Inside the Test Prep Industry for NYC Gifted Programs

Monday, June 09, 2014 - 04:00 AM

Oscar Ripley attended a test-prep center before taking the G&T placement tests (Photo provided by family)

Families had to register by Friday for a gifted and talented program if they were among the lucky ones to have received an offer for next school year.

For most families a G&T offer is a golden-ticket moment, a chance to put their children on an enriched academic track. While the application process has closed for this cycle, the fast-growing test prep industry never stops. We get inside a G&T test prep center to hear how young children drill to ace the tests.


Will Huntsberry


Comments [4]

Bryan S from NYC

We are preparing for our kindergartener's placement test. It doesn't have to be so serious. There are some test prep apps out there for example. My favorite is KidWiz. It has a great variety of test questions and my daughter thinks it is fun.

Sep. 30 2014 02:04 PM
East Side Mama from NYC

I have no faith in the accuracy of a test for giftedness designed for a child who has barely left the toddler years; however the ability to sit still and focus and take instruction is probably and learn from mistakes is probably an accurate gauge for which child is going to thrive in a challenging academic environment. I don't see how prepping a child for this exam somehow disqualifies his score.

Jun. 09 2014 07:18 PM
Deborah from Astoria, NY

"For most families a G&T offer is a golden-ticket moment, a chance to put their children on an enriched academic track." This is the biggest and most detrimental misconception of both parents of 3-year-olds and parents of non-G&T kids. G&T education is not a "golden ticket", it is the appropriate education for many children, the same way General or Special Education serves the appropriate learning needs of children in those classes. Children in G&T classes struggle and work hard and succeed and fail the same as any other child in any other class. Being in a G&T class does not guarantee any child's future, and it could be the exact wrong place for a child who passes a questionable test at 4 years old. I completely agree that the entry process into these classes is flawed, for many reasons, and no one should be pressuring 3 and 4-year-olds with "test prep" and the like. Even if it did guarantee academic and life success....which it doesn't. I just wish the misconception that kids in G&T somehow have a leg up, or don't need resources or advocacy would be clarified.

Jun. 09 2014 04:45 PM

My bilingual Hispanic child (NOT TRAINED to take the test) was among the lucky ones to be offered a seat in a citywide G&T. She scored 99 percentile. Also my teen daughter who is in high school, attended to a city wide program. In the article
from DNAinfo NEw York article, April 4th, 2014 the co-founder of Testing Mom and the founder of Bright Kids NYC stated something about testing disadvantage in multicultural and children who do not speak English at home.. I feel this is irresponsible and complete false statement because the test was given in many languages. Also I able to tell you that there is myth by my own experience as a parent with two gifted children who speaks only Spanish at home since English is my second language. My opinion, which I am entitled to have one, is if a child is truly gifted and talented, parents do not need to spend thousand of dollars to try to get your child into the G&T program. I believe if a child is trained to score 99 percentile. At the end of the road the only person who may be harmed is the child because he/she may struggle to keep up with the rigorous and high demands of the G&T program. As parents we want the best for our children, but at the same time we don't want to see our kids struggling. Best of luck to every one.

Jun. 09 2014 10:57 AM

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