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CTY Testing Considerations

The table below details considerations to keep in mind when selecting a CTY Talent Search test to take. Please also note the information under the Special Considerations for Testing heading at the bottom of the page, particularly if your child is in grades K-2 or 9-12.

Further details about the tests are available on the main CTY Talent Search Testing page.

ConsiderationsSCAT (grades 2 to 8)SAT (grades 7 and 8)ACT(grades 7 and 8)STB (grade 5 to 8)
Requesting Accommodations

Submit a Request for Special Testing Accommodations form and accompanying documentation to CTY prior to scheduling a test at a Prometric testing center.

Visit the CollegeBoard's Website for details and procedures for requesting accommodations.

Refer to the section "Testing for Students with Disabilities" in ACT registration booklet, check the ACT's Services for Students with Disabilities page, or call 319-337-1270 before registering to test.

Submit a Request for Special Testing Accommodations form and accompanying documentation to CTY prior to scheduling a test at a Prometric testing center.
Sections and Content

The test has two sections that measure verbal and mathematical reasoning ability.

The test has a verbal, math, and writing section.

The writing section is not used for CTY program qualification.

The ACT test (No Writing option) has four sections- science, math, reading, and English. The writing section is not used for CTY program qualification.

The test includes four subtests: Visual Memory, Surface Development, Block Rotation, and Perspectives (this section for 7th and 8th grade only).

Length

The length of the exam is about 45 minutes, but total testing time can run about an hour and fifteen minutes factoring in transitions and breaks.

The length of the exam is about three and half hours.

The length of the exam is approximately three hours. A break is provided after the first two sections of the exam.

Two hours is scheduled for the exam, but typically students only take 30-90 minutes to complete the exam.

Question Types

There is no writing required for the SCAT; all answers are multiple choice. There is no lengthy reading required (i.e., no passage comprehension sections). Tutorials are provided before each of the two sections to show students how questions will work.

The exam consists of multiple choice and student-produced response questions.

All four sections consist of multiple choice questions.

There is no lengthy reading or writing required (i.e., no passage comprehension sections); all questions are matching or multiple choice. Tutorials are provided before each of the sections to show students how questions will work.

Format

The test is taken on the computer and requires that students manipulate a mouse; no keyboarding is required.

Students complete the exam using No. 2 pencils and bubble answer sheets.

Students complete the exam using No. 2 pencils and bubble answer sheets.

The test is taken on the computer and requires that students use a keyboard and mouse to select their answers. The font and size used in the exam is Times New Roman, size 14.

Testing Location and Typical Setting

Students take the test at an individual cubicle in a room with other test-takers at cubicles at a Prometric testing center. The test center employee is not a proctor and is there only to help with computer glitches, etc. and is not able to monitor a student's attention or behavior.  

*There is an option to request an aide as an accommodation, but procuring aide for a student is the parent's responsibility after approval by the CTY office. This process can take time, so make this request early.

Students typically take the exam at local testing location often in a large room (such as a school cafeteria) or classroom with other students sitting at the table or at individual desks.

Students typically take the exam at local testing location often in a large room (such as a school cafeteria) or classroom with other students sitting at the table or at individual desks.

Students take the test at a Prometric testing center.

Sample Questions and Practice Materials

SCAT sample items, test instructions, and general tips are available online

*Please note that this is a reasoning test and intensive practice and preparation is not required and discouraged. The sample items are helpful in familiarizing students with the format of questions and test directions.

Students can view sample test questions and practice filling in answers and reading directions on the College Board's SAT practice webpage. There are also tools on the web to plan to study based on how soon the student will take the exam and whether or not he or she has taken it before.

Students can access sample test questions are on the ACT sample test webpage. The samples also include sample directions. You can also download ACT test booklet instructions ahead of time. Test-taking tips are also available on the ACT web site.

STB sample items, test instructions, and general tips are available online

Other Information

All students in grades 2-10 can take the SCAT to become eligible for CTY programs.

Score requirements are detailed on each program's eligibility pages.

A student's score on the SAT can qualify him or her for the CTY Awards ceremony as well as qualify him or her for SET (Study of Exceptional Talent) if a score of 700 or above is achieved in either section.

The SAT is used for college admissions and is well known. It can provide a student practice for taking this exam in the future.

A student's score on the ACT can qualify him or her for the CTY Awards ceremony.

The ACT is used for college admissions and is well known. It can provide a student practice for taking this exam in the future.

All students in grades 5-10 can take the STB to become eligible for CTY programs.

Score requirements are detailed on each program's eligibility pages.

 

Special Considerations for Testing

If a student lives far from a Prometric testing center, needs a paper version of the SCAT as a potential accommodation, or is beyond the grade bands indicated for testing (K-2 or 9-12), then please visit the CTY Program Qualifications: Special Cases page for further information.

Back to main Testing Accommodations page