As part of the admission process, most independent schools require that your child take an aptitude test.
Here are some details:
- If your child is younger than six years old and entering either Junior Kindergarten (JK) or Kindergarten they will take the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence for Children - Fourth Edition. You will hear it referred to as the WPPSI-IV (whip-see-four).
- The older version is called the WISC-IV (whisk-four). This stands for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fourth Edition.
- No preparation is needed or allowed for this assessment. A qualified examiner works one on one with your child and measures different abilities.
- The assessment takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Why do we require this?
As Admission Directors we hope to get a sense of how your son or daughter solves problems. Your child's development in the areas of verbal reasoning, visual-spatial problem solving, fluid reasoning, memory and visual-motor speed of processing will be measured and compared with the development of same-aged peers.
Typically a week or so after the assessment you will receive a write up from the examiner. A Verbal Comprehension Index Score, a Fluid Reasoning Score, a General Abilities Index and a Full Scale IQ Score will be provided.
Here are some tips:
- You will be able to find a list of testers on the school's admission website. You will likely see a variety of testing locations and fees.
- Look carefully at your calendar and try to avoid days that might be particularly hard for your child to focus. i.e. the morning of their birthday party, the Monday after family was in town and your child did not get a lot of rest.
- Please be sure to ask your examiner questions and share any concerns. Ask if there is any paperwork you need to prepare before your visit. Your comfort with the tester is extremely important as children can read if you are a bit anxious or nervous.
- If your child sometimes has difficulty separating, discuss this with the tester beforehand. Having a plan in place will help ease your worries.
The day before the WPPSI-IV:
- Make sure your child gets a good night's sleep.
The day of the WPPSI-IV:
- If your child is sick the morning of the assessment, reschedule for another day.
- Provide a healthy breakfast or snack before the test to ensure they will be ready to go!
What do I tell my child?
Psychologists I work with encourage parents to tell their child they will be working with a grown-up and you will be waiting nearby. Telling a child they will get to play with blocks should help!
- The WPPSI-IV was designed for little ones. Children have a lot of fun doing the various verbal and non-verbal activities.
- This is one part of the Junior Kindergarten (JK) or Kindergarten admission process at independent or private schools. Understanding how your little one tackles problems can aid in how we teach them.
- All independent schools have a range of scores that predict success in their particular program. We want children to thrive in our Junior Kindergarten (JK) or Kindergarten environment and this assessment can be useful in determining a child's readiness for a particular program.
Wishing you a wonderful week!