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OLSAT and Gifted Programs
Q: My six-year-old daughter has skipped a grade into second grade. The school uses the yearly standardized test from second grade, and the OLSAT, to determine if a child will enter the gifted program in the fourth grade. Is the OLSAT score correlated with chronological age or grade level?
A: The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is a widely used measure of abstract thinking and reasoning ability appropriate for students between the ages of 5 and 18. The test includes both verbal and nonverbal items. The OLSAT does provide scoring comparisons both by age and grade and it was standardized on a large representative sample of the U.S. school population. It is typically administered in a group setting and may take 60-75 minutes, depending on the grade level of the child. Younger children are sometimes administered the test in two settings.
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Rita Culross is Associate Dean, College of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction at Louisiana State University. Culross has served as the consulting school psychologist for a public school elementary gifted program, and has written a book and several journal articles on gifted education.