NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


NYC Gifted and Talented Test Results

The time has arrived for OLSAT and NNAT-2 test results to be released!

Earlier this week parents across all five boroughs were disappointed or elated depending on the scores they received for their talented tot who took the NYC G&T test in January 2018.  Parents across Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island have tons of questions about the city wide programs and district wide programs. Here are questions that parents are asking themselves and others after receiving the test scores:

  • My son scored a 98th percentile on the NYC gifted and talented tests. Do you provide advice on the quality of specific G&T school programs?
  • My child scored 99th percentile, which gives him a chance for lottery at any of the five city-wide G&T schools. I think the fact that my child has an older sibling in one of the five city-wide G&T school almost guarantees him a spot at that school. However, if I rank other city-wide G&T schools (without sibling priority) before this city-wide G&T (with sibling priority), will that hurt his chance of getting into the G&T with sibling priority (if he didn’t get a spot in other city-wide G&T)? In other words, do I have to rank the city-wide G&T first to be sure that he will at least get into one of the city-wide? (1 of 2)
  • Will you provide a little bit more information on the five city-wide in terms of their respective strength, focus, advantages, etc.? ( 2 of 2)
  • My son scored a 98th percentile and has no siblings so will not get into citywide gifted program. Can he go to a district G&T not in our district?
  • How do placements for the District G&T programs work? Do the kids who score 97 and above have priority over those who score in the 90th-96th percentile?
  • My daughter scored in the 95th percentile. Any sense of her chances of getting a District placement?
  • Would a sibling of a current District G&T program who scored less than my daughter have higher priority than my daughter for such program?
  • What are the chances of a child with a score of 97 getting into a citywide program?
  • I would like to know what happens if you have accepted a placement in your district G&T school and then move during the summer months. Are you then able to get a seat in September at your new local district G&T school or is it just tough luck from that point on?
  • What should be the next step? My child got a 95th percentile
    •  Can I apply to any school, in any district with a 99, or just schools in my district and schools designated as “citywide” schools?
    • Does the overall score matter for applications or do they look at how many correct out of tested questions child got correct? For example, do they look at 99 percentile or 36 out of 40 correct?
  • How do we tour the schools if the deadline for choosing top choices is so near?
  • Question: if my child qualified for citywide can he apply to any district wide g&t or is he limited to a g&t in his district?
  • We are in district 2, and wanted some feedback on schools in district 2 (or even other districts) and chances of him getting offer being at 98th percentile. He doesn’t have sibling, and being at 98 we feel getting into 1st grade is bit difficult given than schools offer very few seats for new 1st graders.
  • I’m interested in the details of the lottery process. Is it done at each school? If so, since each applicant can select multiple schools and there’s an order which shows preference, how is that handled.
    • Based on this year’s numbers, would a 97 percentile child without sibling priority have any chance at all for a citywide G&T program?
    • Would a 97 percentile child without sibling priority have any chance at all for a district gifted program without district priority (program not within the district where the child resides)?

Here’s a good article that answers many of the questions above and more!



Admissions into the gifted and talented program

The only requirement is acing the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests

It’s no secret that the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests used to screen kids for admission to NYC G&T program are hard. As more and more parents decide that they want their child to receive the best education possible, more are applying their children to these advanced programs – and so the tests are getting increasingly difficult and competitive. This past January over 2,000 more pre-K students took the G&T test for kindergarten admissions with very few additional seats added. This meant over 35% of the kids who qualified for a G&T seat didn’t get a spot because there weren’t enough seats available!

Ask your little one this sample OLSAT test question: Look at the space ship in the first box. Do you see the round windows on the red part of the space ship? If the space ship carried the same number of space babies to earth as thenumber of round windows you can count, point to the box that shows how many space babies the space ship carried to earth.

As a result, it’s no longer enough just to throw your child into the testing room and hope that they pass. Even the smartest kids – if they don’t prepare – are now being outgunned by kids who might not be as inherently bright, but whose parents spend months or even years planning, meticulously, for the testing and admissions process.

A mom from Queens tells her G&T story

Well, recently I spoke to a mother (from Queens) of a very bright boy who, for a long time, thought she knew better than those of us who have been through the testing process before. I had spoken to this mom, who we’ll call Debbie, before, and explained to her how crucial it is to at least familiarize her son Jordan with the material he would face on the test. Plus, I reminded her that most children her son’s age haven’t ever been in a testing situation before, so they need to be mentally prepared for the process of sitting for half an hour or more, locked in a room with a usually stone-faced test proctor who isn’t allowed to give any feedback – positive or negative.

