MSSA administers standardized tests for third through eighth-grade students in October and November. In past years, MSSA has administered the CoGAT test as an aptitude test for third, fifth, and seventh-grade students, and the Iowa Assessments, an achievement test, for students in years three through eight. This year, we are using new aptitude and achievement tests. The OLSAT will replace the CoGAT, and the Stanford will replace the Iowa Assessments.
The OLSAT is a group-administered assessment that evaluates thinking skills and provides an understanding of relative strengths and weaknesses in performing a variety of reasoning tasks. Aptitude tests differ from achievement tests. Students in grades 3 – 8 will take the Stanford achievement test in November. Achievement tests are designed to measure how well a child has learned what they have been taught in school. Teachers help prepare students for the tests in advance by familiarizing them with the test format and answer sheet procedures through the use of a practice test.
As a Montessori school, we know that although standardized tests are a measure of student ability and performance, they have limitations, and performance-based assessments that require students to produce work that demonstrates high-level thinking and real-world applications can provide a more complete picture of student achievement. So although standardized tests are important, they are one of many measures that are important.
The best preparation you can give your children for testing sessions is to ensure they get a good night’s sleep and are fed and hydrated – we don’t recommend any outside testing preparation. Results will be shared in the Spring of 2023.