Bracken School Readiness Assessment (BSRA)

The Bracken is a test first published in 2002 that is currently used in admittance to the New York City Gifted and Talented Program, as well as other G&T programs and private schools around the country.

If your child is taking this test in NYC, there are a few things you’ll want to know. First, it is given with the OLSAT test, which we’ll talk about in a separate video. For children applying to kindergarten, there are 40 OLSAT questions and 88 Bracken questions for a total of 128 questions. If your child is applying to 1st or 2nd grade, there are 60 OLSAT questions and 88 Bracken questions for a total of 148 questions.

The Bracken counts for 25% of a child’s score, while the OLSAT counts for the other 75%. To be eligible for a district G&T program, your child needs a composite score in the 90th percentile or better. To qualify for a city-wide program, your child needs a composite score in the 97th percentile or better, although in recent years, there have only been enough spaces for children scoring in the 99th percentile or above…so 99th percentile is really the score your child is aiming for.

The Bracken test is a school readiness test. It assesses whether or not your child knows basic information that children should have acquired by a particular age. It is the same for Pre-K as it is through 2nd grade. There are no levels. Younger children can miss more questions on the Bracken than older children can miss. At the pre-K level, the Bracken is always given at the same time as the OLSAT. For older children, they are sometimes given separately when they are given in school.

The Bracken assesses five basic skills.

#1. Colors. Make sure you child can identify common colors by name.

#2. Letters. Your child will also have to know all the letters, both upper-case and lower-case.

#3. Numbers & Counting. Your child must be able to identify single AND double-digit numerals and be able to count from 1 to 99.

#4. Size and other comparisons. Your child will have to demonstrate knowledge of comparative words such as short, long, big, bigger, tall, tallest, large, larger, little, tiny, light, or heavy, to name a few. Make sure you child can differentiate or match objects based on other comparative words like narrow, wide, shallow, deep, equal, identical, different, or opposite.

Finally, #6. Shapes. Your child needs to be able to identify basic shapes by name. These would be one-dimensional shapes like square and triangle and 3-dimensional shapes like cylinder, cone and sphere.

For practice questions and more information on the BSRA and other tests, go to

Bracken School Readiness Assessment: Coverage

The Bracken School Readiness Assessment covers 6 tests in relation to the basic skills that will test the child’s readiness for school. These tests can determine whether the child is well adapted to the grade he is in or whether improvements can be made to better assist the child’s growth especially with the cognitive abilities and language performance.

The test is administered individually, with no time limit required. The length of time the Bracken School Readiness Assessment test depends solely upon the child’s capabilities. The test makes use of verbal and visual needs.
This IQ test or the Bracken Test focuses on these 6 basic skills that the child needs to identify:

Color – identification of the color presented visually

Letters – letters should be recognized by the child in their upper or lower case as presented

Numbers and Counting – the child should be able to count from 1-99, and be able to identify numbers of single digits form those of double digit numbers

Sizes – the size should be amply identified by the child (e.g. tall, wide, short)

Comparisons – objects should be matched accordingly based on the characteristics given

Shapes – basic shapes should be duly recognized and easily identified by the child

Bracken School Readiness Assessment: References and Tools

In preparing your child for the Bracken School Readiness Assessment Examination, there are several supplementary aids in helping your child be better equipped in taking the test.
Here are some of the many additional resources to serve as tools in preparing your child achieve optimal results in taking the Bracken School Readiness Assessment test:

Purposeful Play for Early Childhood Phonological Awareness
This is well suited for children in the second grade level, and is focused in making use of phonology as an antecedent to the road to reading as this book is designed to help the child make use of the sounds such as through songs, role plays, and games requiring interaction from the audience. Through such, identification of words, syllabication, and mastering rhymes are made easy and fun for the child.

My First Brain Quest
A game making use of questions through pictures, this book is made specifically for children 2-3 years of age or those in the pre-K level. This supplementary tool makes interaction captivating enough for children with short attention span yet at the same time, promotes language development, and improvement in the child’s cognitive skills and abilities.

Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1
Made for children in the pre-K level, Mathematical Reasoning caters to the child’s development of problem solving skills in mathematics, paving the way to better deal with higher mathematical challenges in the long run.

Can You Find Me?
This makes use of pictures as answers to riddles given by the ones presenting said picture cards verbally. Using such can make recognizing pictures easily, thus ensuring quick identification of the child with regards to the riddles presented.