NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

What’s the Stanford-Binet Vocabulary test?
June 25, 2017, 11:38 am
Filed under: tests | Tags: ,

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?”

Practice questions for Hunter Elementary Gifted and Talented Program
September 2, 2015, 5:10 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags: ,

Well, it’s that time of year again as thousands of kids take the Stanford-Binet test for admissions into the Hunter Elementary School Program which is by far the most competitive kindergarten in the world! Year after year over 3,000 4-year-olds take the Stanford-Binet test to get a qualifying score for a chance to attend the second round where the children are observed in a classroom setting.  Out of the 3,000 kids that take the test only 50 (25 boys, 25 girls) will be allowed to enter the pearly gates of Hunter College Elementary Gifted Program the following school year.  Hunter does make it loud and clear on their web site that a parent should not “prep” their child for the test. Although based upon what they indicate it sounds like reading to your child could be misconstrued as test prep for the Stanford-Binet test. Here are a few sample questions for the test and these are the types of questions a child might encounter on the test. These are brought to us by the folks at Testing Mom where you get tons of practice materials for Hunter, private school admissions and NYC gifted and talented program. Over the past few years the Hunter round 2 cut-off score for the Stanford Binet has ranged from 143 up to 149! If your child gets 142 or below you might was well count them out of getting an invite to the A-list second round. Harsh, yes….reality check folks.

Cindy, Daryl and Anne were crossing guards at the school. Each child was given 2 whistles they could use for the job. Choose the box that shows how many whistles in total were given to the 3 children. 4

stanford binet test


Do you see the children in the first box? Each child is the captain of his or her team. If 30 children in total play on teams, which box shows the number of children each team captain gets to pick for his or her team? 4


hunter gifted test

Hunter Elementary cut-off scores released
December 9, 2014, 3:32 pm
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Well folks, the time we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: Hunter Elementary cut-off scores released! It looks like kids in NYC just aren’t as smart at they used to be since the cut-off score this year (for 2014-15 entering K) was a mere 143 – the lowest in recent memory.  I heard from many, many parents this year that the school actually had the audacity to contact them after their talented tot took the Stanford-Binet test and interrogated parents if they prepped their child for the Hunter test. So sad that the admissions department at Hunter Elementary goes to such extremes to try and scare these parents who are already on-edge to begin with. Of course, parents in droves went to the Testing Mom web site where they helped their child prepare for the NYC gifted and talented program. I suppose they could have also brushed over some practice materials for the Stanford-Binet as well on that site.

Here’s the actual email Hunter sent to parents earlier today to notify them their child did make the cut-off! Names are removed for confidentiality purpose. Too bad they don’t spend as much time proofreading their emails sent to parents as they do interrogating the parents. I find it rather humorous there are a couple of typos in the email they sent (below)! 🙂

Dear <PARENT>,

Congratulations! The results of our modified Stanford-Binet V testing have set the eligibility score for Hunter College Elementary School’s Round 2 assessment at a Sum of Scaled Scores (SSS) of 143. Children with this score or higher are invited to participate in our on-site assessment process. We will assess 300 children and will select 25 girls and 25 boys for a total of 50 children for the entering Kindergarten class of 2015.

You will receive an email by December 17th with <CHILD> assigned session time. You must confirm this appointment by email by December 19th, 2014. Please write <CHILD> name, ID number, date of birth, the assigned date, time, and session number in your email to ensure your confirmation. Please do not call or email with requests for a change in schedule; session assignments are firm and cannot be changed.

There are a great many factors that go into assigning children to R2 sessions to ensure that they have an opportunity to be seen in their best light. It is important that <CHILD> not be in a session with other children from his preschool, or others that he knows. Please do not make efforts to introduce <CHILD> to others from his assigned session.

We want to give you ample time to work on the three additional things that complete <CHILD> application. Clink on the links below to download THREE PDFs that must be submitted: The Parent Observation Form, The Proof of Residency form and documentation, and The Teacher Observation Release and Observation Form.

  1. HCES – Parent Observation Form – pdf
  2. Proof-of-Residency-2015.pdf
  3. HCES-Parent-Preschool-Release-Form.pdf

1. The Parent Observation Form

Please take time to read the instructions and thoughtfully respond to the Parent Observation form. In addition to giving us informatiom about <CHILD> development, this form is designed to give you a chance to share about <CHILD>. We are looking for candor, and details that will allow us to get to know <CHILD> better. For example, you might write about small moments or events or conversations that gave you insight into how <CHILD> is thinking, learning, or becoming curious about the world. You may handwrite in the boxes, or cut and paste a typed document. DO NOT exceed the delineated space, use a font size lower than 10 pt, or attach additional documents. Forms that do not conform to the space allotted will be returned. This is a LEGAL-sized document.

Please note that the Parent Observation Form must be completed without <CHILD> name in order to preserve anonymity in the selection process. You may use an initial in place of his name.

2. The Proof of Residency Form and accompanying documentation

This form must accompany a copy of BOTH parents’ 2013 NYS State tax return. Many people ask if they can delete income information. You may, but we ask that you leave the information as is; we are a publicly funded school and for our research it is important to us to know as much as we can about our applicant and student body. Please rest assured that NONE of the information included will be a part of <CHILD> admissions application or seen by anyone making decisions. Once we have established residency and collected information for our research, information is destroyed.

3. The Release and Teacher Observation Form

We will email a Teacher Observation Form to <CHILD> current pre-school teacher, who must return the form directly to the Admissions office. In order to give them permission to comment on your child, please fill out and give them this Release Form.

All materials must be received in the Admissions Office by 4:00 P.M. on Monday, January 5th, 2015. Materials can be mailed to the office or deposited into the Admissions lock box at the HCES Public Safety desk.

