Identifying Students

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

Students in fourth, fifth, or sixth grade may qualify for the 4th-6th Grade Talent Search through one of three methods:

  • Scoring at or above the 95th percentile on an accepted grade-level national standardized achievement or abilities test
  • Scoring at or above the 95th percentile on a state assessment
  • Scoring 125 or above (full scale or composite) on an accepted IQ test
  • Receiving an educator recommendation if they haven’t tested or you believe they would benefit based on other factors

Use our look-up tool to find qualifying scores for any of our dozens of accepted tests. If you have any questions about tests not included here, email us at Please check back in early August for updated information on assessments taken in spring 2019. Many states do not release score data from spring assessment until late summer or early fall.


Important test notes

  • Students only need to qualify on one accepted subtest to be eligible for the program.
  • Students may qualify using scores from any time in the past two years. If the most recent test results for your state haven’t been released by September 2018, we recommend using 2016–2017 scores.
  • Because state assessment schedules vary and results are often delayed, be sure to keep your contact information current at so we can keep you updated on qualifying scores in your state!

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.


Identifying students early gives them a chance to maximize their benefits. Some—including the Writing and Illustration Contest and PSAT 8/9 testing—are available only during specific times of the year, so notify your students early!

Benefit Paper Application Postmark Deadline Online Enrollment Deadline
1/29/2019 PSAT 8/9 Test date 11/28/2018 12/20/2018
2/9/2019 PSAT 8/9 Test date 12/26/2018 1/7/2019
2/10/2019 PSAT 8/9 Test date 12/26/2018 1/7/2019
Writing Contest Runs from 12/1/2018 to 1/18/2019
Illustration Contest Runs from 3/15/2019 to 4/15/2019

Educator recommendations

Sometimes test scores aren’t the best way of measuring academic talent—because of score reporting delays, problems interpreting scores, or simply because other factors lead you to believe a student would benefit from TIP.

In these instances, we invite educators 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. View details on the Notifying Students section.

Notifying students

Once you’ve identified eligible students, you’re ready to notify them.