In my practice I am frequently asked about gifted testing or AGP testing in Hillsborough, Pasco, or Pinellas County. One of the questions I am often asked is, “How can I ensure my child achieves their highest possible score on the Gifted Assessment?”
It is true that IQ scores especially among younger children can vary as they mature. Variability within one standard deviation (15 points) is to be expected. Factors that can influence your child’s IQ score on a particular day can include:
- Motivation to do well on the assessment
- Quality of sleep from the night before
- Whether they had a good breakfast and are feeling well
- Ensuring that they have any corrective lenses or hearing devices if required
- Whether they are taking medication as prescribed, especially for children with ADHD
- Test anxiety and rapport with the test administrator
To ensure that your child performs well on their gifted assessment, make sure that they are well rested going into the test. Make sure they have any glasses, contact lenses or hearing devices as required, and if they take medications make sure they are taking them as prescribed. If you child is taking an assessment where writing or working with blocks is required, they need to have full use of their hands and arms. In other words if your child has a broken arm in a cast then it’s best to postpone the test until they have fully recovered.
Discuss the test with your child and try to get them excited about it. Parents might phrase their explanation of the test to their child as, “You are going to play a number of games today, like working with blocks and answering questions. It’s going to be fun and challenging, so be sure to do your very best!”
It’s also a good idea to just take it easy the day before the test. In other words, don’t plan the test the day after a Disney World excursion. Make sure they are well rested and ready to go. Also, to help with motivation you might want to take them to their favorite restaurant or play area after they take the test on the condition that, “you try your very best on all items.” As there is no penalty for guessing on any item for many of the IQ assessments including the WISC-IV or Kaufman, children should know that it’s better to guess if you don’t know the answer rather than just saying, “I don’t know.”
If you are looking for written documentation that your child should qualify for your county’s Academically Gifted Program, please use the Contact Form or call Rice Psychology Group at (813) 969-3878.