NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

Testing for the NYC gifted and talented program

Well, tens of thousands of tots begin the annual pilgrimage to get tested for the New York City gifted and talented program. The testing takes place on the weekends for the pre-K students at a local public school and for those kids in kindergarten to second grade take the test at their school during the day. Nervous parents across the city are vying for coveted spots in the most competitive kindergarten race in the world. Last year, over 1,900 kids qualified for the city-wide gifted and talented program for kindergarten at schools like NEST+M and Anderson for only 250 available seats between all five city-wide gifted and talented programs. It’s just like the lottery, if you don’t play you can’t win so make sure your child takes the test because your child may be one of the lucky ones to get one of the 250 available seats in the ultra competitive city-wide program. Luckily, there’s always the district wide G&T programs so that opens up more available seats to parents who kids score in the 90 to 99th percentile on the NNAT2 and OLSAT tests. So much for the simple life in New York City for these parents and their little ones who have no idea of the massive consequences if they do not score well on these tests.

New York City Dept. of Ed has released gifted and talented handbooks
October 2, 2014, 12:37 pm
Filed under: naglieri test, nnat test, OLSAT Test, OLSAT test prep | Tags:

New York City Dept. of Ed has released gifted and talented handbooks the upcoming testing seasons that starts in January, 2015! The DOE is hosting information sessions in all 5 boroughs (dates and locations below). Registration for the NYC G&T test opens online next Wed., Oct. 8th so there’s nothing to do until then (except of course start practicing with your child!). After a quick review of the handbooks it doesn’t look like there are any major changes to the admissions process from last year. The OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests are still given to our talented tots to qualify for a seat in the gifted and talented program in New York City.

Go here to find out the the nitty-gritty details in the Gifted and Talented Handbook.

Here are the details on the info. sessions hosted by the NYC Dept. of Ed. Please note these information regurgitate the same information that’s contained in the handbook.

High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street, Tuesday, October 14   6:00 – 8:00 PM

Clara Barton High School
901 Classon Avenue, Wednesday, October 15   6:00 – 8:00 PM
Staten Island
P.S. 69 Daniel D. Tompkins
144 Keating Place, Thursday, October 16    6:00 – 8:00 PM

Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus
500 East Fordham Road, Tuesday, October 21    6:00 – 8:00 PM

Forest Hills High School
67-01 110th Street,  Wednesday, October 22    6:00 – 8:00 PM

The folks at Testing Mom (the site where you can get free OLSAT and NNAT practice questions) are hosting seminars in late October for parents in NYC! These seminars will tell you information that the DOE won’t or can’t!

New York Common Core Test Results Released

Well, it’s not gifted and talented but it might as well be! The New York state common core test results were released last week! And guess what? Only one-third of the students in the entire state passed the test and a little less for the city of New York.  This is slightly above last year but still a very low percentage of the students passing.

Here’s a quote from Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch (for the state of New York)

“Statewide, the percentage of students scoring at the proficient level and above in math rose from 31.2 to 35.8 across all grades combined.”

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said:

“The percentage of students scoring at the partial proficiency level and above also rose in math, from 66.9 to 69.6 percent.”

In English Language Arts (ELA), the percentage of New York students scoring at the proficient level rose one-tenth of a percent, from 31.3 to 31.4 percent, across all grades combined (3rd through 8th grade).

So, what does this have to do with the OLSAT test and the NNAT-2 test for the New York City Gifted and Talented Program. I suppose nothing directly but it is interesting to see how the dreaded “common core” has become a thorn in the side of so many schools, teachers and principals. On the flip side, some of the G&T programs in NYC scored extremely well on the common core test. Here are the test scores for Anderson, Lower Lab and NEST. All three of these programs have an entire student population gifted and talented. It seems the staff, principals and teachers at these three schools were conspicuously silent when it came to the protest from teachers and principals earlier this school year when it came to the common core. Maybe because their students did so incredibly well on these very difficult tests?  Maybe the lower performing schools within NYC should take note and realize that having practically every student pass the common core test is possible.

Click on images below to enlarge. Please note, 4 is the highest score and any score of 3 or 4 is considered passing. 1 or 2 is below average or failing.

Looking for common core practice questions or OLSAT and NNAT questions? Go to Testing Mom and get some now (for free)

nest gifted test scores



anderson school test scores

lower lab test scores


Summer is almost over and AABL testing begins

Summer is almost over and AABL testing begins. So long WWPSI and hello AABL! The new test given to preschoolers vying for a spot in the most competitive private school kindergartens in New York City.  This new test, called the AABL, is just another one to add to the array of tests given to 4-year-olds in the most competitive city the world. Depending on where you live and what schools you are interested in your child attending your child can take up to 4 tests! I suppose that’s one test for every year they have been alive. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. OLSAT test – given to preschoolers for entry in the NYC gifted and talented program from the New York City Department of ed. A child get retake the test every year up through 2nd grade if they don’t qualify.
  2. NNAT-2 test – this is also given to preschoolers for entry in the NYC gifted and talented program from the New York City Department of ed.
  3. Stanford-Binet test – this is given to kids who are applying to Hunter College Elementary School gifted program
  4. AABL – the test formerly called the ERB (aka WPPSI) given to kids applying to kindergarten private schools in NYC.

