Gifted and Talented Programs in NYC

What is the Gifted and Talented program?

By placing in the 90th or above percentiles, kindergarten through second-grade students who are New York City residents have the opportunity to become eligible for one of the city’s highly regarded Gifted and Talented programs.

What score does a student need to qualify?
A score in the 90th percentile is needed to be eligible for placement in a district G&T program and students who score in the 97th percentile are eligible for district and citywide G&T programs.

How are students tested?
The New York City Gifted and Talented Assessment uses the Otis Lennon School Ability Test-8th Edition (OLSTAT-8) to measure verbal reasoning, abstract thinking and logical reasoning skills and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test- 2nd Edition (NNAT-2) to measure critical thinking and problem solving skills.

What is on the NNAT-2?
The nonverbal assessment  (NNAT-2) is comprised of the following four types of questions:

  1.  pattern completion: the ability to perceive patterns and identify missing components;
  2.  reasoning by analogy: the ability to recognize ability among geometric shapes;
  3. serial reasoning: the ability to identify sequences
  4. spatial visualization: the ability to identify how two shapes would look when combined

What is on the OLSTAT?
The verbal assessment (OLSTAT) measures:

  1. verbal comprehension: the ability to interpret directions'
  2. verbal reasoning: the ability to identify patterns and solve problems using language

How does my child apply for the exam?

To apply to take the exam, visit The deadline is usually in November and tests are administered in January and February. 

What are the city-wide G&T schools?

NEST+M = New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math (K-12)
PS/IS/HS 539M – District 1
111 Columbia Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 677-5190
Brooklyn School of Inquiry
PS/IS 686K – District 20
50 Avenue P
Brooklyn, NY 11204
(718) 685-5730                 
PS 85, Judge Charles Vallone – District 30
23-70 31st Street
Queens, NY 11105
(718) 278-3630
TAG Young Scholars (Gr. K-8)
PS 12M – District 4
240 East 109th Street
New York, NY 10029
(212) 860-6003
The Anderson School (Gr. K-8)
PS/IS 334M – District 3
100 West 77th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 595-7193

Additional Resources:

New York City’s Dept. of Education Gifted & Talented Resources Page

Admission to New York City’s G&T Schools

New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math (NEST)

NEST is a kindergarten thru 12th grade school that is open to city-wide admissions but only admits students for kindergarten through third grades, sixth, ninth and tenth grades.

  • Lower School, K-3 admissions requirements: Students who score at or above the 97th percentile on the New York City Department of Education Gifted & Talented Program Test are eligible for a spot at NEST+m, but they are not guaranteed one.
  • Middle School, 6th grade admission requirements: In addition to taking the NEST+m 6th Grade Entrance Exam, applicants must also meet the following criteria:
    • Fourth grade final report card with an average of 88 or above or levels 3 & 4 in English, math,social studies, and science
    • Most recent 5th grade report card
    • Good attendance and punctuality in lower school
  • High School, 9th and 10th grade admissionsProspective students must take the Nest+m Entrance Exam in order to be considered for admission. The NEST 9th and 10th grade entrance exams will be given in November and December of 2014. To learn more visit,  In addition to the NEST+m Upper School Entrance Exam, applicants must also meet the following criteria:
      • Middle school report card with an average of 90 or above in English, math, social studies, and science
      • Seventh grade New York State ELA test (Levels: 3-4) 
      • Seventh grade New York State math test (Levels: 3-4)
      • Excellent attendance and punctuality in middle school

Preparing for the NEST+m middle and Upper School Entrance Exams
The Nest+m entrance exams measure middle school and high school preparedness. As with all tests, at Central Park Tutors we believe success on the NEST+m exams depends on mastery of the content, rather than learning tricks. Therefore, in preparation for the exam, Central Park Tutors’s tutors  guide students through the math and English content that they are likely to see on the exam. Students then practice applying their knowledge to the types of questions they will encounter on the exam.

Anderson School, PS 334
The Anderson School, PS 334, is a kindergarten through 8th grade gifted and talented school on the Upper West Side. Initial admissions are open to applications from students living anywhere in New York City, without regard to current school district, who meet the following initial criteria:

    • Kindergarten-Third Grade admissions is based on the NYC Department of Education G&T exam. Students must score in the 97th percentile and above to be considered.
    • Fourth and Fifth grade admissions are based on students’ scores on the state ELA and math exams
    • Sixth grade admission is based on high academic performance and good attendance in fourth and fifth grades and state exams scores. For 2014 admission, public school students must have achieved a minimum score on both the 4th and 5th grade New York State tests of 343 on English Language Arts  (10 wrong answers) and 350 on math (8 wrong answers).

If a child meets the above criteria for admissions s/he may then take Anderson's own admissions test given at the school which includes a writing assignment and math assessment.
At Central Park Tutors, we first focus on material suited to the student’s current grade to assess and build proficiency. From there, knowing that Anderson expects students to be comfortable with material that is suited for the grade above them, we prep at the level one grade above. In addition we use other types of tests such as the SSAT and ISEE and the Math Olympiad.

