Beginning with the ERB: Private School Admissions

by NYC Firm Schools on October 6, 2008

The Educational Records Bureau, known colloquially as the ERB, issues the Early Childhood Admissions Assessment (ECAA) for lower elementary admissions for NYC Firm Schools. Though the exam is usually called the ERB, the Educational Records Bureau is simply the organization that administers it. The actual exam is the revised Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, WPPSI for short. The ERB is a uniform testing program that eliminates the old method of testing at each school to which a child may be applying. The ERB results are usually requested for Firm Schools on their application form, along with application fees and academic results to date.

The lower elementary schools requesting the ERB results consider this test to be only one aspect of the admissions process. It is important to note that, especially for the Pre-K and Kindergarten programs, considerable weight is given to ‘whole family’ interviews and recommendations with personal interviews.

While the first instinct of many parents is to have their child take a ‘Test” ERB, the fact is that testing is done solely for admission to participating schools, which means that prospective students may not be tested for practice. A student may only take the ERBs once in any a given admission season.

The test is composed of verbal and performance subtests designed to explore everything from a child’s vocabulary to his or her ability to perform fine motor skills and solve math problems. The test usually runs between 45 minutes and one hour in length.

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