Here are the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about SET.
Students qualify for SET by scoring at least 700 on either the Math or Verbal (Critical Reading) SAT before age 13. Students who take the SAT after their 13th birthday may qualify for SET by scoring an additional 10 points above 700 for each month after their 13th birthday. Thus, a student who takes the SAT three months and two weeks after his or her 13th birthday would qualify for SET with a score of at least 730 on either the SAT-Math or SAT-Verbal.
Students under 13 cannot register online for the SAT. They must register using the SAT Paper Registration form, which can be obtained in two ways:
Note: Students in 6th grade who wish to take the SAT cannot use CTY's online form to register for the Talent Search for Grades 7-8. However, they can use the paper application form, being sure to include a note that you want the SAT registration form. Students in 6th grade can also use the second option above to obtain an SAT registration form.
Yes. See the first Q&A.
Yes. SET eligibility is based solely on age and SAT score, not grade in school.
No. Students may qualify for SET by taking the SAT through CTY, through another Talent Search (such as CTD or TIP), or on their own. Students who test outside CTY should send a copy of their official SAT score report to SET.
Yes, we welcome international students and American students living abroad. If you send us a copy of your official SAT score report, we will be happy to invite you to join.
Yes. SET does not accept other tests (ACT, PLUS, PSAT, SAT Subject tests, SCAT, Stanford Achievement Test, Stanford-Binet, Spatial Test Battery) in place of the SAT. Students who achieve high scores on such tests and meet age requirements are encouraged to take the SAT for eligibility.
No. Students do not register with SET before taking the SAT; they are invited to join SET after they take the SAT if they have qualified.
No. We need an official score report, which includes your full name, mailing address, and date of birth (see an example).
If you do not have a copy of your official score report, you can request that CollegeBoard send an official score report to CTY. Select "Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth" and/or reporting code "5334".
To become a member of SET, a student must complete and return the SET registration forms. Once we receive a student's completed registration materials, the student becomes a member of SET, with all the privileges that entails... which leads to the next question.
No. To join SET, you must complete and return the SET registration materials you receive with your e-invitation to join SET. You will receive an e-invitation to join SET once CTY receives your SAT scores.
SET members receive SET's publications, including the award-winning Imagine magazine, as well as individual educational counseling from the SET staff, if they desire. SET also helps organize local gatherings, where SET families can meet one another. Learn more about SET's services here.
No. SET's services are free to qualified students who join SET. We do, however, welcome donations from individuals who value our services.
Students and parents often wonder what sort of commitment is expected of SET members. Initially, students must complete a set of registration materials in order to join SET. Thereafter, they will receive annual update forms every spring, to help us keep up with their interests, activities, and contact information. We sometimes send SET members additional surveys (on specific topics, such as involvement in math extracurricular activities, for example). In all cases, students choose how much to disclose.
Our primary goal is to assist exceptionally able students and to provide them with counseling and information about programs and opportunities that may be of interest to them. We do that primarily through our publications, which SET members receive for free. Most of our efforts are focused on getting information to SET members, not from them. We understand that people vary greatly in how much they like to share about themselves, and we do not want students who qualify for SET to miss out on information that may be helpful to them simply because they don't feel comfortable sharing certain personal information. While SET's primary mission is to assist exceptionally able students, it is also an ongoing research study of how best to accomplish that goal, and we try to strike a balance between those objectives.
Yes. If you qualified for SET through CTY, we should have a record of your SAT score. If we do, we will send you an e-invitation after you contact us. If you did not qualify through CTY, you will need to send us a copy of your SAT score report before we can send you an e-invitation.
This is a little complicated.
CTY hosts two kinds of ceremonies to celebrate the outstanding achievement of Talent Search participants: regional* Awards Ceremonies and an international Grand Ceremony (explained in more detail in a separate FAQ). At these events, eligible students are individually recognized and receive a High Honors pin. Eligible students who cannot attend are mailed their award after the ceremony is held.
* The "regional" ceremony for students living in Asia is CTY's International Awards Ceremony, held annually in Hong Kong.
To be invited to a 2014 regional CTY Awards Ceremony, you must meet the following criteria:
If you tested in March-June 2013:
If you test in July 2013-February 2014:
To be eligible to be invited to the 2014 Grand Ceremony, you must meet the following criteria:
Yes. At CTY's regional Awards Ceremonies, eligible students (those who qualified for SET during that Talent Search year and were registered for CTY's Talent Search for that year) are recognized. The names of all eligible SET qualifiers for that year are printed in the Awards Ceremony program. Eligible students who cannot attend a ceremony are mailed their award.
YES. Only registered CTY Talent Search participants are eligible for CTY's Awards Ceremonies. If you wish to attend a CTY Awards Ceremony, you must register for CTY's current Talent Search.
If you took the SAT independent of CTY, you can still register for CTY Talent Search — even after you have taken the SAT. You will not have to retake the SAT.
Whether you will be invited to an Awards Ceremony depends on when you took the SAT.
If you meet all the requirements except that you live in a state where CTY does not hold regional Awards Ceremonies:
CTY hosts an annual Grand Awards Ceremony at Johns Hopkins University to honor top Talent Search participants from around the world. Students who meet the Grand Ceremony score requirements on the SAT, ACT, SCAT or STB and are registered for the relevant CTY Talent Search are invited to attend. Many students who qualify for SET meet these criteria. However, the qualifying scores for SET and the Grand Ceremony are not identical, so some SET qualifiers are not invited to the Grand Ceremony, and some Grand Ceremony invitees are not invited to join SET.
At this ceremony, students receive a medal honoring their outstanding academic achievements. Students who are invited to the Grand Ceremony but are unable to attend will be listed in the program, and will receive their medal by mail after the ceremony is held.
The 2013 Grand Ceremony was held on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
Watch video of the 2011 event.
No, SET members do not automatically receive scholarships as a benefit of joining SET. A few CTY scholarships recognize academic excellence and so are usually awarded to students who qualify for SET. And SET members may apply for all relevant need-based scholarships.
Some CTY Talent Search participants receive a one-course scholarship to a college or community college near their home if a nearby school grants CTY such a scholarship. Students who receive one-course scholarships are notified by mail in late August by CTY's Talent Search department. SET does not determine who receives these scholarships.
No. We refer students to a wide variety of programs that may be appropriate to develop their interests and exceptional abilities.
Yes, we write letters of recommendation to colleges and competitive-admissions high schools and prep schools. SET's letter of recommendation should supplement the required teacher recommendations, not replace one of them.
Before requesting recommendation letters from us, make sure that the colleges to which you are applying are willing to receive supplementary letters of recommendation.
To request letters of recommendation,
If you have questions about recommendation letters, please contact Vicki Weyforth at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410)735-6120.
There are online forms for older SET members: