NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

Hunter College Elementary Test Scores Released (sort of)

NYC Moms and Dads Up in Arms!

After waiting for weeks (and in some cases months) NYC parents received their notices from Hunter College Elementary School test results. This year they decided not to give the parents the actual score from the Stanford-Binet but rather a “yes” or a “no” that their darling daughter or son made the cut-off to round two. Here’s the actual email a parent received from Hunter College Elementary when they found out their talented tot didn’t make the cut.

Dear <PARENT>,

Thank you for having <CHILD> participate in the Hunter College Elementary School (HCES) admissions process for Academic Year 2018-2019. We appreciate your interest in our school and learning community. However, it is with regret that we inform you that <CHILD> will not be advancing to Round 2 of the process.

This fall, 1640 children applied to Hunter College Elementary School for the fifty available seats, and all of these children participated in Round 1 of the process. We are aware that the Round 1 evaluation captured only one day of your child’s capabilities. Like <CHILD> , we know that our applicants are bright, dynamic children who will achieve academic success in the future. We simply do not have the ability to advance every student to the second round (R2).

We know that our admissions process is time-consuming and we recognize and value the effort you have put forth on <CHILD> ‘s behalf. The next entry point to the Hunter College Campus Schools is in grade seven, for Hunter College High School. We encourage you to check our seventh grade admissions criteria as soon as <CHILD> enters grade six.

We wish you and your child the best in finding the best fit for Kindergarten.


Sabra S. Pacheco
Director of Admissions and Outreach

Hunter College Elementary School Gifted and Talented Program

Hunter College Elementary School Gifted and Talented Program

Here’s an overview of the ultra competitive Hunter College Elementary School program located on the Upper East Side. Children applying to kindergarten take a modified version of the Stanford-Binet® V test from September through November (the year before they start kindergarten).  Over the past few years the qualifying score for 2nd round at Hunter ranged from 143 through 149 s – students who qualify go on to round 2, where more testing will be done.  Percentile rankings will show a child’s standing in comparison to students his own age, not grade level.


Criteria for admissions for Hunter College Elementary

  • Manhattan residents only! 25 boys and 25 girls for admitted for K
  • Once you apply, you get a Hunter ID # and 3 weeks to schedule and complete testing – $350 for test; $70 application fee,
  • You’ll get a choice of 5 testers and you can only contact 1 for an appointment.


Most people have heard about IQ scores — 146 to 159 is “highly gifted,” 131 to 145 is considered “moderately gifted,” 116 to 130 is “high average,” and 85 – 115 is considered “average.” For many children, the difference between being labeled highly gifted or gifted can come down to a single point, and that one point may impact their ability to get into fantastic Gifted and Talented programs that will provide tremendous educational benefits.  For example, last year, children needed to score at least 148 to be invited to the second round of testing for admission to Hunter College Elementary, one of the top gifted programs in the country that is located in New York City. .

Because an IQ test is so different from a skills or achievement test, it is harder to study for. Additionally, since it is given to children so young, there is a chance that a child might get scared or nervous, and make mistakes that could cost him many points. Most children taking the Stanford-Binet test at age-4 have never taken a test before in their lives.  They may not know how to sit still for a long period of time, listen carefully to what is being asked of them, how to think through a question and look at all the answer choices before jumping in and responding.  This is a brand new skill set for little (and even many older!) children.  Developing these test-taking abilities is as challenging to young children as knowing the answers to the questions they are being asked.

The Stanford-Binet® test is a particularly hard test because it includes so many different subtests.  While many tests group the same types of questions together, which allows children to become more comfortable with the material, a psychologist administering the Stanford-Binet test will skip around and mix different types of questions together.  This can be confusing for some children.  For these reasons, we believe it is critical that (at the minimum) you give your child exposure to the types of questions that he or she will encounter on the test.

Practice questions for Hunter Elementary Gifted and Talented Program

Well, it’s that time of year again as thousands of kids take the Stanford-Binet test for admissions into the Hunter Elementary School Program which is by far the most competitive kindergarten in the world! Year after year over 3,000 4-year-olds take the Stanford-Binet test to get a qualifying score for a chance to attend the second round where the children are observed in a classroom setting.  Out of the 3,000 kids that take the test only 50 (25 boys, 25 girls) will be allowed to enter the pearly gates of Hunter College Elementary Gifted Program the following school year.  Hunter does make it loud and clear on their web site that a parent should not “prep” their child for the test. Although based upon what they indicate it sounds like reading to your child could be misconstrued as test prep for the Stanford-Binet test. Here are a few sample questions for the test and these are the types of questions a child might encounter on the test. These are brought to us by the folks at Testing Mom where you get tons of practice materials for Hunter, private school admissions and NYC gifted and talented program. Over the past few years the Hunter round 2 cut-off score for the Stanford Binet has ranged from 143 up to 149! If your child gets 142 or below you might was well count them out of getting an invite to the A-list second round. Harsh, yes….reality check folks.

Cindy, Daryl and Anne were crossing guards at the school. Each child was given 2 whistles they could use for the job. Choose the box that shows how many whistles in total were given to the 3 children. 4

stanford binet test


Do you see the children in the first box? Each child is the captain of his or her team. If 30 children in total play on teams, which box shows the number of children each team captain gets to pick for his or her team? 4


hunter gifted test

Hunter Elementary cut-off scores released

Well folks, the time we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: Hunter Elementary cut-off scores released! It looks like kids in NYC just aren’t as smart at they used to be since the cut-off score this year (for 2014-15 entering K) was a mere 143 – the lowest in recent memory.  I heard from many, many parents this year that the school actually had the audacity to contact them after their talented tot took the Stanford-Binet test and interrogated parents if they prepped their child for the Hunter test. So sad that the admissions department at Hunter Elementary goes to such extremes to try and scare these parents who are already on-edge to begin with. Of course, parents in droves went to the Testing Mom web site where they helped their child prepare for the NYC gifted and talented program. I suppose they could have also brushed over some practice materials for the Stanford-Binet as well on that site.

Here’s the actual email Hunter sent to parents earlier today to notify them their child did make the cut-off! Names are removed for confidentiality purpose. Too bad they don’t spend as much time proofreading their emails sent to parents as they do interrogating the parents. I find it rather humorous there are a couple of typos in the email they sent (below)! 🙂

Dear <PARENT>,

Congratulations! The results of our modified Stanford-Binet V testing have set the eligibility score for Hunter College Elementary School’s Round 2 assessment at a Sum of Scaled Scores (SSS) of 143. Children with this score or higher are invited to participate in our on-site assessment process. We will assess 300 children and will select 25 girls and 25 boys for a total of 50 children for the entering Kindergarten class of 2015.

You will receive an email by December 17th with <CHILD> assigned session time. You must confirm this appointment by email by December 19th, 2014. Please write <CHILD> name, ID number, date of birth, the assigned date, time, and session number in your email to ensure your confirmation. Please do not call or email with requests for a change in schedule; session assignments are firm and cannot be changed.

There are a great many factors that go into assigning children to R2 sessions to ensure that they have an opportunity to be seen in their best light. It is important that <CHILD> not be in a session with other children from his preschool, or others that he knows. Please do not make efforts to introduce <CHILD> to others from his assigned session.

We want to give you ample time to work on the three additional things that complete <CHILD> application. Clink on the links below to download THREE PDFs that must be submitted: The Parent Observation Form, The Proof of Residency form and documentation, and The Teacher Observation Release and Observation Form.

  1. HCES – Parent Observation Form – pdf
  2. Proof-of-Residency-2015.pdf
  3. HCES-Parent-Preschool-Release-Form.pdf

1. The Parent Observation Form

Please take time to read the instructions and thoughtfully respond to the Parent Observation form. In addition to giving us informatiom about <CHILD> development, this form is designed to give you a chance to share about <CHILD>. We are looking for candor, and details that will allow us to get to know <CHILD> better. For example, you might write about small moments or events or conversations that gave you insight into how <CHILD> is thinking, learning, or becoming curious about the world. You may handwrite in the boxes, or cut and paste a typed document. DO NOT exceed the delineated space, use a font size lower than 10 pt, or attach additional documents. Forms that do not conform to the space allotted will be returned. This is a LEGAL-sized document.

Please note that the Parent Observation Form must be completed without <CHILD> name in order to preserve anonymity in the selection process. You may use an initial in place of his name.

2. The Proof of Residency Form and accompanying documentation

This form must accompany a copy of BOTH parents’ 2013 NYS State tax return. Many people ask if they can delete income information. You may, but we ask that you leave the information as is; we are a publicly funded school and for our research it is important to us to know as much as we can about our applicant and student body. Please rest assured that NONE of the information included will be a part of <CHILD> admissions application or seen by anyone making decisions. Once we have established residency and collected information for our research, information is destroyed.

3. The Release and Teacher Observation Form

We will email a Teacher Observation Form to <CHILD> current pre-school teacher, who must return the form directly to the Admissions office. In order to give them permission to comment on your child, please fill out and give them this Release Form.

All materials must be received in the Admissions Office by 4:00 P.M. on Monday, January 5th, 2015. Materials can be mailed to the office or deposited into the Admissions lock box at the HCES Public Safety desk.

Please keep an eye out for the email to follow with <CHILD> session and instructions fo Round 2 that will come by December 17th.

We look forward to seeing you and <CHILD> at Round 2,

Kyla Kupferstein Torres ’86
Director of Admissions and Outreach

Hunter Elementary Cut-off Score for Second Round
December 17, 2012, 1:15 pm
Filed under: OLSAT Test, Stanford-Binet, Stanford-binet test | Tags:

Hunter Elementary cut-off score for second round is 146 for this year (2012-13) for the necessary score on the Stanford-Binet test given to the talented 4 year-olds in New York City! This is actually lower than the past 2 years where last year was 148 and the year prior was 149. I suppose it means the little ones this year just aren’t as smart as in the past?

Now it’s time for Round 2 at Hunter for the 250-300 gifted kids to see if they can get through the next round. There is always quite a bit of speculation of what they look for in round 2 at Hunter Elementary school. Stories vary about the secret sauce that’s used for the selection criteria. I suppose it’s the best way to make sure all the kids who make it to round two are vetted properly before they are given one of the coveted spots going into Kindergarten which is harder to get into than Harvard.

I’m sure there are many parents who found out their child didn’t quite make the necessary score on the Standford-Binet 5 but don’t worry, there’s always the NYC gifted and talented test where your child can show their stuff on the OLSAT test and the NNAT-2 test!