Please keep an eye out for the email to follow with <CHILD> session and instructions fo Round 2 that will come by December 17th.

We look forward to seeing you and <CHILD> at Round 2,

Kyla Kupferstein Torres ’86
Director of Admissions and Outreach

Hunter Gifted and Talented Cut-off Test Scores Released
December 18, 2013, 7:07 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Well, Hunter gifted and talented cut-off test scores were released to thousands for parents last week. What seemed like an eternity came to an abrupt end as the cut-off score for the Stanford Binet V test was a mere 144. When compared to previous years this is the lowest we’ve seen.  Good news for some parents and not-so-good for others as their darling sons and daughters now have to jockey for a coveted city in the NYC gifted and talented program which begins testing here in just a few weeks.

I did receive from photos from a parent who got their precious child tested for Hunter and received some interesting photos from the doctor’s office where the child was tested for the Stanford Binet test.  I thought many parents in NYC would find it interesting to see the type of office and also the disclaimer form they make parents sign when they arrive with their darling daughter or son.

hunter application

Hunter test application at the psychologist office before the child enters the lion’s den to be poked and prodded with countless questions on the Stanford-Binet. Even though the 144 is the lowest cut-off point in years it’s still a very high threshold for all the darling children taking the test this year.


Dec. 5, 2016 Update – There were a couple of photos on this page that were removed. This nervous psychologist requested photos of the office be removed (even though there was no person in any of the images). Makes me wonder what this person has to hide? Trying to keep incognito while they judge toddlers from ages 3 to 4? What’s the big deal? There was no personal identifiable information in any of these photos but I suppose I’ll be nice this time. Hopefully this person will be nice in return and make sure everyone that is tested in their reign is given a fair and balanced assessment.

The photos that were removed contained images of an outdated/dark/dreary office with worn furniture and looked eerily similar to a funeral home where loved ones gather to grieve a loss. I suppose the office is acceptable considering the deeds that are conducted in the premises although I didn’t see any mini-bar. I’m sure parents need a drink while they wait on pins and needles for their child to emerge after being judged by a complete stranger. Although maybe the tester has a stash of whiskey and vodka hidden under the desk for in between tests? Of course, just joking.

I’m sure moms and dads bite their nails while waiting for a psychologist who has a bunch of letters after their name and forcing the parents to wait up to 2 hours! Oh yeah, want to bring your spouse or significant other to the test? Leave them at Starbucks or at home – only ONE parent allowed – so much for the nuclear family. Or maybe this is the strategy to “divide and conquer” all in the name of a lowering the child’s test score? Who knows! I’m sure there have been quite a few arguments among parents as who will go into the waiting area. Flip a coin? Or maybe rock, paper, scissors? Or race from the subway and whoever gets there first wins? Anyway, these poor kids! All done at the ripe old age of 4. Judge and jury of one – the tester!

Need practice questions for the Stanford Binet to get into Hunter? Go to to start with 100 free sample test questions.

Results from Hunter Second Round
February 10, 2013, 8:53 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

I heard from a parent today who received results from Hunter second round where their daughter was accepted to the most prestigious Kindergarten not only in the NYC but also in the world! Your child has a better chance of getting accepted into Harvard than into Hunter College Elementary (Yes, for Kindergarten!)School Gifted and Talented located in New York City on the Upper East Side.

This particular parent was so nervous about the second round classroom session where the children are evaluated among their peers but it looks like all went well!  Their child scored a 162 on the Stanford-Binet test was the catalyst to get to the second round. This particular parent feels like they won the lottery!

Hunter Elementary Cut-off Score for Second Round
December 17, 2012, 1:15 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Hunter Elementary cut-off score for second round is 146 for this year (2012-13) for the necessary score on the Stanford-Binet test given to the talented 4 year-olds in New York City! This is actually lower than the past 2 years where last year was 148 and the year prior was 149. I suppose it means the little ones this year just aren’t as smart as in the past?

Now it’s time for Round 2 at Hunter for the 250-300 gifted kids to see if they can get through the next round. There is always quite a bit of speculation of what they look for in round 2 at Hunter Elementary school. Stories vary about the secret sauce that’s used for the selection criteria. I suppose it’s the best way to make sure all the kids who make it to round two are vetted properly before they are given one of the coveted spots going into Kindergarten which is harder to get into than Harvard.

I’m sure there are many parents who found out their child didn’t quite make the necessary score on the Standford-Binet 5 but don’t worry, there’s always the NYC gifted and talented test where your child can show their stuff on the OLSAT test and the NNAT-2 test!

Hunter Elementary Test Results Require a 148 or above on Stanford-Binet to qualify for second round
December 29, 2011, 6:23 pm
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In case you didn’t hear, Hunter Elementary Gifted and Talented school in NYC announced that a child must receive a  score of148 (or above)  on the Stanford-Binet to qualify for the second round which is in-school visit coming up in a few short weeks. The 148 is actually lower than the 149 score required for the admissions into the most competitive kindergarten in the US.  Getting to the second round is actually the easiest part of the process as now parents have to put their child in a room of other ultra-bright kids in NYC who scored 148 or above. At that point in time, their child becomes the average student for the first time in their life. Their peers the little ones will encounter during the second round are just as bright and intelligent – at least by what the results of the SB-5 indicated. The second round at Hunter usually consists of 250+ students who are then separated into groups of 20-25 per session. Yes, it’s a long process but actually probably the best method to select children for this program as there are various tools and techniques such as the Standford-Binet IV and in-school evaluation.  Many parents are going through the gifted and talented process here in NYC and are now preparing for the upcoming OLSAT test that’s only 10 short days away for our talented tots. You can get free OLSAT practice questions on