NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

NYC Department of Education published the G&T handbooks
October 10, 2012, 7:39 pm
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The NYC Department of Education published the Gifted and Talented Handbooks for 2012-2013 and below are registration and testing dates. As you may know by now, they are adding the NNAT2 test to take the place of the BSRA. The Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT) will account for two-thirds of the grade while the OLSAT test score will be the remaining one-third. Make sure you start practicing with questions from the Testing Mom site.

  • November 9, 2012: Deadline to submit Request for Gifted and Talented Testing forms. Stay tuned for the link to register your talented tot online!
  • October 15 – November 9, 2012:  Community Information Sessions Dates, times, and locations.
  • Monday, October 22, 2012 – Brooklyn,   M.S. 113 Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, 300 Adelphi Street
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – Manhattan,  The High School of Fashion Industries, 225 West 24th Street
  • Thursday, October 25, 2012  – Staten Island,  P.S. 069 Daniel D. Tompkins, 144 Keating Place
  • Tuesday, October 30, 2012 – Bronx,   P.S. 121 Throop, 2750 Throop Avenue
  • TBD –  Queens
  • January 7 – February 8, 2013:  Current K-2 Public School Students, G&T assessments administered at school sites
  • January 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27;  February 2 & 3, 2013: Current department Pre-K Students and Non-Public School Students, gifted and talented tests administered at school sites
  • April 2013 – Gifted and Talented Score reports and applications with available G&T programs communicated to eligible students
  • April 19, 2013 – G&T school applications due
  • Week of May 20, 2013 – Gifted and Talented Placement offers communicated to families
  • Week of June 3, 2013 – Deadline for families to accept or decline placement offers for their gifted and talented school for city-wide or district-wide schools.

Changes to NYC Gifted and Talented Program Testing for 2012-2013

The bar has been raised for kindergarteners vying for admission to New York City’s gifted and talented program. In the past, the Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test (OLSAT) was used in conjunction with the Bracken School Readiness Assessment (BSRA). However, this year marks a switch from the BSRA to the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT).

While the BSRA tests a child’s knowledge of basic shapes, colors and numbers, the NNAT tests abstract logic and visual reasoning skills. A Dept. of Education spokesperson said the switch aims to make the gifted and talented admissions exam more difficult to study for, so a child’s actual cognitive ability is assessed (compared to just simple facts they have learned). Parents should start preparing now if their child is taking the G&T test next year since adequate preparation for the NNAT may require as much as twice (or even more!) the time needed for BSRA prep.

Next year I have no doubt we will see less 99th percentiles with the NYC gifted and talented test results are released due to the complexity of the Naglieri when compared to the BSRA . The children are going to struggle with this test and although the NYC Department of Education has yet to announce the specifics, in most cases the NNAT-2 is a timed test so there will be extra added pressure for the child to complete within the allotted amount of time given by the DOE. It has yet to be disclosed how the NNAT will be weighted along with the OLSAT for next year’s talented tots taking the test, though parents can begin preparing at home with puzzles and other simple visual pattern identification exercises. For those parents seeking practice questions for their children, they can utilize the vast practice question library at Testing Mom, which offers hundreds of NNAT and OLSAT practice questions.

Gifted and Talented Testing Interview with Huffington Post Last Week
May 10, 2012, 2:14 pm
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I did an interview last week with Huffington Post blogger C.M. Rubin, who grilled me for details on the test preparation process for very young children. After explaining how I first became interested in testing and why admission to gifted programs is so competitive (hint: it’s because it places children on a successful track through college), I explained that parents, not tutors, should be involved in preparing their children for the OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test) and Naglieri tests (NNAT-2) by incorporating some easy real-life examples into their daily routine. I also broke down the seven abilities measured by testing: language, knowledge and comprehension, memory, mathematics, visual-spatial reasoning, cognitive skills, and fine-motor skills. It’s worth noting that these tests don’t measure a child’s creativity, artistic or athletic ability, as well as social and emotional intelligence; I also discuss with C.M. the accuracy of these tests, as well as the pros and cons of hiring tutors for children as young as four.

I talked about, the site where you can get 100 free practice questions and how Testing Mom offers resources and expertise to a growing worldwide customer base by offering customers a tremendous library of practice questions and online prep games. I also hashed out the difference between Testing Mom and costly intensive “cram session camps,” which don’t allow children the time needed to properly absorb the concepts measured by these tests.  My personal belief is that children should learn the concepts of the test over a period of weeks or months.

With the recent announcement of the test change next year for the NYC Gifted and Talented program it will be interesting to see how the OLSAT scores compare to the scores from this year and the impact on the total number of students eligible for this high-demand program in New York.

