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How to Pass the OLSAT Test Level D

How to Pass the OLSAT Test Level D

Updated April 26, 2022

By Melissa Reynolds
Melissa Reynolds

What Is the OLSAT Level D Test?

The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is published by Pearson Education.

It is often used to identify gifted and/or talented students for entry into advanced programs.

The test is given to students from pre-K to 12, consisting of 21 questions for seven different levels:

  • Level A – Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten
  • Level B – 1st Grade
  • Level C – 2nd Grade
  • Level D – 3rd Grade
  • Level E – 4th and 5th grades
  • Level F – 6th, 7th and 8th grades
  • Level G – 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades

The OLSAT Level D is given to those in the 3rd grade and focuses more on verbal skills, including comprehension and vocabulary.

Younger grades are given the test on a one-to-one basis, while older groups take the test in a group setting.

What to Expect on the OLSAT Level D Test

The test is 50 minutes long and consists of two sections with 64 questions in total. There are 32 verbal and 32 non-verbal questions.

How Is the OLSAT Scored?

When the test is first graded, a student is given a raw score, which is the number of questions answered correctly out of the total number of questions.

There will be a raw score for each of the two sections, as well as a total raw score out of 60. The raw score is converted into a School Ability Index (SAI) score.

The SAI score compares the raw scores with others in the same age group. It is a normalized score with an average of 100, a standard deviation of 16 and a maximum score of 150. The SAI score determines which percentile students fall into.

The SAI score is used to calculate a percentile rank. Your child’s score is compared to other students in the same age group. If your child scored in the 75th percentile, they scored as well or higher than 75% of children in the same age group.

Gifted children typically achieve an SAI score of 132; however, the qualifying score can vary from one program to the next.

Parents can expect a score report approximately two months after the test is taken.

OLSAT Level D Sample Questions

The OLSAT Level D test looks at four different areas, including Verbal Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Figural Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

Each area has some subsections to consider.

Verbal Comprehension

This group of questions looks to assess a child’s understanding and identification of antonyms (words with opposite meaning.) It also assesses vocabulary.

Verbal Comprehension Sample Question

1. The opposite of high is:

a) Down
b) Low
c) Near
d) Falling

The correct answer is: b). Low is an antonym of high.

Sentence Completion

Children will need to complete sentences showing that they understand the relationships between words and ultimately making the sentence make sense.

Sentence Completion Sample Question

1. One of the best things to do in the summer is:

a) Ice skate
b) Ski
c) Swim
d) Read

The correct answer is: c)

Ice skating and skiing are winter activities. Reading can be done year-round. Swimming is an activity that's usually done in the summer months.

Sentence Arrangement

Children are assessed on their ability to arrange a series of words in sentences. There needs to be an understanding of relationships between words. \

Sentence Arrangement Sample Question

1. What is the last word of the sentence?

Played, snow, kids, the, in, the, until, cold, were, they.

The correct answer is: cold

The sentence is: The kids played in the snow until they were cold.

Verbal Reasoning

  • Arithmetic Reasoning – Questions involving numerical reasoning and logic will assess a child’s problem-solving abilities. The questions also look at a child’s ability to predict outcomes, infer number relationships and deduce computational rules.

  • Logical Selection – Children need to be able to complete sentences using simple logic.

  • Word and Letter Matrix – With a chart of words or letters, children must be able to choose the missing piece.

  • Verbal Analogies – These questions assess the child’s understanding of the relationship between two words, as well as finding a second pair of words that similarly relate.

Verbal Reasoning Sample Question

1. Choose the word that best fits the pair.

Boat/Water, Train/Tracks, Bus/Road, Airplane/?

a) Nature trail
b) Sky
c) Bridge
d) Highway

The correct answer is: b)

All the pairs match the vehicle to where they are operated.

Verbal Classification

Students must be able to look at a group of words and choose the one that does not belong.

Verbal Classification Sample Question

1. Choose the word that does not belong:

a) Fork
b) Spatula
c) Toothbrush
d) Ladle

The correct answer is: c)

The other items are all used in the kitchen.

