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!


Testing Mom and FasTracKids NYC launch partnership!
April 24, 2017, 1:38 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program, testing mom | Tags: ,

New Partnership with TestingMom.com and FasTracKids NYC locations

Well, it looks like the folks over at Testing Mom are taking their NYC G&T program offline to the New York City locations of FasTracKids.  Seems like a great fit for both organizations since they are geared to helping youngsters succeed in school. It looks like the Testing Mom curriculum for NYC gifted and talented test prep will be fully utilize by FasTracKids teachers and students. This will surely help raise scores of all the talented tots currently enrolled at the FasTraKids locations sprinkled throughout the city. I reviewed the FTK program and was quite impressed with their array of programs they offer through their centers.

Gifted and Talented Prep Programs:

Even the programs above are geared toward G&T test prep they also help with the underlying skills every child needs to school and testing success with a full service curriculum.  This is why their program is so popular for parents of young children across their locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan.

And if you’re looking for a summer camp for your talented tot they have that covered too!

Their Summer STEAM  Academy camp motivates all students to further their education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math through 9 different camp themes. Depending on your summer schedule you can do one week or the entire nine week program. You can also select 1/2 days or full days. Make sure your child keeps the momentum going this summer and doesn’t fall victim to the “summer slide” where a child can lose up to 4 months of learning unless a parent takes action.
Find out more about their Summer STEAM Academy.


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 TestingMom.com 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: , ,

Tons of moms and dads review TestingMom.com

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 TestingMom.com 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. TestingMom.com 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