NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Looking beyond the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests

Getting into a NYC gifted and talented program

It’s hard enough to juggle the everyday responsibilities that you have as a parent. But NYC parents are being faced with an added item on their to-do list: preparing for the Gifted and Talented test that could get their child into an advanced academic program available to NYC residents.

Many parents – probably too many – put this responsibility on the back-burner, distracted and consumed by what they perceive as more pressing concerns. There are a number of reasons for this. Some parents don’t understand the value of a gifted and talented program. This is especially true for parents who may have a good gen ed program next door, who believe that their children will receive an “adequate” education: what’s the point of stressing myself out for a program that might not make much of a difference, these parents wonder. I can tell you that this is a terrible mistake: even in the best public schools, the test scores and academic performance of kids in gifted and talented programs are dramatically better than those enrolled in the general program. Not to mention the opportunities that open up to children in gifted programs that simply aren’t available to other children.

Here’s a OLSAT Level A question they ask pre-K students: Point to the picture that shows this: David and Mark got very tired after they played ball.

Other parents are afraid that their child won’t make the cut, and are hesitant to dive in without a guarantee of success. This is an understandable impulse, and one that people make in all areas of life, including their career, personal goals, and even romantic relationships. But the old adage that “you can’t win if you don’t play” applies particularly well to gifted and talented programs, where only kids who take the test are even in the running to get a seat.

Finally, there are the parents who have every intention of preparing for the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests, but put it off until it’s too late. This happens even to the most dedicated parents, who often get caught up in their many other responsibilities and then panic as the test day nears. I have heard from countless parents in this boat – once a mother emailed me in a frenzy literally hours before the test, asking me what she could do to prepare her son. Unfortunately, at that point I told her the only thing she could do is to give him a solid breakfast and then do plenty of praying.

I know all of this sounds pretty bleak, but here’s the good news: it isn’t too late for your little one. Now’s the time to start gearing up for the NYC Gifted and Talented test in January.

Here’s the steps you need to take to ensure that your child is ready for test day – before it’s too late:

  • Sign up for a Testing Mom Fast Track membership today. You’ll get access to thousands of OLSAT and NNAT-2 practice questions instantly!  These practice questions will help your child get familiar not only with the material they’ll encounter on the exam, but with the process of sitting down for an extended period of time and working through challenging problems without getting frustrated.
  • Come up with some light, fun ways to get your child ready – so that they don’t get burned out or anxious using traditional practice questions all the time. Fortunately, your Testing Mom membership also gives you access to interactive online games that prepare your child for the test while they think they’re just having fun!
  • Don’t lose sight of your child’s academic performance. It’s important to prep for the test, but it’s equally important to make sure your child stays a step ahead in school.
  • Parents have given Testing Mom rave reviews!


Importance of preparing for the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests

Importance of entrance exams for the NYC Gifted and Talented program

I don’t have to tell you how important the exam for entrance in the NYC Gifted and Talented program is and how more important it is to prepare for the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests. These exams are no joke!  At this very moment, parents around New York City are frantically preparing their child for these tests, since every extra point on the OLSAT test score can make a difference between getting a citywide seat vs. a district wide The process of researching, registering for, preparing for, and then finally taking the Gifted and Talented test is one of the most stressful experiences a parent will ever have.  Especially when the child is a mere 4 years old! But, of course, the opportunities that come along with admission into a highly-competitive Gifted program make all the sleepless nights and gnashing of teeth well worth it.

Here’s another OLSAT practice test question: Do you see the children in the first box? Each child needs 2 pencils for school. Point to the box that shows how many pencils the children need altogether.

For many NYC moms and dads, the process of preparing for the G&T test is so intense, and so all-consuming, that when the exam is finally over, they’re left with a strange sense of emptiness. I’ve had more than one parent ask me, half-joking but still sounding concerned, “How will I spend all my time now?” Mind you, these were parents of young children, many of whom had full-time jobs or other commitments outside of their home.

Well, I know firsthand that as unpleasant as the process of preparing for the test can seem, it’s a bit of a letdown once the process is finally over. I went through it with my own daughter several years ago and that was the catalyst to start this blog to help parents (like you!) ease the stress of going through this treacherous process.

That’s why I want to give you some suggestions for what to do after the OLSAT test is over. If you’re in the thick of preparing for the exam now, it’s important to maintain your focus and put all your energy into ensuring that your child receives a top score. (I trust that you’re already doing that and have been for some time!). But rest assured that, once the test is over, plenty of work remains to be done. Here are just a few things you’d be wise to focus on when your child walks out of the testing room:

  • Improve your child’s math skills

    • Even for children who are naturally good at math, it’s crucial that you work with materials outside your child’s normal homework assignments to give them an edge over their classmates.
  • Encourage your child to read more

    • What parent doesn’t melt at the sight of their son or daughter sitting quietly with a book (or, these days, a Kindle)? But many kids don’t like to read – or have learning delays that make the process frustrating and demoralizing. Make sure you use programs help your child develop the basic reading skills they need, and make reading so fun your child will never want to stop!
  • Explore the world

  • Get ready for the Common Core State Standards:

    • Yes, the OLSAT test may be over but that means the NY State Test (aka the Common Core tests) are around the corner starting in third grade. Now is not the time to rest upon your laurels.
  • Teach your child about the value of a dollar

    • Given how few schools teach children how to budget and handle money, is it any wonder that so many people are so bad at money management? Get your child started down the right path early counting money. TD Bank used to have a fun change machine called Penny Arcade but unfortunately, they removed these machines last year. Check with your local bank to see what fun activities they have to engage your child with financial literacy.

Make sure your child will maintain an edge once the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests is over – and that once they make it into that coveted NYC gifted and talented program, they start out ahead of their peers.



Secrets to acing the OLSAT test

Types of questions on the OLSAT test

So, when kids first see the different types of questions on the OLSAT test, they think they’re weird and they don’t understand them right away. As a parent, you want your child to experience their confusion in seeing these questions for the first time when they’re at home with you, and you can help them (contrary to what “they” tell you!). Not when they’re all alone at school under the pressure of taking an actual test without you there to support them. Especially, if you have a younger child ages 3 to 5 years old who has never (ever!) taken an actual test and has no idea of the different between a right and wrong answer.  No matter if you live:

  • Brooklyn,
  • Staten Island
  • Manhattan
  • Bronx
  • Queens

it’s imperative you prepare your child for the upcoming NYC gifted and talented test. The OLSAT test is no joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Even if your child it taking the OLSAT test next year there’s really no time to waste. Whether your child’s test is in three days or three months, working with  practice questions and online prep games for the OLSAT can make all the difference. These are just a few examples of the types of questions that are on the gifted test. Naturally, the questions get harder as children go up in grade levels. If your pre-K to sixth grader is taking the OLSAT and you’d like to learn more about the types of questions on this test. You can try a few practice questions for the OLSAT test here!

 

OLSAT
Test Subset
Grade Pre-K and K
Level A
Verbal Questions
  • Verbal Comprehension
No
  • Following Directions
Yes
  • Antonyms
No
  • Sentence Completion
No
  • Sentence Arrangement
No
Verbal Reasoning Questions
  • Aural Reasoning
Yes
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
Yes
  • Logical Selection
No
  • Word/Letter Matrix
No
  • Verbal Analogies
No
  • Verbal Classification
No
  • Inference
No
Nonverbal
  • Pictorial Reasoning
No
  • Picture Classification
Yes
  • Picture Analogies
Yes
  • Picture Series
Yes
Figural Reasoning
  • Figural Classification
Yes
  • Figural Analogies
Yes
  • Pattern Matrix
Yes
  • Figural Series
Yes
Quantitative Reasoning
  • Number Series
No
  • Numeric Inference
No
  • Number Matrix


Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island NYC Gifted and Talented Test Prep

Manhattan has been the mecca of the NYC Gifted and Talented test prep

Although, there is a high-demand for practice questions in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island Gifted and Talented Test Prep. And the Bronx is also seeing a slight increase in parents preparing their talented tots. Although Staten Island has 6 district wide programs for the G&T program there currently is no citywide program there and in the Bronx. Many parents use private tutors to help their child succeed on the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests while some use workbooks. The good news is there’s an online tool from Testing Mom that has tons of free practice questions for the NYC gifted and talented.

If you live in Queens, parents there are fighting the DOE to keep the policy of automatic admissions for middle school if the child is in the G&T program in elementary school. Here’s a quote from a mom who has a child attending the gifted and talented program in Queens:

Even in kindergarten, the homework workload is just over the top,” she said. “The kids who are there by fifth grade belong in the G&T program,” she added. “These kids work so hard.”

I suppose she’s inferring that other kids in non-G&T classroom don’t work hard and don’t deserve automatic placement like her darling child? Hmmmm. In my opinion, students applying to middle school should all be on the same playing field. If they are looking at state scores, report cards and teacher reports then shouldn’t G&T students already have an advantage? Seems that way to me.

Here’s the list of the gifted and talented citywide programs and any student who receives a qualifying score in any of the boroughs can apply to one of these very popular programs.

Borough

District

Location

School Name

Manhattan 1 Lower East Side New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math – NEST + M
Manhattan 3 Upper West Side The Anderson School
Manhattan 4 Far Upper East Side TAG Young Scholars 
Brooklyn 20 Bensonhurst Brooklyn School Of Inquiry
Queens 30 Flushing The 30th Avenue School


Reviews for Testing Mom
November 16, 2016, 12:34 pm
Filed under: OLSAT test prep, Stanford-Binet | Tags: , ,

Tons of moms and dads review TestingMom.com

The folks over at Testing Mom (home of the 100 free questions) have received tons of great reviews from parents across the nation who have used their test prep materials for OLSAT, NNAT-2, CogAT, Stanford-Binet and dozens more tests!  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog you know I’m a huge proponent of their online test prep and skill building that goes from pre-K to 8th grade. If you don’t believe me, then read these reviews from moms who have used the program over the past few months.

Crystal who writes a great blog called Surviving on a Teacher’s Salary says this about Testing Mom:

“Your kids can unwind from a long day at school by watching educational films, listening to public radio programs specifically designed for kids, and even read about current events! It’s a safe zone my kids can decompress in every day and help carry their learning through the summer.”

Another mom named Tracie who blogs on Penny Pinchin Mom said this about her experience with the TestingMom.com program:

“This site is so much more than tests and websites. As we are digging our heels in and learning more, we have figured out that my kids can read about current events. They can play chess and even learn computer programming.

When I saw my son able to focus and see my youngest online “having fun”, I knew that this site had hit it out of the park. TestingMom.com knows that education is one of the best gifts you can give to your child. As a parent, I completely agree with this.”

 



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:

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.

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: