Under construction as a place for resources to help navigate Chicago schools.  Feel free to add info into the comments section.

School Consultants

Test prep for Academic Centers and Selective Enrollment Schools:
Test prep for PreK – 8th grade.  Also a publications company and have test prep books and materials.  Chicago RGC test prep book available for $75: (this is a private company, different from which is the CPS page)  Link to their e-book for Kindergarten test prep, which is available for $25.!__cps-gifted-test-sample-question-book

I’ve seen a copy of the practice book and while we don’t know for sure if these exact type of questions will be asked, based on a range of sample questions I’ve seen over the years, I think these would be good for a young child for practicing for a test.

Test prep Materials Online:

If you need help deciding what to buy, email them.  I have talked with the owner and she’s very knowledgeable and helpful.

Also, Amazon has test prep books.


School Locators:   Provides a combination of real estate listings and school ratings if you are trying to figure out where to buy in the city.  CPS’ tool for checking out school ratings (test scores) by area/address.

Tutoring:     (Executive Functioning coaching)




40 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LiveByTransit  |  April 4, 2012 at 7:44 am

    This website shows the top 30 public elementary schools that homes for sale in your budget:

  • 2. Matt Kelley  |  August 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm now has a ebook you can purchase for sample kindergarten classical/gifted test question practice.

  • 3. SchoolSparrow  |  October 3, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Search the app store for ‘school sparrow’ for an iPhone and iPad app that will tell you the CPS neighborhood school boundaries in which you are standing at the moment, and link to a web page where you can search for properties in that school boundary, and see ISAT scores for the school, as well as a link to the CPS school page for that school.

  • […] Resources […]

  • 5. Ravenswood Mom  |  October 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    For the data geeks – CPS Assessment data including 2012 ISAT Scores

    Also – Illinois Interactive Report Card – compiles ISAT data and lets you compare schools – with charts!

  • 6. passerby  |  October 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    For those who plan to have their children do private prep is inconsiderate! Gaming the system so that your only mediocre child can steal a spot at SEES, of which really belongs to the real gifted child, will have negative effect. Let the system be fair!

  • 7. ChiSchoolGPS  |  October 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Also check out the very inexpensive (99 cents or FREE to Amazon Prime members) ebook for upcoming K-4th grade parents interested in learning about CPS Regional Gifted Center or Classical schools, including insight into the types of questions to expect on the tests: “Chicago Testing Survival Guide” by

  • 8. camila cardenas  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Nightingale school is my school

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  • 13. impotenceofbeingearnest  |  November 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    No one else mentioned this, so here goes: passing the test doesn’t guarantee your child’s place in the school — they have to pass the test AND win a lottery of all the other kids who passed the test. No amount of prep will help with that — to say nothing of the general absurdity of prepping for a kindergarten test.

  • 14. Karen Quant  |  December 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Is there anywhere I can go to find out high schools that have great sports facilities and programs versus the poor ones? Writer at Medill News Service and looking to gain some insight and find out if there is great disparity and where.

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  December 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    @karen, as far as I know there is no easy way to get that information. It’s difficult to classify what is ‘great’ or not as a starting point. Most of the high schools have a wide range of activities and it can depend whether enough kids want to participate and whether the school has staff to lead that activity. My thought is that the new schools, such as Westinghouse, which has a newer building likely have ‘better’ facilities in that they’re more modern and less run down.

  • 16. Chicago School GPS  |  December 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    @14- you can try the CPS online HS Guide at “Find A School” on their page, but CPS revamped it and it’s not as easy to find out about schools now. They have a print guide but it’s also hard to navigate. Feel free to contact us at the link above and we can talk you through some of what we know.

  • 17. Karen Quant  |  December 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you both for the insight. Think you are right about the variable here in terms of participation in numbers and how that affects funding. The initial research I’m doing at the moment is showing me it’s a lot more complex than I would have imagined. I

  • 18. cpsobsessed  |  December 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Please post a link when your story is done! I have been surprised about some of the schools I’ve toured (which is very few) at the wide variety of sports that are offered. I imagine that those without the means for fundraising have less up to date uniforms, equipment, etc – but I have no idea the extent to which this is true or how a school determines how to allocate their athletic funds (or how these are actually funded now that I think about it!)

  • 19. Karen Quant  |  December 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Of course, would be happy to. In the initial phases and have a lot of research left to do.

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  • 23. Bryan  |  October 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks for all the info! Just what I needed. I also noticed there is a new app with 50 questions for Kindergarten placement testing. The app is called KidWiz.

