Bracken Test (Meaning, Levels, Purposes, Administration, Study tips)

The Bracken Test or Bracken School Readiness Assessment (“BSRA-3”) is a test conceptualized for children from Pre-K through to the second grade.

It helps ascertain if a child is prepared for school by assessing the child’s exposure to concepts vital for the acquisition of knowledge and learning at school.

It can measure a child’s preparedness and sensitivity to the acquisition of primary concepts and receptive skills in the language.

The Bracken School Readiness Assessment (BSRA-3) was first published in the year, 2002.

Usecase of Bracken Test:

The Bracken Test was developed by Bruce Bracken, PhD, as an individual, intellectual assessment test for pre-K and Kindergarten children in the first and second grade.

It intends to test a child’s understanding of the 85 fundamental and basic academic concepts.

The test can fulfill several purposes, such as identifying students for admission into Private Schools or Gifted and Talented Programs.

More so, it can be used to measure cognitive disabilities and language impairments.

Levels of Bracken Test:

There are no levels or differences in the Bracken test. It is the same for all students in Pre-K to the second grade.

All students take the same test and are scored by the number of questions answered correctly.

The test is individually administered, with no limit to the time. The time length for the Bracken School Readiness Assessment test is based on the child’s capabilities.

However, the completion time is between 10-15 minutes and it assesses the visual and verbal abilities of the child.

Age range of Bracken Test:

The age range is usually from 3 to 6 years. The minimum age is three years, and the maximum, six years, 11 months.

Furthermore, the scores of the Bracken test can be transformed to standardized test scores and percentile rank scores.

There are supportive guides developed by the publisher for standard Bracken test scores conversion into criterion categories. 

Purposes of the Bracken Test

  • It is used to ascertain if the child has gotten familiar with the fundamental concepts needed to attain success in formal education.
  • It assesses if a child has problems with developing concepts that may need intervention or assistance.
  • The child’s results are used to strategize intervention using the Bracken Concept Development Program.
  • The Bracken test compares disparities and determines if a child has a generalized concept impairment in both expressive and receptive skills, or in either.
  • The test helps to acquire criterion-referenced information for students who speak Spanish utilizing the Spanish adaptation of the Bracken Receptive.

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The Bracken School Readiness Assessment Subtest


Common colors by name will be required to be identified by the child. The ability of children to recognize and name Primary and Secondary Colors, as well as Color Absolutes, is assessed in this subtest (i.e., black and white).

These colors are culturally and linguistically universal and are necessary for depicting the world. Furthermore, the concepts also establish the building blocks for academic instruction.

2. Letters: 

Knowledge of all the letters and lower and upper cases will be assessed. The subtest assesses their knowledge of sentence composition and structure.

3. Numbers & Counting:

The child will be required to identify both single and double-digit numerals and be able to count numbers from 1 to 99.

This subtest also focuses on the ability of a child to assign a number value to a category of different objects.

4. Size and other comparisons: 

In the Bracken test, the child will be required to demonstrate knowledge of the use of comparative words depending on a set of specific characteristics such as short, large, big, tall, long, bigger, larger, tallest, light, tiny, heavy, little, and so on. 

A child must match or differentiate objects using comparative words like wide, equal, narrow, shallow, identical, deep, opposite, or different.

This subtest involves concepts that describe varying dimensions (one, two, or three).

It assesses the ability to differentiate and/or match objects based on one or more of their pertinent characteristics.

5. Shapes: 

More so, identification of basic shapes by name is necessary and required. Here, one-dimensional shapes, two-dimensional shapes as well as three-dimensional shapes are used. 

The one-dimensional shapes include linear shapes; the two-dimensional shapes are portrayed by concepts such as the circle, triangle, and square, while the three-dimensional shapes include the pyramid and cube.

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How Administration of the Bracken Test is carried out

Here are step-by-step procedures involved in carrying out the Bracken Test.

Step 1:

The child sits next to the person administering the test and not across so that the person administering the test can conveniently show the child the pictures.

Item 1 of each subtest is usually the starting point. The items are arranged in order. Moreover, if the child gets three responses in a row wrongly, then that subtest is ended.

Step 2:

Continuation of Item 1 of the next subtest begins afterward.

Here, each item is introduced by saying, “Show me,” before reading out each item. Once the child understands the subtest, “Show me” is then excluded when reading out the questions.

The items start by saying, “Look at all of the pictures on the next subset.”

Step 3:

If a child makes it a pattern of looking or pointing only at one side of the response page, they are told to look at all the pictures over again.

However, if the child continues with this pattern, he/she is told in the next subtest item to “Look at this picture, and this picture, and this picture, and this picture” by pointing to each of the displayed pictures.

Step 4:

After that, observation is taken to see if he/she is now getting along.  

However, if a child points to more than one picture, he/she is corrected by saying, “You can only show me one picture.”

If a child self-corrects (i.e. correctly changing his/her incorrect response just in time) before the presentation of the next item, the self-corrected answer is scored and recorded.

The same goes for giving an incorrect response (for instance, switching a correct answer to an incorrect response at the dying minute); the last (incorrect) response is scored and recorded as zero.

Bracken test: Effective tips to use when practising test questions

These tips are essential for Parents and Guardians to take note of when practicing with their children. They should act as the evaluator and make it seem like an actual test. They include:

  • Reminding the child to carefully listen to the question before selecting an answer, since there isn’t going to be a repetition of questions in the actual test.
  • Ask for an explanation of the answers from your child (even if they answered the questions rightly).

Although resolutions aren’t needed during the actual test, it will help you know if your child’s thinking is correct or not.


Conclusively, the Bracken test result of a child is quickly disseminated and shared with parents and teachers.

Technically, the Bracken test results are in line with the goals of the established State Early Childhood standards.

More so, the Bracken tests comply with the “No Child Left Behind and IDEA 2004” prerequisites.

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