SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

CTY SAT Score Requirements

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jun 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

 

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You’ve decided that you want to take part in the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) 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 SAT to apply for CTY or its programs? What does taking the SAT 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.

Feature Image: ccPix.com/Flickr

 

Do You Have to Take the SAT to Do CTY?

First off, do you have to take the SAT in order to do a program at CTY? The short answer is that it depends on the program and your grade level.

Most CTY programs require students to submit results from one test out of several options, including the SAT, ACT, PSAT, and Spatial Test Battery. The specific tests a student is eligible to take will vary depending on his or her grade level (so an 8th grader will have different test options than a 2nd grader will). If the SAT is an option for your grade level, you may take it or you may opt for a different pre-approved test.

In general, if you are in at least the 7th grade, the SAT will be a test option for you. If you are in a lower grade level, you will have different test options that do not include the SAT.

Note that if you do decide to take the SAT for a CTY program, you will not need to take the SAT with Essay (which includes the optional Essay section), as you will be judged based only on your Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) scores.

Here are the specific test options for the CTY programs (with the SAT highlighted in yellow):

Academic Explorations (open to grades 7 and above)

  • SAT
  • ACT
  • Advanced SCAT
  • Spatial Test Battery (STB)

Intensive Studies (open to grades 7 and above)

  • SAT
  • ACT
  • Advanced SCAT
  • Spatial Test Battery (STB)

Talent Search (open to grades 2-8)

  • School and College Ability Test (SCAT): grades 2-8
  • SAT: grades 7-8
  • PSAT 8/9: grades 5-6
  • ACT: grades 7-8
  • Spatial Test Battery (STB): grades 5-8

CTY Online Courses (open to grades pre-K and above)

  • SCAT (grades 2-6)
  • PSAT 8/9 (grades 5 and above)
  • Advanced SCAT (grades 7 and above)
  • SAT (grades 7 and above)
  • ACT (grades 7 and above)
  • PSAT 10/NMSQT (grades 7 and above)

Study of Exceptional Talent

  • SAT (required for all)

 

What Does the SAT Qualify You For at CTY?

If you do decide to take the SAT, what is your score actually relevant for?

The Center for Talented Youth was considerate enough to create an eligibility assessment tool for prospective students. You simply plug in the test you took, your grade level when you took it, and your score to calculate which CTY programs you're eligible for.

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

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

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!).

 

SAT Score Requirements for CTY

CTY generally values whichever SAT section your score higher on—essentially, either your Math or your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) scores. (Note that EBRW is a combination of the Reading and Writing sections.)

Below, I've made up six different tables of score requirements. The first three contain the score requirements for actual CTY programs (Academic Explorations, Intensive Studies, and CTY Online), 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 and in Hong Kong. If you're a 10th- to 12th-grade student and you meet Academic Explorations score requirements, your score will also qualify you for CTY's Princeton: Global Issues in the 21st Century program.

The scores needed for the Academic Explorations program are relatively low, compared with those required for other CTY programs. As with CTY Online, high Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) 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? Let's take a look at the requirements:

If you took the SAT in …

And scored …

You are eligible for courses in …

7th grade

≥ 440 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 440 on Math

Math and Science

8th grade

≥ 490 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 490 on Math

Math and Science

9th grade

≥ 540 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 540 on Math

Math and Science

10th-12th grade

≥ 590 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 590 on Math

Math and Science

Source: CTY Academic Explorations PDF

 

CTY Summer Programs: Intensive Studies

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

The Intensive Studies program has higher SAT score requirements. In addition, it's tougher to qualify for the Math and Science courses since you need to hit certain scores in both the Math and Reading sections (note that your Writing test score isn't included here—I explain this more below):

If you took the SAT in …

And scored …

You are eligible for courses in …

7th grade

≥ 540 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 540 on Math
and
≥ 18 on Reading

Math and Science

8th grade

≥ 590 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 590 on Math
and
≥ 18 on Reading

Math and Science

9th grade

≥ 640 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 640 on Math
and
≥ 18 on Reading

Math and Science

10th-12th grade

≥ 690 on EBRW

Humanities and Writing

≥ 690 on Math
and
≥ 18 on Reading

Math and Science

Source: CTY Intensive Studies PDF

As you can see, you only need to hit a benchmark score on Evidence-Based Reading and Writing if you wish to qualify for Humanities and Writing courses; however, you'll need to get a high Math score as well as a certain Reading test score to qualify for Math and Science courses.

But what is a Reading test score? This is basically the score you get only on the Reading section of the SAT. It is not the same thing as your EBRW score, which is a combination of your Reading and Writing test scores.

Both the Reading and Writing sections are first scored on a scale of 10-40. These test scores are then combined and converted to give you a final EBRW score on a scale of 200-800. For more information, check out our guide to how the SAT is scored.

Now moving on … onLINE, that is!

