What is BESTS I-Excel?
The Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa developed this above-level assessment to better determine the specific academic strengths of grade 4-6 students who have scored at or above the 95th percentile in any subject area on a standardized test.
When children score at the 95th percentile or higher on a standardized test, it tells us that they understand all or nearly all of the material on the test, but it doesn’t tell the extent of their knowledge or what they are ready to learn next. An above-level test (or a test intended for older students) is a good way to give students more space to show what they know. Above-level test results can be used to help make decisions about educational placement, such as pursuing more challenging classes in a particular subject. Think of it this way: a grade-level test tells us what they know; an above-level test tells us what else they know.
What are the tests like?
I-Excel is a multiple-choice test including Mathematics, Science, English, and Reading. The test is taken on a computer, and each section takes 30 minutes to complete. Total testing time is 2 ½ hours (including breaks).
How can students register?
Grayson is offering these tests for all grade 4-6 students in the Philadelphia area. Testing costs for the I-Excel is $65.00. Please register at the links below:
What happens on the day of the test?
Please expect to arrive around 8:00 am to check in. The testing usually ends around noon. We suggest bringing a sweater or jacket in case it is chilly in the testing center. Of course, you will want to bring plenty of sharpened number two pencils with good erasers. Calculators are allowed for the math portion of the test. You may also want to pack a healthy snack and bottled water.
What happens after a student tests?
- The Belin-Blank Center provides a comprehensive interpretation of scores with a customized report for each student.
- Parents are not required to share the scores with their school, but they are strongly encouraged to do so.
- Students are eligible to attend weekend and summer courses at the Belin-Blank Center and at The Grayson School.