Many parents worry about the entrance exams that their 4 year olds are required to take to enroll in New York City private and selective public elementary schools. Fortunately, the best ways to prepare your child for these standardized exams are fun. The following activities help children improve their intellectual skills as well as prepare them for the test itself.
- Talk and read to your children regularly
- Encourage questions and answer them thoughtfully
- Enjoy and explore the tremendous sites and museums in New York City
- Assign your children with a set of responsibilities, such as dressing themselves, cleaning their own room and putting their toys away
- Develop tasks with multiple step directions
- Play with them (i.e., block games, activity books, children's computer games, and counting games)
If your child does not immediately find games easy or does not follow directions to the letter, be patient. If your child does not like a particular activity (other than cleaning their room), stop the activity and try something else.
Testing Week: A day before the test, tell your child that s/he is meeting with an adult for a brief period of time, that the adult will talk her/him and may ask the child to perform some thinking activities which may include blocks and pictures. Tell your child that once the meeting is over, the two of you will do your child's favorite activity or something special. The parent or guardian that separates most easily with the child should accompany the child to the test site. If your child is sick, upset or does not separate quickly, leave and reschedule. Once a test has begun, the tester is required to relay the results to the schools, and the child cannot retake the test for a year. The test typically lasts one hour.