NYC Gifted and Talented Test
Admissions for kindergarten through third grade for the NYC Gifted and Talented Program are based on the student’s scores on the NYC Gifted and Talented Test. For fourth and fifth grade, the admissions are based on state test scores. We will focus on the NYC Gifted and Talented Test below.
Two Tests: OLSAT® and NNAT®
The NYC Gifted and Talented Test is actually two tests – the OLSAT and NNAT. You can more detailed information for these tests in our OLSAT Portal and our NNAT Portal; below is a brief overview of the tests.
The OLSAT tests your child’s verbal abilities. Your child will have to pay close attention and listen carefully to oral instruction. Tasks such as finding differences and similarities, remembering words and numbers, word definitions, following directions, recognizing sequences, and arithmetic will be tests. There are two “categories” of verbal questions:
- Verbal comprehension measures the ability to process information through listening to language
- Verbal reasoning measures the ability to discover patterns/relationships and solve problems using language
The NNAT tests your child’s nonverbal abilities – how your child reasons without the use of spoken language. There are four kinds of questions on the NNAT:
- Pattern completion measures the ability to recognize and insert missing pieces into patterns
- Reasoning by analogy measures your child’s ability to recognize relationships among geometric shapes
- Serial reasoning measures the ability to recognize sequences among shapes
- Spatial visualization tests your child’s ability to recognize how two objects will look when combined
How the Test is Administered
This section will describe how the test is given to your child. If you are looking for info on how the admissions process works, including signing up for testing, please visit our NYC Gifted and Talented Program page.
The NYC gifted and talented test is administered either individually or in a small group. Students entering kindergarten only have to point to the correct answer, whereas older students have to fill in a bubble sheet with the correct answer.
|Grade Student is Entering||Group Size||How Student Answers Question|
|First Grade||Up to 5 Students||Bubble Sheet|
|Second Grade||Up to 10 Students||Bubble Sheet|
|Third Grade||Up to 20 Students||Bubble Sheet|
There is no time limit for taking the NYC gifted and talented test, so students can go at their own pace. Although there’s no time limit, the proctor can end the student’s examination if they feel like the student is not actively working to finish the exam. Therefore it is imperative that your child is able to focus for the 1 to 2 hours it will take to complete the exam.
Additional Testing Accommodations
Certain students with individual needs can request additional accommodations for the test. The most common are:
- Large print exam materials for students with visual impairments
- FM units for students with hearing impairments
- Scribes for students with fine or gross motor skills (most commonly for 1st grade and above)
- Separate locations
- Alternate language exam forms (see below for list of languages)
Due to the strict requirements for a consistent testing experience for all students, certain accommodations will not be granted:
- Extended time is unnecessary since the test is not timed.
- Test questions will not be read more than once during the OLSAT. This would mean that the test is not accurately measuring the child’s focus and listening skills.
- Exam questions or direction explained. This is not provided because the test administrators must follow the testing script for every student.
Here are the languages that the NYC gifted and talented test is administered in:
- Chinese Cantonese
- Chinese Mandarin
- Haitian Creole
How the NYC Gifted and Talented Test is Scored
Admissions to the G&T program in NYC requires a score of 90 for district wide programs and 97 for citywide programs. For more details on admissions, visit our overview of admission here.
So, what goes into determining your child’s score?
The OLSAT and NNAT are weighed evenly when determining the final score, but they are not simply averaged together. For each test, the DOE considers your child’s age and number of questions they answered correctly to when determining what is called the scaled score for your child. This score is then converted to a percentile rank, between 1 and 99. The percentile is a measure of how your child stands relative to his or her peers – a percentile rank of 50 means your child performed better than 50% of his or her peers.
The two percentile ranks are then converted to an overall score, using what is called a Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE). The NCE ensures that the score is an accurate representation of your child, and allows students who perform extremely well on one test but poorly on another to qualify for entrance into the NYC gifted and talented programs. In 2017, a student in the 99th percentile for NNAT but the 58th percentile for the OLSAT still received a total score of 90, thus qualifying for district wide programs.
You can view how the DOE converts percentile scores into the NCE score here.
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:
- NYC Gifted and Talented Program
- NYC Gifted and Talented Schools
- Best Methods for NYC Gifted and Talented Test Prep
- Sample NYC Gifted Practice Questions