Questions and Answers

Young Scholars

 Another Young Scholar Tutoring strives to help our parents acquire the knowledge they
need to assist their children in the everyday struggles of growing up and learning. Education is the key to success, and we believe that an educated parent is better equipped to raise the young scholars of tomorrow.

Another Young Scholar Tutoring has put together this page to help answer the questions
on your mind, and questions that we feel are important to help make your job a little easier as a parent.
These are some of the more common questions ask by Another Young Scholar parents on a daily basis.
If you have a question that is not addressed below, please feel free to Contact Us for additional help.

Questions and Answers on this page are updated weekly.  Visit this page frequently to stay abreast of all your needs and concerns.  We try our hardest to keep the content new and accurate. We collect data from many different sources and bring them all on one easy to read Q&A page for your viewing pleasure. 

 What is the Rationale For Untimed Testing Conditions? 


Pearson decided to make the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Tenth Edition (Stanford 10) an untimed test for several compelling reasons. First, 48 of the 50 states require the administration of high-stakes assessments that, rather than testing speediness, allow students to show what they know and can do when measured against criterion-referenced standards. Second, research reviewed and summarized by Tindal and Fuchs (2000) examined two factors in assessment, ability and rate of answering, and found ability to be
more valid. Third, Pearson conducted its own empirical study that examined timed vs. untimed testing conditions and found that the amount of time allowed to complete the test had little bearing on student performance. Finally, a focus on accommodated, standards based assessments is supported by the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

What were the results of  Pearson’s Study of Timed vs. Untimed Testing Conditions?  

Pearson’s research design was planned to determine if administering Stanford 10 under both timed and untimed conditions would affect test results differentially. Students taking part in the 2002 standardization of Stanford 10 were tested under untimed conditions. Separate groups of students (approximately 150 classrooms nationwide at each grade level) were tested under timed conditions. To ensure equivalent samples, students in the timed group were selected to represent the same sampling strata as the larger untimed standardization group. The variables matched included ability levels, gender, ethnicity, urban vs. rural, and disability with and without
accommodations, as well as timed vs. untimed conditions. Differences in average raw scores for students tested under timed vs. untimed conditions were very small. In the majority of cases, the differences amounted to less than one raw score point. According to Brooks (2003), students tested under untimed conditions showed improved performance through grade 6. However, students above grade 6
actually performed slightly better under timed conditions.

How do I know if my child is gifted?  

Here is the short list from the U.S. Office of Gifted and Talented. These are the folks who administer the public school gifted and talented programs. A typical gifted preschooler (age 2-5) will exhibit the following:

  • Uses advanced vocabulary for age.
  • Uses spontaneous verbal elaboration with new experiences.
  • Has the ability to make interesting or unusual shapes or patterns through various media: blocks, play dough, crayons.
  • Ability to assemble puzzles designed for older children.
  • Sense of humor used in general conversation.
  • Understanding of abstract concepts such as death and time.
  • Mastery of new skills with little repetition.
  • Demonstration of advanced physical skills.
  • Demonstration of advanced reasoning skills through explanation of occurrences.

What is the difference between, Gifted and Very Bright?  

Sometimes it's difficult to discern whether a child is truly gifted, and therefore in need of special services in order to thrive, or simply very bright and well-served by the traditional classroom setting. Remember, a gifted child is not necessarily a model student.

  • A bright child will know the answers, but a gifted child asks the question. 
  • Bright children are interested. Gifted children are extremely curious.
  • A bright child will pay attention, while a gifted one will get involved physically and mentally - often not seeming to pay attention, but taking in information anyway.
  • Bright kids work hard and gifted kids play around but still get good grades and test scores.
  • Bright children answer all the questions while gifted children question all the answers.
  • Bright kids have same-age peers. Gifted kids prefer adults and older kids.
  • A bright child memorizes easily. A gifted child is good at guessing the right answer.
  • A bright child learns with ease, but a gifted child gets bored because he already knew the answers.
  • Bright children listen well. Gifted children express strong feelings and opinions.
  • Bright kids are self-satisfied, but gifted kids are highly self-critical and perfectionist.

 What is the New York State Math Exam?  

