The number of students qualifying for gifted kindergarten programs in New York City schools rose by 10% -- with a notable spike in scores above the 97th percentile -- though 16% fewer students took the eligibility exams, according to the city's Education Department. Education officials speculated that test preparation may have played a role in the increase in high scores, which is expected to mean more competition for a limited number of seats in the city's gifted kindergarten programs.

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