Recognition Ceremonies

We have made the difficult decision to postpone all Duke TIP recognition ceremonies originally scheduled for the spring of 2020. 

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to develop, minimizing health risks takes top priority, and medical officials far and wide recommend eliminating large gatherings as an important step in that direction.

Trust us when we say that celebrating our students' amazing academic achievements remains near the top of our priority list as well! Qualifying students will receive invitations to ceremonies next spring, in 2021. Since we are postponing this year's ceremonies, students who test or re-test in the fall of of 2020 and who qualify to attend a ceremony will also receive an invitation in spring of 2021. 


Each spring, Duke TIP holds special award ceremonies to honor 7th Grade Talent Search participants who do exceptionally well on the ACT or SAT.

The ceremonies are similar to graduation ceremonies. They are hosted on college and university campuses and include a keynote address, and honorees walk across the stage to receive a commemorative medal. Typically, the ceremonies last an hour and a half, and some ceremonies include optional events before and after to learn about the host campus, including tours, seminars, and receptions.

There are two kinds of ceremonies: State Recognition Ceremonies, which take place the states with the largest talent search enrollments, and the Grand Recognition Ceremony, which takes place at Duke University and honors those students with the highest scores. 

2020 eligibility criteria

Ceremony Type
ACT Score
SAT Score
State Ceremony English ≥ 22 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing ≥ 550
Math ≥ 22
Reading ≥ 23 Math ≥ 540
Science ≥ 22
Grand Recognition Ceremony English ≥ 30 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing ≥ 650
Math ≥ 28
Reading ≥ 31 Math ≥ 650
Science ≥ 28

Students only need to qualify in one subtest to be eligible.

Students interested in attending a ceremony are encouraged to test by February. Those who achieve qualifying scores by the end of March will still receive a ceremony invitation, but they may have fewer ceremony locations to choose from. 

State Recognition Ceremonies

Qualifying students who test in March or earlier will receive an invitation to attend one of our twenty-six state ceremonies. Information for 2020 State Recognition Ceremonies is now available.

Grand Recognition Ceremony

The Grand Recognition Ceremony takes place at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium each year.

Updated information for the 2020 Grand Recognition Ceremony is now available.

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.