The New York State Math Exam is given in March of each year to students in grades 3-8. This test assesses each student’s ability to
perform and meet the New York State standards for their specific grade level. The fourth and eight-grade State Math tests contain
multiple choice questions and questions are aligned the New York State Math standards. The New York State Math Exam is timed
and given over the course of three days. The fourth grade students have 40 minutes to complete 30 questions. The performance
assessment components are 50 minutes each. The eighth grade State Math test is also timed and given over a course two days.
Students have 35 minutes to complete multiple choice questions. The two performance assessment components are 35 and 70 minutes.

What is the New York State Science Exam?  

The New York State Science Exam is given at the end each year to students in grade 4 and 8. The New York State grade 4 exam
has two parts. Part I consists of 30 multiple choice questions. Part II consists of 12 open ended questions. The highest amount of
points a student can receive on the New York State Science Exam is 45. Part I contains 30 multiple choice question which are worth
one point each. Part II contains 12 open ended questions which range from 1 to 3 points each. Part III consists of hands on
experiments and is given to 4th and 8th graders between early April and May of each year. The New York State grade 8 exam has
two parts. Part I consists of 45 multiple choice questions. Part II consists of 36 open ended questions. The highest amount of points
a student can receive on the New York State Science Exam is 45. Part I contains 30 multiple choice question which are worth one
point each. Part II contains 12 open ended questions which range from 1 to 3 points each. The 4th and 8th grade science exams are
based on the New York State Science Standards. This exam assesses each student’s ability to perform on grade level in science. 

What is the New York State Social Studies Exam? 

The New York State Social Studies Exam is given at in November each year to students in grade 5. The New York State grade 5 exam has three parts. Part I and II contains 35 multiple-choice questions, 60 % 4th grade content and 40% 3rd grade content, and several short answer response questions. The students have 90 minutes to complete this section of the test. Section 2, Part IIIA: consists of document-based short answer questions, also known as scaffolding. This part of the exam contains the documents followed by one or more short answer questions. Part IIIB: consists of the document based essay. The students have 90 minutes to complete this section of the test.

What is the New York State Regents Exam?  

The New York State Regents Exams are high school assessments that are given to students seeking high school regents credit through the New York State Education Department designed and administered under the authority of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. Regent’s exams are prepared by a conference of selected New York teachers of each tests specific discipline who assemble a "test map" that highlights the skills and knowledge required from the specific discipline's learning standards. The conferences meet and design the tests three years before the tests' issuance which includes time for field testing and evaluating testing questions.

What does gifted and talented mean in New York State?  

The New York State Department of Education gives each student standards-based instructional practices that allow each student to excel at an exceptional capacity to display their creative ability. Gifted and talented programs vary across districts and begin in kindergarten or first grade. The boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn begin in kindergarten. However, in the boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island begin in the first grade. Gifted and talented students are identified after a rigorous testing process and are placed in gifted and talented programs located in various schools throughout New York City. 

What does it mean to be New York State Certified?  

New York State teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel service providers are required to hold a New York State certificate in order to be employed in the State’s public schools. The certificates are issued by the Office of Teaching Initiatives, and certify that an individual has met required degree, coursework, assessment, and experience requirements. Certificates are issued in a number of titles in three major categories: classroom teaching, administrative and supervisory, and pupil personnel service (e.g., school counselor, psychologist, social worker).

 What does Home-bound Tutoring Services mean?  

Home-bound Tutoring Services means that your child will be tutored in the privacy of your home. Coursework is aligned to state and district standards. Student work is individualized and self-paced. State certified teachers in all academic disciplines are available and have flexible hours. Tutoring builds test taking skills for State Standardized Tests. Tutoring is available in English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Life Skills, Vocational Training and most electives.

What is a virtual classroom?

          A Virtual Classroom is private online space, using a white board on your computer, that teachers can use to support student learning. It is accessible via the Internet, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just like your face–to–face classroom, a Virtual Classroom is a busy place. A typical lesson may include an assessment, multiple- choice questions, test preparation, higher order thinking questions, homework help, quizzes, puzzles, or games.

What is the SAT?  

The SAT is a standardized test, formerly called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and the Scholastic Assessment Test. The SAT is used by most colleges and universities in the United States to assist them in selecting incoming freshmen. The SAT is strictly administered by the College Board and offered several times each year.

