Duke TIP

Frequently Asked Questions


How many students participated last year?

In the 2015–2016 7th Grade Talent Search over 65,000 students enrolled. A summary of these scores is found in the most recent results summary.

Will participating in the talent search increase my chances of getting into Duke University as an undergraduate?

There is no guarantee that participating in the talent search, even at a high level, will increase your chance for acceptance to Duke University. Your performance on the ACT or SAT may make you a strong candidate, but there are many other factors involved in the acceptance process for undergraduate programs at Duke University. In addition, keep in mind that nurturing gifted children means giving them access to the best possible instruction in their chosen fields. One of the goals of TIP is to make sure that all students fully understand their unique talents and choose the right college, given their abilities and interests. We offer guidance and other services to make sure gifted students and their families have the information they need to make the right choice when the time comes.

Will participating in the talent search increase my chances of getting scholarships for college?

Duke TIP is not directly connected to any college scholarship programs, and there’s no guarantee that participating in the talent search will increase your chances for getting a scholarship for college. However, there are many significant benefits to talent search participation including identifying your potential and aptitudes, preparing you for college-entrance testing, participating in programs that help you develop your skills, and being recognized for your achievements.  

How can I let my local newspaper know about my participation?

All participants, regardless of their scores, are encouraged to seek media coverage independently for their talent search participation. To assist you in this process, a media announcement describing the talent search and your participation is available.


Does participation in the 4th–6th Grade Talent Search automatically qualify me for the 7th Grade Talent Search?

A student must re-qualify and must enroll for participation in the 7th Grade Talent Search. However, if you participated in our 4th-6th Grade Talent Search and took the optional EXPLORE or PSAT 8/9 as part of that program, you are automatically qualified for the 7th Grade Talent Search. To see if you are eligible, review Qualifying for 7th Grade Talent Search.

If my grade-level scores do not meet the qualification, is there another way I can participate?

Duke TIP allows seventh graders who want to participate in Duke TIP programs, but who narrowly miss qualifying for the 7th Grade Talent Search, to join Duke TIP independently. This independent enrollment is called TIP Option.


My seventh grader has already taken (or will register to take) the ACT or SAT on their own. Is it possible to enroll in the talent search and submit these scores instead of testing through TIP?

Part of the 7th Grade Talent Search enrollment fee covers the ACT or SAT test registration fee. If your student has already taken or plans to take the ACT or SAT independent of Duke TIP, they may use those scores and they do not need to take the ACT or SAT again for talent search purposes. These scores will be marked as seventh grade scores in the Duke TIP database. This 2Step enrollment process requires a student to complete a paper talent search enrollment, not an online enrollment. To receive information on how to enroll through the 2Step process, please send an email to 7talentsearch@tip.duke.edu.


How would I establish a school as an ACT or SAT test center location?

ACT: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/act-test-center-request-form.html 

SAT: http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/sat-reasoning/coordinate/center

After your test center is established and you have received your test center code, please email Duke TIP at 7talentsearch@tip.duke.edu so that we can add the test center to our database.


I did not get the test center I requested. What can I do?

Test centers are assigned by ACT or SAT based on the choices submitted on your enrollment. If your first and second choice test centers are full, the testing agency will assign another location. Contact ACT, (319) 337–1270 or SAT, (866) 756–7346 regarding test center assignment changes or availability.

I have a complaint about the test day. To whom should I report this?

While the tests are administrated by ACT and SAT, Duke TIP should be informed when there is a test day problem. Feel free to contact Duke TIP by e-mail at 7talentsearch@tip.duke.edu or phone (919) 668-9100. In addition, it is very helpful to let the testing agencies know directly. ACT and SAT request feedback so that they can improve their test administration process.

ACT: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-center-feedback-form.html

SAT: www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/contact.html (scroll down to section entitled, Test Center Complaints )

I was unable to test during December, January, or February. May I test later?

Yes, students are encouraged to follow through with testing, even if it is at a later date, so that they may begin receiving talent search benefits. Contact ACT (319) 337-1270 or SAT (866) 756-7346 to reschedule your test. However, be aware that scores from test dates after March arrive too late for an invitation to attend a recognition ceremony should the student qualify. Students testing in April, May, or June of their seventh grade year, with qualifying scores, will receive their award by mail in the fall. Similarly, if a student qualifies, participation in Duke TIP's Summer Studies might also be affected because of the late arrival of scores.

Should a student retest?

Most students do not take the ACT or SAT again until they are applying to college. However, some students choose to retest because they want practice on the alternate test or they want to try to increase their scores to qualify for a Duke TIP educational program. Retesting is optional and requires independent and direct registration with the testing agency.

ACT: www.actstudent.org, (319) 337–1270

SAT: sat.collegeboard.org/register, (866) 756–7346

You must be at least 13 years old to use the online registration on the ACT or College Board websites. If you are not yet 13, call ACT to request a paper registration form be mailed to your home or use the online request form. For SAT, you can get a registration packet from a local high school or call SAT to register by phone.

Once you receive your scores, please fax or mail Duke TIP a copy to the address below so we can update your record.

Test on Your Own
Duke University TIP
300 Fuller Street
Durham, NC 27701
Fax: (919) 681-4182


Are the student's ACT or SAT scores permanently recorded?

ACT scores are kept on file permanently while SAT scores are not. If you wish for SAT to keep your scores on file permanently, you may request this from the testing agency before June 30 of your seventh grade year. Both ACT and SAT scores will never be shared with colleges unless the student requests this. Duke TIP will keep the scores indefinitely for their records. Duke TIP will never share scores with anyone.

May I view my scores online or by phone?

Duke TIP does not post the scores online, however they are available on the ACT or SAT websites.

ACT: http://www.actstudent.org/scores

SAT: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/scores

Note: You must be at least 13 to create an account at these websites. Contact ACT at (319) 337-1270 or SAT at (866) 756-7346 if you experience issues when creating an account.

To protect the confidentiality of scores, it is Duke TIP’s policy, as well as ACT’s policy, not to give scores to anyone by telephone, email, or fax. However, students who took the SAT and are unable to view their scores online (because they are under the age of 13) can call SAT Customer Service at (866) 756-7346 to receive their scores.