In September of 2013, the NY Gifted Education Examiner warned parents not to get too excited about news that private schools would no longer require the “ERB” test for NYC Kindergarten admission. The ERB is not actually a test. It stands for Educational Records Bureau, the agency that administers the test which, up until the 2013-2014 season was the WPPSI (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence).
Post 2014, some private schools continued to require the WPPSI, while some waived testing altogether (at least, standardized testing; every school admissions director will cop to administering their own test on-site during your child’s “playdate” i.e. interview). This was not good news for the ERB, which stood to lose millions of dollars if less children were taking their test. So like the gifted businesspeople that they are, they came up with a new test, the AABL (Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners). See which private schools require which test, here. (On this chart, the WPPSI/WISC is called the ECAA. Yes, it’s very confusing.)
The main difference between the AABL and previous tests is that instead of being given one-on-one by a psychologist, the AABL is self-paced and taken by the child on an iPad.
It’s no secret that NYC kids are prepped for tests. Not just private school admission tests, but public ones, too. (Listen to a podcast about your prepping options, here). What’s one way you can prepare your child for the AABL? Get them used to doing academic activities on an iPad!
But how many 3 and 4 year olds really want to spend their time doing academic drills? That’s where Curious George comes in!
Saturday, November 21, 2015, at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt celebrated the official launch of Curious World, a digital learning app for kids ages 3 to 7, chock-full of educational games, videos and books… that your child can play/watch/read on an iPad. There is also a parent dashboard which allows parents to follow their child’s progress and interests, and provides helpful tips and enriching offline activities to extend learning into the real (curious) world.
Schools, both public and private, love to put the fear of god into families, claiming they can always tell if a child has been prepped for their tests. (Spoiler: They can’t.) But what’s nice about an app like Curious World is that it isn’t specifically a test prep tool. Not only can kids have fun, they – and you – can honestly answer that you did no formal prep for the test. You merely exposed your child to a variety of educational materials and/or engaged in enriching activities. That just happened to be on a device similar to the one they’ll use for the test taking. It’s all totally above board.
For more about applying to NYC private schools and Hunter College Elementary, which also requires an intelligence test, click here.