How to Pass the OLSAT Test Level D
How to Pass the OLSAT Test Level D

Figural Reasoning

  • Figural Classification – Children must determine which image does not fit with the theme or pattern in the group of images.

  • Figural Analogies – Figural analogies look at a child’s ability to identify similarities between figures. Your child must identify which figure is like the original figure in the question.

  • Pattern Matrix – Children need to fill in the missing item in a 3 x 3 matrix grid that will contain sequences and patterns.

  • Figural Series – These questions look at a child’s ability to determine the next step in a pattern of geometric shapes. There will be four consecutive shapes ordered in a pattern or theme, and the fifth shape needs to be determined.

Quantitative Reasoning

  • Number Series – Children must fill in the missing item in a series by understanding the pattern in a sequence of numbers or letters.

  • Numeric Inference – These questions look at one’s ability to understand the relationship between groups of numbers.

  • Number Matrix – Children must fill in the missing number in a matrix of numbers. The matrix runs 3 x 3 and contains patterns and sequences. The missing number must complete the pattern or sequence

Quantitative Reasoning Sample Question

1. Fill in the missing number to complete the pattern:

2, 6, 10, 14, 18, ?

The correct answer is: 22

The other numbers follow a pattern of adding four to the previous number.

How to Prepare for the OLSAT Level D

Taking a test can be difficult for a child, especially if they are anxious or unprepared. The following tips should put your child in a good position to do their best.

Make Use of Practice Tests

Making use of practice tests can help your child understand what to expect when they sit for the real thing.

It will also help give you an idea of where their strengths and weaknesses are and where to focus some extra studying.

Understand Questions and Instructions

Use a practice test and read over the questions and instructions carefully, making sure that your child understands what is asked of them.

Regardless of whether your child answers the question correctly, it is still important to go over all the details.

Be Positive

If you are optimistic about the test and tests in general, your child will pick up on that, and it will help them to be optimistic too.

Remind them that all they can do is try their best, and they will do well.

Other Ways to Prepare for the OLSAT Level D

  • Discuss answers – Discussing the answers your child has selected and how they decided on them will help you gain some insight into their thinking and possible areas of improvement and guidance.

  • Use a study plan – Encourage your child to study a bit more independently by creating a study plan of what needs to be studied, when and for how long. This will give your child a sense of control over their test performance.

  • Offer study tips – Pass on any study tips you have to your children. Remind them to use the process of elimination when deciding on an answer and underline the main points when studying.

  • Look after their wellbeing – All the studying in the world will not help if your child does not have good sleep habits and a nutritious diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Schools generally administer the test for admission into their gifted programs. For younger children, it is in a one-on-one setting, and for older children, it is done within a group.

The OLSAT Level D test can help parents see where their child is working academically, especially when compared with other students the same age.

The test can help identify strengths and weaknesses in their academic performance. Any child seeking admittance into a gifted program will likely need to take the OLSAT.

The OLSAT Level D has 64 questions, 32 verbal and 32 non-verbal. The questions focus on areas such as sentence completion and arrangement, verbal analogies, verbal classification, figural classification and analogies, number series, number matrices and more.

A good OLSAT score is generally considered to be 132; however, this can vary depending on the program and its requirements.

There are 64 questions: 32 verbal and 32 non-verbal.

Yes, you can help your child prepare by making use of practice tests to familiarize them with the format of the tests and the types of questions they will see.

Help them to develop some good study habits, go over the questions and instructions carefully and ensure that they are well-rested and eating well.

Keep a positive attitude, and your child will pick up on that. Remind them that all you ask is that they try their best and encourage them as much as you can.

Final Thoughts

The OLSAT Level D can be a difficult test. Because it is offered at so many different levels, there is no rush to have your child take it at a young age.

Taking it a bit later gives more time for preparation and study.

The use of practice tests, good study habits and a good understanding of the test makeup and questions can help your child do well.