Wondering how to Prepare for the NYC Gifted and Talented Test?
What is the NYC Gifted and Talented Test?
It’s important for parents to understand the intent and content of the G&T test to best prepare their child for the entrance exam. The New York City Gifted and Talented (G&T) Entrance Exam consists of two components, the Otis–Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2), both of which are weighted equally in calculating your child’s percentile score. The OLSAT tests students’ verbal comprehension and reasoning skills, such as their ability to follow multi-step oral directions. It also tests students’ abilities to think abstractly and make connections using verbal cues. The NNAT2 tests students’ nonverbal problem-solving skills, such as: their abilities to perform spatial visualization, serial reasoning, pattern completion, and reasoning by analogy.
How to Prepare
There are two sets of challenges your child will face when taking the G&T exam. The first, and most important one, is the test of their problem solving abilities and their knowledge of foundational concepts. The second challenge they face is being able to perform their skills in an unfamiliar setting and format. Test preparation booklets can only familiarize your child with the exam format. That is why at FasTracKids we believe success on the test is not a result of cramming before the test, but a result of a continued success commitment in a child’s education. Investing in early childhood education pays huge dividends for getting students in the Gifted & Talented program in school.
How FasTracKids can Prepare your Child for the Gifted and Talented Test
FasTracKids’ programs help to cultivate creative problem solving abilities and invest your child with knowledge needed for the test. Our programs not only teach foundational concepts – such as sequence ordering, pattern completion, and similarity and difference identification– but they also reinforce these concepts throughout every subject, allowing students to learn these skills in new and exciting ways. FasTracKids’ zigzag learning approach employs visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching techniques to accommodate different learning styles and to reinforce concepts without repetition.
Our program also seeks to expose children to a wide variety of objects, people, jobs, and situations and is proven to increase children’s vocabularies. Dr. Georgia Hall, as part of Wellesley College’s National Institute on Out-of-School Time, writes that findings of the college’s study “illustrate the important link between FasTracKids curriculum and children’s performances in vocabulary and social skills” (Hall). Such exposure to multiple life scenarios and world cultures as well as the development of children’s vocabularies are important for G&T testing as the exam may ask a child to identify unfamiliar public figures, items, or concepts. Our program’s attention to the development of childhood social skills also helps to cultivate children’s confidence in their answers and their understanding of appropriate classroom behavior. This helps children avoid wrong answers based on poor attention or shaky confidence.
A long-term investment in increasing your child’s vocabulary, ability to follow oral directions, and problem solving skills is especially important for the exam because of changes in the scoring system. Previously, student’s verbal scores were only weighted as 35% of the over-all percentile, now, however, the verbal will be weighed at 50%. This means that your child’s ability to perform verbal reasoning and problem solving will be more important than it was for previous classes.
Our G&T Preparation Course Familiarizes your Child with the Test Format
After having developed the necessary foundational knowledge and skills through our other programs, our fourteen week G&T Preparation course will help familiarize your child with the test format and teach them how to best apply their knowledge and skills on the test. Our G&T program differs from other programs because of its classroom setting and use of interactive, auditory, visual, and kinesthetic teaching techniques. Our program uses a combination of lecture, video, interactive games, props, and test-format written work to teach your child needed concepts in multiple ways. This approach keeps children’s attention fixed and ensures that students who learn differently understand each concept fully. The at-home component also allows family members to reinforce our lessons week to week, giving children the opportunity to learn in yet another way. Our program is also designed to teach children to sit, and pay attention, for the test’s full length. Throughout our program, we slowly increase the time students are asked to sit and work independently (with teacher guidance when needed), helping students to gradually develop the attention skills needed for the exam.
Taking it Further
The FasTracKids programs cultivate foundational knowledge, problem solving skills, and familiarity with a classroom setting while our G&T Preparation course familiarizes your child with the test format and teaches your child to use their knowledge and skills in an exam setting. Through these programs, our center seeks to address the major sets of challenges your child faces when taking the G&T test and to help your child perform their best on the test day.
Written by Dave Nagar, Queens Enrichment | member FTKny.com