NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies Admissions | How to Get In!

The NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies is located in Manhattan and serves students in middle school and in high school (6th through 12th grade in total).

The Lab School is routinely named one of the top schools in Manhattan and has been well-regarded since its founding in the 1980s.

The middle school accepts 198 children for 6th grade, and about 700 kids apply each year.

The Lab School operates separate middle school and high school admissions processes, so read on to see if the Lab Middle School might be the right choice.

The NYC Lab Middle School Overview

The Lab School is in Chelsea, is a district two school, and serves approximately 1,000 students from 6th through 12th grade. The middle school is also known by its full name, the NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies, which shows just how important a collaborative atmosphere and focus is for the entire school.

This collaborative and supportive atmosphere appears throughout the school and in every class, as shown by the conversational nature of classes, more informal atmosphere, and student dedication to supporting and helping each other.

The school also gives students flexibility and freedom, which includes leaving campus during lunchtime (in seventh and eighth grade).

In the math and science departments, the Lab Middle School shines.All students in sixth grade take the same math class, after which they split into three different tracks for the remainder of middle school. By their graduation, the top tier will have exceeded Regents-level algebra, with the other two tiers taking advanced math to various degrees.

Science is another key focus for the school, and science teachers ensure that students get the chance to have hands-on discoveries.

The arts and humanities are also strong at Lab Middle School, and students have twice as much art instruction per week as the state requires. Students may have the chance to participate in animated films, design, puppetry, and other more obscure art topics.

On the humanities side, students go beyond the typical written responses and engage in debates on topics from books, lively class discussions, and more.

Where Do NYC Lab Middle School Students Go to High School?

More than half of graduates from the Lab Middle School move on to attend specialized high schools (between 60-70% of students), with the rest attending other independent, public, and private schools across the city.

Some students will continue on to attend the Lab High School, with other popular options including Beacon, Bard, Millennium, Baruch, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Note that attendees at the Lab Middle School do still need to take the admissions exam for Lab High School, which requires students to achieve a minimum of an 85% in their 7th grade classes and 3s or higher on their math and ELA state exams.

Lab School NYC Admissions Information

The NYC Lab Middle School admissions process includes requiring students to be located in District 2 .

In addition to this zoning requirement, the school will apply criteria based on existing academic performance, attendance, and other metrics.

Prospective students will need to participate in an ‘admissions screen’, and to select the Lab Middle School as a first choice on the middle school application in addition to attending a tour or open house.

In a little more detail, the first screening stage is location . In order to meet this first criteria, students must be either a resident of NYC district 2 (D2) and/OR be a student already attending a school in district 2. Students who are planning to go to school in NYC D2 are not eligible; they need to be at the D2 school at the time of application.

Once students meet the screening criteria for location, they MUST rank the Lab Middle School first on their middle school choice application . A student will NOT be invited to take the test if they do not select the school as their first choice.

If the student meets the first two criteria, s/he will be invited to visit the school and to take the NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies admissions test.

The Lab School awards students points based on their results from the Lab Middle School admissions test, in addition to 4th grade attendance and punctuality reports, and teacher comments on the middle school choice application.

Teachers are asked to rank the child in the class, and to indicate the ‘habits’ of the child. Recommendations are NOT accepted or looked at, so don’t waste time asking a teacher to do this.

See table below for overview of admissions criteria and point system.

Note that the collaborative activity counts for one third of the score, indicating that the school is not just interested in accepting students based on traditional academics of literacy or math.

The school does not look at grades or the 4th grade ELA or math test scores. The school believes that grades are not a fair criteria as there is no uniform grading system in NYC. The school also does not believe that the NY State tests are a good indicator of academic performance given how much the test creators change the test quality from year to year.

So, for now, NYC Lab Middle School has decided not to include the results of these tests when evaluating and assessing students.

What’s on the NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies admissions test?

First of all, no sample tests are provided by the school. The info we provide below is based on communication with families we have worked with who had children who took the test.

So, what do we know? As with several other middle schools which 'screen' prospective students using a home-grown admissions test, the exam is created by the school with teachers' input, and is comprised of a math and a literacy component, plus a collaborative exercise.

From our anecdotal understanding of the test, this is indeed true. While on site, students will write a short essay, complete grade-appropriate math problems, and participate in an activity with their peers to showhow they can work effectively and productively in a team.

The material is similar to what students have encountered before in general coursework, and tethered to the material on grade-level State tests based on the Common Core.

However, prospective students also need to show they can manage more challenging and advanced material, in addition to proving their mastery of the basic grade-level curriculum.

The math and literacy test is given in a similar format as the end of year State ELA and Math standardized tests, but the Middle Lab’s on-site exams are shorter than the math and ELA state exams students are used to taking during the academic year.

Why apply to NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies?

NYC Lab School is a popular and highly-regarded middle school. This is due to many reasons, including those described above in the school overview.

One of the main reasons, though, is the test scores that Middle Lab students achieve, which are shown in graphic form below. It's not hard to understand why so many families want their children to be educated in a school that gets these kinds of outcomes!

ELA Outcomes. Grades 6-8. 2015 And 2016



Math Outcomes. Grades 6-8. 2015 And 2016



How Can We Help?

At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for the NYC Lab Middle School admissions 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 can last throughout a student’s school career and beyond.

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, 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 admissions assessments of the NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies.