When deciding if New York City’s Gifted and Talented (GT) program is right for your child, one of the most important factors to consider is the all-important GT test for kindergarten that the state requires for admission into the program. In fact, this exam is the only factor that determines if your child will be accepted into the coveted program or not.
Although many parents worry that testing their children in kindergarten for programs like this may be too early, there are a number of advantages. Your child will be exposed to an advanced and enriched curriculum early in his or her school career, and take classes with peers who intellectually challenge and inspire your child. Enrolling in the program early will also give your child the chance to have a ‘head start’ in bedoming acclimated to advanced course work, which will be useful as they progress to middle school or high school and have to face similarly challenging admissions tests.
Who gets into the GT program for Kindergarten?
A child who gets a score in the 90th percentile will be offered a spot in a NYC GT program for Kindergarten. Unfortunately, your child will not necessarily gain automatic admission to the program of your choice, or the program in your neighborhood just because they score within the 90th percentile of scores on test. Because the program is so competitive and there’s such a large interest in it, your child basically needs to score in the 99th percentile in order to have almost guaranteed admission to one of the top city-wide programs and even some of the district programs (e.g: PS 166).
In addition, prospective students will need to score at least in the 97th percentile to apply for the prime seats in a number of other school’s gifted and talented programs.
It is important to remember that many very intelligent students don’t qualify for GT program the first time they take the test, but you can choose to have your child try again in 2nd and 3rd grade.
What’s On the GT Test for Kindergarten?
The NNAT, a nonverbal measure of cognitive abilities, asks questions that relate to completing patterns, using analogies for reasoning, spatial visualization, and serial reasoning. The great thing about this portion of the test is that it was designed to be as unbiased as possible when it comes to the backgrounds and socioeconomic situations of the child taking the test. Also, all objects on this part of the test are in blue and yellow, which helps students who suffer from some forms of color vision impairment.
The portion of the GT test for kindergarten that is more familiar in terms of classroom skills is the part that comes from the OLSAT. This part of the test includes questions from verbal reasoning and comprehension, following directions, and math problems that are suitable for children of that age group. This part of the test requires very strong listening and short-term memory skills and a large visual vocabulary.
How is the GT Test for Kindergarten Administered?
The Gifted and Talented test is administered differently for kindergarteners than it is for older students. The test is not timed, but it is widely reported that the exam should take two hours or less to complete.
Preschoolers will be given the test on a one on one basis with a trained early childhood educator and not a group setting. This means that your child will not have to select the response to the questions by ‘bubbling’ the answer, they will only have to point. The advantage to this type of testing for young kids is that the child only has to answer the questions to the best of their abilities, and does not have to focus and make sure they have selected the answer they intended.The educator assigned to your child will also read all the OLSAT questions and directions aloud, but each question can only be read once.
How to prepare for the GT test for Kindergarten
There are several resources to help you and your child prepare for the test, and the biggest part of being successful is knowing what will be presented on the test and how to effectively use that information.
In order to prepare your young child for the GT test for kindergarten, the first principle is to keep the process fun and engaging and to not make your child think that taking a test is a big deal. In fact, don’t even use the word “test” with your preschooler. Instead, find ways to incorporate the things that will be on the test into the child’s everyday life. For example, doing puzzles with the child could help with reasoning skills. Many people also help their kids prepare for this test by doing things to increase stamina like using memory games.
It is also important to make the experience of doing practice questions with your child fun. This will help your child have a much better association with the material when they actually take the test. Use engaging methods to turn the test questions into games that children will enjoy. For example, you can have your child discuss the idea of more or less using props like apples or candy and then reward the kid with the props. This works because it doesn’t only teach the lessons, but it actually gets your child interested in the lessons.
If you want to get started right away and have your child try some questions from a NYC GT practice test for kindergarten, please click the button below.
How Can We Help?
At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for the NYC Gifted and Talented test does not have to be daunting and exasperating; instead, it can represent an important opportunity along a student’s path to learning mastery. Indeed, the perspectives and abilities acquired during preparation provide a foundation that can last throughout a student’s school career. Our two-track approach to mastering content and improving test-taking skills means that students will not only thoroughly understand the fundamental concepts and skills tested by the NYC Gifted and Talented test, but they will also excel in using essential techniques to improve attitude, endurance and focus.
Our students hone their independent thinking skills while developing a resilient mindset so they can perform on test day in a powerful, resourceful, creative and calm manner. Each student in our program receives the undivided attention and expertise of a dynamic and experienced coach who provides the framework to support each student on his unique path to becoming a master learner.
Please call 917.287.7927 now for a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help your child achieve his or her personal best on the NYC Gifted and Talented test.
If you think you need more information and guidance about the GT test, check out our in-depth article on the test.
There are also other ways to prepare for the GT test for kindergarten that you may not know about. Read about our top test prep tips for the Gifted and Talented test here!