 

body_enthusiasmuncurbed.jpgAh? onLINE, since I'm talking about online classes next? Get it? Get it? (Regrets I have for this segue: ZERO.) (David Goehring/Flickr)

 

CTY Online Courses

When it comes to the CTY Online courses, SAT score requirements are the same as those for the Academic Exploration Courses. See the below table for more details:

If you took the SAT in …

And scored …

You are eligible for courses in …

7th grade

≥ 440 on EBRW

Writing
Critical Reading
Grammar
Humanities
World Language
Social Sciences

≥ 440 on Math

Math
Computer Science
Science
World Language

8th grade

≥ 490 on EBRW

Writing
Critical Reading
Grammar
Humanities
World Language
Social Sciences

≥ 490 on Math

Math
Computer Science
Science
World Language

9th grade

≥ 540 on EBRW

Writing
Critical Reading
Grammar
Humanities
World Language
Social Sciences

≥ 540 on Math

Math
Computer Science
Science
World Language

10th-12th grade

≥ 590 on EBRW

Writing
Critical Reading
Grammar
Humanities
World Language
Social Sciences

≥ 590 on Math

Math
Computer Science
Science
World Language

Source: CTY Online Eligibility Guidelines

 

Award Ceremonies Eligibility

The top 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 whether you qualify?

Unfortunately, you'll only receive information about qualifying SAT scores after you take the test. That being said, here are what the eligibility requirements used to be (for the old version of the SAT). Use these to give yourself a rough idea of what score to aim for:


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.

 

Grand Ceremony Eligibility

CTY's Grand Ceremony is an international award ceremony that's held annually 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 whether you qualify for the Grand Ceremony? As mentioned above, CTY no longer publishes score requirements for their ceremonies. However, here are what these score requirements used to look like (using the old version of the SAT). You can use these to get a general idea of what scores to aim for on the test:


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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Study of Exceptional Talent (SET)

What is the Study of Exceptional Talent? Here's how the program is described on the official website (bold emphasis mine):

"SET's primary function is as a counseling service to its members—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."

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 (such as 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? Let's take a look:

If you took the SAT before age …

And on either Math or EBRW 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

Source: CTY SET Eligibility

… 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'll be using a character from Shakespeare to illustrate my point.

Juliet Capulet, from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, was born on Lammas-Eve (July 31). Let’s say that her 13th birthday was July 31, 1596. If Juliet took the SAT the next March (we'll say March 8, 1597), she'd be 13 years, 7 months, and a few days old at the time of testing.

In order to qualify for the Study of Exceptional Talent, Juliet would need to have scored a 780 or higher on either the Math or Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT.

 

CTY SAT Requirements: Logistics

If you’re taking the SAT as part of the Talent Search, you'll need to register for the test with very specific information. Use CTY's Before the Test guide to make sure 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 CTY Online course? Don't worry! You can still apply to summer programs and CTY Online—you just need to make sure you submit a copy of an official score report with your summer program or CTY Online application.

 

How to Meet the CTY Requirements: 5 Key Tips

Before we wrap up, let's go over some tips to keep in mind if you're considering applying to CTY.

 

#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'll get you into college. But let's be realistic: you'll need at least some test prep if you want to do well on it!

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. One way to do this is to take an official practice test; this will help you gauge your weaknesses and find your baseline score. You can then use the results from this test to determine how much you have to improve by in order to meet the qualifications for your desired CTY program.

In addition, 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 had several months left.

For more advice, check out our articles on taking the SAT in 7th grade and 8th grade.

 

#2: Take the SAT As Early As You Can—and Still Feel Prepared

The earlier you take the SAT, the lower the score threshold you'll need to meet (for example, compare the 7th grade requirements with the 8th-10th grade reqs 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 are over the age of 13, a month's difference in test date changes your eligibility reqs by 10 points! (See the section on Study of Exceptional Talent above for more details.)

In general, older students know more than younger students do (stop rolling your eyes, younger siblings!), but if you've spent time prepping, it's worth it to take the SAT sooner rather than later.

 

#3: Take the SAT Early Enough to Qualify for CTY Programs

If you're at all interested in CTY's summer programs, you should try to test by December the year before at the latest; otherwise, you might have difficulty getting into the programs.

If you want to be honored at the Spring Award Ceremonies, you must have tested by the end of February. Otherwise, you'll get rolled over into the following 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 on in the school year so that you have a chance to retest if necessary. This way you'll still be eligible for summer courses and spring award ceremonies!

 

#4: Got a Stand-Out Test Section? Focus On That

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 practice scores around 490 on Math but 600 on Reading and Writing, own it. You're better off putting in the time to make sure you can consistently get above the score threshold for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing than you are trying to raise all your SAT section scores.

 

#5: Learn the SAT Strategies 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. In fact, if you’re aiming for a 600, you could guess on the hardest questions entirely and just focus on answering as many of the easier questions correctly as possible.

We've got more useful information on this in our articles on preparing for the SAT MathReading, and Writing 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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