NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

What Exactly Is the OLSAT Test? Otis-Lennon School Ability Test
January 21, 2010, 6:17 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), published by the successor of Harcourt Assessment — Pearson Education, Inc., a subsidiary of Pearson PLC — is a test of abstract thinking and reasoning ability of children pre-K to 18. The Otis-Lennon is a group-administered (except preschool), multiple choice taken with pencil and paper, measures verbal, quantitative, and spatial reasoning ability. The test yields verbal and nonverbal scores, from which a total score is derived, called a School Ability Index (SAI). The SAI is a normalized standard score with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16. With the exception of pre-K, the test is administered in groups.

The test has 21 subtests, organized into five areas, and an equal number of verbal and non-verbal items is included in each area. The five areas are verbal comprehension, verbal reasoning, pictorial reasoning, figural reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.
Preschoolers taking the OLSAT for gifted and talented (G&T) kindergarten programs are more likely to be aware that they are taking a test. For that particular age, the test is given one-on-one. The test is presented in a multiple choice format, and either the child fills in the “bubble” or the tester does it for them.

By contrast, many psychological, intelligence, and school ability tests (or assessments) are administered discreetly by psychologists who discreetly take notes while conducting introspective thinking activities. Under these conditions, the child is often unaware that they are being evaluated.

From Wikipedia

NYC schools aren’t the only schools using the OLSAT test. The test is administered in many school districts around the USA.

If you need sample questions or sign-up for my free gifted and talented newsletter, please email me at

Here are some other bundles for OLSAT test prep from

Don’t Forget About the Bracken School Readiness Assessment – BSRA Test
January 18, 2010, 6:54 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

If you’d like to sign-up for my free Gifted and Talented newsletter let me know: Thanks- Michael

There are many things parents can do themselves for BSRA test prep. There are Bracken practice tests and sample questions available from a variety of sources for parents to work with their child.   Make sure your child knows the material on the Bracken like the back of their hand so they can do well on that part of the gifted and talented test.

There’s so much focus on the OLSAT which comprises 75% of the score for the NYC gifted and talented program that many parents overlook the Bracken (BSRA) portion of the test that accounts for the other 25% of the test. Parents are under the impression the BSRA – Bracken School Readiness Assessement is the “easy” test that their child will breeze through before the challenging questions on the OLSAT test.  This is somewhat true, but please make sure your child is prepared for the BSRA as much as they are for the OLSAT. The BSRA test compromises information your child most likely knows but needs to be reinforced for testing purposes.   Make sure your child knows all numbers from 1 to 100 and all letters – both lower and upper case.  For the Bracken your child needs to get every point possible so you’ll have some wiggle room for the OLSAT portion of the test. So parents, please don’t forget the Bracken.

From Wiki:
Bracken School Readiness Assessment (BSRA) is an individual cognitive test designed for children, pre-K through second grade. It assesses six basic skills:

  • Colors — Student must identify common colors by name.
  • Letters — Students must identify upper-case and lower-case letters.
  • Numbers | Counting — Student must identify single- and double-digit numerals, and must count objects.
  • Sizes — Student must demonstrate knowledge of words used to depict size (e.g., tall, wide, etc.)
  • Comparisons — Student must match or differentiate objects based on a specific characteristic.
  • Shapes — Student must identify basic shapes by name.

OLSAT Test Starts in NYC – Parents Report on Their Experiences at Testing Sites
January 12, 2010, 9:29 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program

If you’re still needing some practice OLSAT sample test questions  I have some sample questions so email me at: Also, you can sign up for my free G&T e-newsletter.

As the OLSAT test period continues through the end of February, the waiting game has already started for some parents who took their child to the OLSAT testing site designated by the NYC DOE. I’ve been getting early reports from parents who took their children to take the OLSAT test over this past weekend.  Here are some of the comments I’ve received from parents about the process they went through:

“The test site was very calm and well organized. My child in the test happily and came out smiling.”

“There were only a handful of kids there.” Continue reading

Parents Begin Waiting Anxiously for OLSAT Test Scores for NYC G&T
January 9, 2010, 5:09 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags:

If you’re still needing 16 free OLSAT sample questions let me know or if you’d like to sign-up for my G&T newsletter email me at Thanks – Michael

I’ve been receiving tons of inquiries this week from anxious parents who are going through the OLSAT test process starting this weekend. Over the next 4-6 weeks thousands of NYC students will take the test to get a coveted spot into the gifted and talented program.  I’m surprised how many parents are just now trying to prepare their child for the exam with just a few days before the test.  For me, the time between the the time our daugther took the exam and waiting on the OLSAT test scores was a very long wait so parents please be patient. The DOE will not release any OLSAT testing information or G&T offer letters early to any parents so it’s best not to even try.  You’ll have to wait like everyone else. If history is any indication, you’ll get the OLSAT results in May.

If you’re a parent who has gone through the process this weekend at a dedicated DOE testing site I’d love to hear your story of your experience, what it was like, etc.  Your story will be completely confidential.  Thanks – Michael