Children's Aptitude Tests: Information for Parents

Children's aptitude tests are intended to measure your child's potential and capacity for learning. Keep reading to find out about a few kinds of aptitude tests.

Find available tutors

What Are Some Types of Children's Aptitude Tests?

There are many types of children's aptitude tests that typically measure performance potential, as opposed to achievement tests, which assess current knowledge. I.Q. tests, cognitive ability tests and college entrance exams are just three types of aptitude tests your child could take.

Children's aptitude tests are only one measure of ability. When making decisions about your child's education, there are many factors that you and your child's teachers should review. Your child's test scores, schoolwork, behavior, creativity, interests, hobbies and dreams for the future are all relevant.

I.Q. Tests

Only licensed psychologists and psychometricians should administer an I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) test to assess your child's capacity for learning. The most common I.Q. tests are the Stanford Binet Intelligence Test - Fourth Edition (SB-IV) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition (WISC-III). Schools use these tests to help decide which children may benefit from special programs. For example, if your child is gifted or needs to be placed into a special education program, his score is one of the factors that may determine how to proceed.

I.Q. tests assess prior learning, problem-solving skills, memory and reasoning, but are often criticized due to what they don't determine. Creativity, artistic talent, musical ability and leadership skills are not measured by I.Q. tests, among other things. Also, English as a Second Language students, minorities and people from lower income communities typically don't score well on I.Q. tests, regardless of their intelligence level.

Cognitive Ability Tests

Schools sometimes administer the 3-part Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT) in order to measure students' reasoning and problem-solving skills. The results often determine if students should be placed in gifted programs. The verbal part of the CogAT covers vocabulary, sentence completion and word relationships. The non-verbal section contains problems that feature shapes and figures instead of words. For the quantitative portion, students must determine the relationship between two problems, find the number that comes next in a series and make an equation from a series of numbers and signs.

College Entrance Exams

Many high school students take college entrance exams, like the SAT and ACT, to determine their aptitude for success in higher education. These tests are both aptitude and assessment tests because they measure reasoning and specific academic skills, such as reading, writing and math. Your child will most likely take either the SAT or ACT during junior or senior year. She can take either exam multiple times, and the highest score will be used by universities or colleges to decide if she will be admitted.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    What Fewer Tests Could Mean for Your Child's Education

    Are science and history less important than reading and math? Some Virginia lawmakers might seem to think so; the state Senate voted in January 2012 to pass a bill that would essentially eliminate standardized testing in science and history for third-graders. Would less testing have a negative impact on our children's...

  • More Blog Articles
    Do Standardized Tests Make Teachers Cheat?

    In 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law. The bill aimed to improve standards and performance in public schools across the nation. That goal is currently pursued through rigorous standardized testing, the results of which trigger rewards and penalties for teachers and schools. Yet a recent spate of stories from...

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth