Gifted Test Preparation: How does it Work?

In my practice I get a lot of requests from parents in the Tampa Bay area to assist with preparing their child for the academically gifted program (AGP).  I thought it would be helpful for today's blog post to describe exactly how this preparation process works and what the parent might reasonably expect to gain from enlisting my services.


Unfortunately, I and ethically unable to provide actual test questions from any of the IQ or academic achievement tests administered.  What I am able to do is to assist your child with preparing for the experience of the test.  I can help your child with being familiar with the overall test format, the one-on-one test presentation format, and go over the general types of questions that are asked.  Finally, I can provide a work plan for your child design to enable the most accurate score representative of their true IQ.


I administered my first IQ test as part of my graduate level training back in the early 90’s.  Since then, I have administered hundreds, if not thousands of IQ tests in a professional capacity.  For gifted kids in particular, one thing I have noticed is that their tendency to be perfectionists and frustration tolerance level often hinders their overall test taking ability.  As a result, gifted children often benefit greatly from learning test taking strategies that would apply not only to tests of intelligence, but standardized tests in general.


I have also noticed times where children have difficulty understanding a particular subtest, and will miss the first few low hanging fruit items before they truly understand the subtest.  This is unfortunate, early items almost always carry the same point value as later, more difficult items.  This is where guided practice can result in more accurate test results.


There are many games and educational products readily available for purchase that can potentially result in a higher IQ score for a child.  A child who understands how to solve puzzles and has experience with games involving critical thinking skills will have an advantage over children who do not.


Prior experience with analogies is a prime example of how guided practice can result in a more accurate test score.  I have tested many seemingly bright children who fundamentally did not understand an analogies who would test lower on an IQ test.  In particular, the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS) which is often utilized in the public school system has a subtest component that relies heavily on understanding of analogies.  Gifted kids tend to overthink the first few items and sometimes don’t really catch on until later in the subtest administration.  The loss of the first couple easy items carries just as much point value as later, very difficult items.


Please do not hesitate to call me at 813-454-1050 if you have any questions about gifted test preparation in the Tampa Bay area, gifted schools, or academic achievement testing.  I'm always happy to consult with families in order to provide the most accurate test score for your child.