What to expect with testing? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 05-29-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is 6 and in second grade. We currently HS through a cyber charter school. At this point, I am her primary teacher. She attends classes with other children for art, music, acting, dance, etc. provided by the school. She also does some "just for fun" classes online with other kids in the "advanced" program. We are very happy with the set-up. It's been working well for DD and for our family situation. She was recently tested and her reading level is at a 6.5 grade level. Her comprehension is similar. Her word recognition is at a 12th grade level. Her math is at a 2.5 grade level. She is a voracious reader. She play piano very well, she has many interests and gets absorbed in many things. We are going to stick with the school we are with at this time. We love the flexibility and support that we get.

The school would like to have her tested and we would like to as well. Mostly because it will allow her to be placed in a different reading grade level as well as open up many other learning opportunities for her. Can someone prepare us for what to expect when she is tested? I don't really want to turn this into a debate as to whether we should or shouldn't have her tested at this age or whether or not we should stick with the school we are in, etc. Just trying to figure out what to tell DD and what we can prepare her to expect. I went through testing when I was 8. It was low-key and I thought it was fun. I don't know how times have changed since then.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

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#2 of 13 Old 05-29-2012, 09:46 PM
 
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Can you simply ask the school what test they will be using?  Are they volunteering to test her or asking you to have her tested by a psychologist?  Are they looking at an ability test or an achievement test?


 

 

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#3 of 13 Old 05-30-2012, 06:59 AM
 
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Can you simply ask the school what test they will be using?  Are they volunteering to test her or asking you to have her tested by a psychologist?  Are they looking at an ability test or an achievement test?

 

Yes, these are all good questions.  "Testing" varies widely and you'll have to get better information from your school. It isn't clear whether it's a simple reading achievement test or a complete psycho-educational assessment with IQ testing etc. A simple reading test should take an hour or less. An IQ test, such as the WISC or Standford-Binet may take a half-day. More involved psychoeducational assessments may take up to a week or so to complete. 

 

Which school is requesting testing - the Bricks and Mortar school where she attends art and dance classes or the cyber school? If it's the B&M school, what is their typical process for testing? IME, there is usually a psychologist on staff with the school district who administers an IQ test. Sometimes it's in a group setting (eg. COGAT), rather than individual testing (WISC, Standford-Binet).  That may make a difference, depending on how your child reacts to group vs. individual attention. That's leaving aside any questions about accuracy of group testing. If it's the cyber school, is it an on-line assessment that they would like to perform? I can see accuracy of an on-line test as being really problematic for a 6 y.o., even one who is an advanced reader. 

 

If you have any concerns that your child will find testing too stressful or questions about your child's ability to cope with the assessment process, I would find out if the school will accept results from a private evaluation. That way, you get to choose the psychologist and the setting. If you are willing to pay, you can find a psychologist to administer tests in your home. 

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#4 of 13 Old 05-30-2012, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the input. The place where she attends physical classes is through the cyber school. It's one and the same. She will be tested by a psychologist in person. I am not sure which test they will be using. That is a good thing to find out. I didn't know that there were different tests. I will e-mail the coordinator and find out and go from there. I appreciate your insight.

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#5 of 13 Old 05-30-2012, 10:59 AM
 
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Warn her the test is coming, explain that the tester is going to see how much she knows and how much she can figure out.  The questions start easy and will get harder -- she's not expected to know them all.  She should try her best but not worry about getting something wrong. Tell her she can ask for a break or a trip to the bathroom.   Get her a good night's sleep and feed her a good breakfast.

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#6 of 13 Old 05-30-2012, 11:35 AM
 
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The questions start easy and will get harder -- she's not expected to know them all.  She should try her best but not worry about getting something wrong. Tell her she can ask for a break or a trip to the bathroom. 

 

 

I explained to my kids that the tests they were taking would continue to get harder and harder until they couldn't answer questions -- no matter how well they were doing. I told them it was impossible  for them to tell how they were doing based on how hard the test *seemed.*  They shouldn't read anything into the fact that the end of the test was impossible. (this was true of the tests they took, but I don't know if the test(s) your child is taking will be the same.