Naglieri (NNAT) Questions for NYC Gifted and Talented Test Starting Next Year
May 5, 2012, 7:44 pm
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In case you didn’t hear, the New York City Department of Education has decided to no longer user the BSRA (Bracken School Readiness Assessment) for entry into the NYC gifted and talented program. This only impacts students taking the G&T test this coming school year (2012-13).  All the students in the program will not have to retake the test. The OLSAT test will remain in place and be used in conjunction with the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT). Keep in the mind, the NNAT-2 is much more difficult than the BSRA and is no walk in the park, that’s for sure. I’m sure this will have a direct impact of the number of students qualifying for the G&T program since the difficulty level on the NNAT is much higher when compared to the Bracken.

We still don’t know if the NYC dept. of ed. will make the NNAT test score only 25% of the admission requirement (the OLSAT test is currently 75% of the admission requirement) into the gifted program (like its predecessor) or it will become a higher percentage of the overall score required when the G&T test results come out next spring. You can read more on this policy change for the Naglieri.

If you’re looking for free Naglieri test prep questions you can go to Testing Mom and review the concepts your child will be expected to know. As you will be able to tell, these questions on the NNAT test are much more difficult than those found on the BSRA.

99th Percentile Gifted and Talented Scores Sky Rocket

Can scoring in the 99th percentile on the OLSAT test no longer guarantee your child a spot in the NYC G&T program? In this last round of NYC gifted and talented testing, 11 percent of OLSAT test-takers scored in the Top 1 percent; meaning 1,603 children scored in the 99th percentile out of the 14,239 test-takers. DNA info reports this is a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of eligible kindergarteners over last year. The number of children scoring in the Top 1% has steadily been rising over the years, but with 11% of children tested in the Top 1%, this year is a new high.

For a child to be eligible for any of the five NYC G&T programs, they must score in the 97th to 99th percentile on the OLSAT and BSRA test combined. Although, nexts year the Naglieri (NNAT) will take the place of the Bracken (BSRA test). In those five NYC G&T programs, there are fewer than 400 seats available for the incoming kindergarten class. Testing into the G&T program is available for Kindergarten to 3rd grade, but the number of children accepted into the program decreases with every grade increase. So testing your child later than Kindergarten is an automatic disadvantage in the system.

Further exasperating the size problem are the siblings within the system, with a spot reserved for the sibling of a child already in the G&T program, provided that sibling has eligible scores. An article at Inside Schools provided the sibling break down in the 5 different NYC gifted and talented rograms. At STEM in Queens, 4 seats are reserved for siblings and 12 seats are set-aside for siblings at Brooklyn School of Inquiry. NEST+M already has 15 out of the 100 seats saved, and for The Anderson School, 16 seats out of the 50 are destined for qualified siblings. That is 12% of the incoming spots for the NYC G&T program taken, in addition to more children qualifying for those spots. The shortage of spots in the NYC gifted program affected school visits as well, with The Anderson School only opening tours for parents of children who scored in the 99th percentile. Even with this limiting of spots, the school could not accommodate all the parents that wanted to visit.

Despite an outcry from the parents of gifted children to expand the G&T program in New York City, the Department of Education has no current plan for expansion. However, the DOE will replace the Bracken School Readiness Assessment with the more challenging Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. This new exam places the stress on cognitive ability with identifying patterns and sequences, instead of simply identifying shapes and colors. The DOE will change how they weigh the tests as well, with the OLSAT 8 currently being weighed at 75% with Bracken at 25%. The test is changing, the weighing of the tests is changing, and the number of children testing into eligibility is increasing, decreasing the spots available. So what is a parent to do?

Practice and Prepare for the test to ensure your child is in the Top 1%, so they can even have a chance at getting into the right G&T School for them. To get 100 free practice questions for the G&T exam, to start preparing your child now, go to

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Bye Bye BSRA – Bracken and Hello NNAT Naglieri for NYC G&T testing
April 14, 2012, 7:56 pm
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In case you didn’t hear, the NY Times recently reported on the changes for the New York City gifted and talented testing for next year. Our talented tots will now be required to take the NNAT-2 (short for Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test). The NNAT takes 30 minutes to complete the 39 multiple choice questions. The Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test consist of:

  • Pattern Completion
  • Reasoning by Analogy
  • Serial Reasoning
  • Spatial Visualization

As you can tell, this will be much more difficult for our 4 year olds to answer correctly versus the questions on the BSRA (Bracken). We’ll see if number of children who qualify for the G&T program next year actually goes down due to this change.

Luckily, sites like have tons of practices questions for NNAT prep.

The New York Times article also mentioned the number of children who qualified for gifted and talented this year. Nearly 5,000 children qualified for gifted and talented kindergarten seats in New York City public schools in the fall, 22 percent more than last year and more than double the number four years ago. Are the kids in New York City just getting smarter or are they all drinking G&T test prep juice for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

If you want to get some OLSAT and NNAT practice questions just sign-up below.