The Ultimate Guide to Taking a Kindergarten Assessment

One of the most nerve-wracking things for parents before school starts is the kindergarten assessment.

A kindergarten assessment is usually done before school starts to see where your child is before the school year begins.

Need help preparing your child for kindergarten? Try this.

If this is the first time you are going through a kindergarten assessment, you may not what to expect.

All assessments for kindergarten vary from district to district, but here are some general tips to prepare your child for their kindergarten assessment.

1. The assessments are usually done one-on-one.

A kindergarten teacher will ask your child questions and record their answers. Usually the parent is not in the room with their child, so they won’t be distracted.

2. The assessment is not long.

Kindergarten assessments usually take about 20-30 minutes per child. Sometimes they are shorter, depending on how fast your child is and what they already know.

3. The assessment is not graded.

The kindergarten assessment is just there to gauge what your child currently knows, so that way the teacher has an idea on what areas they need to focus on. Kindergarten assessments have no effect on future grades.

Remind yourself that this is just a help for the teacher, and a way to gauge what your child has learned since they began. 

Later in the school year during parent teacher conferences, the teacher will compare the kindergarten assessment results to your child’s current progress to see how much your child has learned.

4. Kindergarten assessments go over basics.

Your child will take the kindergarten screening assessment which will cover letter recognition, letter sounds, number recognition, colors, basic sight words, and basic information.

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During the kindergarten readiness test, your child may also be asked question such as their first and last name, telephone number, birthdate, address, and parent’s names.

As a parent we don’t always ask our children this information, so if your child doesn’t know their name or your name, it is a good idea for their own personal safety to begin teaching it to them.

5. Don’t take the results of the kindergarten readiness personal.

All children learn at different rates, so if there are things that your child does not know use it as an opportunity to practice with her at home.

Sometimes children don’t do well during the kindergarten screening assessment due to nervousness. If that happens, don’t feel bad and remind your child it is okay to forget.

6. Kindergarten Assessments help you as a parent.

The purpose of kindergarten assessments is to know what your child needs to improve on.

When your child takes their kindergarten assessment, it allows you as a parent to see first-hand areas of concern.

Your child needs help with sight words? Practice sight word games with them.

Having issues writing numbers? Use number tracing worksheets.

Since you won’t be in class with your child, it also lets you see how your child will interact with their future teachers.

If your child is shy or clingy, this gives you an opportunity to help prepare your child for their half-day or full-day experience of being away from you.

Bonus- if you have other children you can use the kindergarten assessment as a way to prepare your smaller children for school. Now that you know what types of questions will be asked, then you can start working with your smaller children so they will be ready for school when their turn comes.

7. Ask the teacher for the results, and what they will do with the information.
Many schools place children in reading and math groups based on their level, so students with the same needs are working together.

How should you prepare for the kindergarten readiness test?

The best way to prepare your child for their kindergarten readiness test is to begin by daily practicing their letters, numbers, and shapes.

Don’t wait until a week before the kindergarten screening test to start cramming. It will make your child stress out and be overly concerned if they don’t do well.

Spend about fifteen minutes a day going over number worksheets or shape worksheets. This will help you as well because your child will have a better understanding of what your child needs to practice.

Remember your child does not need to know everything before they enter school.

However, you do want to help them at home so they can get used to doing worksheets, writing their name, and holding a pencil.

Also read daily to your child. Whether it is at bedtime or during the day, by reading to your child they begin to understand that words have meaning, and get a good example of a fluent reader.

Make the kindergarten assessment a fun experience.

If this is your child’s first time visiting the school, use it as a time to point out the school library, nurse’s office, principal’s office, and cafeteria.

Take a quick tour through the kindergarten hallway so your child will know where their future class will be.

Point out the playground and show your child where they will be playing at school.

If possible, show your child where you will be picking them up and dropping them off, so they can get a feel for the first day of school.

Remind your child that the kindergarten readiness test is just a way to show off what they know. Try not to make your child nervous by calling it a test, or something they must do well on. Children get easily stressed out, and you don’t want your child to feel unnecessary pressure about a kindergarten readiness assessment.

Regardless of how your child does, praise him for doing his best.

Kindergarten is the first year of school, and should be a fun and enjoyable experience for a child. In kindergarten, your child will begin to discover the world around them, meet new friends, and begin their academic career. Use the information that you gain from their kindergarten assessment results as a way to help your child experience success in their first year of school.