Testing helps schools evaluate a student’s ability to perform and whether the school is appropriate for a particular applicant. Results are also used to place students into appropriate classes once they enroll.
Admissions officers realize test scores do not tell the full story about your child. Most place equal value on the applicant’s interview, record of achievement, teacher recommendations, and student/parent written statements.
Determine which tests the school requires
Preschools and elementary schools usually test students on-site. With you outside the room, a school psychologist or administrator will ask the child to demonstrate number and letter recognition, fine and gross motor skills, and other abilities. There’s no way to prepare other than to ask what will happen during the test and how the results will be interpreted. Knowing what to expect will help your child feel relaxed and comfortable. Many schools will also require intelligence test results, such as from the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI).
Middle and high schools usually require a standardized test that covers math and verbal skills as well as a writing assignment. Ask which test each school requires, and visit the website for testing locations, dates, and registration information. The two most common tests are:
Consider purchasing study guides so your child can practice the types of questions asked on the tests.