NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Secrets to acing the OLSAT test

So, when kids first see the different types of questions on the OLSAT test, they think they’re weird and they don’t understand them right away. As a parent, you want your child to experience their confusion in seeing these questions for the first time when they’re at home with you, and you can help them (contrary to what “they” tell you!). Not when they’re all alone at school under the pressure of taking an actual test without you there to support them. Especially, if you have a younger child ages 3 to 5 years old who has never (ever!) taken an actual test and has no idea of the different between a right and wrong answer.  No matter if you live in Brookly, Staten Island or Queens it’s imperative you prepare your child for the upcoming NYC gifted and talented test. The OLSAT test is no joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Even if your child it taking the OLSAT test next year there’s really no time to waste. Whether your child’s test is in three days or three months, working with  practice questions and online prep games for the OLSAT can make all the difference. These are just a few examples of the types of questions that are on the gifted test. Naturally, the questions get harder as children go up in grade levels. If your pre-K to sixth grader is taking the OLSAT and you’d like to learn more about the types of questions on this test. You can try a few practice questions for the OLSAT test here!

 

OLSAT
Test Subset
Grade Pre-K and K
Level A
Verbal Questions
  • Verbal Comprehension
No
  • Following Directions
Yes
  • Antonyms
No
  • Sentence Completion
No
  • Sentence Arrangement
No
Verbal Reasoning Questions
  • Aural Reasoning
Yes
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
Yes
  • Logical Selection
No
  • Word/Letter Matrix
No
  • Verbal Analogies
No
  • Verbal Classification
No
  • Inference
No
Nonverbal
  • Pictorial Reasoning
No
  • Picture Classification
Yes
  • Picture Analogies
Yes
  • Picture Series
Yes
Figural Reasoning
  • Figural Classification
Yes
  • Figural Analogies
Yes
  • Pattern Matrix
Yes
  • Figural Series
Yes
Quantitative Reasoning
  • Number Series
No
  • Numeric Inference
No
  • Number Matrix


Not enough gifted and talented seats in the Bronx
May 12, 2017, 2:20 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags:

The lawmakers passed a bill for parents to be better informed of the NYC Gifted and Talented Program for the Bronx, specially in district 10.  As more and more kids take the test citywide (including the Bronx) that means more and more kids are receiving a qualifying score to entry into this competitive program across all five boroughs in the city. The Bronx and Staten Island are the only two boroughs that currently do not have a citywide program and have a short supply of district wide programs for both.  This new plan from lawmakers requires that all parents of pre-K students receive multiple notifications of the NYC Gifted and Talented Program .  Many parents complain (rightfully so) of how hard it is to get information from the DOE web site that honestly needs a complete overhaul and better usability.

Many advocates of better communication are pushing that all pre-K students take the G&T test and the parents will need to opt-out of taking the test. This of course would dramatically increase the raw number of kids taking this test, especially in lower income areas of the Bronx. The hopes would be more qualifying students since most parents would not opt-out of their child taking the test. We’ll see if this proposal moves forward since this would not only impact the Bronx but all other boroughs for children in the universal pre-K program in NYC. The implications of have even more kids taking the test leads to the larger issue of where are all the kids going to get a seat in the G&T program that’s already in short supply.

 

Right now, there are only two district wide programs in district 10:



Does the NYC gifted and talented program pave way to the specialized high schools?
May 5, 2017, 5:19 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

The great debate continues! According to an article Chalk Beat getting your 4-year-old placed in a gifted program in kindergarten may lead the way for their future high school admissions into one of the NYC specialized high schools.

These schools include:

The gifted and talented program that spans all 5 boroughs for grades kindergarten through 5th grade only make up 30% of black or Hispanic students. Although, the overall student population for these two groups is 70%. This disparity is even more drastic as students enter into high school and take the SSHAT test for one of the specialized high schools. These schools only compromise 10% of black and Hispanic students.

Is the NYC G&T Program a “gateway drug” to the specialized high schools? It seems that out of 357 students who did attend citywide gifted middle schools from 2011 to 2015 that 1/3 of those were admitted to specialized high schools. When looking at the demographic information of those 357, 40% where of Asian or white and 14% were Hispanic or black students.  Even high achieving students who are black or Hispanic are less likely to get a seat at a specialized high school. Granted, this is a non-scientific analysis and there could be other contributing factors in play. The takeaway is the breakdown seems to happen middle school.  With 530 middle schools in the city 60% of 7th graders who went to a specialized school were from only 45 middle schools. Most of these 45 were specialized middle schools (code word for gifted and talented programs).



Testing Mom and FasTracKids NYC launch partnership!
April 24, 2017, 1:38 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program, testing mom | Tags: ,

Well, it looks like the folks over at Testing Mom are taking their NYC G&T program offline to the New York City locations of FasTracKids.  Seems like a great fit for both organizations since they are geared to helping youngsters succeed in school. It looks like the Testing Mom curriculum for NYC gifted and talented test prep will be fully utilize by FasTracKids teachers and students. This will surely help raise scores of all the talented tots currently enrolled at the FasTraKids locations sprinkled throughout the city. I reviewed the FTK program and was quite impressed with their array of programs they offer through their centers.

Gifted and Talented Prep Programs:

Even the programs above are geared toward G&T test prep they also help with the underlying skills every child needs to school and testing success with a full service curriculum.  This is why their program is so popular for parents of young children across their locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan.

And if you’re looking for a summer camp for your talented tot they have that covered too!

Their Summer STEAM  Academy camp motivates all students to further their education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math through 9 different camp themes. Depending on your summer schedule you can do one week or the entire nine week program. You can also select 1/2 days or full days. Make sure your child keeps the momentum going this summer and doesn’t fall victim to the “summer slide” where a child can lose up to 4 months of learning unless a parent takes action.
Find out more about their Summer STEAM Academy.


