NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

New NYC Dept of Ed Chancellor is anti gifted testing

Well, we knew this one was coming. The new Chancellor for NYC schools says that only the privileged are in the gifted and talented program across the city. Let’s tell that to the first generation American-Chinese parent who is living on a measly salary she gets while working at the fish market in China town. No, it’s not about privileged, it’s about priorities for parenting! Time and time again studies have shown that regardless of race or socio-economic status if the parent is involved in their child’s education that child will be successful in school.  The top high schools in the city, Stuyvesant and Bronx Science, both have 30% of their student populations qualify for free lunch (translation: they are poor). The sad fact is that the vast majority of those students are Asian descent. This doesn’t fit the narrative for the new Chancellor so therefore he conveniently leaves that fact out of anything he says that doesn’t support his political agenda. The easiest solution to this issue is to have all universal pre-K students take the G&T test unless the parent opts-out of the test. This way parents who don’t know about the program don’t have to worry about not being included in the testing. It’s about educating the parents about the program and sometimes the best thing is to just do the testing.  There should also be the ranking within each district for entry into the program. For example, if the highest score in a district is 94 percentile than use that score as the ceiling for the qualification point for the program and work your way down from there. This type of attribution could entice parents to move to certain districts that in the past they would have never considered.

And what if the G&T test went away? What about the tens of thousands of kids already in the program? How is the DOE going to cope with that madness? And also the sibling preference when parents would then send their child to their local school, which is most likely already overcrowded. There are too many foreseen and unforeseen consequences of yanking this program and the Chancellor should really think through these scenarios before mouthing off saying that it has to do with privilege when in actuality it has to do with parent involvement.

The Chancellor also never speaks a word about the contract the DOE has with Pearson, the publisher of the NYC G&T test for the OLSAT and NNAT-2.  That’s a multi-year and multi-million dollar contract the test-prep empire has with the DOE and not one I’d suspect they’d want to give up so easily.

Tips for solving OLSAT test questions
July 5, 2018, 3:30 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags:

Here are a few tips on helping your child solve those very tricky OLSAT test questions

For analogy questions on the OLSAT:

  • Think of a rule that describes the relationship between the 2 items on top.
  • Apply the rule to the figure or picture on the bottom.
  • Test the rule with each answer choice – if you choose it, will the items on top be related to each other in the same way as the items on the bottom?
  • If more than one choice fits the rule, then look for a more specific rule that describes the relationship between the items on top.

For solving classification questions on the OLSAT:

  • These are similar to analogy questions, except that you should think of the reason why the items on top belong together in one group. What’s the same about all of them that they belong together as a unit?
  • Test the reasoning with each answer choice – if you choose it, will all 4 items belong together in a group for the reason you identified?
  • If more than one item or if no item fits with the items on top for the reason you identified, look at the items on top again and re-think why they belong together in a group.

When practicing for the OLSAT test:

  • Environment
    • Make sure your child is working in a quiet, well-lit area where he or she will not be disturbed.
    • Give your child one set of questions at a time. First go through the warm-up questions in the set.
    • When doing the actual practice test, read the instructions and questions exactly as they are written. Do not paraphrase.
    • Give your child breaks as needed – ideally, take a break between each practice sub-test.
    • Once the practice test starts, don’t give your child feedback or help during the practice test unless he or she is confused about what to do. Go over answers after your child completes the practice test.

More fun with NNAT-2 practice test questions
June 5, 2018, 8:51 am
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Try some fun and colorful NNAT2 sample test questions!

NNAT®-2 and 3 – Reasoning By Analogy

Parent, tell your child this: “Look at this puzzle.  Do you see how the two shapes on top go together?”  Point to the bottom left box and say, “Look at the shape in the bottom box.”  Point to the answer choices and say, “Which of these shapes belongs with the shape on the bottom so that two the shapes on the bottom will go together the same way the shapes on top go together?”

NNAT2 questions to ask your little one for the upcoming NYC G&T test


Discover your child’s strengths and weaknesses for the NNAT2 test.



Q1: D (all are same)

Q2: D (rows are the same)

Tips on preparing your child for the NYC Gifted and Talented test
May 29, 2018, 3:40 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags: ,

Ready to prep? Here are some test prep tips for the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests!

The purpose of preparing your child for the NYC G&T test to give you a general idea of your child’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to the different types of questions that will be asked on the actual tests. Here are a few tips to take into consideration while your prepare.

  • Seat your child comfortably at a desk where he can work. The room should be well lit. Make sure he isn’t hungry, tired, or missing out on his favorite TV show.  Don’t describe what you’re doing as a test or assessment.  Just refer to these as “brain games” where you’ll get to do some fun, practice school activities.
  • BEFORE YOU BEGIN TO PRACTICE QUESTIONS: Sign-up for free practice questions from the website.   Go through this entire instrument without telling your child whether his answers are correct. This instrument is for your benefit only – first, to show you where your child needs help and then to show you the progress he has made.
  • Give your child a break between different sets of questions if that is needed. Remember, with the Pre-Assessment your goal is to find out which types of activities your child does well and which present a challenge for him.  Once you understand his strengths and weaknesses, you can work on the areas that are hard for him.  The actual OLSAT test has 30 questions and the NNAT-2 has 48 questions for a total of 78 questions.  The Assessments have 45 – 60 questions each.   Don’t get frustrated if you need extra time to get through all the material, especially when doing the Pre-Assessment (before your child has built up any “test stamina”).
  • Based on how your child does, you will know which types of questions to focus your efforts on when preparing. Work with your child over a period of time using the practice questions and games on the website.
  • For the Assessments, whether your child is applying to kindergarten or 1st grade, he should attempt to answer the first 15 questions in each section. If your child is applying to 2nd or 3rd grade, he should attempt to answer all 20 questions in each section.  [Questions generally go from easy to harder.]
  • between the 1st and 2nd set of scores will vary depending on how much practice you have done with your child and how well she has mastered the concepts.
  • Your goal is to see significant improvement between the two sets of scores your child earns doing the Pre-Assessment (without preparation)…and the Post-Assessment (with preparation).

