What skills are assessed by the OLSAT8?

When you request your students scores from the school, don’t be satisfied with just the overall composite score and an indication of whether your child qualified or didn’t qualify for the gifted-talented program.  Get the detailed scores by subsection – or cluster/item.

Depending on the age/grade of your child, the item cluster and item types will differ.  Refer to the OLSAT Cluster and Item Types graph below.  Notice how the skills being assessed change once a child reaches 3rd grade – moving from a heavy dependence on figure-based reasoning to more verbal-based reasoning tasks. Notice also that students are not assessed for quantitative reasoning until 3rd grade.  This is the point at which children are thought capable of doing deeper types of reasoning, have developed a more extensive vocabulary and a greater facility with numbers.  Inferential reasoning is not assessed until the 4th grade and beyond.  All of the picture-based reasoning tasks are dropped by 3rd grade, with figural classification eliminated from 4th grade and up.

olsat-skills-matrix

If the test results you’ve received from the school don’t include information at this level of detail, request them.  This is where you will want to begin to understand your child’s areas of strength and weakness as it pertains to these abilities considered important for school success and learning.