NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

NYC Schools Start Tomorrow! Goodbye Summer, Hello Chelsea Prep PS 33!

Well, the summer has flown by as we head into another G&T year here in New York City!  We went up to PS 33 Chelsea Prep yesterday to drop off some supplies for our daughter’s gifted and talented teacher this year – the incredible Mrs. Alycia Zimmeran! Our daughter is so blessed to have Mrs. Zimmerman for another year. Our daughter had Mrs. Zimmerman in first grade and now she’ll have her again for the third grade!  Not sure if the public education system in New York City, no I mean Amercia, gets any better than this! Mrs. Zimmerman explempies what it means to be a dedicated, accountable, and enthusiastic teacher. I can’t say enough great things about her and her use of technology in the classrom which includes updates on her web site.

The NYC department of education did provide a brief update the new G&T handbooks which will now be available in early October,  according to the DOE web site.  There are MANY changes expected to come into play for the New York City gifted and talented program.  Make sure you go to and get free practice questions for the OLSAT test and the NNAT test  – it will come sooner than you think! It’s never too early to start preparing your talented tot!

Keep me posted on how the first week of schools go, especially to all the G&T parents across all the 5 boroughs!

PS 33 Chelsea Prep Reviews from the 2011-2012 School Year

As the 2011-2012 school year ends it’s time to do a few blog posts over the next few days. You’ll be reading PS 33 Chelsea Prep reviews from the 2011-2012 school year! My daughter just finished 2nd grade at the G&T program at PS 33 in NYC in District 2 and it’s been quite another year of two thumbs up from both my wife and me!  PS 33 is now one of the high-demand Gifted and Talented programs in NYC.  Kudos to Principal Linore Lindy at P.S. 33 as she added more gifted and talented classes that now goes up through 3rd grade! Next year the program expands to fourth grade and the demand will for sure grow. Although, keep in mind with the changes to the test from the BSRA to the NNAT the number of students qualifying for the program will for sure drop due to the difficulty of the NNAT test compared to the BSRA (Bracken School Readiness Assessment).

This year PS 33 offered tap lessons from a former Broadway performer! It’s just another one of the amazing examples of the great program at this school not only for academics but also for extracurricular activities.


Wall Street Journal Launches Tool to See NYC Teacher Ratings released an interactive tool to see the evaluation of teachers of New York City teachers.  You can find out all the ratings for teachers in 4th grade and above at all the public schools in New York City. There was an uproar from the teacher’s union when the department of ed. decided to release this information to the general public.  These ratings aren’t based upon OLSAT test results but rather standardized tests given to students starting in 4th grade.

Actually, the 2 most popular citywide gifted and talented programs scored lower than one of the most popular district 2 G&T programs at Lower Lab PS 77.

Make sure you also visit to get 50 free sample questions for gifted and talented exam.

Should your gifted and talented child skip a grade?

Now that the OLSAT test is behind most of us for the NYC gifted and talented program many parents wonder if their child should actually skip a grade (or in some cases even 2 grades!). Arsitotle Circle wrote a great article on this topic indicating the mains things to consider:

  • Teacher feedback on your gifted and talented child
  • School experience
  • Current peer group
  • Your gifted child’s schedule and after school activities

Of course you can also find out by practicing questions from where you get 50 free sample questions.

Update on the NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Schedule

According to the NYC dept. of ed here is an update on the gifted and talented test dates.

  • Private school and current Pre-K students will be notified of their test date by the Department of Education in mid-December.
  • Public school students will receive notification of the test date from their school.

Read more about the test on where you can get 50 free practice questions. As reminder, OLSAT test results will be sent to parents in early May.

P.S. 33 Halloween Vocabulary Parade for Gifted and Talented Classes!

The Halloween spirit was high at PS 33 Chelsea Prep with costume galore! The best part wasn’t the candy and treats but the newest addition to the Halloween spirit of the vocabulary parade! No, it’s not practice of the OLSAT test but added an incredible learning component to dressing up for trick-or-treat. Each student was given a word and then had to dress-up for Halloween that decribed the word. The costumes were amazing but the words these young lads were taunting about were those you’d hear in the halls of junior high and high school, not amongst 2nd and 3rd graders! Here are a few photos of the event and a big thanks to Alycia Zimmerman who spearheaded the event. Mrs. Zimmerman is one of the incredible G&T teachers at PS 33 and make sure you check out her classroom web site.

Is this on the OLSAT test? No, it's one of big words from the 2nd grade Gifted and Talented class at PS 33 Chelsea Prep!

The G&T Class at PS 33 Chelsea Prep Parade Across the Stage


PS Chelsea Prep Vocabulary Parade for Halloween!

If you’d like to be added to my gifted and talented newsletter or free OLSAT sample questions let me know by emailing me at If you can’t wait, you can also get 50 free gifted and talented questions at

Find Out What the NYC Dept of Ed Won’t Tell You – Workshops for Parents to demystify the process for private schools and G&T admissions!

The team at where you can get 50 free practice questions is hosting 2 workshops for NYC Parents to demystify the process for private schools and G&T admissions!  Discover what the NYC Dept. of Ed Won’t Tell You!  If you have questions about the process and really didn’t your NYC gifted and talented questions answered at the DOE sessions last week.

