Navigating the admissions process to both the public and private school systems can be daunting. Depending on the child’s age, parents have to submit applications with supporting materials which may include transcripts, personal statements, and recommendations from teachers and friends. Children have to take standardized tests to enroll in most private schools and selective public schools. Parents will visit several schools during which time they may be interviewed by administrators and/or teachers. Finally, children are often interviewed to allow the schools to determine whether they are a good fit. Although the application process typically begins after Labor Day one year before the child will enroll in school, parents have to decide to which schools to apply much earlier to allow for sufficient time to complete the applications and gather the appropriate materials.
Elementary School Entrance Exams
Most private and selective public elementary schools require their applicants to take an entrance exam. The private schools require students to take a standardized test commonly called the “ERBs”. To enroll in a district or citywide Gifted and Talented Program, children must take the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT). Hunter College Elementary School requires the Stanford-Binet test. Please look at the handout section near the bottom of this page to learn more about the elementary school entrance exams.
More Information about the Admissions Process
To obtain more detailed information about applying to private schools, please click on the Private School Admissions Process link.
To learn more about the registration rules and requirements of the New York City public school system , please click on the Public School Education Process link.
Please see the handout section near the bottom of the parent guide to learn tips regarding the school tours, student and parent interviews, reference letters, entrance exams, admissions officers' pet peeves, admissions decisions as well as financial aid and scholarships.