At your suggestion, I purchased both Thinkanalogy puzzles CD-ROM and
Building Thinking Skills for my son in anticipation of the John Hopkins
SCAT. WOW, His reading, comprehension and understanding of EVERYTHING
has just exploded since completing these products and he earned high
honors on the Johns Hopkins SCAT exam for second grade. It was amazing
watching him go through the process. A happy parent.
The School and College Ability Test (also sometimes called the Scholastic and College Ability Test or SCAT) is used by John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) as part of their admissions process. If you have reached this page you almost certainly have a gifted child. You may be wondering exactly how gifted your child is and how you can best prepare them for the experience of taking the SCAT.
John Hopkins uses the SCAT for above level assessment. Since your child is already performing in top few percentiles for their age giving them a grade level assessment will not allow them to demonstrate all that they know. By giving them an above grade level assessment the testing process will be able to more accurately differentiate between levels of giftedness to enable identification of the highly gifted child.
The SCAT is also used in some schools as as yearly assessment. If your child is being tested with their age peers in a school setting they are almost certainly taking the SCAT designed for use with their grade and you do not need above grade preparation material.
There are three versions of the School and College Ability Test currently in use:
Elementary SCAT designed for students in Gr 3-6
Intermediate SCAT designed for students in Gr 6-9
Advanced SCAT designed for students in Gr 9-12.
If your child is testing for the John Hopkins Center for talented youth then they will be tested as follows:
Students in Gr 2-3 take the Elementary SCAT
Students in Gr 4-5 take the Intermediate SCAT
Students in Gr 6-8 take the Advanced SCAT (other testing options are available for students 5 and up)
The SCAT is designed to measure the extent of your child's verbal and quantitative abilities. John Hopkins University provides sample tests for each level of the SCAT and it is recommended that you review their website for these and for other information on testing.
A comment on level is appropriate before you start to follow the links and browse our suggestions below. The grade level designations provided with the titles we sell are from the publishers and are for the typical child. The SCAT test your child will be taking is an above grade level test and to be able to answer the most difficult questions on the test they will need to prepared at that higher level. As you browse the book series linked to below you should start considering titles at least two grade levels ahead of your child's current grade. Most of the titles will display sorted by difficulty level. Scroll down the page if the titles you see at first look too simple. For most of the titles we sell we provide sample pages - to view these click through on "more info" at the end of the brief product description then on the tab "sample pages."
The verbal sample provided by John Hopkins consists entirely of verbal analogies. We carry a number of titles teaching analogies and providing practice matching analogy pairs
Building Thinking Skills is a series of books which teaches core verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Verbal reasoning builds from describing to identifying similarities and differences to sequencing to classifying and finally to analogies. This is a great series to build analytical skills from the bottom up.
The series Think Analogies and software Thinkanalogy Puzzles teach children how analogies work, how to analyze analogous relationships and how to construct their own analogy pairs. The book and software formats are unique products so you can purchase the format your child would prefer or for variety and comprehensive coverage get both. Additional titles containing verbal analogies can be found in our Analogies Section.
To be able to match analogy pairs your child will need to have a strong vocabulary. Word Roots and Vocabulary Cartoons are additional possiblities for working on language and word meanings . For younger children, particularly if your child is bilingual, Vocabulary Smarts would be a good choice. All of our Vocabulary titles can be found in our Vocabulary section under Language Arts
The quantiative sample provided by John Hopkins shows a consistent format of question - in each case the child is asked to compare two quantites and identify the larger. The math knowledge tested ranges from facts (numerical value of pi, measurements, calendar variables) to arithmetic calculations. The common thread is an understanding of core math concepts and facts. Children who really understand math at the tested level should be able to complete these questions without difficulty.
Possibilities to build your child's skills in this area include:
Scratch Your Brain for a child who doesn't move easily between different types of problems - the type of child who rushes to complete a problem rather than stopping to make sure they really know what they have to do before they begin.
The SCAT is an above grade level multiple choice test. The chances are that there will be more than a few questions where you child will have to guess the answer. Incorrect answers are not penalized but you don't want your child to simply guess if they can increase their probability of selecting the correct answer by eliminating the obviously incorrect. The skill used to do this is called deductive logic. Strong logic skills benefit many areas of life.
Mind Benders deductive logic puzzles teach logical thinking. This series ranges in difficulty from titles suitable for preschoolers through to adults. Your highly capable child in Gr 2 or higher should begin with Mind Benders Book 3. From about Grade 5 you can use Mind Benders Book 5. Print out some of the sample puzzles and see what you think. Many gifted children (and not a few adults) love doing these types of puzzles.