What Does the Brigance Test for Kindergarten Cover & How Do You Prepare Your Child?

The Brigance Test looks at a child's strengths and weaknesses.

When a child walks into the first day of kindergarten, their parents are prepared with all the necessary items, from crayons to safety scissors, glue sticks and tissues – lots of tissues. What they may overlook during their child's first foray into education is an understanding of the basics of the Brigance test. Their child’s entrance into kindergarten may be the first time the parents have ever heard about the Brigance test, so having some basic understanding of this general assessment test can help them to prepare themselves and their bright-eyed new student for what’s ahead in what may be their first school year.

1 Brigance in Early Childhood

When children gather in groups in the first weeks of kindergarten, they'll find that some students have had more experience in the subjects of “crisscross applesauce” and “1, 2, 3, eyes on me.” These phrases used by teachers to gain control of the class are just a few of the new things that they'll learn from the moment they sit down at their new desks. While some students may have attended Pre-K courses or faith-based programs, for others this may be the first time they're away from their family. This is where the Brigance assessment can help the child and teacher find what needs to be covered to bring them up to speed. Through a series of 12 assessments, the Brigance screening helps teachers discern where each student is on the bell curve of the class. It covers a wide variety of school-based curriculum topics.

2 What Brigance Covers

Aside from the ABCs and 123s, Brigance screening covers a wide variety of topics that are able to assess if there are any issues with a child’s ability to learn. Gross and fine motor skills are necessary for a child to sit still during a lesson or be able to manipulate a writing device, from a chubby crayon to a thin pencil, with an ease that doesn’t interfere with their writing ability. The Brigance test covers language, science and math subjects as well. Other sections of Brigance include social-emotional connections. Children are asked to follow two-step directions, speak in sentences, draw a line or trace a shape, count to 20, say their first, middle and last name and if they know their address or phone number.

3 Brigance Online for Parents

The Brigance screening may seem like an overwhelming task if parents are just learning about the basic assessment. Don’t fret if your child enters kindergarten without all of the skills covered by the Brigance assessment. It will help them get there quicker by allowing the teacher to understand what the child needs to learn. There are tests for Brigance online that parents can use to prepare their child; however, don’t push the child to know all of the questions. It’s not a pass or fail type of test per se. Kindergarten should be a wonderful time for children to begin exploring the world of education.

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.