NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Looking beyond the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests

Getting into a NYC gifted and talented program

It’s hard enough to juggle the everyday responsibilities that you have as a parent. But NYC parents are being faced with an added item on their to-do list: preparing for the Gifted and Talented test that could get their child into an advanced academic program available to NYC residents.

Many parents – probably too many – put this responsibility on the back-burner, distracted and consumed by what they perceive as more pressing concerns. There are a number of reasons for this. Some parents don’t understand the value of a gifted and talented program. This is especially true for parents who may have a good gen ed program next door, who believe that their children will receive an “adequate” education: what’s the point of stressing myself out for a program that might not make much of a difference, these parents wonder. I can tell you that this is a terrible mistake: even in the best public schools, the test scores and academic performance of kids in gifted and talented programs are dramatically better than those enrolled in the general program. Not to mention the opportunities that open up to children in gifted programs that simply aren’t available to other children.

Here’s a OLSAT Level A question they ask pre-K students: Point to the picture that shows this: David and Mark got very tired after they played ball.

Other parents are afraid that their child won’t make the cut, and are hesitant to dive in without a guarantee of success. This is an understandable impulse, and one that people make in all areas of life, including their career, personal goals, and even romantic relationships. But the old adage that “you can’t win if you don’t play” applies particularly well to gifted and talented programs, where only kids who take the test are even in the running to get a seat.

Finally, there are the parents who have every intention of preparing for the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests, but put it off until it’s too late. This happens even to the most dedicated parents, who often get caught up in their many other responsibilities and then panic as the test day nears. I have heard from countless parents in this boat – once a mother emailed me in a frenzy literally hours before the test, asking me what she could do to prepare her son. Unfortunately, at that point I told her the only thing she could do is to give him a solid breakfast and then do plenty of praying.

I know all of this sounds pretty bleak, but here’s the good news: it isn’t too late for your little one. Now’s the time to start gearing up for the NYC Gifted and Talented test in January.

Here’s the steps you need to take to ensure that your child is ready for test day – before it’s too late:

  • Sign up for a Testing Mom Fast Track membership today. You’ll get access to thousands of OLSAT and NNAT-2 practice questions instantly!  These practice questions will help your child get familiar not only with the material they’ll encounter on the exam, but with the process of sitting down for an extended period of time and working through challenging problems without getting frustrated.
  • Come up with some light, fun ways to get your child ready – so that they don’t get burned out or anxious using traditional practice questions all the time. Fortunately, your Testing Mom membership also gives you access to interactive online games that prepare your child for the test while they think they’re just having fun!
  • Don’t lose sight of your child’s academic performance. It’s important to prep for the test, but it’s equally important to make sure your child stays a step ahead in school.
  • Parents have given Testing Mom rave reviews!


Parents frazzled by gifted and talented testing

Many parents don’t know how to handle OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test prep

Many parents, already frazzled when their child begins school in the fall, receive a shock when they learn that their child is eligible to test for the NYC Gifted and Talented program. These G&T programs are invaluable to your child’s education and available in all 5 boroughs across the city. As parents have realized over the years, once their child was is admitted into a G&T program it determined their entire educational trajectory.

However, these initial notes usually do not contain much information on the program or the testing process. The test for NYC gifted and talented admission administered to students does not varies from district to district.

Many times, a citywide or district wide school will simply give a test date (for kids already attending the public school) and leave the rest up to the parents. Thankfully, in NYC the names of the tests (OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test)are given to parents and are able to start preparing months (and in some cases years!) in advance. It is extremely important to get a jump on test prep as soon as you receive word that your child will be tested. These programs are highly competitive and your child may miss out on the program by not testing into the top 99th percentile on the combined OLSAT and NNAT-2. That does not leave much room for error.

How do you discover which test your child will be given to apply to the G&T program?

As soon as you receive the note or email that your child can apply to the G&T program , start by looking on NYC Dept. of Ed website.

Gifted and Talented programs are becoming more and more competitive in New York City. Last year, there were over 2,000 more pre-K students who took the test (16,500) compared to 14,500 the previous year.  Some parents have gone through the process with one child already and have a head start on you if this is your first time through the system. The best way to help your child is to find out immediately which test they will be taking, and start preparing them for that test immediately.

If you do not prepare your child, they will be blindsided by the format of the test, especially if your child is testing to get into gifted kindergarten. This kind of stressful testing situation is what can create test anxiety in your children. Think about if you were 4 years old and asked question after question for an hour, not having been exposed to the format before or even understanding why you were there in the first place. That is a very confusing situation and greatly increases the chances that your child will receive a low score.

