NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

NYC Gifted and Talented Testing

Here’s a good overview of the NYC gifted and talented program as of early 2017. 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!

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 NNAT2 test.

 

OLSAT Levels

Grade

 Level A  Pre-K to Kindergarten
 Level B  First Grade
 Level C  Second Grade

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 Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), there are 3 types of questions:

 

 Types of Questions

Description of type of OLSAT verbal questions

Arithmetic Reasoning

The child must listen carefully to math word problems that use basic mathematical concepts such as same, different, fewer, more, etc., along with simple addition, subtraction, fractions (half, quarter), etc.

Following Directions

Here the child must listen carefully to verbal questions describing similarities and differences, positional and rank comparisons (above, below, between, next to, bigger, smaller, etc.), or descriptions and choose visual images that fit the description.

 Aural Reasoning

Again, the child must listen carefully to verbal descriptions of scenarios, similarities and differences, prepositions, and situations that use vocabulary or ideas that make the child think in order to choose the visual image that fits the description.

 



NYC gifted and talented test scores
The NYC gifted and talented test scores have been released for kids going into kindergarten this fall (2015). So many parents are estactic that their talented tot made the cut and now hopes are even higher to get a coveted spot at one of the citywide or district wide gifted programs sprinkled throughout the city. There’s always a sour apple in the bunch and here’s an email that Testing Mom online test prep received from a parent who is really upset about her son’s score (even at the 95th percentile). Here’s what she told Testing Mom:

Hi Testing Mom,

My 4-year-old son stands no chance of getting accepted into one the gifted and talented citywide kindergarten programs since he scored in the 95th percentile. I thought he’d score in the 99th (I’ve been told by numerous people how smart he is), but I suppose he just isn’t as smart as everyone thought. I’m very disappointed in him because he said the test was easy after he came out of the testing room…although I now blame myself and feel like a horrible mother because I didn’t sign-up for your program until after I received his scores so we can start practicing for next year’s test. I heard about you from several parents last fall and their kids made 98th and 99th percentiles but I thought I could do it on my own without any outside help…boy, was I wrong. He did so well on the 10 questions provided in the handbook from the Dept. of Ed. but they probably only put easy questions in their handbook so parents don’t feel they need to prepare. Even after using your program for just the past couple of days since I received his scores I have discovered the areas he needs to focus on. If I only knew then what I know now things might have turned out very different.

My stomach turns every time I look at his score on the test and I’m trying not to hold a grudge against him – after all, he is only 4-years-old. I know some parents would be so happy with a 95th percentile, but now I wish he would have bombed the whole test instead of being on the cusp.

M.L. – mom in Flushing Queens – NYC

Wow, this mom is what I’d call hardcore but I suppose it’s a typical response from some parents in New York City when the harsh reality sinks in. I hope this mom doesn’t give up on her son and it sounds like she’s wanting him to take the test again. I’m sure he’ll do better next year and hopefully score in the 99th percentile so his mother once again will be proud to have him as her offspring.



Fewer Students Qualifed for Gifted and Talented

Well, according to a recent Wall St. Journal article fewer students qualified for gifted and talented spots in New York City.  Here are the highlights from the article:

  • Only 7% of pre-K students who took the NNAT test and OLSAT test got a 99th percentile when compared to last year only 11% received the coveted perfect score.
  • There are only 350+ spots available for five citywide G&T programs going into Kindergarten next year and 1,863 students qualified with a 97th to 99th percentile ranking.
  • It looks like the change to the NYC gifted and talented test helped lower the scores since there was a 13% increase of children qualifying for a district-wide seat. The child must score in the 90th to 96th percentile to qualify for a district wide program in NYC.

The results did come in for TestingMom.com members where the average score was 96.4th percentile based upon recent survey for their members.