What is a GED?  

The acronym GED stands for General Educational Development Diploma. The GED is also the equivalent to high school diploma. Many students who fail to meet high school requirements apply for the GED. The GED is awarded when a student passes a series of tests in five academic subjects. In order to pass each test, the student must score higher than 60% of the sample set of graduating seniors. Generally, students need to spend a considerable amount of time studying for the exams.

What are the eligibility requirements?  

To be eligible to take the summer tests required for consideration for the District-based and Citywide Gifted & Talented Programs and Schools in the 2009-2010 school year, the student must be entering grade K or 1 and must visit a Borough Enrollment Center to establish that residency in New York City became effective after the testing for New York City public school students and Non-public school students living in New York City was completed (February 15, 2009).

When and how will placements be made?  

Eligible students will be considered for placement based on meeting the eligibility requirements (total G&T score at or above the 90th percentile for district programs, and total G&T score at or above the 97th percentile for citywide programs) and student’s ranked score order in conjunction with seat availability within their zoned district. Please note: There is no guarantee of a placement offer based on summer testing as there are limited seats.
By August 31, 2009 families of eligible students who can be offered placements will be notified.
Families of students who cannot be offered placements in 2009 will be notified by USPS mail.  


What is the New York State ELA?

           The English Language Arts Exam is given in January of each year to students in grades 3-8. This test assesses each student’s ability to read, write, and listen. The ELA is a three day assessment given in three different booklets over the course of three days. Book 1 the students have 55 minutes to complete multiple choice questions. Book 2 the students have 45 minutes to listen to a passage twice, take notes, write three short responses, complete a graphic, and one extended response. Book 3 the students have 60 minutes to read two passages, write 3 short responses, complete a graphic, and one extended response. Every 6th grade student in the state of New York is mandated to take this assessment.

What are the NYS ELA Standards? Where can they be found?

            There are four New York State English Language Arts (ELA) Standards. Students will read, write, listen, and speak for: (1) information and understanding; (2) literary response and expression, (3) critical analysis and evaluation; and (4) social interaction. The State Education Department provides information about the learning standards, the K-12 core curriculum and assessment information at the following sites:

Where can parents find information about the State ELA exams? 

          A parent guide explains the testing program for grades 3-8. The guide provides information about the New York State Standards. The guide also describes the tests and explains how the tests measure student achievement. Finally, the guide offers answers to many of the frequently asked questions about the test. This parent guide can be found at:

What is the EPAL?  

The E-PAL 2 is an untimed assessment of writing in response to literature.  It is administered over a two-day period (approximately 45 minutes on Day 1 and one hour on Day 2).  The classroom teacher administers and scores this assessment. On the first day, students listen to the teacher read a passage; on the second day, students read a passage. On each day, the students answer two questions: a graphic organizer question and an extended-response question. E-PAL 2 responses are used to evaluate students’ understanding of the stories or articles they heard or read and how well they express their understanding in writing. The assessment will be administered to students in grades 2 and 3 from May 11 – 29. 

What is meant by "best practices" in the Social Studies classroom? 

 Classroom curriculum should always be aligned to New York State learning standards. Classroom teachers face the challenge of ensuring rigorous and engaging instructional practices to all students on a daily basis. There are many professional opportunities that offer teachers the ability to reflect upon and develop their instructional practice. Pedagogical practices that allow students to utilize a variety of intellectual skills and demonstrate a strong understanding of the content are considered best practices. Instruction that qualifies as best practices is also attached to pedagogical practices such as inquiry and project based learning, expeditionary learning and external place learning. 

What are the NYS Social Studies Standards?  

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the history of the United States and New York, world history, geography; economics, and civics, citizenship, and government. These five standards are interwoven with the ten themes and concepts identified by the National Council for the Social Studies. These themes and concepts are (1) culture, (2) time, continuity and change, (3) people, places and environments, (4) individual development and identity, (5) individuals, groups and institutions (6) power, authority and governance, (7), production, distribution and consumption, (8) science, technology and society, (9) global connections, (10) civic ideals and practices. These themes create the framework for the Social Studies curriculum.