Gifted and Talented Test Preparation Curriculum

For those facing the test in the next few months, see the cramming section at the bottom.  The material here is for pre K through 1st or 2nd grade, suitable for 12 to 8 months before the exam.  It is background work before critical thinking exercises; practice tests will follow.

August 2012:  I moved the reading section to it's own page.  It's the best page in the blog.
April 2014:  I added PDF versions of my "Bob" books for math.
July 2014:  I thoroughly review most test prep material in my blog.

Math
General math and arithmetic is fine 12 to 3 months before the test.  By as that date approaches, switch to word problems, shapes and vocabulary, series, anything but arithmetic.
 
Resource Comments
AGAT Books for Math
These books introduce math vocabulary and concepts and a prerequisite for critical thinking.  It's so much easier to teach math when you have a vocabulary base to work with. I started using these at age 3 and my son started to comprehend the material at about 4.

Book 1: xps version pdf version
Book 2: xps version pdf version
Book 3: xpx version pdf version
Since these are so hard, I've created a few easier ones that are more focused:
Book 4 - Series xps version pdf version
Book 5 - Lines xps version pdf version
Book 6 xps version pdf version

All of the rest of math vocabulary through 2nd grade, like monetary terms, are not pertinent to test prep, so I never actually used any more terms than what you see in these books.  I consider these "pre-test prep" books, suitable for kids with no exposure to math who don't face a test in the next three months.

To print:  Print these on a colored printer, with the printer setting of "2 sided - flip page on the short edge". Then you cut the stack in half, place the top half on the bottom half, and it magically comes out in book form, like a Bob book.  Then staple in the middle like a book.
eduplace.com For more "school math", I print the worksheets 2 grades up and go through them, 1 to 4 pages per night.  This is my bread and butter for math.  It's free.  Here is the link I use. If you are home schooling and need a script, use can use this material.  I also use ixl.com as a supplement to a basic math course.  I'm not sure any of this will help on the GAT test, but it will help you child from getting crushed in acelerated math.
Sylvan At some point, you might get stuck with eduplace material.  I stopped at the chapters on addition and subtraction and moved to the Slyvan Kindergarten math workbook.  It's more conducive to teaching K math to a 3 year old.   We did one or 2 pages a day.  You can save any computation (like adding/subtracting) for after the test.  This material is the closest I can find to "test prep" math.  After first Kindergarten, math diverges from test prep.
Building Thinking Skills, Primary I got this for my older son but never used it.  The math is too easy for K, and the writing is too hard.   At least in my house.   But for a 3/4 year old doing a page here and a page there, it works fine.  I alternate with the Sylvan and the  eduplace.com material.  So every day there is something to do, and it doesn't have to be the same.  If we get stuck on one, I pull out the other.   Before you know it, at 2 pages a day, we're done.
Every Day Math Journal Once we're ready for 2nd grade math, I switch over to these. No text book. But I do supplement with flashcards, worksheets, and work books as needed.
Basic Workbook Gifted and Talented material is long on thinking and short on rote practice.  We take a break every few weeks to do some good old fashion arithmetic.   I am using Spectrum math for 1st grade.  You can find many of these for a low price at any bookstore.
Other Home Grown Material There is a huge gap between good material at age 6 and good material at age 10.  Math facts practice is a horrible way to train for a test because the test requires careful consideration of the question and thinking through the solution, and math facts teaches speed and memorization.  Finally, I created Test Prep Math Level 2 and Test Prep Math Level 3 for 2nd and 3rd grader.  These are brutally difficult until the child (and parent) unlearns speed and learns the basic thinking skills required for the test..

Science

We never had much success before school, although we bought many science kits.   I also replicated at home for my 3 year old, the experiments that my 1st grader was doing in school.  These were fun:
- freeze and boil water
- pour water in a variety of containers
- plant a flower or grass on the window sill
- talk about the weather
- mix unpopped popcorn, rice and cornmeal in a bowl.  Separate with a variety of colanders.
- Vinegar and baking soda in a variety of containers
- Food coloring - mix primary colors to make blue, purple, orange, and brown
For preTest reading, we switch to books by National Geographic or DK - things with lots of names, classification, vocabulary that might be fodder for a test.

