What is the Brigance Test of Basic Skills?

There is much to learn when heading off to preschool, particularly for parents. The Brigance assessment is a term that can confuse parents as they navigate the school system with their precious cargo. Brigance is important in early childhood for many reasons. Kids do not need to achieve a perfect score, but it is good to know what they may be tested on.

What Is Brigance Screening?

Widely used for children in pre-k and up through first grade, the years when children are often first introduced to a school system, the Brigance screening is meant to quickly discern developmental difficulties. It is administered in a setting of one-on-one between the student and the test giver, usually a specialist, school psychologist or in some cases a staff teacher. The main use of Brigance is to determine where a child may have learning difficulties, which gives the teacher the ability to provide a better education for that child.

How the Brigance Test Is Scored

The test is scored in three steps by the administrator of the test, not an outside source. Each of the 12 assessment areas are scored individually. This is done by multiplying the total correct answers by a specific point value per question for each section. Within each section, questions have different weights based on the child’s skill level that they should have mastered by that age. So a 2-year-old would not have the same score process as a 6-year-old.

A kindergartner will get a half point for each uppercase letter that they use correctly on the test. At the same time, they will receive higher points if they answer a question correctly that may be considered out of their range, such as number readiness. Each section is tallied individually and then added up for the final score. That final score is compared to the national average to discern if the child is of average ability or above or below the required level of knowledge for their age bracket.

Basics of Brigance Broken Down

For most children taking the test at around age five, the test will conclude if the child can speak in sentences, follow two-step directions, trace or draw a line, say their first, middle and last name and count to 20. They are also asked to stand on one foot and balance, recognize rhyming words and know their address. What matters more than anything when preparing your child to take the test is that the child feels confident and unafraid of being administered a test by a possible stranger to them within the trusted school system. There are many ways to complete a Brigance online test to give the child, and the parent, a bit more confidence.