Information about OLSAT-8 with Suggested Activities and Games
The OLSAT-8 total score combines the child’s performance on both the verbal and nonverbal sections of the test. The total verbal score and the total nonverbal score can be subdivided into the clusters represented in the center of the student report. The breakdown indicates the child’s level of innate ability.
Each of the clusters will be more fully described below and some games and activities that highlight the thinking required in that category will be listed.
The OLSAT-8 total verbal score is based on ”comprehension” and “reasoning.” The Verbal Comprehension cluster measures your child’s ability to manipulate or respond to information through the use of language by, for example, following directions, measuring vocabulary, revising concepts through the use of antonym, sentence completion, and sentence arrangement to demonstrate understanding of language structure.
Some games and activities that stress Verbal Comprehension skills include, but are not limited to:
- Word searches – if child has trouble with reading, avoid puzzles with words listed backwards.
- Sequencing pictures from a story or cartoon frames.
- Finding words inside a larger word: vacation = at, it, on, cat….
- Scrabble, unless child is experiencing difficulty; then; begin with Scrabble, Jr., and build on successes to move to Scrabble.
- Synonym/Antonym games and simple analogies using synonyms and antonyms, etc.:
- Red is to stop as green is to __________
- Frown is to smile as sad is to _________
- Sentence Scrabble
The Verbal Reasoning cluster measures your child’s ability to discover patterns or relationships and to solve language problems. Mental functioning includes picture completion, assessing details, understanding main ideas, and making inferences or predicting outcomes. It also includes the language of arithmetic, problem solving, logic and simple syllogisms. Verbal classification means identifying what does or does not belong, and inferential thinking measures the child’s ability to determine or predict conclusions.
Games and activities that stress Verbal Reasoning include, but are not limited to:
- Mad Libs
- Crossword puzzles
- Scrabble Sentence cubes
- Matching antonyms, synonyms, rhymes
- Adding dialogue to picture completion cards or frames from the comic strip
- Understanding proverbs and idioms
- Boggle or Boggle, Jr.
- Clue or Clue, Jr.
- Leap Frog Turbo-Twist Spelling
The total nonverbal score is based on “figural” and “quantitative” reasoning. The Figural Reasoning questions measure reasoning skills independently of language including similarities and differences between items or sets of geometric figures, supplying a missing element in a matrix, discovering patterns or relationships and/or predicting outcomes to solve problems through the use of numbers, and solving figural analogies that use geometric shapes to find relationships using the same reasoning skills as verbal analogies.
Activities and games that help develop Figural Reasoning skills include, but are not limited to:
- Connect Four
- Rubik's Cube
- Puzzles – wood frame and jigsaw puzzles
- Many of the children’s puzzles in the newspapers
- Leap Frog math games
- Checkers, Chinese Checkers
The Quantitative Reasoning items assess your child’s ability to discover patterns or relationships and to solve problems through the use of numbers including number series to measure the child's ability to sequence, pattern, and predict; numeric inference to select a number based on relationships like verbal analogies; and matrix to assess the ability to supply numbers by deducing and applying rules.
Activities and games to help your child develop Quantitative Reasoning skills include, but are not limited to:
- Dominos, Tri-Ominos
- Attribute Blocks
- Substitution Puzzles – codes, numbers, symbols
- Children participating in family trip planning: mapping, mileage, costs, etc.
Parents/guardians should note some critical findings from the most recent brain research:
- Physical activity is necessary to stimulate brain growth.
- Eating habits either promote or impair brain development and performance.
- Music lessons – instrumental or vocal – positively impact brain development.
- Play that involves creativity and imagination improves school success.
Reducing TV-computer time and emphasizing the above will help your child to reach his/her maximum potential.