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Test Prep Helps Kids Vie for Slots in Gifted Kindergarten Programs

A recent New York Times article describes an interesting trend in test preparation: getting 3-and 4-year-olds competitive for gifted-and-talented public kindergarten programs.

Traditionally, test-preparation classes have been used by students gearing up to take the SATs or entrance exams for law school, graduate school, and medical school, the article said. But parents concerned with the state of public education are signing up their young kids for these prep classes so they can land coveted spots in the city's gifted programs, since the recession has made private school more out of reach, the article said.

The article mentioned Bright Kids NYC, as an example of such programs. It opened this spring in the city's financial district and has about 200 students receiving tutoring, most of them for gifted exams, for up to $145 a session, and 80 children on a waiting list for a weekend "boot camp" program, the article said.

The article said these kind of businesses have been popping up around the country, but have taken off in New York City since the city began using the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, or Olsat, a reasoning exam, and the Bracken School Readiness Assessment, a knowledge test, the universal tests for gifted admissions beginning in 2008.

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