Good luck with your Gifted and Talented adventure!



Secrets to acing the OLSAT test

Types of questions on the OLSAT test

So, when kids first see the different types of questions on the OLSAT test, they think they’re weird and they don’t understand them right away. As a parent, you want your child to experience their confusion in seeing these questions for the first time when they’re at home with you, and you can help them (contrary to what “they” tell you!). Not when they’re all alone at school under the pressure of taking an actual test without you there to support them. Especially, if you have a younger child ages 3 to 5 years old who has never (ever!) taken an actual test and has no idea of the different between a right and wrong answer.  No matter if you live:

  • Brooklyn,
  • Staten Island
  • Manhattan
  • Bronx
  • Queens

it’s imperative you prepare your child for the upcoming NYC gifted and talented test. The OLSAT test is no joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Even if your child it taking the OLSAT test next year there’s really no time to waste. Whether your child’s test is in three days or three months, working with  practice questions and online prep games for the OLSAT can make all the difference. These are just a few examples of the types of questions that are on the gifted test. Naturally, the questions get harder as children go up in grade levels. If your pre-K to sixth grader is taking the OLSAT and you’d like to learn more about the types of questions on this test. You can try a few practice questions for the OLSAT test here!

 

OLSAT
Test Subset
Grade Pre-K and K
Level A
Verbal Questions
  • Verbal Comprehension
No
  • Following Directions
Yes
  • Antonyms
No
  • Sentence Completion
No
  • Sentence Arrangement
No
Verbal Reasoning Questions
  • Aural Reasoning
Yes
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
Yes
  • Logical Selection
No
  • Word/Letter Matrix
No
  • Verbal Analogies
No
  • Verbal Classification
No
  • Inference
No
Nonverbal
  • Pictorial Reasoning
No
  • Picture Classification
Yes
  • Picture Analogies
Yes
  • Picture Series
Yes
Figural Reasoning
  • Figural Classification
Yes
  • Figural Analogies
Yes
  • Pattern Matrix
Yes
  • Figural Series
Yes
Quantitative Reasoning
  • Number Series
No
  • Numeric Inference
No
  • Number Matrix


NYC dept of ed changes gifted and talented information sessions

The NYC dept of ed changes gifted and talented information sessions for NYC parents. The sessions were previously held one time in each of the 5 boroughs. This year they will be hosting these seminars in each of the districts sprinkled throughout the city. Keep in mind, these sessions aren’t solely focused on the G&T program where they review OLSAT and NNAT-2 practice questions. These seminars also include pre-K and kindergarten (general ed.) information for parents considering these programs as well. Here are some practice questions for the OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test.

Here’s the schedule for November 2016:

 

District Date Time Location
District 1 Thursday, December 1 6-8pm P.S. 134 Henrietta Szold

293 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002

District 2 Wednesday, November 9 6-8pm M.S. 260 Clinton School for Writers and Artists

10 East 15th Street 
New York, NY 10003

District 3 Thursday, November 10 6-8pm P.S. 333 Manhattan School for Children

154 W 93rd Street 
New York, NY 10025

District 4 Thursday, November 17 4:30-7:30pm The Tito Puente Complex

240 E 109th Street 
New York, NY 10029

District 5 Monday, November 7 6-8pm P.S. 092 Mary McLeod Bethune

222 West 134 Street 
New York, NY 10030

District 6 Wednesday, November 9 6-8pm P.S./I.S. 210 Twentyfirst Century Academy For Community Leadership

501-503 West 152 Street New York, NY 10031

District 7 Wednesday, November 9 6-8pm P.S. 065 Mother Hale Academy

677 East 141 Street Bronx, NY 10454

District 8 Monday, November 7 6-8pm P.S. 119

1075 Pugsley Avenue Bronx, NY 10472

District 9 Thursday, November 10 6-8pm P.S./I.S. 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual Language Magnet School

1220 Gerard Avenue Bronx, NY 10452

District 10 Thursday, November 17 6-8pm P.S. 279 Captain Manuel Rivera, Jr.

