Identifying Students

A teacher looking on and smiling as her class has a discussion

Identify early this year!

While above-level testing is available through June, the discontinuation of the January SAT by the College Board makes it important to notify students as early as possible this year. Testing earlier allows a student to receive certain talent search benefits with no delays. 

The 7th Grade Talent Search is open to current seventh grade students (or eighth grade students who skipped the seventh grade) who qualify through one of the following four methods. For each of the methods, there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. Students only need to qualify on one subtest or on the composite to be eligible for the program. (Please note that students will take the full ACT or SAT as part of the talent search regardless of what subtest is used for qualification.)
  2. A qualifying score may come from either of the two most recent test administrations. Typically, that means scores from tests taken in either the fifth or sixth grade. If current test results have not been released in your state by the end of September, we recommend using scores from fifth grade to identify your students.

Option 1: Grade-level standardized achievement and abilities tests

Using national norms, any student who scores at or above the 95th percentile on an accepted subtest from a grade-level standardized achievement or ability test is eligible. TIP accepts dozens of different 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 one of the accepted IQ tests taken within the past two years is eligible.

Option 3: State assessments

Many states require their own standardized exams. TIP works with these states to determine what scale scores equate to the 95th percentile. Review the accepted state assessments with our look-up tool.

State assessments vary in their schedules and results are often delayed. In these cases, we strongly recommend you use 2015–2016 fifth grade scores or an educator recommendation (see option 4 below) to identify your students. Be sure to keep your contact information current at www.tip.duke.edu/schoolupdate so TIP can keep you up-to-date on qualifying scores in your state!

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 (DOCX), 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 will 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. 

Qualifying Test Lookup Tool

Use our look-up tool to look up the accepted tests, subtests, and scores from Options 1–3 above. If you have any questions about tests not included here, send an email to qualifying_test@tip.duke.edu.

Students qualify for the 7th Grade Talent Search by scoring at or above the 95th percentile on a grade-level standardized test. Enrollment provides benefits that last through the end of high school, including the opportunity to take the ACT or SAT, specialized publications, college prep advice, and access to educational programs.