The Offseason

The offseason is where average kids become bright and bright kids get way ahead.
ResourceMy Review
The LibraryThe #1 thing to do in the offseason is get as many high quality children's books by award winning authors as you can and read them to your child. Bring a laundry basket to the library each week.
Phonics and introductory readingIt's debatable whether early reading gives you a leg up in test prep.  If you have time, definitely do it because test prep becomes easier if your child can read the directions of the work book.
BrainQuest Workbook by Workman Publishing Company (R/V)For a busy parent, this is my #1 recommendation for the off season.  As the off season draws to a close, Building Thinking skills becomes my #1 recommendation, but Building Thinking Skills requires more parent involvement.
Building Thinking Skills Book series (CriticalThinking.com)I consider these a mandatory part of test prep curriculum and the only book I would strongly recommend.  However, you have to work at least 1 level up from where the child is now for them to be effective.  If you are totally organized, you can complete these in the offseason.  Otherwise, it's test prep.
http://www.eduplace.com/math/hmm/ (R/V)Eduplace itself is a great free resource. The link I provide here is my math curriculum for my 3 year old. Click on the link with the duck. I am printing each worksheet, 3 per subsection.  Nothing good for test prep.
www.ixl.comThis is a great way for a parent to orient themselves to math curriculum. For gifted children, this means one to two years ahead. I find it easier to work with workbooks than websites for my child. I might try this again for child #2.  Nothing good for test prep.
edhelper.comNot a bad website. If I had an older child in need of additional help outside of school, I might use this more. I don't think the primary target is gifted children. I have a subscription but use it sparingly. Might be very useful to English as a second language families.
Pathway Readers at Timberdoodle.com (R/V)After the Kindergarten/1st Grade level Dick and Jane, we switched to these readers and went about 1/2 way through the second grade level. These cost about $6 a piece.  Of course, this won't help you with test prep.
Timberdoodle.comThis site is notable because it's a store for homechoolers. It's interesting to see what they offer. I think I can do the same for about 10% of what they recommend you spend.
pbskids.org (R/V)It is the only "computer" or "video game" my children are allowed to play at home.  Not suitable for test prep.



Gifted and Talented Test Prep Cramming

My review of popular test preparation aids. I am not affiliated in any way with any of the sites or books I recommend here, which is why I don't recommend any of the over priced ones. If there is an (R) next to the item, I recommend it. If there is a (V) next to the item, it's a good value or free. My area of focus is 3 to 6 year old. In Chicago, by this time, the child has already tested for the Gifted and Talented Program (renamed Options Program).   One Barnes and Nobel store near us carries most of these now.

These are listed in the order I used them to get ready for the test.  If you are facing the test next month, go to the bottom of the list.

ResourceMy Review
Building Thinking Skills Book series (CriticalThinking.com)I consider these a mandatory part of test prep curriculum and the only book I would strongly recommend.  However, you have to work at least 1 level up from where the child is now for them to be effective.  If you are totally organized, you can complete these in the offseason.  Otherwise, it's test prep.  
Test Preparation by Steck-Vaughn (R/V)Yes, practice tests for 4 year olds. What have we become? My older son had fun doing these, since he likes puzzles, challenges, and figuring things out.  If you see chapter 3, you'll see why these are good for a cognitive skills test.
Iowa Basic Practice TestsThese were challenging and super hard.  Of course, the test is way harder than you think.  I gave these to my child (2 grades up) to teach him the test taking strategies, like guessing and staring blankly at a question that is way to hard.  These aren't bad ways to prep for the OLSAT, for certain types of questions, primarily reading comprehension.  I also like finding material that throws in unexpected questions from out of the blue, like 'what's a compound word.' 
testingmom.comI review testingmom.com more fully in my May 24, 2014 posting. This works well for tests that are easy to prep for with little kids, like the OLSAT/NNAT, but not so much with the COGAT.
COGAT Test PrepMy review of the COGAT books is June 28, 2014.  I recommend 2 books from Smart Cookie Ink for 1 or 2 years ahead of your child's grade.  Any more than that is a waste of time.
OLSAT Test Prep booksI tried these as well.   These are expensive, not hard, and not a good way at all to study for the OLSAT.   They are not bad at evaluating which areas require further study.   These are truly "practice" tests.   I feel like the $10 general test prep books, Flash Kids, and Brain Quest actually taught something, but these did not.

