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Photo: Karen Araiza | NBC 10

BALTIMORE February 11, 2013 --- Three students at the same high school in suburban Philadelphia achieved perfect scores on the SAT, and they credit the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) with their success. 

CTYersJulie Baldassano, William Raynor, and Benjamin She all earned 2400s on their college entrance exams as juniors at Upper Dublin High School in Montgomery County, Pa. But it was their exposure to the SAT as middle schoolers that made a big difference in their achievement.

“Something that William, Ben, and I all have in common is that we all prepared early for the SAT in middle school so that we could experience our beloved CTY,” says Julie, 17. “We all agree that this early preparation is the reason we were able to succeed.” The students say they were helped by being exposed to the SAT early because it familiarized them with how to prepare for the test, the test’s format, and how it felt to take the test.

How rare is a perfect SAT score? It’s exceptional. Of the nearly three million students who took the SAT last year, only 360 achieved a perfect score of 2400, according to the College Board, the organization that prepares and administers the test.

Julie, Benjamin, and William took the SAT for the first time several years ago as participants in CTY’s Talent Search. During the Talent Search, advanced young learners take above-grade level tests designed for older students as a means of gaining insight into their abilities and qualifying for CTY summer, online, and family programs. Seventh and eighth graders take the SAT or ACT—the same tests used for college admissions. These students, along with second through sixth graders, can take the SCAT, an above-level test.

More than 1.7 million students have participated in CTY’s Talent Search since 1979. After qualifying for CTY through Talent Search, Julie, Benjamin and William took summer and online courses with CTY, engaging in challenging coursework in topics including Crafting the Essay, History of Disease, and Probability and Game Theory. They also joined an international community of bright learners.

“CTY offered me a curriculum that’s not usually found in school,” explains William, 16. “It really allowed me to expand my interests while meeting people from across the country and all over the world.”

Julie, Benjamin and William were recently featured on their local NBC TV news:

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About The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

A global leader in gifted education since 1979, CTY is focused on identifying academic talent in exceptional K-12 students and supporting their growth with summer and online courses, family programs, services, and resources specifically designed to meet their needs.  Education Week called CTY “one of a set of remarkable nonpublic institutions dedicated to the discovery and nurture of the most talented young people for the highest levels of accomplishment.”