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Making it Into the Prep for Prep Program

Making it Into the Prep for Prep Program

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - November 14th, 2014

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Prep for Prep program and wondered what, exactly, it is. The program’s catchy name entices a lot of parents who are looking for a top-flight education for their little one.

Prep for Prep was founded in 1978 by a Bronx public school teacher named Gary Simons. According to its website, the program “develops leaders through access to superior education and life-changing opportunities” and is geared toward minority students in New York City.

The program is competitive and highly selective. Every year, the program conducts a talent search across New York City. The end result of this process is that approximately 120 students are selected as candidates for entry into the Prep for Prep program.

The program sets very high standards for applicants. Approximately 6,000 students who scored in the 90th percentile or above on their statewide tests are nominated by their school and screened by Prep for Prep. The students undergo some initial testing, then about 1,000 students progress to the Second Level. This level includes individual educational testing, teacher recommendations and interviews with kids, parents and teachers. After that, about 150 candidates are accepted into Prep for Prep (5th and 6th graders for day private school placement) and 75 are accepted into PREP 9 – 7th graders for boarding school placement. These students are given full scholarships to attend these elite schools.

Students who make it into the program go through a 14-month academic course the summer before their 6th and 7th grade year. These courses include two intensive 7-week sessions and after-school Wednesday and Saturday classes. The purpose of the course is to prepare students to walk into independent or boarding schools ready to compete at the highest levels with their peers. About 75% of students admitted make it through this program.

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8 Responses


how much does a families annual income play into the selection process…
my son was selected, & our income is over $150k a year
i was wondering if that would disqualify us
if not, will we be given admission into prep academies @ a discounted rate?
or is every child selected, given free tuition into these prep academies?

Hi Claude – it depends on where you live and if they take the socio-economic status of the student into consideration for admission in the the gifted and talented program in your area. Some school districts do while others don’t. Please check with your school on their policy for admission requirements.


Do you provide testing support services for the Prep test? Are there sample tests available? Thanks!


Hello! Does the prep for prep take place at only on location or they have locations throughout the city? Also, is a every day prep course and if so how many hours a day?

Thanks you


What IQ test students have to prepare for Prep for prep IQ test?

The test given for Prep for Prep is called the Prep for Prep Entrance Exam. It is a rigorous standardized test that assesses students’ academic skills in reading, math, and writing. The exam is designed to identify students who show exceptional academic promise, intellectual curiosity, and leadership potential. The test is typically given in the fall of a student’s 4th-grade year and includes multiple-choice questions as well as a written essay. The exam is just one component of the Prep for Prep selection process, which also includes teacher recommendations, parent interviews, and student interviews. Students who are accepted into the program go through a rigorous 14-month preparation program before beginning their independent school education. Testing Mom has practice materials for all academic skills that will help prepare a child for the Prep for Prep test.


If the child missed the opportunity to take the test in the fall of 4th grade (we only found out about the program at the end of the 4th grade), would there be another opportunity to enter the exam?Thank you!

Typically, the Prep for Prep program targets only students in 4th grade for the admissions process. However, we understand that exceptions may arise. We recommend reaching out to the Prep for Prep admissions office directly to discuss your child’s specific situation. They will be able to provide guidance on whether there are any alternative entry points or possibilities for your child to be considered for the program at a later stage.

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