NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Changes to NYC Gifted and Talented Program Testing for 2012-2013

The bar has been raised for kindergarteners vying for admission to New York City’s gifted and talented program. In the past, the Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test (OLSAT) was used in conjunction with the Bracken School Readiness Assessment (BSRA). However, this year marks a switch from the BSRA to the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT).

While the BSRA tests a child’s knowledge of basic shapes, colors and numbers, the NNAT tests abstract logic and visual reasoning skills. A Dept. of Education spokesperson said the switch aims to make the gifted and talented admissions exam more difficult to study for, so a child’s actual cognitive ability is assessed (compared to just simple facts they have learned). Parents should start preparing now if their child is taking the G&T test next year since adequate preparation for the NNAT may require as much as twice (or even more!) the time needed for BSRA prep.

Next year I have no doubt we will see less 99th percentiles with the NYC gifted and talented test results are released due to the complexity of the Naglieri when compared to the BSRA . The children are going to struggle with this test and although the NYC Department of Education has yet to announce the specifics, in most cases the NNAT-2 is a timed test so there will be extra added pressure for the child to complete within the allotted amount of time given by the DOE. It has yet to be disclosed how the NNAT will be weighted along with the OLSAT for next year’s talented tots taking the test, though parents can begin preparing at home with puzzles and other simple visual pattern identification exercises. For those parents seeking practice questions for their children, they can utilize the vast practice question library at Testing Mom, which offers hundreds of NNAT and OLSAT practice questions.


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