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NYC Gifted and Talented Programs

NYC Gifted and Talented

New York City offers two types of gifted and talented programs for children in kindergarten through 5th grade. The NYC Gifted and Talented Program is designed to foster the needs of exceptional students, identified either by their results on the NYC Gifted and Talented Test (for students entering kindergarten through third grade) or based on the student’s New York State test scores (for students entering fourth or fifth grade).

The material on this page will cover the program itself and admissions into the program. You can view more about individual schools on our page for Gifted and Talented Schools in NYC.

What is the Gifted and Talented Program in NYC?

There are two types of gifted and talented programs within New York City, the Citywide Program and the District Program. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between the programs:

District ProgramsCitywide Programs
Admission Requirements (K-3)Score of 90 or higher (though in practice, 95 or higher)Score of 97 or higher (though in practice, score of 99 or higher)
Classroom FormatClassrooms for G&T Program AND General Ed Programs (classes like art and gym may be a mix from both programs)All Classrooms for G&T
Boroughs with ProgramsAll BoroughsNo Schools in Bronx or Staten Island
Student Home LocationStudents living in district are high priorityStudents residing in all part of the city, including Bronx and Staten Island, may attend
Total # Of seats available (2017)~2,500~300
Total # of Applicants (2017)34,90234,902
Applicants per Seat14116

NYC Gifted and Talented Curriculum

There is no standardized curriculum across the NYC Gifted and Talented program other than that they must meet Common Core Learning Standards for math and English Language Arts and meet New York State Learning Standards for other subjects. While the programs are not standardized, there are some common features among them:

  • Adapt and modify instruction to meet the needs of different types of students
  • Use specific instructional learning protocols such as Pinnell System, Math in the City, Everyday Math, Full Option Science System
  • Accelerate the curriculum found in general ed
  • Take a deeper dive into material
  • Encourage students to work above their grade level

Since it is up to the school to come up with its own curriculum and offerings, they may choose a school-wide focus on a certain discipline, like science, technology, or the arts. Some schools may also offer certain classes not found in others, like chess, or violin lessons. If your child is eligible to apply to multiple schools with a G&T program, you should go to the school and ask about their curriculum. For more details about schools, visit our NYC Gifted and Talented Schools page.

Admissions Process for NYC G&T

The admissions process for the NYC has many deadlines, and missing any of them could severely impact your child’s education. Admissions are based on test scores – kindergarten through third grade are based on the NYC Gifted and Talented Test and fourth and fifth grade are based on state tests.

Below is an overview for the timeline of the admissions process for K-3:

  • September: School begins
  • October: Register online with the DOE to select test location and time.
  • October: DOE parent information sessions
  • January-February: Child takes the test
  • April: Child’s results mailed to parents
  • April-May: School tours and applications submitted online for qualified students
  • May-June: Final placement letters sent to parents

Click to view our admissions timeline infographic:

NYC Gifted and Talented PRocess

There is less to do for admissions into the fourth and fifth grade G&T programs. You need to submit a request for placement, generally sometime in August, either online or by mail. Not all schools accept applicants for the 4th and 5th grade G&T programs! Additionally, only schools that are K-6 or K-8 accept applications for placement for 5th graders.

Admission Rates by Grade

It’s easier to get admitted into the NYC Gifted and Talented Program if your child is in a lower grade, with the offer rate for kindergarten being more than double that of third grade. Therefore, if you are unsure if your child should apply to the program, you are better off applying, rather than waiting until the following school year to apply. You can always drop out of the G&T program if you find that it isn’t the right fit for your child, but in practice very few parents do this.

Applying GradeTestedEligible% EligibleOffers% Of Eligible Receiving an Offer

Additional Resources for Preparing for NYC G&T Admissions

TestingMom.com offers select free materials for research on the NYC Gifted and Talented Program. TestingMom.com members can access practice materials, a list of NYC tutors we recommend, and can call or e-mail our Parent Success Team for any needs specific to their individual children. Below are more free resources we offer:

Additional Resources by Grade

Tell Us Your Experiences

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5 Responses

Irene says:

What does applicant per seat mean?
There is G&T program for 4th and 5th? How does it work? Can 3rd grader apply for 4th grade G&T? How many schools have 4th and 5th program?

Thank you!!!

TestingMom.com says:

There currently is no entry point for 4th and 5th grade G&T classes. The existing 3rd graders go into the 4th grade – there isn’t a set process to let new kids into the program for 4th and 5th grade.

Tiffany says:

What tips do you have for the mother of a 1y/o to help find the best school for our child and then increase her chances for admission? Starting early!


Luciana says:

My son is currently in 1st grade and i want to buy some of the prep workbooks you sell online. Since I am new to the city and know nothing about G&T tests, should I buy level 7 or level 8 workbooks? Thank you in advance!

TestingMom.com says:

Hi Luciana – you can buy gifted and talented workbooks for CogAT and other tests at our store. https://www.testingmom.com/store – at the bottom of the page