Understanding The NYC G&T Scene

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Many parents want to see their kids pursue a G&T education. Here’s what you need to know.


New York City’s Gifted & Talented—“G&T”—program is a sought-after K to 5 opportunity for select city kids from all five boroughs. Designed to support gifted students and ensure they maximize their public education early on, G&T enables kids to join both district and city-wide programs—programs developed with the unique needs of G&T students in mind.

Curious about the G&T program and wondering if it’s right for your child? Read on…


What is the Gifted & Talented program?

NYC’s Gifted & Talented program—“G&T” program was designed to help high-achieving, gifted students between Kindergarten and 5th grade. In a typical public school setting, these high-performing and highly curious students might not be intellectually challenged enough—the G&T program gives them the academic challenges they need to grow and thrive.

There are two types of G&T programs in NYC’s public schools:


1. District Programs
Here, G&T students take courses in the main areas of study together. However, classes such as art and PE may be shared with non-G&T students.


2. Citywide Programs
In these school, every student is G&T.


Who’s eligible for the G&T program?

In order to apply for the G&T program in NYC, you have to be a resident of NYC. Your child must be entering any grade from Kindergarten to 3rd grade in the upcoming school year.


If your child meets these criteria, they must score above a certain benchmark on the G&T test to qualify to apply to the program. Currently, kids need a 90 or higher to qualify for district programs, and a 97 or higher for citywide programs.


What’s the G&T Test all about?

The G&T test is the qualifying test to apply for the program. During the test, your child is assessed in both non-verbal and verbal skills. In the verbal section, your child’s comprehension and reasoning abilities are put to the test through a variety of different oral instructions. Some of this section’s tasks include:



Recall information

Detecting differences between two visuals/objects

Tasks involving following verbal directions


In the non-verbal section, your child will be assessed on their ability to solve problems without oral instruction. Some of this section’s tasks include:


Connecting ideas


Tests aren’t timed, so your child can work at their own pace.


To participate, you must submit a Request for Testing during the fall—usually by early November. This will ensure your child can test in January.


How do I apply to G&T schools?

You will receive your child’s score in April. Assuming your child earns a qualifying score, you’ll also receive a G&T program application.


Before you apply to G&T programs, reach out directly to some G&T schools and see if they have any special events or open houses going on so you can learn more about prospective schools. When you’re ready to apply, be sure all materials are submitted by the school’s spring deadline. Your G&T application will tell you your deadline, so make sure to apply before then.


Where will my child be placed?

Placement occurs during June. Your child’s placement depends on a variety of factors. If your child is accepted to one of your target programs, you can reach out to the school in question and set up a time to pre-register your child.


However, due to the extremely competitive nature of G&T programs, your child is likely to be waitlisted by a few schools. If you didn’t land your first choice, all programs above your best G&T offer will place your child on the waitlist in case a spot opens up. If your child didn’t get any offers, they’ll be waitlisted for any programs you’ve applied to.


What if my child doesn’t make the G&T in Kindergarten?

G&T programs are extremely competitive—there tend to be many more qualified G&T applicants than there are program seats. Your child will be wait-listed at any programs prioritized higher than your first offer—from there, you have to play the waiting game.


If your child isn’t accepted to any programs in Kindergarten, don’t worry—you can always apply again for next year. As long as your child is going into 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade, you can apply for the upcoming school year.


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