The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is a multiple choice test assessing cognitive abilities, and it is often used to identify gifted students for admission to gifted and talented programs across the United States. The best way to prepare for the OLSAT is by consistently working on practice questions, so we’re providing a downloadable OLSAT Practice Test PDF, which you can access by clicking the button below.
Of course, the practice test can be used most effectively if you understand the question types and have effective strategies for preparing your child. That’s why in addition to the practice test, we’re also supplying you with key information about test content, essential test prep tips, and more.
What to Expect: OLSAT Test Content
The OLSAT tests five major areas, all of which are linked to academic achievement: verbal comprehension, verbal reasoning, pictorial reasoning, figural reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The number and types of questions vary according to grade level, so here we’ll take a quick look at the test components and the possible question types within each section. We also have more in-depth information about the OLSAT, including an explanation of which age groups are required to answer each question type.
The verbal comprehension section measures a student’s ability to understand, interpret, and manipulate information gathered from language. Question types include following directions, antonyms, sentence completion, and sentence arrangement.
In the verbal reasoning section, students are tested on comprehension skills related to patterns, relationships, and context clues in writing. They must also apply these skills in order to solve problems. There are seven types of verbal reasoning questions: aural reasoning, arithmetic reasoning, logical selection, word/letter matrix, verbal analogies, verbal classification and inference.
Pictorial reasoning requires students to find the relationship between elements or objects in a pattern, predict the next step in the pattern, and generalize rules they discover. Questions include picture classification, picture analogies, and picture series.
The figural reasoning section is very similar to pictorial reasoning, but it deals with geometric shapes and figures rather than pictures. Your child will be assessed on her ability to identify the relationship between objects and/or shapes, predict the next level in a geometric pattern or sequence, and generalize rules. Question types include figural classification, figural analogies, pattern matrix, and figural series.
Lastly, the quantitative reasoning section measures the ability to discern patterns and relationships in order to solve problems with numbers. Question types are number series, numeric inference, and number matrix.
Overall, your child will be tested on the ability to understand and interpret information and then use this understanding to draw conclusions and solve problems. Information will be presented in the form of words, pictures, objects and shapes, and numbers.
Top 5 OLSAT Test-Taking Tips
Here are five tips your child can utilize while taking the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test.
1. Use process of elimination.
Students are not penalized for incorrect answers on the OLSAT, so you should advise your child to answer every question, even if she is not sure the answer is correct. Cross out obviously wrong answers in order to narrow down the answer choices and make the most educated guess possible.
2. Write in the test book as much as you’d like.
Writing in the test book can be tremendously helpful to some students, so remind your child that she is allowed to write in the test book as much as she desires. This can include crossing out incorrect answer choices, circling or underlining key information, and mapping or sketching out problems in order to solve them. The OLSAT Practice Test PDF can be used to help your child develop and practice strategies like these that may be helpful on the actual test.
3. Don’t spend too much time on any one question.
When children get stuck on a question, they may be tempted to keep working until they arrive at a solution. Instead, advise your child to use her time wisely. If a question is too difficult to solve, she should use process of elimination, make an educated guess, and move on to easier, more quickly answered questions. She can come back to the question later if time allows, but wasting much needed time should be avoided.
4. Take a deep breath.
Many children are prone to text anxiety, which can be extremely detrimental to test performance. Avoid overemphasizing the test as much as possible, and help build your child’s confidence. Remind her not to panic if a question is difficult and that the vast majority of children will not get every answer correct. If she believes she missed a question or feels uncertain about an answer, the best strategy is to take a deep breath, let it go, and move on with confidence that she is still capable and prepared.
5. Get a good night’s sleep the night before, and eat a nutritious meal before the test.
This is a classic test-taking tip, but its longevity is due to the fact that it’s tried and true. Help your child relax and ensure that she is in bed on time or early the night before the test. The next morning, she should eat a nutritious breakfast that isn’t too heavy to provide fuel for the body and brain. Following these tips can help increase your child’s chances of a successful performance on the test.
How to Use your OLSAT Practice Test PDF
The absolute best way to prepare for a test like the OLSAT, which has unusual questions your child may not have encountered in school, is by practicing. If your child has not yet practiced OLSAT question types, we recommend working through the questions on the attached PDF a few at a time, helping your child gain familiarity and confidence with test content. As your child answers questions, ask about her thought process. If the question was answered correctly, this helps to reinforce effective reasoning. If the question was answered incorrectly, correct misconceptions and help her reevaluate how to solve the question.
As your child begins to feel confident and improve at answering OLSAT questions, we recommend having her take at least one full-length, timed test to more accurately mirror testing conditions. This can also help you evaluate your child’s focus and stamina. If you have already been practicing OLSAT questions, the OLSAT Practice Test PDF below can be used as a full-length practice for your child.
We hope that the resources provided here can help you and your child feel more comfortable and prepared heading into the OLSAT!