My dd is going to be tested in the next few months for the full-time GT program, and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas for helping her prep. I'm sure it would help to know which test specifically they will use, and I'm going to try to find that out. I'm not talking about artificially and temporarily inflating her IQ, I'm just talking about improving her chances by having her comfortable with the format, etc. Any ideas/resources?
Mommy to kids
I think just talking to your kid about the testing in general is sufficient. Let them know it is just a way of seeing how they learn so that the school and you can help her learn in the best way for her. Tell her it is okay not to know all the answers and it is okay to guess if she is not totally sure. Tell her that some questions may seem silly because they are so easy, but not to worry they will get more interesting. Other than helping her get a good nights sleep and good breakfast in the morning, I think that is about it. If she can meet the person who will do the testing even briefly first, it may help her overcome any shyness. But really, you shouldn't do anything to prepare for the content of an IQ test.
Remember it is the snapshot of one moment in time - a small piece of information in a very large puzzle that makes up your kid. If you feel the testing does not reflect her true abilities, then you can investigate further.
There are test prep materials for this just like for every other high stakes testing situation. You can try Bright Kids NYC or Critical Thinking Company or search at Amazon.
It helps to know what test is used. I'd ask the school what test they use.
Also, let her know it is serious, but not in a way that would make her anxious.
Our friend's daughter "failed" a school entrance exam (based on a compilation of IQ and other readiness tests) because she didn't know it was serious and was goofing around the whole time. (I think part of the story was that she knew the tester and was "teasing" the tester by saying she didn't know the answers to the really easy questions.)
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.
grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08
Hoagies has good information on how to prepare your child for testing:
FWIW -- it was important for my ds to know that he was going into a "testing" scenario because of strong perfectionistic tendencies as well as test anxiety. As it was, he refused to answer questions that he didn't know if he was 100% accurate, which likely depressed his overall scores. He was 5.5 at the time.
Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.
Thanks, I did see the stuff on Hoagies. I am going to talk to her about being tested, and she doesn't really know the tester so I'm not afraid she'll goof off.
I just found out today they'll be using the WASI, which is a form of the Weschler. There are some materials on the Critical Thinking website - thanks to RiverTam!
Mommy to kids
When DD went to take the gifted testing she had never been in a school situation so we basically just went over basic test taking information (writing your name on the paper, paying attention, what the symbols mean in math (we had only done oral math, really)) and stuff like that.
With DS we didn't because he had been in school. We found out (the hard way) that we needed to emphasize with him to go ahead and answer ALL the questions. He was told to color when he was done. After glancing through the "reading" portion he decided he was done and didn't answer enough questions to even be graded. LOL, the next year we said, "we don't care what the adult says, just answer all the questions." His score went from an impossible 0 (since it is percentiles, 1 should be the lowest but he got 0 since it was ungradable) to a 98 or 99.
If she hasn't been in a school situation I would also talk about what to do in various situations--- her pencil breaks, she has to go to the bathroom, she gets lost on the test (a neighbor child got lost so just started filling in answers from there on out--- eeek), or things like that. If you know other kids taking the test, that may also be comforting to mention (so and so will be there).
Do find out what sort of test it is, and the format it is given.
Is it a bubble test? Is it a group testing situation with tons of kids? How long is the test? Do they get bathroom breaks?
I made sure I knew this information before hand, so my kids were not thrown off by it. (We were talking about students that weren't even in K, and had never taken any sort of test before).
The most important item, though, is a good breakfast with protein, and a good night's sleep.
I think it's an "administered" test, so I think the psych will help her quite a bit with instructions. We decided that since it is next week (we thought we had a couple of months), we're just going to let her do her best. I did briefly consider buying the test from Amazon, but soon came to my senses!
Mommy to kids
I'm glad that you decided to just let her go in and take it without significant prep -- as it is meant to be done. I think that the slippery slope we wind up on when we even do things like practice tests from the Critical Thinking Co is that we give our kids the impression that having them score a certain way is important enough that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get those #s. And if the child does well, it leaves him always wondering in the back of his mind whether he really is that able, really belongs in the gifted programming (leading possibly to imposter syndrome), and whether his value to his parents is contingent upon his intelligence or academic performance.
I wish these tests weren't so high stakes that even rational parents were tempted to find a way to study. I, like many other parents, do know plenty of people who've purchased tests online to prep their kids ahead of time, who've hired tutors, etc. It does feel like our children are at a disadvantage in terms of being accepted to programs when we know that the other applicants are essentially cheating.
I hope that your dd does well, is relaxed enough to show them what she can do, and that the whole process isn't too stress inducing for you!
I am not a mother, but having taken SEVERAL IQ tests I can give some pointers. My calculated average IQ seems to be around 174. Different tests, use different types of questions. Some tests focus more on logic and problem solving, while others might test a persons academic training (which I despise; you can teach anyone advanced mathematics and have them retain it long enough to pass a test). The best and most accurate IQ tests attempt to measure an individuals abstract thinking and ability to comprehend new information. Also, don't let anyone tell you that your I.Q. is immalleable. Actually, your test results can change from day to day depending on mood, stress, and motivation. I do believe, however, that some people are simply gifted with a higher potential I.Q. Lets say we have an average person who scores around 120. I believe that if that person exercises his/her mind by constantly doing logic problems, complex math problems in their minds, and has a genuine desire to soak up all the info they can, then they can raise their I.Q. by several points. They might never get it up to 174, but we can all improve the functional performance of our intellect regardless the starting point. And like I said before scored can vary from day to day. Once I bombed (what I consider bombing) an IQ test by scoring a 140. I was really upset with myself, but I have never scored that low again. I guess I was having an off day.
DanGreene, I'm curious why you've needed to take so many IQ tests. Was there some kind of brain injury doctors were monitoring, or a learning disability? I'm just trying to envision a scenario where one needs to know an IQ more than once.