Duke TIP


As part of your enrollment in the 7th Grade Talent Search, Duke TIP will register you for an above-level test. We offer talent search enrollees the opportunity to take one of the two most common college entrance exams, the ACT (no writing) or the SAT (no essay), the exact same exams that high school students take when applying to college. In fact, at most test center locations, there will be high school students testing alongside you.

TIP does not recommend one test over the other. The ACT and SAT are both accepted tools for the above-level testing experience, so we recommend that the decision be made on a student-by-student basis. Educators and parents should consider the following factors when selecting a test:


Students should select only one test and one test date.

Test Dates
December 3, 2016
December 10, 2016
January 21, 2017
February 11, 2017

If you complete your enrollment and find that you need to make a change to your test date or test center, call us at (919) 668-9100 as soon as possible. If your information was already transmitted to ACT or SAT, changes must be made directly through the appropriate testing organization. ACT and SAT charge an additional fee for these changes. Students who require special accommodations or those who need non-Saturday testing for religious reasons should review rules regarding exceptions to standard testing.

Test Center Locations

Consider which test center is the most convenient. In addition to the first test center location, Duke TIP suggests selecting a second test center location. If your first test center is full, you will be assigned your second test center choice. If both test centers are full, the testing agency will assign you a center.

Locate a test center to enter on the 7th Grade Talent Search enrollment form by using the drop-down below: 

Select a State:

Test Content

Both the ACT and SAT measure what a student has learned and are valuable tools used by colleges in the undergraduate admissions process. While the length of each test is listed below, this time represents only the actual testing and does not include time for the check-in process that morning, instructions from test administrators, questions from students, and breaks between test sections.

ACT (no Writing*) SAT (no Essay*)
3–3.5 hours long 3–3.75 hours long
4 sections—English, Mathematics, Reading, Science 2 sections—Evidence-based Reading and Writing, Math
36 possible points on each section 800 possible points on each section





*Participants are not required to take the ACT Writing or the SAT Essay; however, after the talent search enrollment is processed, students will receive information on how to add these options. This is arranged directly with ACT or with SAT and there is an additional charge payable to the testing agency.

Student Preference

Some students will want to take the test they are likely to take in high school. Others may choose to test with friends. At this age, both tests offer the same appropriate above-level testing experience and serve to raise the bar and provide information about the student's academic abilities.

How Students Should Prepare for the Test

Duke TIP does not recommend that students take part in excessive test preparation. Talent search testing is diagnostic in nature and unnecessary anxiety is often the only obvious result of some preparation programs. The ACT and SAT tests do not have a pass or fail component, and along with other academic indicators such as grades, they can provide additional information for parents to evaluate. It is sufficient to be familiar with the structure of the test, timing of each section, recommended guessing strategies, and to complete the practice test provided by us.