82 comments:

  1. Hello, thank you so much for sharing this material! Was wondering where I can download the series 2 and series 3 GAT books?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I completely forgot that I did these. I'll have to look around and get back to you. I've got a few hundred more questions that I'm trying to figure out how to get on the web. I'm not sure this is going to be easy. In the meantime, I think the Kaplan book is an excellent resource at this level, although it takes longer to work through than the little booklets I created.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the resources! Will look forward to the other series in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure what test you're taking, but in about a week we sit for the 1st grade, which was my original target 3 years ago. After that, I'll have about 6 months worth of updates to upload.

    ReplyDelete
  5. DO you have the first set in PDF format ? (AGAT)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a good idea. The current format is xps, which is Microsoft's version of xps. Since this is a visio document, I'm not sure the pdf version is going to print well, or look ok, but it's worth a try. Give me some time. I'm working on an interactive format that will be ridiculously hard and will be the destination of the rest of the material (I'll need 3 months or more for that).

      Delete
    2. The pdf versions are now published.

      Delete
    3. Hello Norwood, It looks like Book 4 - Series &
      Book 5 - Lines pdf version are the same documents.

      Delete
    4. That's possible. I've got a long todo list and a small number of hours to get it done. Since there's so much material for K and Pre K, and so little material after 1st grade, I'm current concentrating on 2nd grade.

      Delete
  6. This is such a wonderful blog. Do you do private tutoring?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I offer free parent coaching, usually at social events when the parent really doesn't want any coaching, but sometimes outside of that. I'm like a combination of Susie Orman and Super Nanny. I tutor my own 3 kids about 5 to 10 hours a week depending on what's going on, and that pretty much uses about 125% of my available reserve of patience.

      Delete
    2. Looking for GT books for grade 4, if any one have please share.

      Delete
  7. Which book did you mean for COGAT Test prep mentioned above?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Also for Iowa tests too, which book/resource did you mean when you mentioned it above?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for sharing your experience, and I really enjoyed reading your blog. We are in Houston, Texas, would you mind to recommend a test prep book for Texas?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for this - a great list. Question on the Building thinking skills book series from critical thinking. They also offer test prep bundles. Do you recommend the bundle or just the thinking skills book?

    ReplyDelete
  11. The test prep bundles are a pretty good list of options for your child, depending on strengths and weaknesses. I did math separately, for example, and made my own manipulative with scissors and craft paper. Also, I checked the list up 1 to 2 grades and not grade level. I liked Can You Find Me and also Mind Benders, which seemed out of reach at first. Mainly I just bought Building Thinking Skills and test prep books. By the way, except for skills assessments, the OLSAT test prep books are useless.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks much for this one stop shop! Can you please share the links to your recommended ITBS prep materials/books/sites? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello,
    Thank you for this helpful site. My son is in third grade and will be taking the COGAT test in a month. I noticed that your information is recommended for the younger grades. Is there a book(s) that you recommend for a third grader?

    ReplyDelete
  14. It depends on how insane you are. What I would do is get 3 test prep books for 4th grade. Smart Cookie is out, so that leaves 2 from Mercer and 1 one from Bright Kids. Do 2 books nightly and save the 3rd for a practice test. If you've got an hour to spare each night on top of that, work in the grade 4 to 6 book Building Thinking skills and only do the reading and vocab parts. This one might be a bit easy.

