Today is opening day to register your child for the ERB’s new AABL test, (pronounced “able”) for children entering kindergarten. If your child is applying to Collegiate, Horace Mann, Riverdale or Avenues, these schools will require AABL test scores for Kindergarten admissions in the 2015-2016 school year. Here is what we now know, or what I have figured out, based on my own deductive reasoning – a critical skill necessary for success on the AABL test!:
- Reasoning and Achievement will be two main areas assessed through multiple choice questions on an iPad with headphones with up to 5 children (when applying to kindergarten) with one proctor. Test questions seem to be more representative of school readiness testing vs. ERB testing in the past, which was based on an intelligence test. Test questions are aligned with Common Core and New York State Pre-K and Kindergarten standards.
- Reasoning includes Verbal Reasoning (which may contain similarities, comparing / contrasting, making inferences / deductive reasoning, and verbal analogies) and Quantitative Reasoning (which may include making inferences / deductive reasoning with numbers, comparing / contrasting with numbers, identifying shapes and patterns, basic adding, subtracting and other number concepts).
- Achievement will include Early Literacy (which may contain phonological awareness skills such as rhyming, identifying letters and sounds, syllable blending and segmentation) and Mathematics (which may include comparing numbers and quantities, skip counting and ordinal terms).
- Children will be expected to listen carefully. The test for kindergarten applicants may last about 30-40 minutes.
- Using the iPad, your 4 or 5 year old kindergarten applicant will be expected to tap answers, touch the screen and drag and drop.
- The test is also given to students entering pre-kindergarten and first grade. Test topics will remain the same for all three groups of students, but expectations will differ. Children will be scored according to their age.
What to do? First, keep this test in perspective. It is presently one test required for only a handful of NYC private schools. Chances are your child has been exposed to using an iPad and following general directions. Additionally, your child may have already experienced material on the test in preschool and at home. Sometimes direct exposure and practicing answering questions in the target areas can help your child become more comfortable with sitting for a formal test at age 4 or 5. Later this afternoon, an instructional AABL test video with sample questions is expected to be posted on the ERB website which will help you understand the types of questions included on the AABL test.
If you are interested in preparing your preschooler for the AABL test and / or Manhattan private school kindergarten interviews and playdates, please contact Stephanie Sigal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephanie works with children in your Upper East Side home.