NYC G&T testing questions... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-02-2010, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello!

DS and I are moving back to Manhattan this summer. He's entering kindergarten. I plan on testing him for the gifted and talented program.

ANY information on preparing for or taking these tests would be appreciated!!

Also, any information on anyone with little ones attending G&T programs in NYC (manhattan) would be appreciated!!
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#2 of 12 Old 06-03-2010, 06:31 AM
 
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You can not "prepare" for a gifted test; the child either needs the services or does not. Basically, they will need to make sure that they will have had a good breakfast and sleep before the test. If your child was anything like me, you will need to make sure that you walk them through the procedure of the test (which for Manhattan, I have no idea what that is) . This should be as little stress on the kiddo as possible, the more relaxed, the better results and by better I mean that a hungry, tired, sad, confused, scared etc gifted child will not qualify when really they are gifted. Many places don't even test until second grade.
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#3 of 12 Old 06-03-2010, 06:57 AM
 
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TeacherLady, I wish the world conformed to your first sentence -- but your remaining comments, which I think are accurate, undercut it. Whether a child understands the procedures, is rested and comfortable and willing to participate, surely does have an impact -- not necessarily by screening in kids who are not actually gifted, but in screening out some who are.

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#4 of 12 Old 06-03-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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From how I understand a recent post by Emmaegbert on this thread
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...oto=nextoldest
there is a large achievement component to the NYC testing process, which would benefit a child with some exposure to formal academics over a more highly gifted child which did not have that exposure.

MeDH DS1 10/06 DD 08/10 DS2 10/12with SB and
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#5 of 12 Old 06-03-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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Although theoretically you cannot prepare a child for these tests, there is a whole industry around preparing for them. Tutor costs per hour start at $100, materials and past tests can be obtained for large fees, there are schools which prepare for these tests. Obviously, only higher income families can afford this.
There have been articles in the New York Times recently attributing the record high scores in the 99th% this year to these tutoring programs.

Personally, i think its just a statistical fluke.

Im no expert on this area, but it would seem to me, that a child who is bright, will do well on the test, and may have a slight but not significant advantage if tutored. So personally, im not resentful of these cheating parents who prepare their child for a test, hoping to give them an unfair advantage over others. i do think its cheating. But i also understand why a parent would do this and i am not judging them. I know parents who want their child tutored because he is shy around strangers, another because their kid wont sit still.

That slight statistical difference might make the difference between your child getting into the sought after Anderson school, which only accepts 99th percentile. So if you have the time and the money, by all means, pay. I know people who did this, and their child didnt do so well. They are trying again next year.

My son scored in the 99th percentile with no preparation. I dont have the means to pay for these institutes and tutors and the like.

People didnt even believe he wasnt tutored, and some inferred that he was tutored at his preschool without my knowing. Thats New York for you.

There were two things that were different about my son on the day he was tested. The first is, i let him run around prior to the test in the nearby playground. I continued to let him giggle and play with his 20 mth old brother in the gym waiting area. The two of them ran around in circles and had a great time. Other kids were sitting very studiously at tables drawing with crayons. I could never force my son to do this even if i wanted to, and he's not that interested in drawing.
One little girl wanted to play with him, but her father wouldnt let her.

The second difference, my son finished the test early with a big smile on his face. He had a good time.

Maya

ps i dont mean to come off as judgmental towards you for wanting to prepare your child. I totally understand, and know plenty of parents who did this. Its the normal among those that can afford it. But i still think it undermines the system as a whole, and they are thinking of scrapping it for this reason.
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#6 of 12 Old 06-03-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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First of all, who came up with this idea that it is impossible to study for IQ tests? You can study for every other kind of test out there and improve so why would IQ tests be an exception? The questions the tests ask are based on skills you can easily improve on with some practice. Anyone who studies math can attest to this. Who's to say that somebody is smarter because they can get a high score without practice? Some people may be the type who start out below, but with some practice exceed those who don't need any practice. Some people have a more static type of skill set whereby practice doesn't seem to make a difference. Intelligence is very complicated.

Also, I'm skeptical of people who say that their child didn't prepare. Our world today is full of IQ boosting puzzles, toys, etc. that boost IQ which is one of the reasons behind the Flynn effect. One family who didn't prepare explicitly for the test may have more of an IQ boosting household in other ways. You just don't know.

