SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

CTY SAT Score Requirements

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | May 19, 2015 11:28:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

 

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You’ve decided that you want to take part in the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Good for you!

Having made this decision, however, you probably have some questions about test score requirements - do you have to take the ACT in order to apply for CTY or its programs? What does taking the ACT qualify you for, and how well do you have to do on it.

I’ll answer all these questions, and even manage to squeeze in an example from Shakespeare, if you’ll just read on.

NOTE: The requirements in this article pertain to the old, out-of-2400 SAT. We'll update this article as soon as CTY releases information about its new SAT score requirements.

feature image credit: 3D Home Inspection Checklist by www.stockmonkeys.com, used under CC BY 2.0/Cropped from original.

 

Do I have to take the SAT to do CTY at JHU?

The only circumstance under which you MUST take the SAT is if you want to participate in the Study of Exceptional Talent (more on that later).

Otherwise, you do not have to take the SAT if you’re under grade 7 and not interested in Study of Exceptional Talent. CTY has different tests for younger students, like the School and College Abilities Test. If you’re in 7th grade or above, you can take the SAT; even so, however, it is not your only option if you want to participate CTY. Other tests used to qualify you for various CTY programs include the Spatial Test Battery, PSAT, and ACT.

 

What does the SAT qualify me for at CTY?

So if you do take the SAT, what is your score relevant for?

The Center for Talented Youth was considerate enough to create an eligibility assesment tool for prospective students; plug in which test you took, your grade when you took it, and your score, and the website will calculate which CTY programs you would be eligible for.

This tool is great if you have already taken the SAT and have your score, but it's a little harder to use if you haven't yet taken the SAT; plus, it doesn't tell you what award ceremonies your score qualifies you for.

To address these issues, I will discuss the specific SAT score requirements for each of the programs and award ceremonies at CTY. If you only want to know about a specific program's score requirements, go ahead and click on the name below to jump to it.

Academic Explorations

Intensive Studies

CTYOnline courses

Award Ceremonies

Grand Ceremony

Study of Exceptional Talent (SET)

Otherwise, keep reading for more information about what parts of the SAT matter for CTY when it comes to score requirements (hint: not every section counts).

 

So what are the SAT score requirements?

Despite what you might expect, CTY does not care about your Writing score - all that matters for SAT score requirements are your Math and Critical Reading scores. I do not know why that is - best guess is that CTY wants to make sure SAT requirements are equivalent to the ACT requirements, which also only involve Math and Reading subscores.

Disclaimer as always: The score requirements I discuss below are for the old, out-of-2400 SAT with the test changes in the Spring of 2016, CTY will almost certainly adjust its score requirements. But don’t fret – as more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to update this article to reflect current knowledge.

I’ve made up six different tables of score requirements for your perusal. The first three contain the score requirements for CTY programs (Academic Explorations, Intensive Studies, and CTYOnline), while the last two contain information about qualifying for CTY's year-end Award Ceremonies.

 

CTY Summer Programs: Academic Explorations

Academic Explorations courses are held at sites all over the US as well as in Hong Kong. If you're a 10th-12th grade student and meet Academic Explorations score requirements, your score also qualifies you for CTY's Princeton: Global Issues in the 21st Century program.


The scores needed for CTY's Academic Explorations program are relatively low, compared to some of the other CTY programs. As with CTYOnline, high Reading scores qualify you to take courses in Humanities and Writing, while high Math scores qualify you to take courses in Math and Science. So are you eligible for Academic Explorations courses?

If you took the SAT in…

And scored…

You are eligible for courses in…

7th grade

≥ 410 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 430 on Math

Math and Science

8th grade

≥ 460 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 480 on Math

Math and Science

9th grade

≥ 510 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 530 on Math

Math and Science

10th-12th grade

≥ 560 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 580 on Math

Math and Science

 

Go back to the list of programs with score requirements.

 

CTY Summer Programs: Intensive Studies

Similar to the Academic Explorations Program, CTY's Intensive Studies program also takes place across multiple locations, including Hong Kong. Caution: while there are some sites where both Academic Explorations and Intensive Studies courses are offered, this is not true for all CTY Summer sites, so pay close attention when scouting out potential summer study locations.

The Intensive Studies programs have higher SAT score requirements, but they also allow a little more leeway when it comes to Math and Science courses. What do I mean by this? Take a look at the table below.

