History of SCAT (The School and College Ability Test)
Since 1985, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth has identified talented students in elementary grades using the SCAT (School and College Ability Test) has two sections: Verbal and Quantitative. Each section contains 55 questions, including five unidentified experimental items that do not count toward the student’s score.School and College Ability Test. In May 1996, CTY purchased all rights to the SCAT from Educational Testing Service (ETS) and entered into an agreement with Prometric to computerize the SCAT and make the test available at computer test centers.
There are three different versions of the SCAT.
- Students in grades 2-3 take the Elementary SCAT designed for 3rd through 6th graders.
- Students in grades 4-5 take the Intermediate SCAT designed for 6th through 9th graders.
- Students in grades 6 and above take the Advanced SCAT designed for 9th through 12th graders.
Because this is an above-grade-level test, after the test, you’ll receive information that shows how your child’s score compares to that of students in his or her grade as well as students in the higher grades for whom the test questions were originally designed.
The SCAT has two sections: Verbal and Quantitative. Each section contains 55 questions, including five unidentified experimental items that do not count toward the student’s score.
- Verbal Section: The verbal section measures a student’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. Often, there may appear to be more than one answer that fits the analogy, but the correct answer is the one that best completes the analogy.
- Quantitative Section: The quantitative section measures a student’s understanding of fundamental 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 and thus often do not require computation.
SCAT Scaled Scores range from 400 to 516 depending on the level the student takes. This scaled score is based on the number of questions the student answers correctly out of the 50 scored questions in each section.
- Verbal Range = 400-471
- Quantitative Range = 412-477
- Verbal Range = 405-487
- Quantitative Range = 417-506
- Verbal Range = 410-496
- Quantitative Range = 424-514
Test Timing and Breaks
The two sections, each 22 minutes long, are separated by a 10-minute break. The break is optional and student-directed. In other words, the test center administrator will not start and end the break. It is the student’s responsibility to return to the test on time. If students take any other breaks during the test, timing will continue.
Your appointment time will be 90 minutes but the test itself usually takes less than one hour.
Programs for Grades 2-4
CTY offers summer day programs for qualified students who have completed grades 2-4 in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and New York City, as well as in West Los Angeles, La Jolla, and Pasadena, California. Eligibility for the program is based on what grade the student has completed, as well as his/her score on the CTY-administered SCAT test. You can also view the 2014 catalog, including sample syllabi, and a list of courses by site under Young Students Catalog and Resources.
Programs for Grades 5-6
CTY offers summer residential and day programs on the east and west coasts for qualified students who have completed grades 5-6. Day site locations (which also include classes for students who have completed grades 2-4) are in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and New York City, as well as in West Los Angeles, La Jolla, and Pasadena, California. Eligibility for the program is based on what grade the students has completed, as well as his/her score on the CTY-administered SCAT and/or STB tests. You can also view the 2014 catalog, including sample syllabi, and a list of courses by site under Young Students Catalog and Resources.
Program Dates for 2015 (most sites):
- First session: June 28 – July 17
- Second session: July 19 – August 7
Step 1: Establishing eligibility
Students who are interested in our summer programs must take one of our designated tests to establish eligibility for CTY 7th Grade and Above: Intensive Studies or CTY 7th Grade and Above: Academic Explorations. They must take the SCAT test to establish eligibility for the Young Students Program for students in grades 2-6.
If you are not sure what courses/courses your child is eligible for, please go here: https://ctyjhu.org/eligibility/eligibility_TS.cfm.
We highly recommend that students who wish to attend our summer programs participate in CTY’s Talent Search. By doing so, students increase their chances at being assigned to a course in our summer programs.
To be considered in CTY’s initial course assignment process, applications must be received at CTY by end of business on January 15. Refer to “How Courses are Assigned” for additional detail.
After January 16, applications received by the close of business each Wednesday are considered for course assignment, following the same process.
The course assignment process continues once each week until registration closes in late spring. However, for applications received after April 12, a late fee is charged.
Scheduling for the SCAT Test
To get an authorization number, students must register for our Talent Search ($30 fee) using the link below:
Here’s a link to an overview of our Talent Search and the process:
You can make an appointment with Prometric online at www.prometric.com/jhucty or by phone at 800-688-5796. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST on weekdays. The SCAT test fee is $60 (US only), payable by credit card or electronic check. The fee will be charged immediately. Please call or go online at least three weeks before your preferred testing date. Students must test by June 30, however, if you are interested in Summer Programs, please test as early as possible. Registration for summer courses opens in January and spaces fill quickly.
You will be required to have your 9-digit SCAT Authorization Number from CTY before you call to schedule your SCAT testing appointment. If you received test registration information by mail, the testing authorization number is printed on the registration packet envelope. If you received test registration information by email, the authorization number is in the body of an email from CTY. If you’ve lost or cannot find the authorization number, you can access it by logging into MyCTY.
When to expect scores
Scores are mailed by CTY 2-3 weeks after testing. CTY automatically receives all SCAT and STB scores directly from Prometric, however, SAT and ACT testers must request that their scores are sent to CTY. Contact CTY at 410-735-6278 if you have not received your scores.
After CTY has received your scores, we will send all Talent Search participants the following:
- Certificate of Participation
- Qualification Letter (indicates CTY programs for which the student is qualified)
- After the Test (resources and test statistics)
All students can retest with CTY. SCAT and STB testers may test twice during the academic year (July – June). SAT and ACT testers may test as often as they wish. CTY will always consider the highest scores.