Ceremony Timing and Logistics

Ceremonies are held in May and early June. Students must test before the end of March to attend a ceremony, so be sure to enroll accordingly if the ceremony experience is important to you. Unfortunately, we don't receive scores from tests taken after March in time to invite those students to ceremonies.

Qualifying students who test after the deadline or who cannot attend their ceremony for any other reason are sent a commemorative medal in August.


We send invitations and RSVP information to qualifying students in April. That information will let you know which ceremonies you are being invited to attend, as well as details about RSVPs, optional activities, and more.

Tickets and guests

Tickets are not required for the ceremony, but the size of some ceremony venues does limit how many guests each attendee can bring. Those details are provided with your invitation or on the ceremony details pages for each State or the Grand Ceremony.


Please dress comfortably for the weather and activities. You will be walking across a stage area to receive your award. There is always a wide range of clothing styles from dressy to casual, and we respect your family's decision about appropriate attire.


The ceremony generally lasts from one to one-and-a-half hours. The hosting institution may plan optional activities before or after the ceremony itself. These activities are outlined on the ceremony details pages for each State or the Grand Ceremony.


Travel expenses are the family’s responsibility. We provide some guidance about directions and accommodations on the ceremony details pages for each State or the Grand Ceremony.

Ceremonies on school days

Unfortunately, our ceremonies often take place on school days. That’s because our host universities typically only have space available on weekdays, and because we also can’t hold the ceremonies in the summer without creating conflicts with our summer programs. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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.