NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

Tons of questions from parents about NYC gifted and talented

Testing Mom Facebook Live the other night received tons of questions from parents about NYC gifted and talented test results that were recently released.

The folks over at hosted a very informative Facebook Live the other night for frantic NYC parents who just received the test results for their talented tots. These parents all seemed to be the lucky ones whose children made a score high enough on the NNAT-2 test and OLSAT test to qualify for a coveted seat into one of these elite kindergartens in New York City for the 2017-2018 school year. It seemed that all the parents on the Facebook Live feed were happy since they were asking about what schools were the best and bragging about their gifted girls and brilliant boys throughout the hour+ session on Facebook. Here are a few of the many questions that the New York City parents were spouting throughout the session:

  • I called the kinder doe hotline and was told that admissions to district gifted and talented is based on lottery. The G&T handbooks however states that they go by the score. So confused.
  • Given your experience what are your thoughts on PS 33 Chelsea Prep G&T? Seemed like a very large school. Do you feel it is luck of the draw based on your assigned teacher?
  • Our son scored 97th percentile, our one in district school with a gifted and talented class isn’t so great. being in the 97th percentile, how good are his chances at a better district school with a G&T class?
  • Do you know anything about District 22 G&T schools in Brooklyn? Our son’s overall score was 92 and his current school has a G&T program but I was told by a parent that he needed to score in the 99th percentile to get in.
  • We are in District 14, and there is only one G&T Program, once you are under 97%, how do they decide placement in district-wide, is it a lottery and is it worth exploring districts outside your own? Any thoughts on PS 132?
  • My older one is in citywide G&T school at TAG. The younger one is District G&T program already. Last 2 years she got 96. Is there any chance to get in TAG as sibling preferences. By the way, the younger one will be in 3rd grade next year.

Reviews for Testing Mom
November 16, 2016, 12:34 pm
Filed under: OLSAT test prep, Stanford-Binet | Tags: , ,

The folks over at Testing Mom (home of the 100 free questions) have received tons of great reviews from parents across the nation who have used their test prep materials for OLSAT, NNAT-2, CogAT, Stanford-Binet and dozens more tests!  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog you know I’m a huge proponent of their online test prep and skill building that goes from pre-K to 8th grade. If you don’t believe me, then read these reviews from moms who have used the program over the past few months.

Crystal who writes a great blog called Surviving on a Teacher’s Salary says this about Testing Mom:

“Your kids can unwind from a long day at school by watching educational films, listening to public radio programs specifically designed for kids, and even read about current events! It’s a safe zone my kids can decompress in every day and help carry their learning through the summer.”

Another mom named Tracie who blogs on Penny Pinchin Mom said this about her experience with the program:

“This site is so much more than tests and websites. As we are digging our heels in and learning more, we have figured out that my kids can read about current events. They can play chess and even learn computer programming.

When I saw my son able to focus and see my youngest online “having fun”, I knew that this site had hit it out of the park. knows that education is one of the best gifts you can give to your child. As a parent, I completely agree with this.”


Parents beware! Mistake in NYC G&T handbooks
November 18, 2015, 6:00 pm
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

It seems like the NYC G&T department made some serious errors in the 115,000 G&T handbooks given out that were translated into nine languages according to the article in AM New York. You’re lucky if you received the handbook in English since there were no errors in the questions and answers for the guides that were handed out. It seems the DOE didn’t bother to have someone take a few minutes of their time to proofread the copies that were in the non-English written materials. It seems that the DOE officials were scrambling to fix the error of their ways by scrambling around to try to correct the screw-up. This caused them to extend the deadline to register for the OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test (free practice questions on Testing Mom) that are the entrance exams required for a 4-year-old to get a seat in a top-notch kindergarten for free.  It seems these types of errors are completely preventable but I suppose no one at the DOE was thoughtful enough to think of the ramifications of not having these important materials proofread by a professional before printing. I will give the DOE credit for the cover of the NYC G&T handbook this year. I think the artwork is very well done. Too bad they didn’t put the same time and energy in making sure the practice questions they provided were up to par.



doe handbook


NYC parents distraught with gifted and talented scores
April 14, 2014, 7:49 am
Filed under: nnat test, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

The scores are in! It seems many NYC parents are distraught with gifted and talented scores received by their talented tot. According to Testing Mom (the site with thousands of practice questions for the OLSAT test and the NNAT test).

Obviously, these comments from parents are way out of line and very concerning. Testing Mom said she doesn’t condone or approve of these comments but wanted to give people an idea of how intense some New York City parents get when the G&T test scores get released. I feel bad for the poor kids of these parents as some of these comments are just plain mean!

  • “I thought my son was well prepared for OLSAT test from the few practice questions provided by the Dept. of Ed. How did he get score  of 48? I am so disappointed in him and as a mother.  I started practicing with him today but now have to wait another year.”
  • “I think my son has ADHD, if only I put him on meds prior to this test he would have been able to sit, focus and As the verbal section.  He did so awesome on the nonverbal score. Trying to figure out what wrong. ”
  • “He scored 88th percentile which is ok but still disappointing! I’m trying not to look at him differently but it’s hard not to right now. I thought he was so smart but now I realize he’s just average like his father (my ex).”
  • “I’m shocked at how our child could have scored so low on the OLSAT and so high on the NNAT-2 test but since signing up on Friday I can see how. We thought she’d breeze through the verbal OLSAT test but now I know better.”

