SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Duke TIP ACT Score Requirements

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | May 15, 2015 10:30:00 AM

ACT General Info, Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

 

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Maybe you’ve read our article about Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP), maybe you’ve heard about it from other students, or maybe you did your own research. You've heard vague hints of "score requirements," but don't know exactly what that means - do you have to take the ACT in order to take part in TIP? How well do you have to do on the ACT in order to become a TIPster? (I refuse to believe that students who participate in TIP do not go by this name.)

There are ACT (or SAT) score requirements for the Duke TIP: specifically, there are score requirements for Summer Studies programs and eStudies courses. I'm going to cover this complicated topic in exhaustive detail, explaining what the programs are, what the ACT score requirements are, and giving you some tips on how to meet these requirements. These requirements all refer to the regular ACT, NOT the ACT Aspire or ACT EXPLORE.

 

The Lay of the Land: Duke TIP Programs and Eligibility

Of all the the Duke TIP programs with SAT/ACT score requirements, the eStudies program has the lowest score requirements, followed by the Academy for Summer Studies, which falls in the middle, and the Center for Summer Studies, which is the most stringent when it comes to score requirements. These are not the same as the test requirements for the 7th Grade Talent Search, which you can find more about here.

How do you figure out if you are eligible for Summer Studies programs or eStudies courses? TIP determines your eligibility based on your SAT or ACT scores. If you participate(d) in the 7th Grade Talent Search, you will take (or took) the SAT or ACT as part of that program (read more about this in my complete guide to the talent search). It is the score from this testing that will qualify you for Summer Studies and/or eStudies courses. Don't worry - you can always retest if your scores aren’t high enough to get you into the program(s) you want.

If you’ve already taken the SAT or ACT as a 7th grader, you can still enroll in the 7th Grade Talent Search - you just have to do it using the paper application and include an official SAT/ACT score report. If you didn’t participate in the 7th Grade Talent Search, you can still participate in Summer Studies and eStudies courses using 8th-10th Grade Option, but I'll cover that in another article.

For now, I’ll ONLY be talking about the ACT score requirements for 7th and 8th -10th graders who did participate (or will be participating) in the 7th Grade Talent Search and are interested in attending Duke TIP Summer Studies and/or eStudies courses.

 

A Word of Warning

Currently, Duke TIP does not require participants to take the Writing portion of the ACT (that is, the essay). But given the recent changes to the ACT and SAT essays, it’s possible that Duke TIP may update its ACT score requirements. Don’t fret – as more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to update this article to reflect current knowledge.

 

Duke TIP Scores: The Particulars

So the Talent Identification Program has its ACT requirements for all Summer Studies courses in a table here and for eStudies courses over here. To be honest, I found the tables very confusing, especially when it came to figuring out Center for Summer Studies eligibility.

To make it easier for any one in the future trying to figure out the score requirements, I’ve separated out the requirements for what you need to get into the Academy for Summer Studies, the Center for Summer Studies, and eStudies courses and ordered them from lowest to highest score requirements. Hopefully, since all the scores will be in one blog post, rather than spread out over a website, it will be less tricky to read and understand.

To find specifics of the program you care about, just scroll down.

As you will see below, there’s a difference in the requirements you have to meet if you take the ACT during 7th grade, as part of the 7th Grade Talent Search, or if you take it again later on (between 8th and 10th grades).

 

ACT Requirements: eStudies

What are Duke TIP eStudies courses? According to the Duke TIP website, the eStudies program offers online courses in a variety of different subjects, open to “seventh through eleventh graders who have achieved certain qualifying scores on the ACT or SAT.”

Out of all the Duke TIP courses, the eStudies courses have the lowest score requirements. The specific courses you can take, however, depends on your score on particular sections of the ACT. 

So what eStudies courses are you eligible for? Use this handy table to find out!

 

If you took the ACT in…

And scored…

You are eligible for e-studies courses in…

7th grade

≥ 17 on Math OR

Science and Math

≥ 19 on Science

≥ 19 on English OR

Humanities and Social Sciences

≥ 18 on Reading

8th, 9th, or 10th grade

≥ 19 on Math OR

Science and Math

≥ 23 on Science

≥ 22 on English OR

Humanities and Social Sciences

≥ 20 on Reading

 

What If I Just Barely Don’t Make It?

On their site, Duke TIP states students who narrowly missed qualifying, are too old, or who missed the enrollment period for Duke TIP's 7th Grade Talent Search can still join Duke TIP through 8th-10th Grade Option. Unfortunately, they don't define "narrowly," so it's hard to say when you should consider 8th-10th Grade Option.

What is clear is that you can always retest on your own if you don’t meet the score qualifications for eStudies courses, or if you need a higher score to attend the Academy or Center for Summer Studies. We have more information about the application process in our article about the Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search.

 

ACT Score Requirement: Academy for Summer Studies

The Academy for Summer Studies at Duke TIP offers high-achieving students in grades 7-10 summer classes and interaction with similarly gifted peers.

How do you know if your ACT scores qualify you for the Academy for Summer Studies?

If you took the ACT in…

7th Grade

8th –10th Grade

And on the English section, scored between…

25-26

28-29

OR

On the Math section, scored between…

18-19

21-22

OR

On the Reading section, scored between…

20-24

22-25

OR

On the Science section, scored between…

20-23

22-24

 

…then you are eligible for the Duke TIP Academy for Summer Studies.