 

If you took the SAT in…

And scored…

You are eligible for courses in…

7th grade

≥ 510 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 580 on Math OR

Math and Science

≥ 1040 on Math + CR

8th grade

≥ 560 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 630 on Math OR

Math and Science

≥ 1140 on Math + CR

9th grade

≥ 610 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 680 on Math OR

Math and Science

≥ 1240 on Math + CR

10th-12th grade

≥ 660 on Critical Reading

Humanities and Writing

≥ 730 on Math OR

Math and Science

≥ 1340 on Math + CR

 

While the eligibility standards for Humanities and Writing courses are fairly straightforward (your Reading score determines if you qualify), it's possible to qualify for Math and Science courses even if your Math score does not meet CTY's specifications: you may still be eligible for Math and Science courses if your Math and Reading scores combined meet Intensive Studies Standards.

For instance, according to the above table (using data from CTY), if I took the SAT in 9th grade and scored a 640 on Reading and 600 on Math, I would be eligible to take both Humanities and Writing courses (since my Reading score is ≥ 610) and Math and Science courses (since while my Math score is not ≥ 680, my 600 Math score + my 610 Reading score is ≥ 1240).

Moving on…onLINE, that is!

 

body_enthusiasmuncurbed.jpgEnthusiasm Uncurbed by David Goehring, used under CC BY 2.0/Cropped from original.

Ah? onLINE, since I'm talking about online classes next? Get it? Get it? (Regrets I have for this segue: ZERO).


Go back to the list of programs with score requirements.

 

CTYOnline Courses

The SAT score requirements for CTYOnline courses are very similar to the requirements for the Academic Exploration Courses; the main difference is that there are more specific requirements for older (10th-12th grade) students who wish to take CTYOnline courses. See the below table for more details.

 

If you took the SAT in…

And scored…

You are eligible for courses in…

7th grade

≥ 410 on Critical Reading

Writing, Critical Reading, Grammar, Humanities, World Languages, Social Sciences

≥ 430 on Math

Math, Computer Science, Science, World Language

8th grade

≥ 460 on Critical Reading

Writing, Critical Reading, Grammar, Humanities, World Languages, Social Sciences

≥ 480 on Math

Math, Computer Science, Science, World Language

9th grade

≥ 510 on Critical Reading

Writing, Critical Reading, Grammar, Humanities, World Languages, Social Sciences

≥ 530 on Math

Math, Computer Science, Science, World Language

10th grade

≥ 560 on Critical Reading

Writing, Critical Reading, Grammar, Humanities, World Languages, Social Sciences

≥ 580 on Math

Math, Computer Science, Science, World Language

11th grade

≥ 610 on Critical Reading

Writing, Critical Reading, Grammar, Humanities, World Languages, Social Sciences

≥ 630 in Math

Math, Computer Science, Science, World Language

12th grade

≥ 660 on Critical Reading

Writing, Critical Reading, Grammar, Humanities, World Languages, Social Sciences

≥ 680 in Math

Math, Computer Science, Science, World Language

 

Go back to the list of programs with score requirements.

 

Award Ceremonies Eligibility

The top 30% of CTY students who participated in the Talent Search are honored at regional Award Ceremonies in multiple locations in the US and China. How do you know if you qualify?


If you took the SAT in…

7th Grade

8th Grade

And on Math or Critical Reading scored…

≥ 550

≥ 600

then you will be honored at an Award Ceremony with a medal and recognition.

 

Go back to the list of programs with score requirements.

 

Grand Ceremony Eligibility

CTY's Grand Ceremony is an international award ceremony, held once a year in Johns Hopkins University's Shriver Hall. The students honored at the ceremony are a selective subset of all students who qualify for the regional Award Ceremonies.

So how do you know if you qualify for the Grand Ceremony?


If you took the SAT in…

7th Grade

8th Grade

And on Math or Critical Reading scored…

≥ 700

≥ 750

…then you will be honored at the Grand Ceremony with a medal and recognition.

 

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Go back to the list of programs with score requirements.

 

Study of Exceptional Talent (SET)

What is the Study of Exceptional Talent? According to its website, the SET provides resources for “students who have been identified as having advanced reasoning abilities and may not yet be ready to enter our nation's most selective colleges and universities, but who also may not be well served by the typical middle or high school curriculum.” (bolding mine)

Too long; didn't read version: SET is for students who scored exceptionally well on the SAT when they were in elementary or middle school, haven't entered college yet, and aren't being challenged enough by school.

Already taken the SAT as part of another Talent Search (like Duke TIP)? Not to fret - your scores will carry over so that you don't have to retake the SAT; this is particularly helpful if you're currently out of the age range for SET.

So how do you determine if you're eligible for the Study of Exceptional Talent?

If you took the SAT BEFORE age…

And on the Math or Critical Reasoning scored…

13

≥ 700

13 years, 1 month

≥ 710

13 years, 2 months

≥ 720

13 years, 3 months

≥ 730

13 years, 4 months

≥ 740

13 years, 5 months

≥ 750

13 years, 6 months

≥ 760

13 years, 7 months

≥ 770

13 years, 8 months

≥ 780

13 years, 9 months

≥ 790

13 years, 10 months

800

…then you are eligible for the Study of Exceptional Talent.