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  • 25. Mary Torres  |  October 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Are any of these test prep classes geared toward 6th graders looking to get into the SE middle school programs (i.e. Lane Tech)? My son had straight A’s last year, not sure what tests they’ll be using ISAT, MAP for that portion. Want to give him the best chance since our address puts us in Tier 1…across the street (residential street) is Tier 3, same neighborhood school. Ridiculous!

  • 26. cpsobsessed  |  October 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Yes, select prep (and probably others) would have test prep for your child to take the entrance exam (which youl need to register for at some point if you haven’t.) In 6th grade that’s the one outstanding variable in additions to grades and 5th grade spring MAP.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 27. Mary Torres  |  October 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Sorry I had the Tiers backwards we are in Tier 4, Tier 2 across street.

  • 28. Inna Mcloughlin  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Another test prep thats been growing only by word of mouth recently put out a website. Great expereince and great results from parents. is their website. Just another resource, not cheap but they get results. Added 4 pints to my daughters ACT..

  • 29. Daniel  |  August 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I am looking for a safe way to have my Kindergarten son transported form the UIC or West Loop area to the Hawthorn Scholastic Academy public school and wondering what programs or services were out there that would help in meeting that aim?

  • 30. Erica  |  August 31, 2015 at 10:30 am is a new resource for those exploring Selective Enrollment High Schools and want to know how to apply correctly and strategically. Developed by a former Admissions Director.

  • 31. Ro  |  December 1, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Here is a great story on “helicopter parenting” during the admissions process. The rigorous process sometimes leaves parents no choice:

  • 32. Kelly  |  February 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    This is a really great site! Do you by any chance have any information on Summer Enrichment programs for Chicago Public School Students?

  • 33. cpsobsessed  |  February 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Hi Kelly, I don’t have info on that, unfortunately. If you find a link/source, feel free to share it here.

  • 34. Chicago School GPS  |  February 11, 2016 at 10:48 am

    @32 Kelly- Look into and as starting points for summer programs in Chicago. The Shedd Aquarium and other museums have great enrichment programs as well.

  • 35. Stafford Wilson  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:46 am

    WY bound

    My oldest daughter graduated from Burnside Elementary, graduated from Whitney Young, and will graduate from Northwestern University in June 2016.

    My youngest daughter will graduate from Lindblom AC, then on to Whitney Young in 2016. She scored an 886/900, and Whitney Young was her first choice.

    I attended Walter H. Dyett, graduated from Von Steuben M.S.C. in ’88 and attended Tuskegee University, majoring in Electical Engineering.

    My daughters chose Whitney Young because It’s the best fit for them. As I sit, and think about what the deciding factors were in their success, what comes to mind is love, support, and motivation. Our kids have to want it as much as we want it for them.

  • 36. Kate V  |  May 31, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I am new to the Chicago area from out of state and not finding the right resources. I am looking for a good school based not necessarily on test scores, but what it offers in special education. My PreK son will need PT/OT assistance at school due to gross motor issues. Do all CPS schools offer/have funding for this? Are there certain schools in the city anecdotally known for better special ed resources? How and who can I connect with on this topic?

  • 37. Erin B  |  January 4, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Educational Endeavors also has test prep for Academic Centers, NWEA MAP, and Selective Enrollment.

  • 38. Pepi M Silverman  |  March 29, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Bridge Educational Advocacy works to support students and families to ensure that ALL learners receive the necessary services to be successful in school. How can my company be added to the resources section of this site? Check out the Bridge Educational Advocacy website at

  • 39. John  |  April 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    We currently live in Elmhurst, IL. My daughter is 8 th grade. She took the selective high school test and scored 900 out of 900 and got accepted into Walter Payton. My questions is whether it is really worthwhile academically for us to move to the city. Will she have better chance to go to a better college in the future? She does have advanced courses offered in Elmhurst high school if she stay at Elmhurst next year.
    Elmhurst high school is ranked to 30 in Illinois.
    Thanks a bunch.

  • 40. Pamela J Dale  |  October 16, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Ms. Lerner of Select Prep ejected my granddaughter from the course because of a perceived slight from my daughter during parent orientation. The interaction between Ms.Lerner and my daughter had absolutely nothing to do with my granddaughter, in fact she was in class during parent orientation. When I asked her why she ejected my granddaughter from class she said it was because my daughter was rude….what does that have to do with my granddaughter????

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