    Everything I put in here applies to all grades through grad school, with the exception of battling the whining and crying with a 5 year old. I hope.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi my 6 yrs old will be taking the gifted an talented test in January which. Book you recommend I am from NY..

    ReplyDelete
  16. HI MY DAUGHTER IS 10 YEARS OLD SHE IS IN 5TH SHE WILL BE TAKING THE GIFTED AND TALENTED TEST IN NOVEMBER. WHICH BOOK YOU RECOMMEND I AM FROM HOUSTON TEXAS

    ReplyDelete
  17. OK, I'm working on this. I'm not sure you're going to like my answer, and I think it's going to deserve it's own post. Fortunately, I don't advertise my blog so it will be our little secret.

    ReplyDelete
  18. HI MY 4 YEAR OLD WILL BE TAKING THE G&T TEST IN JANUARY, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHICH BOOK THAT YOU ARE RECOMEND PLEASE. I'M FROM NY. THANKS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My recommendations for NY are in an Oct 9, 2014 post. Also, read a stack of children's books and children's poetry each night from award winning writers and authors.

      Delete
  19. I am looking to test my kid in Jan for Tag in austin tx could you please recommend some books (honestly i found your blog bit confusing as to where to start the prep )

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sorry about the confusion. 20 minutes a week is barely enough time to refine my content. You have to read my blog to understand the program.

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a great blog!
    I'm the mom of a 3 & 2 Y.O. based in Los Angeles and gavé a couple of questions:
    Is it too early to start prepping and should I do it together?
    I'm originally from France and only speak/read in French at home. Should I switch language?
    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - these are 2 great questions. I need to know what month your children were born, but in general you can start test prep by following my reading program page especially the read-to section and the letter blocks. Do it in English, and you and your children can learn English together. I wish we spoke French in this house, but as soon as my 10 year old came from a French speaking country, we had to go 100% English for him to catch up. He can relearn French in high school. All of your academic activities have to be done with the parent until the child is about 9, in my opinion.

      Delete
  22. Many thanks for this feedback. My oldest boy was born on December 18, 2011, and my youngest in May 19, 2013 (life is busy!!!).
    I work full time but try to get a full hour every day for reading activities. The pediatrician had recommended me to stick to French at home since this is my mother tongue, but I now realize that.it could be a serious issue for testing.
    I really appreciate this page and you sharing your experience. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I know some gifted kids who get to 1st grade with 2 languages. From what parents tell me, they focus on English until the child is performing well. Then they start the child on language instruction for Polish, Korean, etc. English is the language of school, and the native language is the language of home. After a few years, the child catches up again and is twice as smart as the rest of us. Don't give up French, just hold off until later.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow!Thanks for great informative blog ...my 6 YO currently in 1st grade will be taking CogAT n IOWA assessments in jan n feb ...any quick recommends please.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I recently wrote an article on the COGAT test prep books. This is what I recommend. The COGAT is a good test to study for because the cognitive skills it tests for are learnable and immediately applicable to academic work. For the IOWA tests, get ahead in vocab and math. But since you are pressed for time, get a IOWA practice test for 2nd grade and do it with your child. Hopefully, the 1st grade version will be easier.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello,

