Elementary ERB Preparation: The Official and Not So Official Word

by NYC Firm Schools on October 16, 2008

Preparing your child for private school admissions testing is an easy choice for older children taking the higher level ERBs such as the ISEE. For the younger children taking the elementary level ERBs, however, prepping strategies can backfire badly if they are taken too far.

First, lets address the official word on prepping children for the elementary level ERBs for entrance into a private preschool or kindergarten class. The official recommendation from the testing authority and the schools alike is that there should be no prepping beyond regular social interaction and enrichment. In other words, if you read to your child, play with your child, build puzzles and block towers and are generally a parent who is involved in the development of your child, that will be enough.

The test administrators are wary of a child who tells them, enthusiastically, as children often do, that they always ‘cut a great spiral,’ or another indicator that they have played a certain game or exercise before. If they administrator feels that a child has been prepped, it will usually be reflected in the testing results badly.

Unofficially, behind closed doors and in hushed hallways, the story is a bit different. Parents do hire tutors for their children prepping for the early ERBs, but try to not let it be known. Tutors are brought in as playmates and babysitters to play games so as to not let a child know that they are being prepared for anything specifically.

In addition, parents quietly trade information on what games and computer programs best aided their child in preparing for the test.

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