Ok, today we tried MindPlay at www.test4free.com. I like some aspects and dislike others.
It's convenient since its online. I introduced it to Micki as a computer "game," so it would have a better reception.
The test is online and is fairly long. It had 11 pages of 5 words each for phonics. You click a link to hear the word/sound and then select from about 6 choices in a pull-down menu. This got a little tedious for a 5 year old, but it did show how many you completed out of the eleven, so you could count down.
Micki had 3 short stories to test for comprehension. (I'm assuming older children would have more.) As you read the story, you select missing words from a pull-down menu of about 4 choices. This part went much quicker than the phonics section.
When you are finished, you are sent an email with a link for the results. You recieve a basic graph and some details about each test.
For instance under the phonics section, they noted under "Word Structure" Micki had difficulty wiht forming plurals and syllabication which is no surprise since we've only talked about simple plurals ending in -s and just started counting syllables in words.
What I thought was interesting was Micki had a harder time with the phonic sounds like "mib" or "sish" than she did with real words. With real words, she went right to the correct answer most of the time.
One thing that I didn't like about the comprehension section is the problem with any standardized test. There were a few times especially on the last story that Micki chose words that made sense but were not the "correct" choice therefore meaning she would get that one wrong. Oh, I also had to remind my creative daughter that we weren't making a funny, silly story but a "real" story with the right words. Again, she would have chose the wrong answer not because she didn't know it but because it would be more fun to put a hamster in a "pool" instead of a "cage."
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