Private School Admissions Testing

Welcome! You are undertaking the exciting but often stressful process of applying to private/independent schools for your child. I hope I can help make this a good experience for your child and a less stressful one for you. I specialize in administering the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV), which is the test that is generally required for children younger than 6 years of age. My fee is $400 for the test administration, report generation, and transmission of the report directly to you and to any of the schools to which you are applying. Please see below for more detailed information about the process and please don’t hesitate to contact me at with additional questions or to set up an appointment for your child. *I am currently scheduling testing appointments for Fall 2017 and I have some Saturday testing dates still available.*

What is involved in admissions testing?

Many independent schools in the Washington, DC region require that applicants receive an individually-administered test as part of their application process. These tests must be administered by a professional trained in their administration, scoring, and interpretation (e.g. a Psychologist, or another professional who has received appropriate training.)

The most commonly required tests are the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV). Children 6 years of age or older generally receive the WISC-IV; children younger than 6 years of age generally receive the WPPSI-IV. The particular test is administered according to the age of the child on the day of the evaluation, not on their grade.

Your child’s performance will be compared with other children of a similar age. Both tests are normed in multi-month increments, so the performance of a child who just turned 5 will be compared with the performance of other young five-year-olds, not with the performance of children who are almost 6.

Please make sure that you know which test your child needs for the particular school(s) for which you are applying. I specialize in the testing for very young children so I am available to administer the WPPSI-IV, but I am happy to refer you to colleagues who are available to administer the WISC-V to your older child.

How do I decide where to have my child tested?

The tests and the procedures for test administration are highly standardized and will not vary by testing site. Many schools will provide you with a list of testing centers or professionals that offer this type of testing, but tests from any qualified administrator are accepted. The most important factor is how your child is feeling on that particular day. Your child will be at their best if they feel rested, well-fed, and comfortable with the examiner and the testing environment. I am especially focused on making the testing experience a good one for young children who may not had experience with this kind of formalized evaluation.

How long will the appointment last?

Admissions testing appointments for children under 6 years of age typically last from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It is generally best for children to be tested in the morning.

Do I need to stay with my child during testing?

It is preferable for your child to be tested independently, as this will provide a better estimate of how they might behave in school. However, if this is anxiety producing for them, you can certainly stay with them during testing. When writing the testing report, we note if a parent was present or not during the evaluation.

If not staying in the testing room with your child, you should plan to wait in the waiting area, which is connected to the smaller testing room. Your child will feel more secure in this new environment if they know that you are nearby, and it is helpful for them to be able to come and check in with you during breaks in testing.

How should I prepare my child for testing?

The WISC-V and WPPSI-IV are classified as intelligence tests rather than content or achievement tests so your child can’t really “study” for them. The best preparation is to make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before and eats a good breakfast in the morning. If your child is ill or is taking any sedating medication on the morning of your appointment please call to reschedule.

It’s best not to refer to the appointment as an appointment for ‘testing’ or meeting with ‘a doctor, ‘ or alternatively as a time where they will be ‘playing games.’ Rather, you can explain to your child that they will be meeting with “Ms. Maya”, to do some activities that may be a little like school or like getting to work with a teacher. They are not expected to know the answer to everything and they should just try their best. You can prompt them to remember what things they especially liked so they can tell you about them when they are done. It’s nice to plan for a fun activity or lunch after their visit so they can look forward to doing something with you and telling you all about it.

Most children find these activities engaging, interesting, and often fun. My goal is for every child to be as comfortable as possible so their performance is the best representation of what they can do in this novel and unfamiliar situation. The more relaxed you can be about the whole process, the more relaxed your child will likely feel.

When will the results of testing be available?

After the test is administered, it will be scored and a report will be written within 3 business days. A report will be emailed to you and all schools for which you have provided written consent. An in-person feedback session can be scheduled at my regular consultation rate if you would like to further discuss the results of testing.

Please feel free to get in touch with me by e-mail at with any questions you have about the process or to schedule an appointment for your child.

Maya Coleman, PhD PLLC

Office: 3711 Macomb Street, NW Suite 2 Washington, DC 20016

Mailing Address: 1867 Ingleside Terrace, NW Washington, DC 20010