    Wonderful aggregation of knowledge and material on your site! Any luck on finding the series 2 and series 3 GAT books? We weren't aware of how the system works and are late to the game, trying to last minute prep our 4 year old for the test on January 5th.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I never found a finished version. I think it was because we went right into reading for about 6 months at that time. I'd like to point out that my target all along was next year's test, which is completely different that the one you just took. So you have to reread all of my boring material and get ready for next year.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi, my son is in second grade. He will be taking a test in Jacksonville Florida. But I'm not sure which test. What do you recommend?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi! I am new to your blog and greatly appreciated all of the information!!!!! I am new to the intelligence testing world, and have been very frustrated by the lack of information available that doesn't require payment. Thank you for all of your information!
    My son just turned three years old and I had him tested (at 2 years, 11 months) using WPPSI by a licensed, school psychologist. WPPSI is used by the Arizona school district we are located in for admission to a gifted pre-k and kindergarten program. CogAT is used for admission to the gifted program called Renaissance starting in 1st grade.
    I had my son tested to just get a baseline of my son's abilities and to then possibly assess his needs for the CogAt test. The WPPSI results, without going into a lot of detail, indicate there is a significant need for cognitive skills development. Thus my dive into the world of intelligence tests and research.
    In the January 5, 2014 blog post, you mention "The list of skills necessary to achieve a high score on the cognitive ability test can be taught by reading, puzzles, lots of games, building toys, building with instructions (for a few question types) and good conversations with the parents where the parents ask leading questions." I have noted on your blog a good amount of information on workbooks, so I was wondering if you could expand on the puzzles, games, building toys, etc. that you have used. My son LOVES puzzles, so I would really like to try and focus on these hands on tools.
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to provide a bit more information, my son has attended a curriculum based school (i.e. Bright Horizons for Infant and Toddler, and now Children's Learning Adventure for Preschool and most likely through Kindergarten). I also read to him every night since he was a baby for at least 30 minutes.

      Delete
  30. Hi,
    Which link has free printables that your printed, on eduplace.com? Thank you, your site has been a great help. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this. Great compilation of math resources for kids.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The pdf for the fifth book links to the fourth book. Can you fix it please? Thanks for your site! I am loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi, can u please suggest some books for grade 2 and 3. How to get my child tested for Gat . My child is 8 yr old and in grade 2. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is for the gifted and talented test for teachers or students?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This site is for desperate parents.

      Delete
  35. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi,

    My daughter will be taking up the exams for 3rd grade shortly in a month or so. Do you have any sample questions or any books you would recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a real gap after the 1st grade. In about a week, I'm going to publish a book for 3rd graders, but it's going to take more than a month to get through, and it's going to be ridiculously hard. You're not going to find good material for the visual aspects of the test, but you might benefit from the 4-6 grade Building Thinking skills book if you focus on the verbal sections. You could probably do the whole book in a month, including the non-verbal parts. I just got the 3-4 grade COGAT test prep book by smart cookie, but it seems more appropriate for my 2nd grader.

      Delete
  37. Hi, I am preparing my little one for Kindergarten GT test. Please let me know which grade book of Building thinking skills series would work .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have time, start with Level 1 which will go very quickly, and then do level 2. If you don't have 6 months, then start with Level 2 and be prepared to read the questions to your child.

      Delete
    2. Thank you very much for your reply. if i have to write how much I love your blog, my blog would be bigger than yours. I greatly appreciate you sharing all these information for all desperate parents , which most people don't and just brag about how genius their kids are right from the day they were born.

      Delete
  38. Hi,

    My son is in Grade 5 now and thinking to prepare him for some type of GT Test which is good for MENSA Kids.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi,

    My son is in Grade I, Plano, Texas. This week I came to know that he will be tested for GT in Jan 2016. This is the first time i am hearing a term GT TESTING. Dont know where to start. He is already doing Spectrum Math and Language Art as a routine every day. Need your guidance in this. Do i have enough time to prepare? He is really good in reading and Math and he is doing workbooks of Grade 2 at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good place to start is about 2 years ago in my articles. Skip the ones involving school Put away Spectrum Math for the next 6 months because it's training him not to have the cognitive skills he needs for the test. When you're done with test training, just give him a 3rd grade math workbook and he'll teach himself. (Don't listen to anyone who bad mouth's test prep - it's gold). Do a practice test now and a practice test right before the exam. In between, I'd recommend Building Thinking skills grades 2/3 or 4/6 (skip the reading parts), the grade 3-4 NNAT book from Smart Cookie, Vocabulary Workshop (if you have time) and some hard core reading comprehension grade 2 or 3. Don't think of it as test prep, think of it as your chance to create an Academic Machine.