Who should take the NYC G&T test and why
May 25, 2018, 5:02 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program

Who can take the test!

New York City serves the needs of exceptional students by way of the gifted and talented program. Though each program varies in terms of curriculum and materials used by the teachers, they all are aligned with the New York State ELA and math standards (aka Common Core).  The test is absolutely free so what do you have to lose? The G&T test results are confidential and your child’s teacher won’t even know if he/she took the G&T test nor the score. There’s no indication in the school file as to scoring the child makes on the test. The results are the sole determining factor when it comes to placement in the gifted and talented program. So many kids score in the 99th percentile there are no guarantees a child will get a seat due to the shear volume of applicants. Your child needs to be a current resident in one of the five boroughs in New York City who currently attends pre-K through 2nd grade. Even if your child attends a charter school or private school they are eligible to take the G&T test as long as they are a resident.  The G&T program is open to any student with a disability and welcomes all students in accordance with their IEP (individualized education program).


Over 80% of parents who think their child is gifted are correct!

Myths about gifted education
May 12, 2018, 12:36 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags:

Let’s separate fact from fiction for NYC gifted and talented programs

There are many myths floating around New York City about the gifted and talented program so let’s set the record straight!

  1. Gifted children cannot teach themselves. TRUE!
    • Even though many gifted and talented students are ahead of their peers the role of a certified gifted teachers is crucial for the child’s success in school. Just like a professional athlete needs a good coach to reach his/her full potential a gifted student needs the same kind of coaching for a teacher.
  2. Gifted students not only learn more quickly than other students, they learn differently. TRUE
    •  The vast majority of classroom teachers for general education have no training in teaching highly advanced students. In many cases, teachers are often unable to recognize and support gifted learning without specialized training. Many advanced learners are so far ahead of their same-age peers that they know much of the curriculum for their grade as soon as school begins in the fall. They also learn new concepts quickly and unfortunately, must wait for their classmates to catch up.
  3.  Average or below-average students do not look to gifted students as role models. TRUE
    • Most students model their behavior on those who have similar capabilities and are coping well in school. Watching those who are expected to succeed does little to increase an average student’s self-confidence. Gifted students respond to and benefit from classroom interactions with their academic peers so that’s why it’s so important for a child to be surrounded by peers who learn at the same pace and level as each other. This is what the NYC gifted and talented program provides the students.
  4. All children have strengths and positive attributes but are not all gifted in the academic sense of the word. TRUE
    • The label “gifted” is a loaded term and if you ask 100 parents you’ll get 100 different definitions! Let’s face it, ALL children are gifted BUT not all children are academically gifted and have the advanced  learning capabilities for specific subject areas, or in the performing or fine arts compared to others his or her age or grade.

Find out more about the signs of a gifted child. 

Breakdown of Gifted and Talented test scores by district

Results by each district for NYC Gifted and Talented Program

Looks like water in district two produces the smartest kids in the city with districts 30, 30 and 31 not too far behind! Boy, these kids in NYC are so smart or maybe prepped to the max for the OLSAT and NNAT2 tests.

Here is the breakdown of scores for kids entering kindergarten in fall 2018.

s = less than 6

Applying for Kindergarten Fall 2018
District Citywide and District Qualifier (Scored
District Qualifier Only (Scored 90‐96) Ineligible
Totals 1,559 2,100 10,791
1 18 32 128
2 346 347 1,022
3 131 171 538
4 7 10 102
5 15 12 152
6 25 44 233
7 s s 71
8 s 9 166
9 s 8 127
10 18 33 400
11 10 28 369
12 s 9 108
13 58 93 325
14 24 41 136
15 100 138 542
16 s 7 70
17 15 25 207
18 s 14 174
19 s 11 140
20 95 134 719
21 88 77 362
22 150 97 580
23 s 7 78
24 58 107 523
25 69 149 528
26 60 114 451
27 24 24 329
28 85 112 551
29 13 33 343
30 78 119 634
31 45 86 618
32 s s 65



Totals For ALL Grades entering K to 3rd Grade in fall 2018
District Citywide and District Qualifier (Scored
District Qualifier (Scored 90
Ineligible Testers
Totals 3,122 5,912 23,482 32,516
1 49 102 291 442
2 699 852 1,875 3,426
3 246 347 803 1,396
4 13 25 195 233
5 26 40 290 356
6 45 80 422 547
7 s 13 160 175
8 12 43 421 476
9 9 49 379 437
10 43 122 877 1,042
11 35 148 929 1,112
12 7 19 273 299
13 109 167 525 801
14 47 110 298 455
15 210 357 1,039 1,606
16 8 21 134 163
17 30 59 471 560
18 9 30 347 386
19 7 31 301 339
20 212 439 1,652 2,303
21 141 206 790 1,137
22 216 297 1,442 1,955
23 s 15 130 148
24 112 359 1,392 1,863
25 136 416 1,243 1,795
26 158 370 972 1,500
27 41 104 721 866
28 178 344 1,261 1,783
29 38 103 896 1,037
30 179 357 1,451 1,987
31 94 272 1,366 1,732
32 8 15 136 159