Mark Twain I.S. 239
Mark Twain, I.S. 239, has a unique testing system that requires that prospective students excel on exams in two of the following categories:

ART: The art test consists of three 30 minute sections. Part I asks the applicant to draw a still life using a  pencil. Part II asks the applicant to draw a scene from imagination using colored pencils and crayons. Part III is a writing section and asks applicants to compare and contrast two works of art.  All necessary supplies will be provided.

ATHLETICS: Applicants will be tested on their ability to perform a variety of physical education activities (including soccer dribble, basketball dribble, running, throwing, and catching) designed to determine coordination and balance, physical fitness, eye-hand coordination and motor skills. 

COMPUTER /MATHEMATICS:  Sixty percent of the the exam is math related and consists of mostly multi-step mathematical problem solving, puzzle and logic questions. Forty percent is computer related and measures students’ facility with a basic skill set in the application of computers, general use of the internet and students’ potential programming skills. This section covers computer vocabulary, familiarity with current events issues related to technology, reading comprehension of technical documentation, logical, sequential and iterative thinking skills.

CREATIVE WRITING/JOURNALISM: The exam consists of two parts. In Part One (40%), applicants answer forty multiple choice questions on a variety of topics including reading comprehension, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. In Part Two (60%), applicants write an original composition (choice of two topics) that will be evaluated on idea development, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, originality, creativity, writing mechanics and use of conventions.

DANCE: Applicants perform a 1-2 minute dance sequence with or without music that has been prepared at home.

DRAMA: Applicants prepare and perform a monologue and do a cold reading. They are judged on diction, expression, poise, characterization, mood, sincerity, interpretation, creativity, voice quality and directions, concentration, audience appeal and timing. The monologue will be sent to each applicant in advance and/or posted on their web site before testing begins.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC (Winds or Strings): Applicants are not required to have previous musical training and instead will take a specially designed written test of musical potential.

MEDIA: Applicants will be shown photographs and films and will then be given a written test on content, genre, aesthetic awareness, visual perception, and ability to solve visual problems.  Students will be tested on general photographic and video knowledge, including media on the internet, on television, and in the newspaper.

SCIENCE: Applicants will be given a multiple choice test dealing with science concepts and facts covered in grades four and five in biology, earth science, physics and chemistry. Question topics include the following: scientific method, experimentation, analysis and graph interpretation, problem solving, developing scientific hypotheses and logical thinking.

VOCAL MUSIC: Applicants are asked to demonstrate their vocal ability with a prepared song. Applicants are tested for their sense of pitch and rhythm with a listening test. They are asked to determine differences between rhythmic and melodic patterns played on the piano.

Hunter College Campus Schools

What are the Hunter College Campus Schools?
Hunter College Campus Schools (71 East 94th Street, NYC, 10128) are state funded schools that serve academically gifted students from elementary through high school.

Who may apply?
Hunter Elementary School is open to Manhattan residents only. The high school is open to all New York City residents.

Hunter Elementary School

When do students apply for Hunter Elementary School?
Kindergarten is the only year when students may enter Hunter College Elementary School. The admissions process will open on August 18th, 2014 for the class of 2015.

How many students are accepted to the kindergarten?
Each year the school receives approximately 2500 applications and admits 25 boys and 25 girls.

What exam is used for the Hunter Elementary School entrance exam?
Students are given a modified Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale- fifth edition (SB5).

What is on the SB5?
The SB5 measures fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing and working memory.

When should my child take the exam?
The SB5 is designed so that children are tested within two month blocks of their age, meaning a three year old will be tested relative to other three years olds and then to other 3 year and two month olds and then 3 year and four month olds etc... Since two months can mean a very significant developmental difference for a three year old, parents should arrange to have their children tested at as late as possible within each time block. For example, let’s say your child is 3 years. She might be better off if tested when she is 3 years and 15 weeks old then if tested when she 3 years and 9 weeks old.

What score will my child need to qualify for the second round?
Students must usually score in the 98.5 percentile and above.

For more information, contact Hunter College Elementary School at:

Telephone: (212) 860.1401
Email: [email protected]

Hunter High School

What is on the entrance exam?
The Hunter High School entrance exam tests students’ abilities in English and math. Students are given three hours to complete two multiple choice sections and a writing assignment. The English, or critical reading section is made up of six reading passages and fifty corresponding multiple choice questions.

The math section is made up of thirty multiple choice questions that test estimation, fractions, decimals, percents and whole numbers, rules of divisibility, simple probability, rate, average, ratio, time, money, area of shaded regions, perimeter, counting, visual and numerical pattern recognition and three dimensional figures. The writing assignment is either an essay or an autobiographical piece of up to two pages.

When is the exam?
The exam will be administered on January 11th 2019 (January 18th in the event of inclement weather).


To learn about our Gifted and Talented Test Prep Tutoring, please click here.

To learn more about tutoring in general, please click here.

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