Bracken School Readiness Assessment

The Bracken School Readiness Assessment, or BSRA for short, was created by Bruce Bracken, and published by The Psychological Corporation, as an intelligence test designed to test the cognitive skills of children from preschool and kindergarten up to second grade, in order to discern if any among them are especially gifted or talented. Although the test is usually administered by a school or educator, parents sometimes decide that they want to have their children tested, usually because they are planning on enrolling them in programs designed for especially gifted students. Testing can also help to indicate if an individual has a language disorder, and so children can be tested before being placed in remedial education programs as well.

The BSRA offers testing to children for six basic skills including the identification of colors, upper and lower case letters, single and double digit numbers and the child's ability to count, their ability to use different words to describe sizes, such as bigger and smaller, comparisons of different objects, and the identification of different shapes.

The Bracken School Readiness Assessment tests these skills based upon standard concepts that are normally taught by parents, preschool, and kindergarten teachers in preparation for school. Test questions are usually either given orally or by multiple choice, and the testers administer questions with the use of picture books or through simple interactions, so although children need good listening skills to take it, they do not necessarily need to know how to read or write. The scores attained on the standardized intelligence test can be converted to a percentile, and there are also ways to convert the scores so that a child can be categorized as either 'advanced' or 'delayed'.

Often, when children are presented with uncommon or difficult questions, they will try to answer in a hurry, and not take the time to think them through well as they otherwise would have. For this reason, it is important that parents take the time to thouroughly prepare their children for the BSRA. Many publishers offer practice tests and preparation manuals, which can be attained for a fee, either online or from a local book retailer. Going over these materials beforehand can help children feel more comfortable when testing, which in turn will help them achieve an overall higher score.