For 2012-2013 testing season, the NYC Department of Education just announced that it will keep OLSAT going forward and will switch the Bracken with the NNAT®2. Bracken is a knowledge test, while the NNAT®2 is a non-verbal ability test. The test is rather complex and consists of 4 different types of non-verbal skills such as pattern completions, analogical reasoning as well as serial reasoning and spatial visualization. It typically takes about 30 minutes to administer 48 questions.
This is a welcome change, since Bracken, a knowledge test, does not test for giftedness. However, a NNAT®2 test that is given in many parts of the country, is designed more for testing for giftedness and does not require any verbal skills. Given NYC’s diverse population, NNAT®2 is not only a better measure of raw intelligence, but also does not discriminate against kids whose first language is not English.
The end result? We believe there will be fewer 99s and the Bracken will no longer artificially raise the children’s score since the NNAT®2 is a more difficult test and is a better measure of raw intellectual ability. Also the total testing time will increase and will be now closer to one hour, rather than 45 minutes for Kindergarten entry as the NNAT®2 takes about 30 minutes to administer compared to 15 minutes for the Bracken. In a nutshell, verbal ability or knowledge will no longer required to qualify for a G&T program.
At Bright Kids we have been tutoring for the NNAT®2 for the last year in other parts of the country and have already made the necessary adjustments for our Gifted and Talented Curriculum due to our new office that will officially be open in Chicago this summer- a heavy NNAT®2 testing community. Our tests and a video on the NNAT®2 and our books can be found HERE.
Our NNAT®2 workbook will be out by early May that will have over 300 practice questions.
See the quote below from the NY Times Article from today’s paper:
“The city will continue to administer the Olsat, which tests verbal and pictorial-reasoning abilities. A couple of years ago, the city, seeking to even the playing field a bit, began distributing a small list of sample Olsat questions free (one reasoning question uses pictures and the example of a road and a car to ask what goes with railroad tracks).”
“But the new process has come under scrutiny for its complete reliance on the test — actually two exams, the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, or Olsat, a reasoning exam, and the Bracken School Readiness Assessment, a knowledge test.
In January, the city awarded Pearson a three-year contract for roughly $5.5 million to replace the Bracken exam with the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, which city education officials contend will better measure ability. The contract places restrictions on Pearson’s ability to sell its test materials to anyone outside the Education Department, to make it harder for test-preparation companies to get their hands on them.
The city will continue to administer the Olsat, which tests verbal and pictorial-reasoning abilities. A couple of years ago, the city, seeking to even the playing field a bit, began distributing a small list of sample Olsat questions free (one reasoning question uses pictures and the example of a road and a car to ask what goes with railroad tracks).”