Typically, parents/guardians have a three week window to complete testing once they submit an application. We encourage families to complete and submit applications as soon as possible. As time moves on, it WILL become more difficult to secure an appointment that you find convenient. Completing an application and having your child tested early is the best way to avoid any difficulties in the process. Delaying testing until your child is slightly older WILL NOT give them an advantage and might complicate the process. Scoring is based on a child's age at the time of testing.

Once you have submitted and paid for your application, you will receive two confirmation emails from the Admissions Office, one with instructions for the next steps and one acknowledging the receipt of your payment. The first of these emails will also appear on the screen at submission. All the information you need for scheduling an appointment for Round 1 testing with one of the HCES approved testers will be provided in the email, including your child’s ID number and the deadline for testing. You must adhere to the deadline date for Round 1 testing to avoid disqualification. (If you do not receive either of these confirmation emails, you must check to ensure that you have properly submitted the application.)

Due to COVID-19, and under the guidance of the American Psychological Association (APA), Round 1 testers have implemented comprehensive precautions to help ensure the safety of applicants and families as they provide in-person testing.* Families will be provided (by the tester) with a type of "Informed Consent for In-Person Services" form that must be signed and returned in order to keep the Round 1 testing appointment. The form outlines your and the tester's responsibilities to minimize exposure in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis. All HCES candidates and their families will be required to follow safety protocols as outlined in the form. No candidate is exempt from adhering to these protocols. Failure to follow any of the safety guidelines or protocols provided by Hunter College Elementary School or by the tester may result in immediate disqualification from the process.

* A mask requirement is in place for all children being tested AND for any parent or other adult who escorts children to testing locations. Masks must remain on AT ALL TIMES in any Round 1 testing space, which includes restroom and waiting areas. Additional safety regulations may apply depending on the Round 1 testing location. Parents and children must adhere to health and safety guidelines to avoid disqualification.

List of 2 items.

  • ROUND 1

    There are two rounds of assessment within the HCES admissions process. In the first round, a parent/guardian accompanies them child to the office of an HCES-approved tester, trained to administer a portion of the Stanford Binet V (SB V), an assessment of intellectual reasoning. The fee for this test is $375.00. (Financial assistance for Round 1 testing is available. Please visit the "Reduced Fee" section of this website for more information or contact the office directly at admissions@hunterschools.org, or at 212-860-1401.)

    Round 1 begins with the submission of the child’s application.

    An email is sent to the family once the application is submitted with a list of approved R1 testers. Parents/guardians must make contact with ONLY ONE tester to schedule an appointment by the deadline indicated in the email. Unless given permission to do so, contacting more than one tester WILL jeopardize a family’s chance to continue with Round 1. (Do NOT contact multiple testers to check availability.) When the appointment is scheduled, the parent submits the following to the tester prior to the appointment:

    1) A signed Confidentiality Consent form, provided via email after submission of the application. The Confidentiality Consent form allows parents/guardians to affirm that their child has neither been tested with, nor been exposed to, any test-related materials from the SBV in the last year. Children who have had exposure to the SBV within 12 months of application submission may not be able to apply to HCES. In these cases, the parents/guardians should contact the Director of Admissions directly to inquire.

    2) The fee of $375.00 (check, money order, or electronic method) made payable to the tester. (Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.)

    These two items shall be sent from the family to the tester in a manner specified by the tester (via email, regular mail, or other method requested by the tester). Unless instructed by the tester, any form of delivery that requires signature for receipt is not acceptable. Again, all documents and payment must be received prior to the appointment.

    Parents are not permitted in the room with their child during the test administration. Though testing time varies, the session generally lasts 30-60 minutes. 

    The modified SBV is available only in English. Children must have adequate, fundamental skills in English to progress through the test, and, ultimately, to benefit from the HCES program.

    *Non-native English speakers may contact the Admissions Office for assistance with completing the application.*


    Contact the Admissions Office via email to inquire about testing accommodations for children with physical difficulties, or documented disabilities, such as color blindness or hearing impairment.
    Testers will send a report of each child’s performance to the HCES Admissions Office - parents will NOT receive scores or a report of their child's performance.

    In December, the Director of Admissions will determine advancement to Round 2 based on a R1 data. All families will be notified (via email) of the Round 1 decision and informed of whether or not their child is advancing to the next round.

    HCES strongly discourages exposing children to the Stanford Binet V prior to the formal administration of the test for the purpose of admission to HCES. Testers will inform the Director of Admissions if they believe a child has had experience with or exposure to any test items or activities. HCES reserves the right to disqualify any child from the admissions process if there is evidence that Round 1 is not the child’s first experience with the SBV test. In the case of disqualification for prior exposure, the testing fee is not refunded.
  • ROUND 2

    There are two rounds of assessment within the HCES admissions process. Details about the second round will be shared only with those advancing to Round 2. There will be no fee for the Round 2 phase.
    Candidates advancing to Round 2 must submit additional forms as part of their application. The Parents’ Observation Form and the Preschool Teacher Observation Form request specific information about the child’s observed behaviors in short, written responses. While there is no essay or recommendation letter required final admissions decisions will not be made without these submissions. Birth certificates or adoption records are required of all applicants in the Round 2 process. Proof of NYC residency is required at this time and will be demonstrated ONLY with a 2021 IT-201 NY State tax return. Residency cannot be proved with other documents.

    Following Round 2, the HCES Admissions Selection Committee submits its recommendations to the Director of Admissions. Based on that feedback, admission offers are made to 50 candidates. NOTE: The Selection Committee makes decisions without knowledge of the child’s name, address, family information, or other identifying factors. No preference is given to “legacies,” siblings of alumni, or siblings of current HCES students. 

    All families who have advanced to Round 2 will be notified of decisions via email in early February 2023. Typically, any offer of admission or offer for a place on the wait list, must be accepted or declined within one week.

    NOTE: Traditionally, the HCES wait list comprises 24 children from the Round 2 finalist pool. The HCES wait list is NOT ranked. Students not advancing to Round 2 will not be considered for wait list placement.