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Last year, my child's school selected my child for Gifted testing.

He was not selected.

He will be retested this year.

Is there anything I can do to prep him for this test?

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What do you mean when you say he was not selected? Do you mean he failed, or that he didn't take the test? –  Puzbie May 9 '13 at 5:58
@FacebookAnswers You don't fail an IQ test. I would presume, since he is being re-tested, that either his score was below the cut-off for the program, or the program takes x number of the top-scoring candidates, and his score did not place in the top x ranking. –  Beofett May 9 '13 at 12:11
I want to ask: who's the overachiever? Mom, or the child? One of my friends has an IQ of 190, but hasn't really had either the motivation or the interest to make much of anything of her life, much to the consternation of her parents. That said, greatness doesn't come from doing well in school. It comes from wanting to go out and change the world, regardless of your grades. –  Ernie May 9 '13 at 15:24
@Ernie, everybody knows true greatness starts with a radioactive spider bite. –  ray023 May 9 '13 at 16:41
@ray023 playing N-back games and trying to increase N (It is extremely difficult) can correlate with improved scores on an IQ test. So can daily meditation, although that takes about a year to show any statistically significant benefit (the non-test related benefits can last a lifetime though). Just remember it is a score, not even a good one, the point is to get the extra services that would otherwise be unavailable. After that, sleep. –  kleineg Jun 17 '14 at 19:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

An IQ test is not something you are supposed to be able to study for.

The best things you can do to prepare your child for an IQ test are to make sure that he is well-rested and comfortable during the test. Try to avoid projecting any cause for him to feel nervous about the test itself.

The National Association for Gifted Children has some good information for parents looking to have their children tested for Gifted programs.

In particular, this is relevant information you should keep in mind:

No IQ score should be considered an exact measure of intellectual ability. For example, good guesses may artificially increase an IQ estimate or having a bad day may decrease the estimate. There are many factors that might make an individual score vary a little from one occasion to another on any test. These include anxiety, motivation, rapport with the examiner, and guessing.

So try to make your child as calm and comfortable with the idea of being tested as possible.

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As a member of Mensa for the last 20 years, and a huge fan of puzzles and tests I would suggest that you can improve your results in all IQ tests through study and practice of IQ tests. Other than that I would agree with both your answer and @Facebook's as they both have merit. –  Rory Alsop May 10 '13 at 10:23
Oh, I'm sure you can. You're not supposed to be able to, but no test is perfect. @Facebook's approach of addressing the potential impact of boosting result is an excellent one. –  Beofett May 10 '13 at 11:20

My view of the situation is this:

On the strength of an IQ test, your child may or may not be able to take a foreign language program at an early age.

Now, lets make a number of assumptions:

  1. That there is some merit in the IQ test.
  2. That the foreign language program is relatively hard.

Ok, so all tests, to some degree, can be gamed. Lets say that there was a book out there containing past IQ tests, so that you could familiarise your child with what to expect. If you prep your child in such a way, it may well raise their result in the IQ test, but what effect would it have on their ability to learn the foreign language?

Absolutely none.

All that would happen, is that your child would start a course that they weren't really ready for. Consequently they will find it too difficult, assuming the logic for applying the IQ test in the first place was sound.

Now, there may well be exceptions to this. For instance, your child may very well know the foreign language already, and may be prevented from studying it early by bureaucracy. IE, the school says that all pupils must have a high IQ in order to study the language. If this is the case I can 100% sympathise. But if your's is just a regular kid (and there's nothing wrong with that) then just let them learn at a regular rate. If you push them too hard they will eventually push back. Remember Newton's Third Law!

On a final note, I am not saying one should never prep for an exam by looking at past papers etc. Far from it, once you have studied the course, you should do all that you can to legitimately gain an edge.

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-1 This does not address question and contains too much conjecture –  ray023 May 10 '13 at 17:57
@Facebook Answers I agree that gaming the system may well backfire, if you get into a hard program by cheating you will be out of your league. I think it is passing stupid (ironically) that the school is basing providing extra services off of an IQ test though. With extra services in the balance I would not consider taking preparation IQ tests and playing a lot of puzzles cheating... and more than I would say it would actually increase your intelligence. –  kleineg Jun 17 '14 at 19:25

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