My jaw dropped (literally!) after reading these comments from parents but I suppose they were being honest about their feelings. I hope they get over the initial shock quickly and start supporting their child emotionally.

Time to register for NYC gifted and talented testing

Well folks, it’s time to register for NYC gifted and talented testing for this coming January and February! The deadline to register is November 8, 2013 so make sure you sign-up soon. Is your talented tot ready for the upcoming OLSAT test and NNAT test? If not, make sure you visit Testing Mom for 100 free practice questions to get started. Let’s see….the major changes (or not changes) for this year:

  • The OLSAT test (Otis-Lennon School Abilities test) now accounts for 50% of the test score and the NNAT-2 test accounts for the other 50%. Last year, the OLSAT was 35% while the Naglieri Non-verbal Test was 65%.
  • It looks like the Dept. of Ed. will continue to use the NNAT and the OLSAT test for admissions even with the huge debacle last year from Pearson (the publisher of the test) and the scoring errors of the thousands of tests. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the DOE “losing” over 400 tests that caused these children to retake the test. Makes you wonder what drama will unfold this year!
  • The sibling policy remains the same as previous years so no change there. Great news for parents with more than one child and not-so-great news for those parents with only one child.  It’s all based upon your personal circumstances on which side you fall on this argument of sibling policy.
  • The gifted and talented information sessions for parents are in new locations and also Manhattan and Brooklyn have their information sessions on the same night and same time. I appreciate the DOE efforts on these G&T information sessions but it’s basically a regurgitation of the handbook so there’s really no need attend if you think you’re going to get additional questions answered beyond the handbook. Here’s a breakdown of the information session for parents hosted by the NYC Dept of Ed.:

nyc gifted and talented information sessions

Back to school time for NYC gifted and talented
August 6, 2013, 11:44 am
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

Well, it’s back to school time for NYC gifted and talented students across the city. Only 4 more weeks until the first official day of school on September 9, 2013.  Now’s the time for parents to make sure their talented tot is ready for the upcoming school year with mental exercises to get them in tip-top shape.  I noticed that Testing Mom (the site with 100 free practice questions) now has online school enrichment activities along with over 25,000 practice questions for gifted and talented. Including practice the Stanford-binet, WPPSI – ERB test, OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test. It’s a great time to make sure your child starts at the head of the class with the new enrichment activities from the makers for Brain Pop, Smart Math, Encyclopedia Britannica and Miss Humblebee’s Academy and more!

Gifted and Talented Test Results Released
April 10, 2013, 10:14 am
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Well, the wait is over for thousands of NYC parents as the gifted and talented test results were released this past Saturday. Some parents had to wait until Sunday before they received the email from the Dept of Ed. Many parents were disappointed as their darling child got in the 89th percentile as the image below indicates. I know has been slammed with questions from New York City parents about their child’s scoring. Testing Mom had an emergency tele-seminar this past Sunday where they answered all the questions from parents who just received their test score.

test results nyc gifted talented

With the new NNAT test added there was speculation that many less children would receive a 99th percentile. This actually is true but still many more children scored in the 99th percentile than are available seats for the citywide G&T programs.  This leaves all the 97th and 98th percentile children with no chance of getting a citywide seat even though the technically do qualify for one.

nyc gifted test results 2013

Here’s an email a NYC parent received from the Dept. of Ed. when asking about their child’s test score:


Dear <PARENT>:

Thank you for your inquiry about your child’s G&T score report- it was nice speaking with you on the phone yesterday. In your email, I noticed you used a combined weighted average of your child’s nonverbal and verbal percentile rank scores to calculate the overall percentile rank.  As you will see below, this was not the method used to score the G&T assessments.

The New York City Department of Education (DOE)’s Gifted & Talented (G&T) testing vendor scored the assessments using raw scores, normalized standard scores based on age, and percentile ranks for the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT-2) and the verbal Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT-8).

Your child’s raw scores show the number of items your child answered correctly. There were 48 total test items on the nonverbal NNAT-2 and 30 total test items on the verbal OLSAT-8. Since the NNAT-2 and the OLSAT-8 are two different tests that were administered together, the raw scores for each test needed to be placed on a common scale in order to determine percentile ranks. This type of score is called a normalized standard score, and is shown on your child’s score report as NAI (nonverbal standard score, for the NNAT-2) and SAI (verbal standard score, for the OLSAT-8). The use of standard scores like the NAI and SAI is standard practice in testing for ability and intelligence, especially in young children.

Your child’s score report also showed two types of percentile ranks: the domain percentile ranks and the overall percentile rank. The domain percentile ranks are separate scores that correspond to the NAI and the SAI, respectively. Your child’s overall G&T percentile rank determines whether he is eligible to apply for district and citywide G&T programs. The NAI counted for 65% of the overall percentile rank and the SAI counted for 35% of the overall percentile rank. These weighted standard scores, not the domain percentile ranks, were then combined to generate your child’s overall G&T percentile rank score.

I hope this answers your questions. Please do check the G&T website regularly for the most up to date information on this year’s G&T process.

New York City Department of Education Office of Academic Policy

So, what’s next? The school tours have begun and there’s really no standard process for that either. It varies from school to school so check the gifted and talented school you are interested in touring and find out the process. Some you will have to register online while others you’ll have to call on the phone to register for a school tour. The deadline for G&T applications is next Friday, April 19, 2013 which must be submitted online by midnight.