Hunter College Elementary School Gifted and Talented Program

Hunter College Elementary School Gifted and Talented Program

Here’s an overview of the ultra competitive Hunter College Elementary School program located on the Upper East Side. Children applying to kindergarten take a modified version of the Stanford-Binet® V test from September through November (the year before they start kindergarten).  Over the past few years the qualifying score for 2nd round at Hunter ranged from 143 through 149 s – students who qualify go on to round 2, where more testing will be done.  Percentile rankings will show a child’s standing in comparison to students his own age, not grade level.

 

Criteria for admissions for Hunter College Elementary
  • Manhattan residents only! 25 boys and 25 girls for admitted for K
  • Once you apply, you get a Hunter ID # and 3 weeks to schedule and complete testing – $350 for test; $70 application fee,
  • You’ll get a choice of 5 testers and you can only contact 1 for an appointment.

 

Most people have heard about IQ scores — 146 to 159 is “highly gifted,” 131 to 145 is considered “moderately gifted,” 116 to 130 is “high average,” and 85 – 115 is considered “average.” For many children, the difference between being labeled highly gifted or gifted can come down to a single point, and that one point may impact their ability to get into fantastic Gifted and Talented programs that will provide tremendous educational benefits.  For example, last year, children needed to score at least 148 to be invited to the second round of testing for admission to Hunter College Elementary, one of the top gifted programs in the country that is located in New York City. .

Because an IQ test is so different from a skills or achievement test, it is harder to study for. Additionally, since it is given to children so young, there is a chance that a child might get scared or nervous, and make mistakes that could cost him many points. Most children taking the Stanford-Binet test at age-4 have never taken a test before in their lives.  They may not know how to sit still for a long period of time, listen carefully to what is being asked of them, how to think through a question and look at all the answer choices before jumping in and responding.  This is a brand new skill set for little (and even many older!) children.  Developing these test-taking abilities is as challenging to young children as knowing the answers to the questions they are being asked.

The Stanford-Binet® test is a particularly hard test because it includes so many different subtests.  While many tests group the same types of questions together, which allows children to become more comfortable with the material, a psychologist administering the Stanford-Binet test will skip around and mix different types of questions together.  This can be confusing for some children.  For these reasons, we believe it is critical that (at the minimum) you give your child exposure to the types of questions that he or she will encounter on the test.



Tons of questions from parents about NYC gifted and talented

Testing Mom Facebook Live the other night received tons of questions from parents about NYC gifted and talented test results that were recently released.

The folks over at TestingMom.com hosted a very informative Facebook Live the other night for frantic NYC parents who just received the test results for their talented tots. These parents all seemed to be the lucky ones whose children made a score high enough on the NNAT-2 test and OLSAT test to qualify for a coveted seat into one of these elite kindergartens in New York City for the 2017-2018 school year. It seemed that all the parents on the Facebook Live feed were happy since they were asking about what schools were the best and bragging about their gifted girls and brilliant boys throughout the hour+ session on Facebook. Here are a few of the many questions that the New York City parents were spouting throughout the session:

  • I called the kinder doe hotline and was told that admissions to district gifted and talented is based on lottery. The G&T handbooks however states that they go by the score. So confused.
  • Given your experience what are your thoughts on PS 33 Chelsea Prep G&T? Seemed like a very large school. Do you feel it is luck of the draw based on your assigned teacher?
  • Our son scored 97th percentile, our one in district school with a gifted and talented class isn’t so great. being in the 97th percentile, how good are his chances at a better district school with a G&T class?
  • Do you know anything about District 22 G&T schools in Brooklyn? Our son’s overall score was 92 and his current school has a G&T program but I was told by a parent that he needed to score in the 99th percentile to get in.
  • We are in District 14, and there is only one G&T Program, once you are under 97%, how do they decide placement in district-wide, is it a lottery and is it worth exploring districts outside your own? Any thoughts on PS 132?
  • My older one is in citywide G&T school at TAG. The younger one is District G&T program already. Last 2 years she got 96. Is there any chance to get in TAG as sibling preferences. By the way, the younger one will be in 3rd grade next year.


NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

NYC Gifted and Talented Testing

Here’s a good overview of the NYC gifted and talented program as of early 2017. If you are reading this, then you are a parent or a grandparent in NYC who is trying to find the best possible school for your little one.  There are so many options in New York – private schools, gifted and talented programs, general education – it can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if your child is just 4-years-old!

1)      Citywide Gifted and Talented Programs – Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score. The question to your right is a practice question for the Pattern Completion subtest for the NNAT2 test.

 

OLSAT Levels Grade
 Level A  Pre-K to Kindergarten
 Level B  First Grade
 Level C  Second Grade

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank for the NNAT2 test.  Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students.   A child must score at the 97th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.  In the last few years (due to space limitations), only children who score in the 99th percentile have gotten into these programs.  The only exception to this is siblings of current students who are admitted with 97th percentile or above.

2)      District Gifted and Talented Programs – Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score – a child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank score for the NNAT2 test.  Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students.   A child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

For the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), there are 3 types of questions:

 

 Types of Questions Description of type of OLSAT verbal questions
Arithmetic Reasoning The child must listen carefully to math word problems that use basic mathematical concepts such as same, different, fewer, more, etc., along with simple addition, subtraction, fractions (half, quarter), etc.
Following Directions Here the child must listen carefully to verbal questions describing similarities and differences, positional and rank comparisons (above, below, between, next to, bigger, smaller, etc.), or descriptions and choose visual images that fit the description.
 Aural Reasoning Again, the child must listen carefully to verbal descriptions of scenarios, similarities and differences, prepositions, and situations that use vocabulary or ideas that make the child think in order to choose the visual image that fits the description.