SCAT - School and College Ability Test

(Nationwide)

Overview

The SCAT Test (School and College Ability Test) is a standardized test used by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) to identify 2nd – 12th graders for their gifted program. The SCAT is an “above grade level” test and measures math and verbal reasoning abilities.

The Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is a summer program established by Johns Hopkins University in 1979 that offers challenging coursework to gifted and talented students, allowing them to work side-by-side with other passionate learners. CTY admits thousands of U.S.-based and international students each summer and is accredited by the Middle States Association of College and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Since 1985, the Center for Talented Youth has identified talented students in elementary grades using the SCAT. In 1996, CTY computerized the SCAT and made it available at Prometric test centers. To learn more about the Johns Hopkins CTY, visit http://cty.jhu.edu.

Timing

Be sure to register your child for the CTY SCAT with Prometric (either online or by phone at 800-688-5796). You may pay the $60.00 fee by credit card or electronic check. For CTY summer programs, students must take the SCAT as early as possible, as registration for summer programs starts in January. All other students must take the test by the end of June. Learn more about the SCAT.

Test Structure

There are three different levels of the CTY SCAT:

Elementary SCAT - 2nd and 3rd grade students take the Elementary SCAT, which is designed for 4th-6th graders. The test is scored in comparison to 4th and 5th graders, respectively.


Intermediate SCAT - 4th and 5th grade students take the Intermediate SCAT, which is designed for 6th-9th graders. The test is scored in comparison to 6th-9th graders.


Advanced SCAT - 6th-8th graders take the Advanced SCAT, which is designed for 9th-12th graders. The test is scored in comparison to 9th - 12th graders.

The SCAT has a verbal and quantitative section, each with 55 questions.  On the test, 50 questions from each section are graded and 5 are experimental items that do not count towards the final score. Students have 22 minutes to complete each section. They are given a 10-minute break between sections. There is no penalty for wrong answers so it is okay to guess. 

Content

The two sections of the SCAT test are Verbal and Quantitative. The verbal section uses verbal reasoning to complete analogies, and the quantitative section uses mathematical reasoning to complete questions. All questions in both sections are multiple choice.

Verbal

The verbal section measures your child’s understanding of the meaning of words and verbal reasoning ability. Verbal questions are multiple-choice analogies, which require a student to choose the best pair of words to complete an analogy. It may appear that more than one answer fits the analogy, but the correct answer is the one that best completes the analogy. To do well on this section, your child will need strong vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and knowledge/information abilities.

 

Quantitative

The quantitative section measures your child’s understanding of foundational number operations. The quantitative questions are multiple-choice mathematical comparisons, which require a student to compare two mathematical quantities and determine which is greater. Problems are intended to measure mathematical reasoning ability, so they do not require computation. To do well on this section, your child will need to have a strong understanding of mathematical reasoning, math facts, calculations and number operations.

 

Scoring

The CTY SCAT scores are calculated in three steps: 

 

1. Raw Score

The raw score is calculated by tallying the total number of questions answered correctly out of the 50 scored questions. For example, if a child correctly answered 27 out of 50 questions, his or her raw score is 27/50. 

 

2. Scaled Score

Once the raw score is calculated, it is converted into a common scaled score. This is what allows administrators to properly compare various scores to each other. Scaled scores range from 400 to 514, according to the test version. The purpose of a scaled score is to compare a student’s score to other students within his or her grade level. Scaled scores are finally converted into SCAT Score Percentiles:
 

SCAT Percentiles

The SCAT percentile is used to compare students’ academic abilities to those of students in higher grades. Since the SCAT is an above grade level test, students take a test designed for higher grades and the scaled scores are compared to performance norms of students in higher grades. For example, a 2nd and 3rd grade student takes the Elementary SCAT version, designed for 3rd - 6th graders and their scores are compared to the norms of 4th and 5th grade students, respectively.

 

Grade by Grade Scoring Criteria
2nd graders are compared to 4th graders
3rd graders are compared to 5th graders

4th graders are compared to 6th graders
5th graders are compared to 8th graders
6th graders are compared to 9th graders
7th graders are compared to 12th graders
8th graders are compared to 12th graders

What Score Does My Child Need to Be Accepted to the JHU CTY Programs?
Grade   Quantitative  Verbal
2        435            430
3        440            435
4        450            440
5        465            445
6        470            450

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