Having your child tested for admission into a private school in NYC is a nerve wracking for every parent, and a high pressure situation for any child that knows they are being tested.
There are many different tests for entry into Pre-K and elementary schools, but for private schools in NYC, the ERBs are the standard baseline.
As with any testing situation, the key is to decrease the amount of pressure that you are actively putting on a pre school and elementary school aged child. The best way to do that is to research the tests that your child will have to take and understand what is involved so that you can prepare them better for it.
In the pre-admissions stage when families are looking in their schooling options, some decide to cover all contingencies and have their children tested for admission into both private schools and public Gifted and Talented programs.
By having your child tested numerous times at the ripe old age of 4, you take the chance of burning him out before he has even entered his first day of kindergarten, however many parents feel that every test taken also gives you insight into what areas your child needs some extra help on, and what areas are natural strengths. It is becoming increasingly common for some parents, worried about possible ERB scores, to have their children take the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, called the OLSAT by most, as a form of prep for the ERBs. The OLSAT is a test of abstract thinking and reasoning ability that is multiple choice, taken with pencil and paper and measures verbal, quantitative, and spatial reasoning ability. The test yields verbal and nonverbal scores, from which a total score is derived.
The bottom line is that ERB scores are important for private school admission, but taking multiple other tests to prepare for it do not always reap the results you are looking for.