NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

Time for second round of Hunter!
December 16, 2019, 12:11 pm
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Well, the results are in for Hunter Round 2 and hundreds of parents are ecstatic that their talented tot made it to Round 2 of Hunter College Elementary School! This doesn’t mean it’s over, quite the contrary. This is the first barrier to entry as these parents rev up for Round 2 where the best of the best 4 year-olds in Manhattan head for the group sessions. This can be even more stressful and agonizing for parents since there are many more unknown variables since there will be 25-30 other kids in the same classroom.

Approximately 3,000 Manhattan children take the Stanford-Binet for Round 1 of  Hunter each year. After that, the top 250-300 then move on to Round 2 which is where we are at today. After that, there are a total of 50 students admitted into their kindergarten program (25 girls and 25 boys). During elementary school, kindergarten is the only entry point. The good news is there is a wait-list for those who don’t make a final count but don’t get too excited since there are only 24 kids on the wait list (12 girls and 12 boys). Kids from all five boroughs can apply to Hunter College High School which begins in 7th grade.

What is Hunter REALLY looking for in a student?  And yes, don’t believe the so-called claims that Hunter cannot be preppred for. Quite the contrary.  Most families do some sort of prep although there are the outliers of parents who leave their child’s educational future to chance and do absolutely nothing. If you’re reading this blog post  I’m sure you fall into the former rather than the latter.  With Hunter, you’re basically getting a private school education for free and who doesn’t want to save over $50,000 a year in private school tuition.

Some of the things they are looking for in Round 2 is anything that’s symbolic language with math, pictures, directions, pieces of puzzles, etc. The more advanced the pre-K student is at fully understanding presentation of the object, as oppose to the object itself, the better the child will do in Round 2.

Hunter College Elementary Unsolved Mysteries
August 19, 2019, 3:39 pm
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Answers to the mystery surrounding Hunter College Elementary School.

Hunter College Elementary is a nonpublic school and is not part of the NYC Dept of Ed. Good news! It’s tuition free and if your child is one of the lucky 50 that make it they can attend school there from kindergarten through 12th grade! The program is designed for highly gifted children who are evaluated by a trained psychologist and given an abbreviated version of the Stanford-Binet.  To apply, go to the web site and it opens at the end of August every year through early November.  The test is administered in the fall and the same year your child takes the NYC gifted and talented test.

Once you register on the site, Hunter gives you a list of four or five licensed and Hunter-approved psychologists who can administer an IQ test for your child. The date that your child takes the test on matters, so please make sure you find out the optimal date to take the test. Need help determining the date? Email the folks at and they can help you out! If your child makes the cutoff after round 1, he or she will then be invited to a second round of testing.

Each year, well over 3,000 Manhattan children take the Hunter test. The top 250 to 300 then move on to second round, after which 25 boys are admitted and 25 girls are admitted. 12 boys go on the wait list, 12 girls go on the wait list, and that is it.  If your child makes it to the wait list don’t give up hope! Some years the waitlist moves very fast and it held open up until 2nd grade.

Kindergarten is the only entry point for elementary school and after that, their next entry point is high school, which is 7th grade (the admissions test is given in 6th grade and your child must score well on the state ELA and math test to get an invite to take the test). Hunter fiercely warns parents: do NOT prep your child! They even say that prepping doesn’t work. If that’s the case, why would they give a hoot if a parent prepares their talented tot. Doesn’t make any sense. Another contradiction of the complex world of kindergarten admissions in New York City!

Hunter College Elementary Test Prep Tips
April 5, 2019, 2:10 pm
Filed under: hunter elementary gifted talented, Stanford-Binet | Tags:

Hunter College Elementary School application process begins in August!

Hunter College Elementary is not a public school and not part of the NYC DOE (Dept. of Education). That’s what I call fake news. It’s actually closer to being a tuition free private school kindergarten through high school or possibly a charter school since the money comes from New York State.  The teachers at Hunter don’t have to follow common core curriculum, and in many cases the kids don’t have to take the state ELA and math tests.

Going into kindergarten, the child needs to be a Manhattan resident to apply at the kindergarten. Some people may say, “I know a child from Brooklyn or Staten Island that attends Hunter”.  In this case, the child must have gotten admitted in 7th grade since it opens to all boroughs at that point.

Here are some scary numbers. Over 3,000 4-year-olds take the Stanford-Binet test to qualify for Round 2, out of that number Hunter takes 250-300 lucky students who get into the 2nd round. In the end, only 25 girls and 25 boys make the cut (along with 12 and 12 on the wait lists). Hunter only has a wait list until second grade and there many cases of kids making into the program off the the wait list.  If your child is on the waitlist don’t give up hope, you may end up getting that call so make sure you answer your phone!

Here are the details on the test given to make it to Round 2:

  • Hunter administers a modified version of the Stanford-Binet V (IQ test).
  • There are different components to the test and the psychologist assesses many abilities for every child.
  • The test is given in a one-on-one setting in the licensed psychologist’s private office. These are pre-selected by Hunter and you’ll receive a list of 5 to select from when you sign-up your child for the Stanford-Binet.
  • This test does rely on a large verbal component and it’s not a time for your child to shut down and not talk. It seems that the kids who do well on this test are very verbal and expressive.
  • Keep in mind, this test is only administered in English so it your child is bilingual make sure you really beef up the English at home.
  • You’ll need to make sure your child knows many general knowledge concepts. An example might be items while shopping in a grocery store or classroom setting.  The test proctor will ask open ended questions, not “yes” or “no” responses. This is why you want your child to be very expressive in his or her answer. The more descriptive the better!

Hunter makes a BIG deal about prepping for the Stanford Binet this is why you want to work on the underlying skills to do well on this test. Math skills and reading skills are important and the good news is that any prep you do for Hunter translates over to your child’s kindergarten experience. It’s a double win-win!  There are many visual components to this test like visual absurdities where the child is shown a picture and they ask “what’s silly with this picture”.   It could be something easy like a flying dog or something really tricky! That’s why it’s important for your child to pay close attention to whatever the tester asks of him or her.

Many parents ask how early should I start preparing my son or daughter for Hunter? Well, you’re probably doing things right now at home and don’t even realize it! Read to your child, play “I spy”, have your child describe things to you in-depth, etc.  For official prep you’ll need start at least 6 months prior to the test to make sure your child has the underlying skills needed for this test.