Earlier today I tweeted this:
It was absurd. The test we gave was the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. That's the positive aspect. The test is completely nonverbal. It consists of pictures (patterns, spatial relations, etc.) with five pictures to choose from for the answer. I don't think it stressed my students to take it. They did not seem concerned by the time limit. In fact, the twelve children who took the test with me all finished before the 30 minutes were up.
The test has been given to second graders in my district for some time now and it has been decided to move it to first grade. We use it as one factor in identifying children for advanced academic services (gifted and talented).
I did spend a few minutes one day showing students some model questions on the smartboard to teach them how to bubble their answers. I then gave them two model questions to do so that I could be sure they understood how to bubble and to only bubble one answer per question. On the whole that seems to have helped. No one bubbled more than one answer per question and, aside from accidentally skipping questions or pages (I was watching carefully as I walked around the room) they didn't seem to have any trouble with the structure of taking this test.
For all that, the best I can say is that it could have been worse. That's sad. We spent a good amount of our morning taking a standardized test. At the age of six. Sigh.
Update: Apparently I am incorrect. According to a couple of fabulous colleagues, in the past we gave this test in kindergarten. Who knew the current situation was an improvement? Thanks for keeping me in line splatypus and organized chaos!