NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


What’s the Stanford-Binet Vocabulary test?

Many NYC parents confused about the vocabulary section of the Stanford-Binet

For vocabulary items on the Stanford-Binet test, children are first asked to say the names of pictures they are shown. These are the types of questions asked of a child when applying for Hunter College Elementary Gifted Program in NYC.  In these vocabulary questions the pictures are of items that would be familiar to a child of the age being tested.  Then, children are asked to define words that children that the psychologist reads aloud.  These are words that young children should know by the time they are tested. Keep in mind, this test is only given in English.  The test proctor starts with simple words like “banana,” “toy,” “dog”) and become increasingly more difficult and abstract with words like “fear”, “calm”. If your child misses five questions in a row, the tester moves on to the next subtest. Otherwise, your child will continually be asked questions with more and more difficulty.

Younger children are asked to name a picture they are shown.  You can see an example of this on the right side of the page.  “What is this?”  “A bicycle” or “bike” would be the right answer.

Stanford-Binet practice question: Parent ask, “What is this?”

Children are then asked to define words.  “Tell me in words, what does ‘antique’ mean?”  Your child will be given additional credit if he or she gives a more elaborate and sophisticated response.  For example, if your daughter answers this question with “old,” she might get 1 point.  If she answers it with, “Antique is a very old piece of furniture, like those from the colonial era,” she would get 2 points.  If your son gives a limited response to this type of question, the psychologist will encourage him to say more.  You should do the same while practicing for the Stanford-Binet test and every day conversation.  “What other items are antiques?”  “Have you ever seen an antique? Tell me about it?”



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.