I find the requirements for SET confusing in the abstract, so I've created a fictional example to try and explain it. As a...let's say "bonus," I've used a character from Shakespeare to illustrate my point.

Juliet Capulet, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, was born on Lammas-Eve (July 31st). Let’s say that her 13th birthday was July 31, 1596. If Juliet took the SAT the next March (let’s say March 8, 1597), she would be 13 years, 7 months, and a few days old at the time of testing. In order for her to qualify for the Study of Exceptional Talent, she would have to have scored a 780 or better on either the Math or Critical Reading portion of the SAT.

 

CTY SAT Requirements: Some Logistics

If you’re taking the SAT as part of the Talent Search, you need to register for the SAT with very specific information. Use CTY's "Before The Test" information to make sure that your scores will be sent to the right place. On test day, you must bring the SAT Valid Identification form with you along with your official admission ticket to the test center; this expedites the process for CTY.

 What if you took the SAT on your own, without being part of the Talent Search, and now want to apply to one of CTY's summer programs, or take a CTYOnline course? Don't worry - you can still apply to summer programs and CTYOnline - you just need to make sure that you submit a copy of an official score report with your summer program or CTYOnline application.

 

How Do I Meet The Requirements? 5 Points To Keep In Mind

1. Spend time prepping. Yes, the test is being used as a sorting tool by CTY, and when you're taking the SAT as a 7th or 8th grader you don't have to worry about getting the score that will get you into college. But let's be realistic: you'll need at least SOME test prep.

  • This in no way means that you should invest in any kind of SAT prep course - just that, at the BARE minimum, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the SAT's structure and timing.
  • You should take a practice test to gauge where you are, then use this information to determine the amount you have to improve to meet the qualifications for your desired program.
  • Know how much time you have to study so you can plan your prep accordingly. If you only have a few weeks before the SAT, you'll want to study more hours per week than if you have several months left.
  • For more advice, check out our articles about taking the SAT in 7th and 8th grade.

 

2. Take the SAT as early as you can and still feel prepared. If you take the SAT earlier on, you have a lower score threshold to meet (compare the 7th grade vs 8th -10th grade requirements for Academy Explorations and Intensive Studies courses).

  • This is particularly true if you're aiming to qualify for the Study of Exceptional Talent - if you're over the age of 13, one month's difference in test date changes your eligibility requirements by 10 points (see section on Study of Exceptional Talent above).
  • In general, older students know more than younger students (stop rolling your eyes, younger siblings), but if you've spent time prepping, it's worth it to take it sooner rather than later.

 

3. Building off of the above point, make sure you take the SAT early enough during the school year to qualify for CTY programs.

  • If you're at all interested in CTY's summer programs, you should try to test by early January of that year at the latest; otherwise, you may have difficulty getting into the programs.
  • If you want to be honored in the Spring Award Ceremonies, you must have tested by the end of February. Otherwise, you will get rolled over into the next year's Award Ceremonies.
  • Of course, in either case, you can retake the SAT if your score is too low to qualify you for the program or the award ceremony you want, since CTY will only consider your highest score; in fact, this makes it even more important to take the SAT earlier in the school year, so that you have a chance to retest if necessary and still be eligible for summer courses and spring award ceremonies.

 

4. If you have a standout test section, focus on it. CTY is unlike most colleges and universities in that you can get in to its programs even if you only do well on one section of the SAT.

  • If you find that you're getting in practice scores of around 490 on Math but 600 for Critical Reading, own it.
  • In the above example, you're better off putting in the time to make sure you can consistently get above the score threshold for Critical Reading than you are trying to bring up all of your section scores. And for Intensive Studies courses, a really stellar Critical Reading score can make up for an abysmal Math score - check out the Intensive Studies score requirements discussion above if you don't believe me!

 

5. Know the SAT strategies that are appropriate for your level. Advice for getting an 800 on a section will not necessarily be relevant if you only need to get above a 600.

  • One example of this is that if you’re aiming for a 600, you can skip the hardest 20% of questions entirely and just focus on answering as many of the easier questions correctly as possible.
  • We have more useful information like this in our articles on preparing for the SAT Math and SAT Reading sections.

 

What’s Next?

Curious about the ACT requirements for CTY? Read more about the ACT scores you'll need for various CTY programs here.

Want to know more about CTY at JHU? I go into more detail on the CTY Talent Search and what programs and resources you gain by participating in CTY in this article.

What are some other programs for gifted/talented students? Find out with our articles about Duke TIP, the Summer Institute for the Gifted, and Stanford EPGY.

 

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Laura Staffaroni
About the Author

Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.



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