAT test can be very challenging for young children who aren’t familiar with test taking. The good news is that you don’t have to send your child into the OLSAT test cold. There are plenty of ways to go about your OLSAT test prep process, including workbooks, online sites, games, puzzles, and even tutors who specialize in the skills measured on the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test. While you never know for sure what will be on the test, it is crucial to help your child develop the skills that are measured on the exam so that he/she knows how to work through the questions on the test. It’s a good idea to push your child to challenge themselves. Try encouraging them to attempt  harder questions and activities in case he/she encounters any difficult questions on the test. Some of the biggest hurdles include teaching them how to:

  • Sit still
  • Listen carefully to what is being asked of them
  • Knowing how to think through a question and look at all the answer choices before jumping in and answering

Developing these test-taking abilities can be just as challenging for some children as answering the questions themselves. Plus, the different types of questions on the OLSAT are mixed up, which can be hard for some kids. For this reason, practicing at home beforehand helps tremendously.

Sample OLSAT Test Prep Questions

We recommend focusing on the above test taking skills and the seven abilities below while practicing through our practice material. Sign up for 100 free questions instantly by clicking this orange button.

100 Free Gifted Practice Questions

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Seven Abilities that Make the Biggest Difference on the OLSAT

  • Listening and focusing: this ability measures a child’s capacity to pay attention to instructions, follow directions, and maintain focus during the test. To succeed in this area, children need to develop strong concentration skills, listen actively to test administrators, and stay engaged throughout the testing process.
  • Language: The OLSAT assesses a child’s language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, and verbal reasoning. To excel in this area, children should have a strong grasp of the English language, be able to understand and use a wide range of vocabulary words, and be proficient in interpreting and analyzing verbal information.
  • Knowledge/comprehension: This ability evaluates a child’s general knowledge and understanding of various subject areas, such as science, social studies, and literature. Children need to demonstrate a solid foundation of factual information and the ability to comprehend and interpret new information to perform well in this area.
  • Memory: The OLSAT tests a child’s memory skills, which are crucial for retaining and recalling information. To succeed in this area, children should develop strategies for effective memorization, such as chunking, repetition, and mnemonic devices. Strong memory skills can contribute to better problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.
  • Mathematics: the OLSAT assesses a child’s mathematical abilities, including number sense, computation, and problem-solving. Children need to be proficient in basic mathematical operations, understand mathematical concepts, and demonstrate the ability to apply these skills in various problem-solving situations.
  • Visual-spatial reasoning: This ability measures a child’s capacity to interpret and analyze visual information, such as patterns, shapes, and spatial relationships. To excel in this area, children should develop strong spatial awareness, be able to recognize patterns and relationships, and understand how objects relate to each other in space.
  • Cognitive/thinking skills: The OLSAT evaluates a child’s overall cognitive abilities, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. Children need to demonstrate the ability to analyze information, draw logical conclusions, and apply their knowledge to solve complex problems to perform well in this area.

3 Tips to Make OLSAT Prep Fun

1. To build strong listening and focusing skills, show your child how to put on their “listening ears” and point to your mouth as you speak. Grab your own ears and say, “Do you have your listening ears on?” Then, point to your mouth as you speak. This helps your child pay attention to what you’re saying and avoid getting distracted.

2. Build your child’s practice stamina up slowly. Start by asking three questions, then four, then gradually build up to 10 questions in a row. As each goal is achieved, offer a small reward (like stickers or choosing a favorite story for bedtime), plus praise for working hard! One caveat: Don’t rush practice sessions. Racing through the test and answering incorrectly because your child didn’t take enough time to carefully read each answer can lower their overall score (and percentile rank).

3. Find silly ways to engage your child’s critical thinking skills. This test includes “gotcha”-type questions where students are expected to eliminate wrong answers as well as choose correct ones. Try holding up an umbrella and pair of socks on a rainy day, then asking your child: “Which of these will keep us dry on our walk to the bus this morning?” or “Which pair of socks matches my outfit?” Helping your child learn to identify answers that are obviously wrong (and why) will make these types of questions easier!

Click here for our comprehensive information page on the OLSAT.

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