A lot of parents are interested in getting their child into the gifted program. To help parents understand more about gifted program and what it takes to get your kids there, here are some useful tips as follows.
First, not all kids are the same, some kids are talented in math while others are very good at social interaction. I think as parents, we should encourage kids to pursue their passion and provide guidance and help, but we shouldn't demand them too hard on something they are not just passionate about by nature. It is a tricky balance to maintain but a parent-guided approach is the best.
Every child is born with a unique gift. Since the gifted program is heavily oriented towards math and logic, not all kids can go into gifted program. But that doesn't mean the child is not gifted. Don't get discouraged. This is just like, the life achievement for a person only depends on very small portions of his/her IQ, but largely depends on persistence and passion.
With this understanding, let's take a look at the components of a gifted program test. There are 3 aspects of the test, i.e.:
-Verbal: the ability to reason with words and sentences
-Quantitative: concepts and relations regarding numbers and math
-Nonverbal: figural concepts expressed in pictures
Perhaps the most important aspect of the gifted test is critical thinking. This is pretty much the way to measure the IQ of your child. Critical thinking is kind of an abstract concept, to make it easier to understand, they are typically brain-training questions/puzzles. For example:
For CogAT test, you can get some practice books and let your child do it. find Some good books here Books for CogAT Practice Test
or Books for Critical Thinking
Also there are some very good IQ Testing Exercise books recommended in this article:
Gifted and Talented Program Sample Questions and Answers
for your reference.
Gifted Test Duration Time
To give you an idea how long it will take for the testing, in Bellevue Washington, the test duration is like this:
For first grade students
-Test time is 2 hours, there are 6 sections in the test, each takes about 20 minutes to complete.
-For verbal and quantitative sections, the teacher will read the questions to the students. Students will choose an answer in the answer sheet.
-For non-verbal section, students see 3 pictures and choose the next picture in the pattern from 4 choices.
For 2nd grade to 9th grade students
-Test time is 2.5 hours with breaks between sections.
-Students read the questions themselves.
-All questions are multiple choice. The sections are timed.
-Students mark their answers on an answer sheet that can be read by a computer.
Sample Testing Questions
These are questions that appear on gifted tests across the USA for kindergarten through third grade. They test visual-spatial reasoning, cognitive skills, memory and comprehension.
Gifted Test Sample Questions: Kindergarten through 3rd Grade
(pdf download, about 4.5MB)
Also, below are two good links that contain another set of sample gifted test questions. The author (pen name Susulin) is a parent of the gifted class. He also wrote an English/Chinese bilingual white paper documenting his thoughts on elementary gifted education and best practices for parents.