What Exactly is General Ability Test


What exactly is the General Ability Test or GAT? ~ Part 1

Many of us would be curious to know what general ability tests involve, and how we can help our children at home, as well as the purposes of such tests.

Our school exams are commonly called the Achievement Tests as they measure current knowledge or skill development. Thus Achievement Tests are directly influenced by what your child has learned to date. PSLE is a stressful national achievement test for our 12-year-olds!

On the other hand, General Ability Test, or commonly called the GAT, is a test of potential or testing a child’s capacity for learning. Tests of potential also include IQ tests of various sorts which measure potential ability. General Ability Test does not go in relation to how long your child has been at school or as a result of school learning. The test is part of the selection tests for our local Gifted Education Programme. All primary 3 students who have passed the screening tests will be required to take two group-administered GAT during their second round of selection. This happens sometime in October every year.

Ideally, tests of potential will be reflected in the results of achievement tests, a strong indication that the child is working at a level towards their potential. However, this is not always the case. A difference between the results of tests of potential and achievement indicates underachievement. The greater the difference between the two scores, the greater the underachievement, and thus the greater the cause for concern.

To qualify for our GEP then requires the child to do well for both the achievement tests (English & Math) and the two tests of potential, which is GATs in Singapore.

In What is GAT Part 2, we will share with you some of the content of the general ability tests and if they could be learnt by any child.

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