2100 Walton Avenue Bronx, NY 10453

District 11 Monday, November 14 6-8pm P.S./M.S. 194

2365 Waterbury Avenue Bronx, NY 10462

District 12 Thursday, November 17 6-8pm P.S. 214

1970 West Farms Road Bronx, NY 10460

District 13 Tuesday, November 15 6:30-8:30pm P.S. 133 William A. Butler

610 Baltic Street Brooklyn, NY 11217

District 14 Thursday, November 17 6-8pm P.S. 110 The Monitor

124 Monitor Street Brooklyn, NY 11222

District 15 Monday, November 14 6-8pm P.S. 24

427 38 Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11232

District 16 Tuesday, November 1 6-8pm P.S. 308 Clara Cardwell

616 Quincy Street Brooklyn, NY 11221

District 17 Wednesday, November 9 6-8pm P.S. 770 The New American Academy

60 E.94th Street  Brooklyn,  NY 11212

District 18 Tuesday, November 1 6-8pm P.S. 66

845 East 96 Street Brooklyn, NY 11236

District 19 Thursday, November 10 6-8pm P.S. 013 Roberto Clemente

557 Pennsylvania Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11207

District 20 Tuesday, November 15 6-8pm Franklin D. Roosevelt High School

5800 20th Avenue Brooklyn, New  York 11204

District 21 Monday, November 7 6-8pm I.S. 096 Seth Low

99 Avenue P Brooklyn, NY 11204

District 22 Monday, November 14 6-8pm P.S. 222 Katherine R. Snyder

3301 Quentin Road Brooklyn, NY 11234

District 23 Tuesday, November 1 6-8pm P.S. 156K Waverly School of the Arts

104 Sutter Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11212

District 24 Wednesday, November 16 6-8pm P.S. 110

43-18 97th Place Queens, NY 11368

District 25 Monday, November 14 6-8pm I.S. 025 Adrien Block

34-65 192 Street Queens, NY 11358

District 26 Wednesday, November 16 6-8pm P.S./I.S. 266

74-10 Commonwealth Boulevard Queens, NY 11426

District 27 Monday, November 14 6-8pm M.S. 137 America’s School Of Heroes

109-15 98 Street Queens, NY 11417

District 28 Monday, November 7 6-8pm P.S. 182 Samantha Smith

153-27 88th Avenue Queens, NY 11432

District 29 Tuesday, November 1 6-8pm P.S. 035 Nathaniel Woodhull

191-02 90 Avenue Queens, NY 11423

District 30 Thursday, November 17 6-8pm The Woodside Community School

39-07 57th Street Queens, NY 11377

District 1 Thursday, November 10 6-8pm Space Shuttle Columbia

77 Marsh Avenue 
Staten Island, NY 10314

District 32 Monday, November 7 6-8pm P.S. 376

194 Harman Street Brooklyn, NY 11237



NYC gifted and talented seminars in October
October 20, 2016, 3:50 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Our friends at Testing Mom (home of the free practice questions for gifted and talented) are hosting two live seminars for parents in October. One will be on the Upper East Side and the other midtown west near Penn Station. Both seminars cover the same material so you only need to attend one.

If you’re a parent to a preschooler or early elementary school-aged child and feel overwhelmed or confused by the NYC gifted and talented program eligibility testing and admissions process, you can hear from a team of NYC experts. They do ask that due to the topic children should not attend these sessions. You can register below:

 



Non-profit HOPEorgNYC helps prepare kids for gifted and talented test

The non-profit HOPEorgNYC helps prepare kids for the gifted and talented test in New York City.  Jill Goldstein, founder of @HOPEorgNYC, founded the non-profit in 2015 due to the lack of participation of students in lower-income areas of NYC who take the NYC gifted and talented test for children entering kindergarten through 3rd grade. The mission of this group is to lessen the divide within the gifted and talented program in New York City.  HOPE meets with students every Saturday morning from September through January to help them prepare for the upcoming NNAT and OLSAT tests.

Over the years, it has been evident that the NYC gifted and talented program skews to more Caucasian and Asian students vs. African American and Latino students. The population of gifted and talented students based upon race is disproportionate to the racial population of the city. According to the NY Times, this racial segregation within the schools begins as early as pre-K and then really manifests itself going into kindergarten with the gifted and talented program.

HOPE plans to even out the playing field within district 10 in the Bronx where the program meets at the local library every Saturday to help local students prepare for the test. Their goal is two fold: help the kids succeed on the the G&T test and to do well in school.

Here are students who have benefited from the wonderful work HOPE is doing in the Bronx. The kids thank TestingMom.com for giving them test prep materials and for sponsoring the HOPE team.

 



NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

Here’s a great overview from our friends at TestingMom.com (home of the 100 free practice questions for gifted and talented and private school admissions to help your child prep for these tests with tons of sample questions.)

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!

In NYC, you have 3 possibilities when it comes to a free gifted & talented education for your young child. Children take different tests to qualify for these programs:

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 NNAT®2 test.

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 Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), all of the questions are “puzzles” involving shapes and figures that require visual-spatial reasoning to solve.