OLSAT Preparations - Mid-Pacific Institute

3/4 Montes

OLSAT Preparations

Posted on February 9, 2017

by Ms. Montes on February 9, 2017

OLSAT Information:

Mid-Pacific Institute Elementary will be administering the OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test) this April to all fourth and fifth grade students. This is the same kind of test that our students will be taking in Middle School. All fourth and fifth grade students will be taking the OLSAT the week of April 24th. The test is all multiple choice and will take approximately one hour to administer.

Unlike many standardized tests that measure accumulated knowledge, the OLSAT evaluates abstract thinking and reasoning skills. In other words, "the intent of the OLSAT is to assess thinking skills and provide an understanding of a student's relative strengths and weaknesses in performing a variety of reasoning tasks. The OLSAT test is designed to get a measure of a child's ability level." (From the OLSAT website).

During math class, the 3/4 teachers have been exposing the children to a wide variety of problem types they may encounter on the test. This includes questions that test verbal comprehension, verbal analysis, illustrative reasoning, and figural reasoning. Students practice analogies, figure tumbling/shading patterns, sentence completion, and more. All of the 3/4 classes have set aside time in math to meet as a whole group to review practice problems and go over possible ways/strategies to solve the problems. Though our third graders will not be taking the test this year, the practice helps them to become comfortable and familiar with the OLSAT for next year.

These meeting times are designed to ease the students' anxieties about taking the OLSAT. We share with the students that we can equate these kinds of tests to a game, like baseball. You can be a talented thrower and hitter, but if you don't know the rules of the game, you won't be a good baseball player. All of our students are talented throwers and hitters, they know everything on those tests, and with practice and learning some rules and strategies, they will all be good baseball players. We hope you can use this analogy when discussing the OLSAT with your own child.

Here are some of the general test-taking tips and hints that the 3/4 teachers will be sharing:

  • There may be more than one correct answer; pick the best answer.
  • Read the questions carefully. Be aware of phrases such as does not, best completes, all except, etc...
  • Read all of your answer choices.
  • Read all of the directions carefully.
  • Be mindful of your pace.
  • If you are stuck on a problem, skip it and come back to it.
  • If you aren't sure, eliminate answers that are definitely wrong and make your best guess. There is no score deduction for a wrong answer on the OLSAT, so it is better to make a guess than to not answer at all.
  • Be sure your answer sheet bubbling is accurate (check that the answer you are bubbling corresponds to the question number you are working on).

While students have questions and sometimes show nervousness about standardized testing, test prep helps to get them excited and ease their nerves about the test. The more we uncover about the test, the more confident they are! The students seem excited about learning the rules and tricks of being a good test taker. This positive attitude is something we want to encourage and support throughout the year. Attitude can make all the difference!

Jump Rope For Heart!

Friday afternoon was our annual Jump Rope for Heart. This year, our PE teacher, Mr. Pires, mixed it up a bit. He added some new jumping and basketball stations. The students loved it! As always, a fabulous time was had by all! Mr. Pires deserves a huge MAHALO from all of us! He did an amazing job organizing his first school-wide event. Thank you also to all of our parents who helped to make this event so successful and fun for the children.

Please enjoy some of the photos of your children, assisting the preschool with their Jump Rope for Heart.

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Here are some photos from our afternoon of jumping and shooting hoops! Enjoy!

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