On Saturday, January 31, hordes upon hordes of prospective seventh graders flooded into BSGE in order to take the admissions exam that could perhaps be the first step into their acceptance in the Baccalaureate School for Global Education. The test, which consisted of a verbal and a math section, received mixed reviews from the students who nervously took it.
The children taking the test came from a mixed background of public, private and parochial schools. The children felt that the different schools they came from put them at either an advantage or a disadvantage for the test. Some students, such as a 6th grader named Kevin, from a public school, said that “The majority of the test was taught in school.” This made the test easier for him, saying, “The test was fifty-fifty, meaning that… some of it was hard but some of it was not. The hardest parts were in the ELA when I had to answer questions about grammar and also I didn’t understand some of the math formulas.” Other children felt that the test was very difficult because the content was not taught in a private school. A student from a yeshiva said that, “For some of the questions, I did not know how to go about the questions as I didn’t learn them before and had to resort to process of elimination and guessing.”
Interestingly enough, despite BSGE’s high standing on almost every high school ranking list, BSGE is not the first choice of many students. It has come to the point where students have been signing up for the exam and simply not actually coming on the day of the test. This happened on quite a few occasions and the reasoning behind the students’ “ditching” was that they would rather go to Hunter High School, a well regarded, well financed high school, if they could get in, or stay in their current honors classes in their local middle school. “I’ve been studying non stop for the Hunter exam. That has always been my dream,” one sixth grade student said about why she ended up not taking the BSGE exam, despite signing up for it. BSGE, with its long commute and small building, just was not worth getting up early on a Saturday morning for this anonymous student.
This idea of BSGE being the backup choice is common but of course it is not the opinion of the entire population who took the exam. Some students who were familiar with the IB program and BSGE’s extremely rigorous curriculum were passionate and nervous about the exam, seeing that BSGE is their first choice.
Despite what ranking BSGE is in the heads of these sixth graders, they had all taken the exam and a select few just recently received invitations to the interview, to which they must bring a teacher recommendation, a copy of the fifth grade report card and the most recent fifth grade report card. We, as a BSGE family wish them the best of luck and hold that one day we can point and whisper how cute they are out in the hall.