There will be 2 workshops next week -

Register for Workshop #1 Tuesday – October 25 6:30pm to 8pm P.A.L. Workshop Series in Tribeca Downtown Community Center

Register for Workshop #2 Saturday – October 29 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Poet’s House in Battery Park City

You won’t want to miss this one! The panelists Include the Following Experts

Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom
Best-selling Author of The Ivy Chronicles and Testing for Kindergarten

Michael McCurdy
NYC Gifted and Talented Parent Expert

Dr. Kim Har, PhD
Testing Authority from Aristotle Circle
Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a Minor in Psychology from MIT; a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from NYU; a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia Teachers College; and a Ph.D.
Note: Dr. Har will only be attending the Saturday session.

  • NYC Gifted and Talented Process
  • Private school admissions process
  • To prepare or not to prepare for the OLSAT test
  • Test Practicing tips to incorporate in your daily routine with your child
  • The concepts on the Otis-Lennon, Bracken, Stanford-Binet and WPPSI tests

NYC Gifted and Talented Handbooks Now Available Online – Info. Sessions Start Next Week!

The NYC department of education just posted the G&T handbooks for the 2011 – 2012 school year. It looks like the OLSAT test and Bracken will still be used (at least for this year) as the tests for entranced into the New York City gifted and talented program for kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade. Depending on the age of your child, the Otis-Lennon portion will be the OLSAT Level A (pre-K and Kindergarten), OLSAT Level B (1st grade) or OLSAT Level C (2nd grade). Make sure you go to to get 50 free sample practice questions for the test.

You can also get all the juice from the DOE web site for handbooks which are pretty much the same as previous years but good to review for a refresher if you have it read it in a awhile.

If you’re totally new to this process for gifted and talented program in NYC, then you might find the parents information sessions somewhat useful. Keep in mind, these sessions historically have covered the same exact material in the handbooks from the Dept. of Ed. web site.

Here are some important dates you’ll need to know along with dates/times of information sessions starting next week:

  • September 26, 2011     Families begin submitting the Request for Testing (RFT) Forms
  • October 28, 2011      Deadline to submit Request for Testing (RFT) Forms
  • October 2011     Gifted and Talented Parent Information Sessions – see flyer for dates and locations
  • January 3 – February 10, 2012 – Current K-2 Public School Students, OLSAT/BSRA testing at school sites
  • January 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29, 2012; February 4 & 5, 2012
  • Current DOE Pre-K Students and Non-Public School Students OLSAT/BSRA testing at selected sites
  • Mid-April 2012         Score reports and applications with available G&T sites communicated to eligible students
  • April 20, 2012     Applications due
  • Week of May 21, 2012     Placement offers communicated to families
  • Week of June 4, 2012     Deadline for families to accept/decline placement offer

 Parents Information Sessions Starting Next Week

  • Manhattan, October 5, 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Brandeis High School, 145 West 84th Street
  • Bronx, October 12, 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus, 500 East Fordham Road
  • Staten Island, October 6, 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., New Dorp High School, 465 New Dorp Lane
  • Brooklyn, October 18, 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., MS 113 Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, 300 Adelphi Street
  • Queens, October 11, 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Long Island City High School, 14-30 Broadway
  • Bronx, October 19, 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., P.S. 121 Throop, 2750 Throop Avenue

If you have questions, please email me at to get free sample OLSAT questions or to get my G&T newsletter list. Thanks – Michael

New York City Continues to Struggle with Gifted and Talented Program Criteria

In 2006, NYC’s gifted and talented program admissions criteria and testing methods were standardized in order to simplify the testing process city-wide. While this program change seemed to make good administrative sense at the time, in the years that have followed, many questions have arisen regarding the admissions criteria for the NYC city-wide gifted and talented program.

In 2008, the admittance of NYC children in poorer school districts and primarily minor school systems in the city were significantly lower than in other parts of the city’s gifted and talented program. Many schools had some students qualify, but not enough to support a full NYC gifted and talented program.

In 2010, admittance rates in many of these poorer and minority school districts dropped even further, with several schools seeing no students make it into the score range necessary for admittance to the New York City G&T program. As a result, the New York City gifted and talented department of education has decided to review testing procedures and to search for new ones that will level the playing field for students throughout the city.

To get OLSAT test sample questions or to be added to my gifted and talented newsletter list email me at Don’t forget, you can get 50 free practice questions on

More Parents Seek Professional Assistance with NYC Gifted and Talented Program Testing

To get sample test questions for the OLSAT test–used in NYC G&T testing–or to be added to my gifted and talented newsletter list email me at Don’t forget, you can get 50 free practice questions on

As more parents become concerned with the standard education made available to their children in public school systems, the business of preparing students for NYC gifted and talented program admission testing has become a big venture.

Parents who cannot afford private school educations for their children have increasingly turned to private companies that offer gifted and talented program test preparation classes and sessions for children as young as four or five. Although these G&T program testing prep courses cost around $150 or more, many parents are willing to pay the bill if it means their children will have access to better education within the public school system, which is something that the NYC gifted and talented program offers.




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