 

body_SCORE.jpgSCORE logo by Score, in the Public Domain.

 

ACT Score Requirement: Center for Summer Studies

The Center for Summer Studies is another summer program offered by Duke TIP; the difference between the Center and the Academy is in the intensity of the courses and the stringency and specificity of the score requirements.

If you took the ACT in 7th grade and scored 27 or above on any section, or (re)took it in 8th -10th grade and got a 30 or above on any section, you are eligible for the Center for Summer Studies. But even if you did not score at or above those score thresholds on any single section, you may still be eligible for the Center for Summer Studies.

Again, we’ve compiled the information from the TIP website into a simpler, easier-to-understand form, dividing up information for 7th graders and 8th-10th graders into two separate tables.

If you take the ACT in 7th grade, you can take courses in...

Math, Science, Technology  if you scored…

Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences if you scored…

Math

≥ 20

English

≥ 27

 

OR

Reading

≥ 25

OR

 

For Both Courses

 
 

English

Math

Reading

Science

 
       

≥ 24

 
 

OR

 
 

≥ 25

≥ 19

     
 

OR

 
   

≥ 19

≥ 24

   

 

If you take the ACT in 8th –10th gradeyou can take courses in...

 

Math, Science, Technology, if you scored...

Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, if you scored...

English

Math

Reading

Science

English

Math

Reading

Science

 

≥ 23

   

≥ 30

     
 

OR

   

≥ 26

 

OR

 

For Both Courses

 
 

English

Math

Reading

Science

 
       

≥ 25

 
 

OR

 
 

≥ 28

≥ 19

     
 

OR

 
 

≥ 25

≥ 22

     
 

OR

 
   

≥ 19

≥ 25

   
 

OR

 
   

≥ 22

≥ 24

   

 

 

Duke TIP Score Requirements: A Few Final Notes

For Summer Studies courses, you may only apply to the level for which you are qualified. This not only means that you can't apply to the Center for Summer Studies if your score only qualifies you for Academy courses (which makes sense), but that you can't apply to the Academy for Summer Studies if your score is higher than their score requirements - instead, you may only apply to the Center for Summer Studies.

On their Test Prep page, Duke TIP has the following to say about their score requirements:

“We do not recommend that you spend a lot of time preparing for the test. The point of taking an above-level test is diagnostic, and many test preparation programs merely lead to unnecessary anxiety. Since this test is only meant to provide information, we suggest the best way to prepare is to be familiar with the structure of the test and the timing of each section, and to review the practice questions we provide.” [Source: Test Prep | Duke TIP. Accessed 2016-12-09.]

And look, when you’re taking the ACT as a 7th or 8th grader, you don't need to worry about getting an ACT score that will get you into college. In fact, we have a series of articles about what a good ACT score for a 7th grader and an 8th grader might be, based on extrapolations from data from Duke TIP and John Hopkins CTY. We also have information about what a good score for a 9th and 10th grader might be, but as you can see from the tables, for the purposes of eligibility Duke TIP does not distinguish between 8th, 9th, and 10th grade ACT scores.

 

How Do I Meet The Requirements? 4...TIPS (you knew that was coming)

  1. Spend time prepping. Yes, I know I just quoted the Duke TIP site, which advises the opposite, 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 ACT prep course - just that, at the BARE minimum, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the ACT'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 ACT, you'll want to study more hours per week than if you have several months left.
    • For more advice, read our articles about taking the ACT in 7th and 8th grade.
  2. Take the ACT as early as you can and still feel prepared. If you take the ACT earlier on, you have a lower score threshold to meet (compare the 7th grade vs 8th -10th grade requirements for eStudies, Academy, and Center courses). 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. If you have a standout test section, focus on it. Duke TIP is unlike most colleges and universities in that you can get in to its various programs even if you only do well on one section of the ACT.
    • If you find that you're getting in practice scores of around 16 for English and Math but 25 for Reading and Science, 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 Reading and/or Science (depending on whether you want to take Humanities or Math/Science courses) than you are trying to bring up all four of your section scores.

  4. Know the ACT strategies that are appropriate for your level. Advice for getting a 36 on a section will not necessarily be relevant if you only need to get above a 24.
    • One example of this is that if you’re aiming for a 26, you can skip the hardest 20% of questions entirely and just focus on answering as many of the easier questions correctly as possible (although since the ACT does not penalize for wrong answers, make sure to leave no space blank, even if you end up choosing “B” every time).
    • We have more useful information like this in our article on how to guess correctly on the ACT.

 

body_handshake.jpgHandshake by Quinn Dombrowski, used under CC BY-SA 2.0/Cropped from original.

Hello, ACT Score Requirements, nice to finally meet you.

I hope this article helped clarify the mystery of what the ACT score requirements for Duke TIP are. If you'd rather take the SAT, be sure to read our SAT edition of this article.

 

What’s Next?

Curious about what the Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search is? I demystify this program in this complete guide.

Delve into our trove of ACT strategies by reading through our collection of blog posts on that very topic.

What's a good 7th grade ACT score in general?

 

Want to improve your ACT score by 4+ points? Download our free guide to the top 5 strategies you need in your prep to improve your ACT score dramatically.

Free eBook: 5 Tips to 4+ Points on the ACT

 

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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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