New York City 8th graders have the option of taking up to a half-dozen tests as they apply for High Schools.
There is the assessment for Bard High School Early College, which consists of a math section and an essay.
There is the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) for private city and boarding schools.
And then there is the entrance exam for New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math, a public school for Gifted & Talented students. To get into Kindergarten at NEST+M, students must take part in the citywide IQ testing that turns NYC into a frenzy every Fall. To get into middle school, they take a different IQ test on site. To get into the Upper School, however.... That information is apparently top secret.
While the SHSAT and the SSAT and other schools post examples of what aspiring applicants might expect to see on their test, NEST+M is utterly close-mouthed about the process. There are no sample questions, no helpful FAQs. Just a list of dates. Doing a general search yields nothing but questions from people asking if anyone, anywhere might possibly know something about it.
The reason for this unparalleled secrecy is unknown. Except that now the truth can be told. What is the NEST+M test for Upper School?
In 2012, for admission in September of 2013, it was a shortened version of the SHSAT. It featured the same sections: math, logic, scrambled paragraphs, reading comprehension, etc... Only instead of being 2 1/2 hours long, it was 1 1/2 hours long. And no, NEST+M students are not expected to do the same amount of work in a briefer time. It was a shorter test. That's it. That's the big secret.
For more on what's on the SHSAT, click here.