P.S. 77 Lower Lab School Admissions | How to Get In!

lower lab school logo

lower lab school logo

The New York City Lower Laboratory School for Gifted Education, commonly known as the “Lower Lab School”, is a public elementary school serving students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students need to take and score high marks on a test to join the lower grades of the Lower Lab program, and it is a top choice for NYC families. Read on to see if PS 77 Lower Lab School is the right fit.

PS 77 Lower Lab School | School Information

PS 77 Lower Lab School is focused on gifted education and has served students since the late 1980s. Lower Lab School is on the Upper East Side in Manhattan and holds approximately 350 students in a shared building. The Lower Lab School is public, free to attend, and shares a school building with another public elementary school.

The Lower Lab School accepts students designated as gifted and talented – all students are accepted based on results of the Gifted and Talented exam (see below). Following this mission, the Lower Lab School attempts to accelerate learning, compact the typical elementary curriculum so students can move ahead, and in-depth study beyond the usual required elementary school curriculum.

The school itself has a strong curriculum overall, with particular strength in literacy and reading, science, and mathematics. Teachers at the school have additional certifications for Gifted and Talented education. Many students begin reading in kindergarten, and once they begin, most students continue to read at up to a grade above their age level. Through all years, students will take math, reading, science, arts, and music. Younger students take Spanish, while all students are encouraged to develop their technology skills across subjects. For more information about the school visit the official school website.

what parents can expect from the ps 77 lower lab CURRICULUM

what parents can expect from the ps 77 lower lab CURRICULUM

PS 77 Lower Lab School | Admissions Overview

Admissions for K-3 students

Because the Lower Lab School serves gifted and talented students, all students who would like to attend must earn a spot through the Gifted and Talented Exam for NYC. For the Lower Lab School. Students will need to register and take the Gifted & Talented (”G&T”) exam in January. The date for the submission of a "Request for Testing (RFT)" form changes from year to year, but generally the due date is mid-October. Following the score reports in April, families may apply to the Lower Lab School if their scores are high enough.

The Lower Lab gives preference to the students in District 2 who qualify under the citywide G&T program (a 97th percentile result).

Please note that the birthday cut-off date for the Lower Lab School is December 31 for all grades. This means that students coming into Kindergarten in September of 2017 must have a 2012 birthday. Children entering Kindergarten in September of 2018 must have a 2013 birthday, and so on.

Admissions for 4th grade -5th grade students

In May, submission of the "Request for Placement" form must be made in person at a Family Welcome Center.

Several criteria is used to determine if your child wins a place in the upper grades: They cover 3 aspects, all measured equally:

  • NY State test scores (or other acceptable standardized test results that measure performance on Common Core standards, as noted above).
  • Report card grade of year your child is just finishing. So for entry in 2017, you will need to submit your child's report card of 2016.
  • Description of outstanding characteristics written by each student’s teacher (including capacity to learn, creative thinking, and motivation to succeed).
  • Families attending public schools in NYC do not have to submit test scores themselves, as DOE has the data. Families of students attending private schools will students will be contacted by the DOE for alternate test scores.

    Families will receive notice of eligibility in August, and must submit the application soon after, usually before end of August. Families will receive notice in September if the student won a seat.

    PS 77 Lower Lab School Gifted and Talented Test

    The NYC Gifted and Talented Assessment uses the Otis Lennon School Ability Test, or OLSAT, and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, or NNAT.

    The Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT®) is designed to measure an individual's ability to reason logically and think abstractly. Specifically, it tests a variety of skills and abilities in students aged between four and 18, including verbal and quantitative skills and spatial reasoning ability.

    The Nagleiri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT®) is also used to screen children for giftedness and potential to learn in school, but this test is a nonverbal measure of cognitive ability. This means the exam uses shapes and symbols versus words to test the child's abilities, and means that children don’t have to know the English language to solve the problems presented to them. Like the OLSAT, the test is also used to test students in the four to 18 age range.

    The OLSAT and NNAT are weighted equally on the NYC Gifted and Talented Test. However the NNAT test is longer (48 questions) than the OLSAT (30 questions). Everything else you need to know about the Gifted and Talented assessment can be found here.

    We also have sample questions from the NYC G&T test to review so you can become more familiarized with the question types your child will face.

    PS 77 Lower Lab School | How to Prepare

    Because the Lower Lab School admissions in K-3 grades are based on G&T exam results, students will need to attain top score in order to gain a spot. We have several resources, including sample questions, test prep tips for families to review while determining whether to take and how to get ready for the G&T exam.

    One of ways to prepare for the test is to have your child work with practice questions that are similar to those on the test. If you would like to access 25 free questions based on the test, please click the button below.


    There are also other ways to prepare for the Gifted and Talented test that you may not know about. Read about our top test prep tips for the Gifted and Talented test here!

    Generally, families need to keep in mind that some of the G&T programs are incredibly competitive, and Lower Lab is one of the most sought after programs, Even though the minimum qualifying score for district programs is a 90th percentile result, and for citywide programs (and the Lower Lab School) a 97th percentile result, in practice many students meet this benchmark. Aiming for higher, more competitive score (99th percentile) is a better way to get a chance at admission. Our G&T overview has a detailed breakdown of the G&T exam and timeline for more information.

    How Can We Help?

    At Origins Tutoring , we believe that preparation for PS 77 Lower Lab admissions assessments (including the NYC DOE Gifted and Talented Assessment), 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 tested by the Lower Lab admissions 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 PS 77 Lower Lab admissions assessments.