And I don't think preparing for a test undermines anything. Tests are inherently flawed so it's not as if going in cold with no preparation is going to detect the 'truly' gifted anyway. Parents whose kids get in with what they consider no prep want to believe this because they want the programs that their child is in to be as exclusive as possible. People love to be a part of exclusive groups, only human nature here.
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#7 of 12 Old 06-04-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellababy View Post
Also, any information on anyone with little ones attending G&T programs in NYC (manhattan) would be appreciated!!
I've seen some posts on the Davidson boards from people with first-hand experience of NYC gifted programs. So that's another place you could ask, too.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/
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#8 of 12 Old 06-04-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
First of all, who came up with this idea that it is impossible to study for IQ tests? You can study for every other kind of test out there and improve so why would IQ tests be an exception? The questions the tests ask are based on skills you can easily improve on with some practice.
Of course it helps to be familiar with the types of questions. But familiarity with question type (as opposed to the specific content) will only go so far. I have a good friend who taught LSAT preparation for years, and he told me that most of his students improve by a few points, and very rarely does a student improve more than that. But my understanding is that in NYC the test preparation is commonly both of question type and of specific content. That can seriously skew test results, and I think that it is a mistake to characterize as elitist parents who simply want their children to have an appropriate education.
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#9 of 12 Old 06-04-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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We are also moving to NYC over the summer but have been using my parents' address so we did the testing last winter.

1/4 of the cumulative score they use for placement is the BSRA which is an achievement test and absolutely can be studied for. 3/4 is the OLSAT, an apparently rather crude IQ test or screening instrument (not originally developed for this age group either). As I posted in an earlier thread, I did not prep my son for it (other than the free questions they give with the form). He was 99th percentile on the IQ part, but his BRSA was 75, and that brought his total score down to 97th. In retrospect, we should have done some more practice (not tutors and prep and all that, but sensible just going over the material in the weeks before). Only 1/3-1/4 of the kids with 99s even get into the citywide programs (they are done by lottery). After that, slots are given out to kids by their ranked preference from high scores on down. So, the higher you score, the more likely to get into a good program. So there is plenty of incentive to prep even if it just gets your kid one point higher.

Since DS has a mid-November birthday and was entering 1st grade for public (i/e very few spots will be open) and had been accepted elsewhere, we didn't even pursue an application after that point... without a 99 total score for 1st grade there was pretty much no chance he'd get into any of the programs we really wanted for him.

There is a procedure for testing if you move in the summer. I don't know what programs will have space. It might be a good idea to try to move into an area with an excellent zoned general ed school, just in case you don't like the G&T school your DC gets into, or if there is no G&T placement available.

And there are long waitlists for most of the general ed K schools that people like (K is not compulsory in NYC so they don't have to guarantee a K spot I guess?)

We are actually sending our son to a new school for gifted kids, Speyer Legacy School. Its private but does have generous financial aid. We were impressed by the school but its brand new... so, definitely taking a chance on it.

Have you gone on urban baby? Its what it is, but you can get lots of info from other parents.

dissertating mom to three

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#10 of 12 Old 06-04-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
Of course it helps to be familiar with the types of questions. But familiarity with question type (as opposed to the specific content) will only go so far. I have a good friend who taught LSAT preparation for years, and he told me that most of his students improve by a few points, and very rarely does a student improve more than that. But my understanding is that in NYC the test preparation is commonly both of question type and of specific content. That can seriously skew test results, and I think that it is a mistake to characterize as elitist parents who simply want their children to have an appropriate education.
I noticed this with the math Praxis, too. There was really only one little area where my content knowledge was lacking. The hard part was the time limit and having to think critically about what each question was asking and which mathematical process to apply to each. I passed the test but probably could never score really high on it based upon the natural limits of my intelligence.

Mandy, mother to Alexandra (10/14/05) and William (12/21/07)
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#11 of 12 Old 06-04-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
But my understanding is that in NYC the test preparation is commonly both of question type and of specific content. That can seriously skew test results, and I think that it is a mistake to characterize as elitist parents who simply want their children to have an appropriate education.
well, I think it is elitist parents looking for better educational options, but then it also ends up encouraging many people who otherwise would not prep to do it. because the results are so skewed. I would be regretting my decision not to prep if my son hadn't gotten a spot at another great school.

And, its totally different situation than the LSAT. We are talking about very young kids- who haven't been in school, who haven't been tested, etc. Of course practice with the form and content could potentially raise their score. And it might not need to be a lot to make a difference. As I posted above, one or two points can be the deciding factor in what programs your kid will be eligible for. If you have a kid who is going to test pretty high anyway, those extra 1 or 2 points mean a lot.

dissertating mom to three

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#12 of 12 Old 06-05-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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Has anyone here read NurtureShock? There's a fascinating chapter on NYC's flawed early gifted testing and how it really skews toward those kids who are privileged and prepped rather than truly gifted. (Not saying there aren't truly gifted who test in, too.) Also says that at least 1/3 of the kids who test in at K wouldn't test in at 2nd and it's an even higher percentage later.

[That said, if I lived in NYC, I would do everything I could to get my child into the best school out there. So... if that meant test prepping, I would do it.]
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