Testing Requirements

Open Window Online shares the mission of our parent program, Open Window School, to nurture and inspire students of high intellectual potential. This means our program is designed for the needs of students who require a more rigorous and often accelerated course of study. To ensure that Open Window Online is the right fit for potential students, both cognitive/IQ testing and achievement testing are required for all applicants. The specifics regarding which tests are needed are outlined below.

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Testing FAQs

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  • How do I obtain IQ testing for my child?

    Our Testing Requirements page has information about IQ testing. Open Window does not administer IQ or achievement testing for applicants.
  • How does Open Window Online use intelligence testing (IQ scores) in the admissions process?

    An applicant’s IQ score is only one of several data points that are gathered as we help families determine whether Open Window Online is a good fit. A student’s IQ score is often predictive of their ability to thrive in our program. However, one test score is never going to give the whole picture of a child and therefore we use several different components to determine a good fit including a parent interview, a virtual applicant visit, and a teacher recommendation/evaluation, along with your child’s test scores on standardized tests (i.e., IQ and achievement tests).
  • What is IQ Testing?

    IQ tests measure verbal and non-verbal cognitive aptitude (learning potential). While we do not publish specific cut-off scores, in general, students who are a good fit for Open Window Online score in the top 5-10%.

    Because the IQ test is cognitive, rather than an achievement test, children should not be prepped for the test. When children are exposed to test content, preparation exercises, and testing tasks, they often exhibit test-taking behavior that indicates prior exposure, and their results are thereby invalid. Psychologists are bound to report this prior exposure in their full report, and Open Window may not accept these scores. Children must wait one year before being re-administered the same cognitive test.
  • What is Achievement Testing?

    Achievement tests measure specific content learned in specific areas, usually including reading and math among other subjects. These are generally given annually in most schools. Examples of achievement tests are Smarter Balanced Assessments given in Washington public schools, the MAP test, and the ITBS test. These tests are designed to test how much your student has learned.

    There are two main types of achievement tests – norm-referenced and criterion-referenced. Norm-referenced tests report a student’s score as a percentile (e.g., 95th percentile). These scores compare a student’s score to other students of the same age who took the test. A score of 95th percentile means the student scored equal to or better than 95% of their peers. Criterion-referenced scores indicate a student’s mastery of the material and are generally given as a single digit score (e.g., scores between 1-4 with a score of 4 being the highest). Open Window Online accepts both norm-referenced and criterion-referenced test scores.
  • When should I schedule testing for my child?

    If you need to schedule a test to complete your child’s application, we suggest scheduling this as soon as possible, as many examiners have reduced capacity due to the extra time needed for socially distanced tests and cleaning protocols. While it is our preference that the test be administered in-person, we are willing to accept virtual administrations of an IQ test. Families should think carefully about whether a virtual administration will be able to capture their child's true cognitive ability. 

    Families must have IQ testing done privately by a licensed psychologist. Examiner’s schedules can fill quickly, so we recommend scheduling your child’s testing as early as possible. If the financial burden of an IQ test is a hardship on your family, please contact us at
  • Why do we require testing?

    While Open Window Online is a new program, it is a part of a larger school program that has 30+ years of experience in gifted education. Through experience, we have learned that the rigors of our program are not the right fit for every student. As we work with families in the application process, our job is to help everyone involved decide if OWO and your child are a good match. We use several different components to determine a good fit including a parent interview, a virtual applicant visit, teacher recommendation/evaluation, and your child’s test scores on standardized tests (i.e., IQ and achievement tests).

    It is important to note that we do not publish specific cut-off scores for tests because these tests are only one part of the process. However, have seen that student scores on these tests often predict their readiness for our program making them an important part of our admissions process.
Open Window Online provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.
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