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School and College Ability Test

Overview

The School and College Ability Test (SCAT Test) is a standard test that is designed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) to identify gifted children in the second to twelfth grades. The test is considered an above grade level exam that measures both verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities.

The test is timed and consists of two parts, verbal and math sections.  All questions are multiple choice. CTY has used the SCAT since 1985 to identify talented youth. The SCAT test was computerized and made available at Prometric test centers in 1996.

Three Levels of the SCAT

  • Elementary SCAT designed for grade 4-5 students: Taken by grade 2-3 students.
  • Intermediate SCAT designed for grade 6-8 students: Taken by grade 4-5 students.
  • Advanced SCAT designed for grades 9-12 students: Taken by students in grades six and above.

What’s on the SCAT.

There are two sections in the test, Quantitative and Verbal. The quantitative section tests mathematical skills, while the verbal section tests a candidate’s verbal reasoning using analogies.

Test Content

The two sections of the test, verbal and quantitative sections, have 55 questions each. For each, 50 questions are graded, while 5 are experimental and do not count in the final grade or score.

The time allocated to each section is 22 minutes, with a 10-minute break between the two sections. The test does not penalize wrong answers; so if all else fails guessing is a good strategy.

Note that each question must be answered before one can move to the next question. There is also an option to review and change answers before submitting the exam if time allows.

Verbal Section

This section is designed to measure a candidate’s understanding of words and their ability to reason verbally. These are multiple-choice questions analogies requiring a candidate to make a choice of the best pair of words for completing the analogy. In order to perform well in this section, a child must have mastery of strong vocabulary, information/knowledge, and verbal reasoning abilities.

Quantitative Section

This section measures the candidate’s ability to understand foundational math operations. Just like verbal questions, quantitative questions are multiple choices consisting of mathematical comparisons. The child is required to compare two quantities and determine which one is greater than the other. The questions do not require computation since they are only intended to test a child’s mathematical reasoning. To perform well, the child needs to have a strong understanding of mathematical facts, reasoning, number operations, and calculations.

SCAT Scoring

After the test, parents receive information showing the score compared to other students in the higher grades. The SCAT is scored by combining both scaled and raw scoring system. The scoring is specific to sections.

The three steps of calculating CTY SCAT scores are:

  • Raw score: which is calculated by tallying the number of correct answers out of 50.
  • Scaled score: the raw score calculated in the first step is converted into a scaled score allowing administrators to compare scores. These scores range from 400 to 514.
  • SCAT Percentiles: this is used to compare a candidate’s scores are compared to the norms of performance in a higher grade.

How to Get Results

 

A candidate can view his/her results on the JHU MyCTY page 5 days after taking the test. Furthermore, one will receive the results of the test by mail from CTY three weeks from the test date.

Eligibility and Test Process

Before a student register and book a test date, they are required to register with CTY to claim their eligibility number. After receiving the eligibility number, one can book their SCAT test at the nearest Prometric test center by logging into their MyCTY account online. Those wishing to do the test at home can also specify while registering. There are designated centers for disabled children to take their tests. Disabled candidates are be given a 90-minute slot within which the child must complete the test.

SCAT FAQ

Yes, the SCAT test is timed, with every section being allocated 22 minutes with a 10-minute break in between the sections.
The SCAT test is conducted online at a Prometric Test Center.
The SCAT test is conducted from 1st July to 30th June the next year. The child is allowed to answer the test twice within the period.
Yes, you can choose an available date and apply for the test date three weeks to the date.
Yes. Candidates can take the SCAT test each year as long as the child is in grades 3-8.
There is no penalty for wrong answers in the SCAT test. Therefore, there is no risk in guessing.
The test aids your child in discovering their verbal and math skills. The test also is a qualification for some CTY courses. All candidates will receive a certificate after the test. Top scorers will be invited to special ceremonies for recognition.

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.

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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.

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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.

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