NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

Parents beware! Mistake in NYC G&T handbooks
November 18, 2015, 6:00 pm
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

It seems like the NYC G&T department made some serious errors in the 115,000 G&T handbooks given out that were translated into nine languages according to the article in AM New York. You’re lucky if you received the handbook in English since there were no errors in the questions and answers for the guides that were handed out. It seems the DOE didn’t bother to have someone take a few minutes of their time to proofread the copies that were in the non-English written materials. It seems that the DOE officials were scrambling to fix the error of their ways by scrambling around to try to correct the screw-up. This caused them to extend the deadline to register for the OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test (free practice questions on Testing Mom) that are the entrance exams required for a 4-year-old to get a seat in a top-notch kindergarten for free.  It seems these types of errors are completely preventable but I suppose no one at the DOE was thoughtful enough to think of the ramifications of not having these important materials proofread by a professional before printing. I will give the DOE credit for the cover of the NYC G&T handbook this year. I think the artwork is very well done. Too bad they didn’t put the same time and energy in making sure the practice questions they provided were up to par.



doe handbook


Is your child gifted or just bright?

There are many signs of a gifted child and some possible signs include: excellent memory, great sense of humor, morally sensitive, perfectionist, questions authority and good at jigsaw puzzles.

Well, the folks at Testing Mom (home of the 100 free practice questions) came out with a new and entertaining way to find out if your child is gifted or bright. Take the  5 question quiz to find out if you child is gifted or just bright.

Here’s a list of the most popular questions parents ask about the NYC Gifted and Talented program.

  1. What are some signs of giftedness?
  2. Should you do test prep for the OLSAT test and NNAT2 test?
  3. What does testing 4-year-olds tell us about their giftedness?
  4. What does a G&T curriculum look like in NYC schools?
  5. What are some pluses of gifted programs?
  6. What are some minuses for gifted programs?
  7. When will you find out about getting a seat?
  8. Where can you get more info on the test?

You can find the answers to all these questions (and more!) on a great article on DNA Info written by Amy Zimmer.

Push to expand NYC gifted and talented programs

Over the past few years it’s become evident the lack of racial diversity in the NYC gifted and talented programs across the city. The biggest gaps are most evident in lower-income, minority neighborhoods. Not only that, the two boroughs of the Bronx and Staten Island neither have a citywide program within their borough. For the students living in the Bronx of Staten Island and scoring a 99th percentile on the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests doesn’t guarantee a city-wide seat. And if these students do somehow get into a citywide gifted and talented program like NEST or Anderson it would take in some cases almost 2 hours of commute time each way with public transportation. The gifted and talented problem of supply and demand has been evident over the past several years with over 1,900 pre-K kids qualifying for a citywide seat and only 250-300 kindergarten seats being available.

The DOE promises to open more programs across the city, especially in areas that have few district wide gifted and talented programs. The DOE determines what areas get a new gifted program based upon the amount of kids who take the test in that district. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle since many students don’t take the test since the parents don’t know about the test or don’t bother for whatever reason. There are plenty of students in both the Bronx and Staten Island to justify the opening of a new citywide program in each of those boroughs but it’s a tough sell since space is limited and educating local residents about this program.

The NYC G&T program does offer excellent educational opportunities but only for those who are aware of the program. Hopefully outreach to the local communities will make some sort of impact but as with anything that has to do with the DOE it will take years to see change.

Practice questions for Hunter Elementary Gifted and Talented Program

Well, it’s that time of year again as thousands of kids take the Stanford-Binet test for admissions into the Hunter Elementary School Program which is by far the most competitive kindergarten in the world! Year after year over 3,000 4-year-olds take the Stanford-Binet test to get a qualifying score for a chance to attend the second round where the children are observed in a classroom setting.  Out of the 3,000 kids that take the test only 50 (25 boys, 25 girls) will be allowed to enter the pearly gates of Hunter College Elementary Gifted Program the following school year.  Hunter does make it loud and clear on their web site that a parent should not “prep” their child for the test. Although based upon what they indicate it sounds like reading to your child could be misconstrued as test prep for the Stanford-Binet test. Here are a few sample questions for the test and these are the types of questions a child might encounter on the test. These are brought to us by the folks at Testing Mom where you get tons of practice materials for Hunter, private school admissions and NYC gifted and talented program. Over the past few years the Hunter round 2 cut-off score for the Stanford Binet has ranged from 143 up to 149! If your child gets 142 or below you might was well count them out of getting an invite to the A-list second round. Harsh, yes….reality check folks.