 

Good luck!  Both my kids enjoyed testing.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 13 Old 05-30-2012, 01:36 PM
 
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Good point, Linda.

 

Both my kids hit false ceilings on their testing -- they made it to the end of the available questions.  I didn't really explain that the test will stop when they've gotten too hard out of concern that they'd get upset thinking they'd gotten the last few wrong.  For my DD at least, it would have tanked the whole rest of the test. 

 

My DD suffers from a lot of anxiety, though.  Hopefully this isn't a normal response.

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#8 of 13 Old 05-30-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All good suggestions! Thank you for helping to know how to prepare her about the tests. I am anxious to get it over and done with. I haven't explained anything to her yet. I will wait until

I speak with the coordinator and go from there.

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#9 of 13 Old 05-31-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopefulmama View Post

Thank you for the input. The place where she attends physical classes is through the cyber school. It's one and the same. She will be tested by a psychologist in person. I am not sure which test they will be using. That is a good thing to find out. I didn't know that there were different tests. I will e-mail the coordinator and find out and go from there. I appreciate your insight.

 

Ah, I didn't read your first post carefully enough, so I missed that it was the same school, sorry.

 

Our kids were tested when they were 8 y.o. We explained to our children that the testing was to find out how they learned, since everyone is a little different in how they understand and remember and use information. Then we would know how best to teach them and help them learn different kinds of information. So it was important that they tried to answer the questions but if they couldn't that was okay too, it would help us understand how they think. We didn't mention any other use for the test results, like identification of giftedness or admission to special programs. 

 

I've known a few parents who didn't explain anything about the testing process to their kids, and the kids thought the various questions, puzzles etc. were "dumb". So they blew it off, answered with some sarcasm or obviously wrong responses and as a result, their results weren't accurate. At least one of them was re-tested a couple of years later and was then accepted into a gifted program, but they had a rough couple of years in school before the re-testing happened. 

 

You may want to confirm with the school that you will be notified when the testing will happen. In one public system that my kids attended for awhile, there were only a few school psychologists who served many, many schools. Their schedules for something like gifted testing tended to be squeezed in around other duties. Parents gave consent for testing, but wouldn't necessarily know what day the psychologist was going to appear at the school. I knew a few kids who were called out of class unexpectedly, and at least a couple were unhappy about missing a favourite art or gym class or who were just not in a good frame of mind for testing that day. I don't think they were as co-operative as they might have been if they were better prepared for a change in their daily routine. Again, test results may have been skewed a little in unco-operative or anxious kids, and it could have been easily avoided. 

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#10 of 13 Old 06-01-2012, 06:45 PM
 
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Prepare yourself for possible anti-homeschooling bias. DS has been tested twice. The first time I was prepared for the tester to be horrified about homeschooling, and she was radiant about it. Because of that, I was unprepared the second time, when the tester and her supervisor were dismissive (not hesitant about the aspect of homeschooling that are in fact hard, but about odd things, like for instance upset that I had not consulted my district specialists when I chose AoPS for math) and not really even willing to discuss results.

 

There's good advice out there about how to prep children (explain that the tester is trying to hit a ceiling, for instance), but IME many gifted kids really enjoy testing and enjoy the challenge of it.

 

If you are doing achievement testing also, you might want to prep your DD for a lot of writing, and find out if the tester can accommodate her age in some way, perhaps not testing every level or having her write out five math problems instead of twenty per level, something like that.

 

Heather

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#11 of 13 Old 06-02-2012, 09:10 AM
 
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I agree with the other poster who suggested telling your child it's a test to see how they learn.  That's what we did with our boys and it really takes the pressure off and allows them to just do their best.  I told my son that he needed to try his hardest and that there would probably be a point where he couldn't answer the questions any more, but that he was to continue to do his best.  

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#12 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So many good suggestions. DD will be anxious about getting everything "right"-she is a perfectionist. I really like the idea of telling her it will be to find out how she learns. I haven't mentioned anything about it yet. It will take place this summer. Not sure when, but since I will have to take her for the testing, we will have advance notice.

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#13 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 08:10 PM
 
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Yeah, that's what we told dd1, too, at the psychologist's suggestion — that the testing was to help us figure out which way she learned best.

 

good luck!


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