I know, it’s enough to make your head spin but I suppose it’s just part of the vetting process where every parent must decide what’s best for their child and their particular situation.

You can get lots of free sample questions for the AABL test at

NYC parents distraught with gifted and talented scores
April 14, 2014, 7:49 am
Filed under: nnat test, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

The scores are in! It seems many NYC parents are distraught with gifted and talented scores received by their talented tot. According to Testing Mom (the site with thousands of practice questions for the OLSAT test and the NNAT test).

Obviously, these comments from parents are way out of line and very concerning. Testing Mom said she doesn’t condone or approve of these comments but wanted to give people an idea of how intense some New York City parents get when the G&T test scores get released. I feel bad for the poor kids of these parents as some of these comments are just plain mean!

  • “I thought my son was well prepared for OLSAT test from the few practice questions provided by the Dept. of Ed. How did he get score  of 48? I am so disappointed in him and as a mother.  I started practicing with him today but now have to wait another year.”
  • “I think my son has ADHD, if only I put him on meds prior to this test he would have been able to sit, focus and As the verbal section.  He did so awesome on the nonverbal score. Trying to figure out what wrong. ”
  • “He scored 88th percentile which is ok but still disappointing! I’m trying not to look at him differently but it’s hard not to right now. I thought he was so smart but now I realize he’s just average like his father (my ex).”
  • “I’m shocked at how our child could have scored so low on the OLSAT and so high on the NNAT-2 test but since signing up on Friday I can see how. We thought she’d breeze through the verbal OLSAT test but now I know better.”

My jaw dropped (literally!) after reading these comments from parents but I suppose they were being honest about their feelings. I hope they get over the initial shock quickly and start supporting their child emotionally.

What is the CogAT test?
October 11, 2013, 2:11 pm
Filed under: cogat test, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

Many New York City parents want to know “What is the CogAT test?”  Although the OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test are the two tests for gifted and talented admissions the CogAT is actually much more popular and widely used across the US. The CogAT, standing for Cognitive Abilities Test, is absolutely not an IQ test. Instead, it’s a test designed to assess a student’s cognitive capabilities like the OLSAT and NNAT exams. These capabilities are not traditional learned knowledge like reading and math. Rather, they’re natural skills which can be shaped and sharpened, but not taught in school.

The purpose of the CogAT test is to assess how cognitively developed a student is at different points during their academic career. While the CogAT does not test intelligence, experts believe that there is a strong link between highly developed cognitive abilities, high academic performance and high intelligence.

Here’s an sample question that a child can expect on the CogAT test. As you can tell, it’s very difficult!

cogat test practice questions

The CogAT test has three main portions:

  1. verbal
  2. quantitative
  3. non-verbal reasoning

These are believed to be the areas of cognitive thinking which relate most closely to academic performance. The above example of CogAT practice questions are from Testing Mom (the site with 100 free practice questions).

Since cognitive abilities are a natural gift, the CogAT has been designed in several versions. This makes it applicable to students of every age, from kindergarten and 1st grade all the way through senior year of high school. Read more about CogAT

Time to register for NYC gifted and talented testing

Well folks, it’s time to register for NYC gifted and talented testing for this coming January and February! The deadline to register is November 8, 2013 so make sure you sign-up soon. Is your talented tot ready for the upcoming OLSAT test and NNAT test? If not, make sure you visit Testing Mom for 100 free practice questions to get started. Let’s see….the major changes (or not changes) for this year:

  • The OLSAT test (Otis-Lennon School Abilities test) now accounts for 50% of the test score and the NNAT-2 test accounts for the other 50%. Last year, the OLSAT was 35% while the Naglieri Non-verbal Test was 65%.
  • It looks like the Dept. of Ed. will continue to use the NNAT and the OLSAT test for admissions even with the huge debacle last year from Pearson (the publisher of the test) and the scoring errors of the thousands of tests. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the DOE “losing” over 400 tests that caused these children to retake the test. Makes you wonder what drama will unfold this year!
  • The sibling policy remains the same as previous years so no change there. Great news for parents with more than one child and not-so-great news for those parents with only one child.  It’s all based upon your personal circumstances on which side you fall on this argument of sibling policy.
  • The gifted and talented information sessions for parents are in new locations and also Manhattan and Brooklyn have their information sessions on the same night and same time. I appreciate the DOE efforts on these G&T information sessions but it’s basically a regurgitation of the handbook so there’s really no need attend if you think you’re going to get additional questions answered beyond the handbook. Here’s a breakdown of the information session for parents hosted by the NYC Dept of Ed.:

nyc gifted and talented information sessions


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