      Delete
  40. I am looking to have my 3 y-o (turning 4 at the end of Nov) take the NYC Gifted and Talented test come January 2015. From reading your articles, it appears we will have to cram! So where to begin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the perfect time to start reading. See my page on reading. The kid will pick up general skills during this activity. I'm assuming you meant January 2016, which is 3 months away. I'm not the authority on the NY test, but you need Building Thinking skills primary stat, as well as a practice OLSAT and a practice NNAT - easiest levels. Practice tests should be at the beginning and end of your time line. Don't let a question go without beating it to death - go for quality and not quantity, careful thinking and not speedy performance.

      Delete
  41. Hi, what do you recommend as the test prep for InView (3rd grader) - this is the test used in Montgomery County, MD. I have looked at CoGAT and Raven Progressive Matrices.
    Thanks for your post on dcurbanmom snobbish moms, I had a good laugh about that. I just hope the kids in GAT are not like their moms, and this whole process is worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There isn't much out there. I created Test Prep Math Level 3 for this reason, but it focuses on general skills for the test and the skills for the quantitate section but not specific practice for the analogies and matrices. I like Smart Cookie NNAT 3-4, but I'm not sure how challenging it will be for a 3rd grader. It can't hurt. Other than Vocab Workshop for the verbal section, read at least an hour a day (30 min for a real book at 30 min of anything else your child wants to read). Buy an electronic keyboard and make your child teach himself the piano. Build robots. Enroll in an acting class. I did all of this. For the raven progressive matrices, start trying free online tests. Some of these are ok, and some are way too easy. One site I found was very similar to the COGAT. Then decide if you want to waste a lot of money with Aristotle Circle.

      Delete
  42. Hello,
    Your blog is so helpful. My child will be testing in mid January in Roundrock, TX in KG. Like you mentioned in Chicago, test names are not publicized, just called Reasoning tests and Abilities/Aptitudes tests. Will you be able to give any pointers to what I should focus on in the next two months?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds like the NNAT and the COGAT. My last 20 posts are on this topic. Most of my blog focuses on the COGAT because that is the harder of the 2. I'm not aware of any school district except for New York that uses the NNAT on its own. New York's scores went up to 99% the first year the NNAT was used.

      Delete
  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi, my child is in the first grade and took the Cogat testing in September. They have now sent a permission letter for further testing in the first week of December. Could you please give any pointers on what type of tests it will (I asked the school, they said it depends on the child itself and they are not able to say exactly which test it will be)? Will it be ITBS/IOWA/OLSAT/NNAT? Also, since we are last minute and cramming for test prep which resources - books or online subscription is the best to prepare my child for the test format in the next two weeks? Appreciate your help. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No clue. I don't think it would be the NNAT or OLSAT. That doesn't make any sesne. Could be ITBS, our could be Weschler or Stanford-Binet. If you only have 2 weeks, do reading comprehension. I say this based on 15 assumptions and about 2 pages of logic which I don't have room to put here.

      Delete
    2. We live in Georgia (not sure if that helps). Thank you.

      Delete
  45. Another good resource is Lymboo Math, at www.lymboo.com. It is free for most part for free and unlimited math practice. We use it to for critical thinking topic practice. You can browse their curriculum by stages or search for topics.

    Paid version provides personalized and structured practice, which is useful for GAT as well as school grades. Paid version has free 7-day trial and is $9.95 per month.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hello. Thank you so much for all the information on this website! We are currently in 'crunch time'. My 4th grader will be taking CogAT in February followed by ITSB. What should I be focusing on over the next couple of months? He's struggling with figure matrices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you need to work on figure matrices. I would like to know what material you are using and characterize struggle for me. This is my specialty. There isn't a lot of great material for the COGAT after 2nd grade. I think you need to get over struggle. This is my technical specialty.

      Delete
    2. I've ordered practice Cogat tests (Mercer) and he's doing OK with verbal section, amazing with quanitative section and is weakest at the non-verbal section. We've gone through most of Building Thinking Skills level 2 and am planning on moving him on to the figural and verbal books. We practice from Orbiting with Logic here and there too as well as math practice with Spectrum books. I just don't know if I need to be switching gears now and how to organize the next couple of months especially taking advantage of winter break. Also reccomendations on reading comprehension for ITSB is appreciated. We've been practicing with Illinois Reading Coach (grade 6). Not sure what else to do. Thank you so much for your help, your website has been a huge support for us!

      Delete
  47. Hello,
    My daughter will be appearing for the ITBS test in the next 3 months.She is currently 5.5 years old and in kindergarten. Can you please recommend some books and how to start the process? I am new to this country and not familiar with the process.Thank you for all your help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ITBS is a test of where your child is academically. There are a number of good, cheap books from Spectrum, Scoring Higher and others under the title "Test Prep". These tests also have an element of thinking that is not found in standardized test prep literature. What your child should be doing at this age is 1st grade math and lots of reading, phonics if necessary. To succeed on the ITBS, your child must be ahead in school.

      Delete
  48. Hi! My Name is Kathrina and I want to prepare my son for this and hes 12months. I want to prepare him as early as possible. Can you please give me any advice that will work best toward reaching this goal? Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12 months is as early as possible. Start with a reading program. Find really good material, like award winners, at his reading level, and put 30 minutes of reading on a schedule, with 20 or 30 minutes of you reading at bedtime. The rest of the program depends on age, since the quality of test prep varies by age.

      Delete
  49. Hi, I am unclear on which level of Smart Cookie books to order for the Cogat. My daughter is 6 and currently in KG. She is taking the test in a month to see if she qualifies for a higher abilities class in 1st grade. I am assuming I buy at least the books for grade 1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. In the last month, a first grade book is useful to make sure your child understands the format and rules of the test and doesn't come up with her own goofy ideas about how to answer the questions. I used the 1st grade book for a full practice run (over a week, not in one sitting). I'm a big fan of the 2 test book from Smart Cookie at the second grade level, but the math section is a little different for older kids. We were already ahead in math so it didn't matter for us.

      Delete
  50. Where are the PDFs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should be able to click on the links in the 1st row of the table. These files are in google docs. Some readers sent google doc requests for access and I granted it. I'm not sure why I had to do this, but if the link doesn't work, please complain again.

      Delete
  51. Hi, i am new to this world, i am from georgia!!! My son is in kindergarten, please help how can i prepare him for gifted talent prog in first grade!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi we moved to the States from Europe last summer and my son is in first grade currently. We just received a letter from school saying they will be tested middle of next month. What is the best i can do to prepare him over the next 15 days? Your help is greatly appreciated and am so thankful to moms like you for being there to help out.
    KK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are down to the very final step in the test prep cycle, since you only have a few weeks left. Go to amazon and get Practice Test for the CogAT® Form 7 Level 9 (Grade 2*) Practice Test 1 by Mercer Publishing - express shipping. Make sure your child does not make up any silly rules and understands what the questions are asking. Don't worry if your child gets everything wrong. This is not necessarily an indication of test performance. Then, depending on where Europe is in education for a 6 year old, you will either pass or address gaps in the next year or two for the next testing opportunity.

      Delete
  53. Hello!! What an AMAZING Blog. I've been on here at least an hour already. My son was recently moved to our local public school from the charter school he was attending. When I inquired about having him tested for GT, I was told that the testing for kinder had already taken place and that he would be on the list to be tested the first week of first grade. Im I being blown off, or does this happen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Administering the test and organizing a GAT program is a lot of work. I'm glad to hear that your school district tests every year. If you don't know anything about GAT tests, they're a strange animal compared to academic work. Test prep season beings next month.

      Delete
  54. The plan is to spend this extra time to prepare. We just purchased Building Thinking Skills you suggested. Do you know what test is administered in Texas? Is it the Cogat?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Texas, like Chicago, tries to keep this a secret. It's the COGAT and the ITBS, as well as teacher recommendations. When you got to parent teacher conferences, let the teacher know what a great job she is doing and don't say anything else.

      Delete