NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

Here’s a great overview from our friends at TestingMom.com (home of the 100 free practice questions for gifted and talented and private school admissions to help your child prep for these tests with tons of sample questions.)

If you are reading this, then you are a parent or a grandparent in NYC who is trying to find the best possible school for your little one. There are so many options in New York – private schools, gifted and talented programs, general education – it can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if your child is just 4-years-old!

In NYC, you have 3 possibilities when it comes to a free gifted & talented education for your young child. Children take different tests to qualify for these programs:

1) Citywide Gifted and Talented Programs – Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score. The question to your right is a practice question for the Pattern Completion subtest for the NNAT®2 test.

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank for the NNAT2 test. Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students. A child must score at the 97th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs. In the last few years (due to space limitations), only children who score in the 99th percentile have gotten into these programs. The only exception to this is siblings of current students who are admitted with 97th percentile or above.

2) District Gifted and Talented Programs – Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score – a child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank score for the NNAT2 test. Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students. A child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

For the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), all of the questions are “puzzles” involving shapes and figures that require visual-spatial reasoning to solve.

 



NYC Gifted and Talented Seminars for Parents

It’s that time of year again and the folks from TestingMom.com (the home of free practice questions) are offering NYC parents the opportunity to learn more about the crazy G&T process in New York City. Starting next week, Testing Mom reviews the process at NYC Gifted and Talented Seminars for Parents in mid-town and on the upper east side.

Here are all the topics to be presented at this must-attend seminar for any parent going through the NYC Gifted and Talented testing with their talented tot this year or next year.

  • Citywide vs. district wide gifted and talented programs
  • What’s the difference between a G&T school vs. my local general education school?
  • How to prepare you child for the big test without the stress (for both of you!).
  • Tools and techniques to properly prep your child for the NNAT-2 and OLSAT with practice tests.
  • Have a shy child? Or  separation anxiety on test day? Discover proven techniques that actually work!
  • There’s also going to be live Q&A from the experts from Testing Mom experts reviews all the “ins and outs” of what you can expect on test day as your child is whisked off with a complete stranger for an hour to be given the gifted exam.

Want to attend? Here are the details:



It’s back to school for NYC schools!

Today is the day! It’s back to school for NYC schools! This includes all gifted and talented programs peppered throughout the city.  And there’s good news for District 16 in Bed-Stuy that now has the only G&T program in that district. This was determined at the end of last school year although this is for students starting in 3rd grade and not kindergarten like other gifted and talented programs in the city. Both district-wide and citywide programs offer the NYC G&T program starting into kindergarten as the talented tots are tested with the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests. You can get free practice questions from my friends at TestingMom.com.

In addition to Bed-Stuy’s new NYC program there were 3 other new G&T programs implemented in districts without these coveted programs. These were opened in S. Bronx and Ocean Hill.

 

 

 



Gifted and Talented School in Queens Screws up big time!

Well, a district wide gifted and talented school in Queens screws up big time! It all started with parents at the PS 144 in Forest Hills who received a letter from the school that their child will be taking the test that week for the gifted and talented program. The letter informed the parents their child will take the OLSAT tests and BSRA (Bracken School Readiness Assessment). One problem, the DOE phased our the BSRA test 4 years ago and replaced it with the much more difficult NNAT-2 test. Below is a photo of the actual letter parents received from the school that really screwed up on this one.

To add insult to injury, according to parents, who contacted the school about the test, the parent coordinator who answered the phone abruptly said in a curt manner “Whatever is on the letter are the tests that are going to be given!”.  I suppose the school was bombarded with phone  calls from frantic parents who were confused and even more confused after the school verified their worst nightmares coming true! So much for the person who answered the phone to do a 5 second Google search to find out which test is currently being given to students. Maybe they were too busy watching reruns of Dance Moms online?

After months (and some times years!) of test prep will their talented tot now be required to take another test that they haven’t prepared for? Imagine these poor moms and dads who are stressed out to the max and then finding this out the same week the test was to be administered. It’s like a high school student preparing for the SAT test for months and then 48 hours prior to test day being told “Sorry, it’s actually the ACT test.”

After a few days of confusion in Forest Hills the principal, Reva Gluck-Schneider, finally broke down and reluctantly admitted to the error of their ways. This, of course, is after scores of parents kept calling and asking questions. Wow…a DOE employee admitting they were wrong? Is that in the union contract? You can read the entire drama in this DNA Info article.

The letter parents from PS 144 received regarding the upcoming gifted and talented testing.



Countdown has started for NYC parents!
December 14, 2015, 2:56 pm
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags:

Well, the countdown has started for NYC parents who are anxiously awaiting testing day for the gifted and talented entrance exam starting in a few short weeks. The talented tots start making their annual pilgrimage starting Jan. 9, 2016 to line up one-by-one to take the OLSAT test and NNAT2 test at designated schools across all five boroughs. Last year alone over 30,000 pre-K to 2nd grade students took the test and almost half were the 4-year-olds vying for a coveted seated in one the top kindergarten gifted and talented programs sparingly sprinkled throughout the city. During the holiday-winter- Christmas break from school parents will begin the final push to make sure their child gets enough sleep and drinks plenty of jumpy juice on test day to make it into the 99th percentile. Although, even at the highest percentile ranking of 99 does not guarantee a seat in the program (why that would make it too darn easy!). At 99th percentile the child is then placed in a pool with over 1,500 kids who are attempting to get a citywide seat that has approximately 250-300 available each year. The children are radmonly selected from the pool of 99s so hope your child gets in top 100. Welcome to the city of hard knocks if your kid doesn’t make the cut!



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

 



Start preparing for the NYC gifted and talented test

Well, it’s time to start preparing for the NYC gifted and talented test even though school starts in September. So far, there have been no changes announced by the Dept. of Ed to the testing process and procedures for this upcoming testing season in January-February 2016.   Here are some quick and dirty stats as of the time of this writing:

  • 70,000 seats in standard-track gen-ed kindergarten classrooms; 2,700 seats in G&T programs* (appx. 250 seats are available for Citywide programs – this is for non-siblings).
  • Admission based solely on the test score (for NNAT-2 test and OLSAT test). The NNAT test has 48 questions and the OLSAT has 30 non-verbal questions. Each test accounts for 50% of the child’s overall score. The two tests are administered at the same time with the NNAT non-verbal first then the OLSAT verbal section.
  • In Jan.-Feb. 2015 almost 38,000 students from pre-K to 2nd grade took the NYC gifted and talented test.
  • Pre-K students do not need to fill in bubble sheet – only point to the correct answer.
  • Kindergarten to 2nd grade take test at school if in public school. No testing in 3rd to 5th grade.
  • Once in gifted program, no re-testing necessary each year through 5th grade. Middle school is entirely different story.
  • If your pre-K child is testing for the G&T continue with your registration for general ed. kindergarten at your local public school. Do the two processes concurrently.
  • Important note: G&T curriculum varies from program to program – even at the district level. There is no standard G&T curriculum in NYC so make sure you check with other parents who have kids in the program to get as much information as you can about their curriculum and how it varies (if at all) compared to the general ed classrooms. Some vary,  some don’t so do your homework!

If you’re looking for more in-depth guide on the New York City Gifted and Talented Program there’s a well written guide from the folks at Testing Mom for only five dollars. The best deal around.

NYC Survival Guide cover