For many Dallas private schools, CATS testing is one part of the admissions testing process. The CATS evaluation gives schools information about a student’s level of intellectual functioning. The second part of admissions testing occurs on the Saturday morning visit. Here, students undergo testing that provides information about their academic abilities.
Preparing for a cognitive test, like the one given through CATS, is inappropriate and will lead to disqualification from the admissions process. In reality, you can’t prep a child for a cognitive test; you can only expose a child to the test materials and encourage her to memorize the answers.
Now, academic test preparation is a different story. Prepping for achievement testing involves reviewing concepts that have already been taught in the classroom and then having students do practice problems to reinforce their learning. In this context, it’s a little like doing extra homework, just limited to math and English. Admissions directors do not frown upon this type of preparation, in moderation. However, as with the CATS, attempting to gain access to the actual test and prepare a child for it will be grounds for disqualification.
But do you need to prep your child? I think it’s a good idea for students applying for the 5th through 12th grades to become familiar with the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination). The Educational Records Bureau (ERB) offers a free student guide to familiarize students with the testing format and provide some practice questions. Most bookstores offer ISEE guides if you feel your child needs additional exposure.
If you need assistance mapping out an educational plan for your child, understanding the Dallas admissions process in more detail, choosing a list of schools, or receiving additional support throughout the admissions process, don’t hesitate to contact me.
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