For the rare gifted student whose educational needs have been met, individual assessment may not be a priority. However, for the vast majority who remain in inadequate programs, testing can be a potent ally. It can address parental concerns and bolster advocacy efforts when the curriculum is restrictive and gifted accommodations are sparse. A professional evaluation documents cognitive strengths, assesses academic achievement, and recommends specific strategies to meet a child’s needs. It can … [Read more...] about Testing Your Gifted Child: A Springboard for Effective Advocacy
Kaplan, Sylvan, Peterson, and Princeton Review are just a few of the companies offering test prep courses for the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT Assessment. As students aspire to get into the college or university of their choice, many resort to such courses in the hope of gaining a competitive edge by raising their scores. Although the SAT and the ACT differ in format, most test prep courses focus on test-taking strategies and skills related to writing and grammar, critical reading, and advanced … [Read more...] about Test Prep Courses: Helpful or Hype?
Measures of IQ, the intelligence quotient, have historically been the primary means of identifying intellectually gifted children. Although additional identification methods have been adopted in recent decades, IQ tests retain a prominent role in determining appropriate educational settings for highly able students. The following is a brief introduction to IQ tests and IQ testing. … [Read more...] about IQ Tests and Gifted Children
It’s March and your child may soon experience spring fever, anticipating the summer months that are just ahead. As school winds down, music recitals, awards banquets, and other end-of-the-year events fill the calendar. The flurry of activity can fuel your child’s restlessness, but the academic year is not over yet! Take the time now to prepare for the end of school and encourage your child to complete the year with his or her best effort. Standardized testing and other end-of-grade testing will … [Read more...] about Preparing for End-of-Grade Testing
Most high school students take the SAT as part of the application process for college. Very few achieve the highest score, 1600, and many are thrilled if their scores hit the 1300 mark. My daughter Alissa began the process of preparing for the SAT as a seventh-grader at Piedmont Open Middle School, when she was accepted into the Duke University Talent Identification Program’s Seventh Grade Talent Search. At 12 she was offered the opportunity to take a “practice run” on the real SAT, alongside … [Read more...] about SAT Preparation: How Much Is Too Much?
It’s no secret that standardized testing is increasingly common. Each year new tests appear, and it may seem that more school time is spent on testing than on teaching and learning. Yet test scores themselves are often difficult to interpret. … [Read more...] about Understanding Achievement Tests
Duke TIP: IQ tests measure a wide range of cognitive abilities. Do nonverbal tests measure as wide a range of skills? … [Read more...] about Nonverbal Intelligence Tests
Beginning in March 2005, the SAT will have a very different look. Here at Duke University, and at other colleges across the country, freshmen entering in the fall of 2006 will be the first group of students affected by the revision, the tenth in the test's 76-year history. Because almost 1.5 million high school seniors take the SAT each year, and an additional million take its competitor, the ACT, the proposed changes have created a national stir among students, high schools, and college … [Read more...] about Knowns and Unknowns about the New SAT
A debate is brewing over the use of the SAT I for college admissions. Richard C. Atkinson, a well-known psychologist and president of the University of California system, is leading the attack. He contends that the SAT I is a poor gauge for predicting college success and is “compromising our educational system.” … [Read more...] about The Debate about Using the SAT in College Admissions
Qualifying for a seventh-grade talent search, such as the one offered by Duke University or Johns Hopkins University, is a distinct honor. At the same time, taking either the SAT or the ACT—tests designed for college-bound high school students—at the age of 12 or 13 can be daunting and anxiety-provoking for both student and parent. … [Read more...] about Should 7th Graders Take SAT or ACT Prep Courses?