top of page

Chicago Gifted Programs


The Chicago Public School (CPS) system is one of the largest school districts in the United States. CPS offers magnet and magnet cluster schools, along with charter and Regional Gifted Centers and Classical Schools (academically advanced). The Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools (SEES) of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), specifically, the Regional Gifted Centers (RGCs) and Classical Schools require a test for admission.


Eligibility requirements for Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools can be found here.
FAQs for the schools can be found here.


You need to apply to take the test in the fall one year before your child’s entry into the program you are testing for. Children who turn 5 before September 1 are eligible to apply for the Kindergarten entrance test in the fall when they are 4-years-old and children who turn 6 before September 1 are eligible for first grade entrance testing in the fall when they are 5-years-old.


Test Structure

If you apply to Regional Gifted Centers and Classical Schools, your child will need to take two separate tests. The number of test appointments required depends upon the grade level for which your child is applying. Your child will only require one appointment if he or she is applying for kindergarten. Your child will require two separate appointments if he or she is applying for grades 1 – 4.



Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Access and Enrollment (OAE) does not disclose the names of the tests that they administer for admission to their programs. They do, however, release the skills that are assessed for each program.   We know however that they test a combination of NNAT, OLSAT and CogAT and our publications reflect that.


Both exams administered to your child are developmentally age/grade appropriate. Some of the items will be very easy for your child and others may be more difficult. However, it is designed so that your child does not experience a stressful testing situation.



CPS does not disclose how the test is scored.

bottom of page