Test Day

The information on this page is for current seventh grade students who have already enrolled in the 2017–2018 7th Grade Talent Search and who have questions about the test day. For test prep information, please visit the test prep page.

A girl smiles and listens to her classmate in a Duke TIP classroom.

Before the test

Be sure to get a good night's sleep the night before and eat a hearty breakfast the morning of the test. You should also double check the testing time and location, which are printed on the admission ticket. Typically, you should arrive between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m.; if you arrive after the test administrators begin giving instructions, you will not be admitted.

What to bring

There are two items that are essential to testing; if students don’t have both, they will not be allowed into the test center.

1. The identification form

The identification form is the only identification needed; students do not need a photo ID. You can download your student’s identification form here:

The invitation to enroll in the talent search that you received from your school may not be used for entrance into the test center.

2. Admission ticket

Your testing agency will send the admission ticket to your student. You should receive it at least two weeks before your test date. If you don’t, call ACT at (319) 337-1270 or SAT at (866) 756-7346. Students who are thirteen years old can also visit the agency’s website to print their own tickets.

The talent search identification form is not the same as an admission ticket and may not be used in place of your admission ticket.

In addition, we recommend your student also bring two sharpened number 2 pencils, an approved calculator (review ACT's calculator policy and SAT’s calculator policy), and a snack and drink for breaks—be sure your student can store it out of sight in a backpack or paper bag.

A girl smiles in a Duke TIP classroom.


All tests are administered by ACT or SAT. You should report all problems to them directly via the ACT or SAT website (for SAT, scroll down to the test center complaints section) so they can improve their processes. However, we also want to know if you have a problem on test day. Feel free to contact us at 7talentsearch@tip.duke.edu or (919) 668-9100 with details when you encounter problems.

If you miss your scheduled test

ACT and SAT typically do not offer refunds for missed test dates. If you can’t make your test date for any reason, including inclement weather, call your testing agency directly to reschedule your test date. You can do so before or after your test, but the agency will charge you a fee unless the test was cancelled due to bad weather.

If there is bad weather and you think that your test center might need to reschedule, check the ACT and SAT websites to see if your test is canceled. Both sites will list closures so you can see if you are expected to arrive on schedule or not.

If you are unable to test on your designated test date, we encourage you to follow through with the experience so you take advantage of the diagnostic benefits that above-level testing provides, as well as possibly qualify for some of TIP’s educational programs. There are test dates available through June 2018. Contact ACT at (319) 337-1270 or SAT at (866) 756-7346 to reschedule your test.

Please be aware that testing after March means that, should you receive qualifying scores for recognition, you won’t be able to attend one of our ceremonies, but you will receive the award in the summer. In addition, taking the ACT or SAT in March, April, May, or June may affect your ability to apply to Summer Studies or eStudies in seventh grade, as application deadlines may pass and courses may fill up before you receive your scores.

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.