Identifying Students

A group of four girls smiling for the camera on a green lawn


When you are identifying students in your class who are eligible for Duke TIP, keep in mind that the 4th–6th Grade Talent Search is open to current fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students who qualify through one of the following four options. For each option, there are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Students only need to qualify on one subtest or on the composite to be eligible for the program.
  2. A qualifying score must come from one of the two most recent test administrations. Typically, that means scores from one of the two prior grades.
  3. Students only need to enroll once to receive benefits until the end of their sixth grade year—they do not have to be renotified each year. You can email us to request a list of students who have already enrolled.

Option 1: Standardized achievement and abilities test

Using national norms, any student who scores in the 95th percentile or higher on an accepted subtest from a standardized achievement test is qualified. TIP accepts dozens of different achievement tests in order to make it as easy as possible for educators and students. Review the accepted tests with our look-up tool.

Option 2: IQ test

Any student who scores 125 or higher on an approved IQ tests taken within the past two years is qualified.

Option 3: State-specific test

Many states require their own standardized exams. Each year, TIP works with these states to determine what scale scores equate to the 95th percentile. Review the accepted tests and threshold scores with our look-up tool.

Keep in mind that there are often delays from the state assessment offices in sending us the qualifying score data we need. This may be especially true if your state implemented a completely new assessment last year. In these cases, we strongly recommend you use 2015–2016 scores or an educator recommendation (Option 4) to identify your students. We will also update you by email as we learn more about these particular test scores, so please keep your contact information current at

Qualifying Test Lookup Tool

Use our look-up tool to look up the tests from Options 1–3 above. If you have any questions about tests not included here, send an email to

Option 4: Educator recommendation

Score reporting delays and problems interpreting scores from transfer students are just two of the obstacles that can sometimes exclude students who possess a great deal of academic talent. In addition, there may be special circumstances that prevent truly gifted students from scoring well on tests. In these instances, we invite you, as an educator, to provide an educator recommendation for students you feel are good candidates. To determine who these candidates are, we suggest you use your school or district guidelines to identify gifted students, as well as any other available academic information.

To provide an educator recommendation:

  1. On the invitation form, write in “educator recommendation” as the test name in the qualifying test score section.
  2. If enrolling by paper application, the student will select “other” as the test name and then write in “educator recommendation.”
  3. If enrolling online, the student should select “educator recommendation” from the drop down list of qualifying test names. Students must be logged in to their online enrollment form to see the educator recommendation option. 

Students qualify for the 4th–6th Grade Talent Search by achieving a score in the 95th percentile or higher on a qualifying exam. Once enrolled, for a onetime fee, they receive access to benefits until the end of sixth grade, including optional above-level testing; enrichment activities like the book club, writing and illustration contest, and specialized publications; and eligibility to apply to TIP’s educational programs.