The Possibility of Lower Scores Based on Birth Quarter
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Our daughter who has a September birthday began the Terra
Nova test 11 days after her 8th birthday. Would the CSI
score (because it is normed by age rather than grade) be
affected by this testing date? Specifically, if the testing
had been before her birthday would this number change? It
would appear that she was being compared to a larger
population of third graders than her own second grade
classmates because so few second graders would have turned
eight when the test was given. (The cut-off date is Sept.
Her CSI was 119; her total nonverbal score was 93 and total
verbal score was 94.
A: Logically speaking, your
daughter's scores could possibly be lower than her peers
born earlier. Research has indicated that test score
variation by quarter occurs after children begin school,
which is the case for your daughter, which is not true for
very young children. For very young children, there is no
evidence that birth quarter affects test scores.
However, if children born in different quarters begin school
with the same average test scores, and logically children
who enroll early learn more than children who enroll later;
due to this difference, test scores should be greater for
children born in the later quarters compared to the ones
born in the 1st quarter. This has been the trend seen in
Therefore, this evidence suggests that early enrollment
increases test scores due to different amounts of schooling
or to differences in when children were first exposed to
schooling. Having said that, the difference is rather
marginal and usually considered insignificant.
If she is losing opportunities for special programs because
she did not meet the cut-off points but is rather close, you
may consider speaking to the school authorities as this can
be considered a special case.