Cindy, Daryl and Anne were crossing guards at the school. Each child was given 2 whistles they could use for the job. Choose the box that shows how many whistles in total were given to the 3 children. 4

stanford binet test


Do you see the children in the first box? Each child is the captain of his or her team. If 30 children in total play on teams, which box shows the number of children each team captain gets to pick for his or her team? 4


hunter gifted test

Prepare for the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests or not?

I get so many questions from parents as to whether or not they should prepare their talented tot for the NYC gifted and talented test.  I think it’s time for a reality check if you don’t think every other parent is preparing their child for the big test. I know, it’s romantic to think your child can whimsically walk in to the testing center with absolutely no preparation and score in the 99th percentile on the tests.  News flash parents, that’s a fantasy and you want to make sure your child is fully prepared for the tests by not only practicing with free practice questions from Testing Mom but more importantly, you need to be working with your child from separating from you for over an hour and taken away by a complete stranger who administers the gifted and talented tests. So, should you prepare or not prepare?


Free live seminars for NYC gifted and talented testing and process

Well moms and dads, it’s that time of year again for first day of school and gifted and talented testing for 4 year-olds to 2nd graders in New York City! Not sure what to expect on the big test? Don’t worry, the folks from Testing Mom are hosting free (yes, FREE!) seminars available for NYC parents on Saturday, Sept. 19. Both seminars cover the same material so no need to attend both, unless you just can’t get enough. These seminars will cover all things G&T (including Hunter Elementary) for parents who are considering getting their talented tot tested for the upcoming testing season in January. A 4-year-old will be barraged with 30 questions from the OLSAT test and the 44 questions on the NNAT-2 test. Believe me, some of the questions they expect these little kids to answer are difficult for most adults to comprehend. And don’t forget that you can’t go into the testing room with your child who is whisked away in flash from your arms as he or she is taken to the room to be drilled with question after question. And who administers the test? Well, it’s a DOE employee who has volunteered to be a  test proctor so they can earn some extra cash on the side. Please hope and pray your child isn’t placed with some disgruntled union member who has complaints out the wazoo with his or her job. Oh well, I suppose it’s best to make our little NYC children learn the hard knocks of big city life before they enter kindergarten. Here  are the links to register for the live events:


Meet Chelsea Prep’s new interim principal

Here’s the letter that the new interim principal of PS 33 Chelsea Prep who replaced Mrs. Lindy who recently retired from the NYC Dept. of Ed.


Dear Families:

It is with great pride and excitement that I write this letter of introduction to you as the Interim Acting Principal of PS 33 Chelsea Prep. I am honored to join you in continuing the legacy of success established at Chelsea Prep.

I have been dedicated to the field of education for more than thirteen years. I have proudly served as a teacher, coach, and assistant principal in the NYC Department of Education. My experiences in early childhood, gifted and talented, and dual language programs have enabled me to understand the unique needs of diverse learners and supporting conditions that allow them to thrive as individuals. This appreciation is also fueled by my energetic and free-spirited 16-month old daughter, Lianna. Like all of my students, Lianna reminds me each and every day the amazing curiosity and limitless potential young minds possess.

Through a close partnership with you, I look forward to continuing the focus on character education, fostering a nurturing environment, and enhancing instruction that challenges, enriches, and engages our students to maximize their academic, social, emotional and physical potential. I am confident with our collective commitment, expertise and shared leadership, we will provide the students of Chelsea Prep the best education and foundation in preparing them to be strategic thinkers, life-long learners, and world class citizens ready to master the challenges of the 21st Century.

I will be available Tuesday, July 14th through Thursday, July 16th, from 10am-12pm. Please feel free to stop in and say hello. You can also reach me via email at at any time to set up an appointment.

As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” I look forward to serving the Chelsea Prep Community and collaborating with each of you as we work together towards greater success.

In partnership,  Cindy Wang Principal, I.A.


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