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We are thinking about prepping my younger daughter for the CoGAT, though we don't know when to begin, how to do it, and whether it's really a good idea.

Here's the background. She's a younger child, and has been advanced in all areas her whole life, with the exception of emotional & social intelligence. She does not seem to be profoundly gifted, but she's definitely sharp. She's 4 1/2 and starting to read and doing addition and subtraction, but her skills aren't what is really impressive about her- she is very strong in spatial orientation (puzzles, drawing, building) and her spoken verbal skills are off the charts. She uses language better than most adults (I'm not exaggerating) and she also is a logical thinker and has an incredible memory for facts and vocabulary.

But I don't really want to brag.. that's not what this is about. It's clear to me that she is going to be bored in the regular public elementary school. My older daughter is bored, and she's not even as advanced.

Last year we applied for a private school for gifted kids, which didn't require an IQ test for the pre-K class. My daughter didn't get in, but when we spoke to the admissions officer he encouraged us to apply again for kindergarten and he said he could tell that she was going to need to be in a gifted class. They just had too many qualified applicants and he said the reason they didn't take my daughter was that she didn't engage well with the other kids, she only wanted to talk to the adults (I could go on about that, but I won't).

This year we had to have her tested to apply to the school again. We took to heart the suggestion to not prep her for the test, which was written on every official website out there- the school, and the psychologist who did the testing. DH brought her to the test, the tester had ZERO rapport with my daughter and was kind of mean to her and didn't really listen to what she was saying (my daughter talks a lot and demands to be listened to and understood lol), and my daughter didn't do all that well. She needed a combined percentile of 95 to even apply to the school, and she missed by a few points. She got 99 in verbal, 97 in spatial, but completely bombed some logical thing (55) and knowledge base (in the 60s). The questions for knowledge base included questions about the SOLAR SYSTEM. What 4 year old comes across that information in their daily life? My husband TEACHES COLLEGE LEVEL ASTRONOMY and he hadn't bothered teaching my daughter about the solar system beyond explaining that the earth rotates around the sun and starts are really far away suns.... It just seemed so stupid and arbitrary. If they had asked about the bones in the body (tibula, fibula, rib cage, etc) or dinosaurs (spinosaurus is her favorite) or digestion (she knows the difference between small and large intestine) or goodness, which countries are in Europe vs Asia and to name a bunch of U.S. States she would have aced it- but how can they tell a kid's knowledge base by asking about something completely arbitrary?

So anyway, the psychologist suggested that we have her tested again next year for the public school's g&t program, which will requires either 95th or 97th percentile on the CoGAT (I forget the exact cut off). She also suggested we prep for the test. SAY WHAT???? My husband did a double take, and said "I thought that invalidated the results and would get us in trouble with the law or something?" The woman responded that most parents do it, and then she insinuated that most parents prepped for the test that my daughter took with her (the Weschler).

So now we feel like fools- we just assumed that the test would do the job of identifying our daughter as the sharp cookie that she is. Now we see that we're going to have to help her get those few extra points she needs to get into the public G&T program. We've considered not bothering, and just seeing if another year and a little more experience in school does the trick- now that she's in a Montessori school she's learning much more and her skills have really taken off! We also see how important the school environment is to her happiness- for the last 2 years she was in a "play based" preschool where there was a lot of chaos and there was some learning but not a lot of differentiation. My older daughter thrived at that preschool, but my younger daughter always complained about it- I feel bad, but I kind of wrote off her complaints because she tends to complain a lot. Anyway, she's in a new preschool this year and the teacher is very smart and knows how to work at every kids' individual level (esp because it's Montessori) and my daughter LOVES IT. She is just so happy with her school- and we were worried it would be a problem that there's only one other 4 year old and everyone else is 2 & 3- but that's not a problem at all. In fact the other 4 year old is also super bright which helps a lot- they aren't great buddies, but they do learn well together.

So I apologize for my long winded post, but can anyone offer me perspective from having BTDT? Any advice on prepping for the CoGAT? It's not all or nothing- if she misses the cut off, we can appeal and pay for private testing (and choose a different test). Rest assured, we have now learned that when choosing a private testing psychologist we will meet with them FIRST to make sure they will be able to develop a rapport with our daughter and that we trust them.

I'm still getting over what a fool I was... oh well, there's still time.
 

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I just tried to send you a long PM but apparently I haven't posted enough for that :( I think we're in the same area and poss. applying to similar schools (my daughter will be in 1st next year) so I'd love to chat more but don't want to post a bunch here.


For admission into the gifted program in Lake Wash School District, kids are extensively prepped for both the CogAt and the Achievement tests (which are one grade level higher) and they need to score 99% to get into the fulltime program that starts in 2nd grade. There is apparently a prep school run by a "Mrs Ping" in Bellevue that specifically focuses on getting kids into the program which is ridiculous. We are likely opting out of the whole mess and just finding a Montessori school for our daughter next fall because I think that is crazy. PM me if you want to chat more :)
 

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Apparently I have to post one more message in order to reply to your PM (arghhhh). So here it is :p
 
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