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Unlike annual standardized testing which attempts to assess the extent to which your child knows what they should have been taught (things like reading comprehension and math algorithms) the OLSAT is about cognitive skills. The skills tested are:
  • Verbal Comprehension – Antonyms, Sentence Completion, Sentence Arrangement
  • Verbal Reasoning – Arithmetic Reasoning, Logical Selection, Word/Letter Matrix, Verbal Analogies, Verbal Classification, Inference
  • Figural Reasoning – Figural Analogies, Pattern Matrix, Figural Series
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Number Series, Number Inference, Number Matrix

Another way in which the OLSAT differs from the tests which most parents and children are familiar with is that there are questions with a wide range of difficulty. Your gifted child may be used to getting close to 100% on most tests. That won't necessarily be the case on the OLSAT.

If you've got a gifted child and you want to ensure that they're exposed to the skill set tested for on the OLSAT we recommend:
  • Building Thinking Skills for core verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills
  • Patterns in Mathematics for core quantitative reasoning
  • Challenge Math for extension in quantitative reasoning skills. Quick Think Math is another option for this. Neither book is designed to teach new math content. Challenge Math will extend your child to problem solve using the information they know. Quick Think Math will get your child to quickly work out which math skill set to apply to a particular problem.
  • Gruber's Essential Guide to Test Taking for an overview of the skills required (and skills like reading comprehension frequently tested for in conjunction with the OLSAT)
  • Orbiting with Logic for logic and general problem solving
  • Think Analogies or Thinkanalogy Puzzles for the nitty gritty on verbal analogies and lots of examples
  • Creative Thinking Puzzles for a variety of puzzles playing with language and numbers
  • Mind Benders for additional logic
  • Mathematical Reasoning Middle School Supplement if your child needs to work on core math concepts

For most gifted children Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Figural and Verbal, Patterns in Mathematics, Quick Think Math, Gruber's Essential Guide to Test Taking and Orbiting with Logic will be the best place to start and many children be sufficient. After that you know your child best. Do they need to work on vocabulary, spatial reasoning, flexibility, attention or something else. The books below all work on skills tested for in the OLSAT.
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Mind Benders Book 4 Mind Benders Book 4

Grade(s): 3-6
Activities: 60
Pages: 48, perforated
Features: reproducible for home or single classroom use

Our best-selling deductive thinking puzzles develop logic, reading comprehension, and mental organizational skills that are vital to achieving high grades and top test scores in all subjects. They’re also great for developing real-life, problem-solving skills.

Our Price: $10.99
Patterns in Mathematics Patterns in Mathematics

Grade: 3-6
Pages: 88

Diverse reproducible activity pages range from completing simple patterns to data sorting and classification. The activities develop conceptual skills that will be important to success in more abstract math subjects.

Our Price: $12.95
Challenge Math Challenge Math

Grade(s): 4-9
Pages: 429

Challenge Math provides enrichment math activities and develops student problem solving skills. Over 1000 problems at three levels of difficulty to challenge even the brightest students.

Our Price: $24.95
Orbiting With Logic Orbiting With Logic

Grade(s): 5-8
Pages: 32

Challenging and instructional, these thought-provoking books present sequential exercises in logical reasoning that include relationships, analogies, syllogisms, sequences, deductive reasoning, inference, truth-values, and logical notation.

Our Price: $12.95
Think Analogies B1 Think Analogies B1

Grade(s): 6-12+
Activities: 49
Pages: 56

Think Analogies® clearly, easily, and effectively teaches students how to analyze and classify analogies by relationship, category, and structure.

Our Price: $11.99
Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Figural Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Figural

Grade(s): 7-12+
Activities: 259
Pages: 280

Building Thinking Skills® provides highly effective nonverbal reasoning activities to improve vocabulary, reading, writing, math, logic, and figural-spatial skills, as well as visual and auditory processing. This exceptional skill set provides a solid foundation for academic excellence and success on any assessment test.

Our Price: $29.99
Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Verbal Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Verbal

Grade(s): 7-12+
Activities: 350
Pages: 384

Building Thinking Skills® provides highly effective verbal reasoning activities to improve vocabulary, reading, writing, math, logic, and figural-spatial skills, as well as visual and auditory processing. This exceptional skill set provides a solid foundation for academic excellence and success on any assessment test.

Our Price: $29.99
Mathematical Reasoning Middle School Supplement Mathematical Reasoning Middle School Supplement

Grade(s): 7-9
Pages: 154

Reinforce 7th and 8th grade math concepts and skills by asking students to apply these skills and concepts to non-routine problems. Applying mathematical knowledge to new problems is the ultimate test of concept mastery and mathematical reasoning. This is the difference between quantitative reasoning and math. Solutions included.

Our Price: $24.99
   
 
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OLSAT® and Otis-Lennon School Ability Test® are registered trademarks of NCS Pearson. The recommendations made here are those of thinktonight and are not endorsed by NCS Pearson.