Debbie listened politely, but I could tell she wasn’t hearing what I was saying: she had already made up her mind, and wouldn’t be doing any prep work with her son. You know the type – right?

“Jordan is so smart,” Debbie told me more than once. “He always gets A’s on his tests in school, so why should this test be any different?”

“Besides,” Debbie told me, “I’ve always felt that these tests are meant to measure kids’ intelligence, so preparing with them is essentially ‘cheating’: either the kid is smart or he isn’t.”

Debbie kept in touch with me as OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests day drew closer, letting me know how well Jordan was doing in school and how confident she was that he would ace the test. I wished her luck and held out hope that Jordan would pass the test and make it into their local gifted program – but I knew that the odds were against him, given Debbie’s steadfast refusal to do anything to prepare him for the exam.

Sure enough, Jordan went into the test unprepared. When the OLSAT test scores came in, Jordan had done well – surprisingly well, in fact: he’d earned a score in the 95th percentile, very impressive for a child who hadn’t done any kind of preparatory work. But it wasn’t quite good enough to get Jordan into the program his mother was sure he was destined for: just to be considered for a seat at a citywide program like NEST+m or Anderson, Jordan needed to score in the 99th percentile.

Debbie was devastated. She was sure that Jordan would skate into the program, and she was convinced that “unworthy” kids had taken his spot. Disappointment turned to bitterness, and Debbie soured on the idea of ever applying Jordan to another gifted program. Her exact words: “I’m done. I’ll never let my child take another one of these OLSAT tests again.”

I knew this was a mistake as well. I told Debbie over and over: Jordan had a good shot of passing the gifted test the following year – if she took my advice and prepared him for it this time. For months, Debbie refused to budge: Jordan would never take that test again.

I refused to take no for an answer, though, since I was as convinced as Debbie that Jordan had too much potential to be stuck in a general education program. I kept on Debbie: try again next year. If you do take concrete steps to get Jordan ready, he’ll do fine.

Thankfully, after months of despair and hand-wringing, Debbie came to her senses and decided to apply Jordan to the gifted program again. Within a week, she signed up for a Testing Mom for the OLSAT practice questions  and began working with Jordan. They started out slow, getting Jordan used to the format of the questions and the process of sitting still and focusing on the material. As time went on, Debbie extended the practice time and increased the difficulty of the questions they worked with. By the time test day rolled around again, Jordan was accustomed to sitting and focusing for nearly an hour and answering questions designed for kids at least two grade levels above his own.

Before long, scores came out again and this time the news was unequivocally good: Jordan scored in the 99th percentile, qualifying him for the citywide gifted program and guess what? He made it into NEST+M one of the most sought after G&T programs in NYC!



The First 100 Days – The NEST of the West?

If you’d like to receive 16 OLSAT test prep questions or my free G&T newsletter please email me at skipper646@gmail.com.

Well, it’s been over 100 days since our daughter started the gifted and talented program at P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep for kindergarten.  I thought it would be beneficial to reflect back on the past 100 days and attempt to give an unbiased recollection of the experience thus far.  I stress the word ‘attempt’ since this is about my daughter.

Overall, the experience has been wonderful for our daughter and the feedback I’ve received from other parents of children in the class has been overwhelmingly positive. Of course, with any new program it took a few weeks to get into the groove to make sure everything ran smoothly but all the kinks were worked out in no time. There is a good diversity of children in the classroom that truly reflects the many cultures and backgrounds of NYC. The children all seem to be well behaved for the most part – at least when I’m picking up or dropping off our daughter. Continue reading



School Starts Tomorrow for NYC Gifted and Talented Program

Questions or comments feel free to contact me at skipper646@gmail.com. Thanks! Michael

Well, tomorrow is the first day of school for the NYC public school system. We’re very excited about our child entering the NYC G&T program at P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep.

I am hearing from some parents who took the NYC gifted and talented tests this summer are just finding out TODAY which NYC gifted and talented school their child will be attending TOMORROW. The summer testing for the NYC gifted and talented took place in June-July of this past summer.  One parent indicated their child got a city wide acceptance letter for NYC gifted and talented for the summer testing, although they were also told they needed to prioritize the schools in District 2 where they are located to be accepted to the NYC G&T program. Continue reading