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Duke Tip 7Th grade talent search ACT or SAT?

MrsShyamMrsShyam 1 replies1 threads New Member
My son has received an invitation for Duke tips 7th grade talent search for Math and English. Please help me answer the following questions. You time is really appreciated.
1. What are the Benefits taking this Test?
2. Which one should he be taking ACT or SAT?

Thank you again for looking and helping this mom out.
27 replies
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Replies to: Duke Tip 7Th grade talent search ACT or SAT?

  • bgbg4usbgbg4us 1624 replies46 threads Senior Member
    hi there - you'll get several varying opinions on this.
    Here's my opinion: We've had our kids invited to it; one of the 4 took the test. She did fine; took the ACT, qualified just barely to attend some summer camp that cost a lot so we didn't have her go. It cost more to take the test with the TIP program than just registering on her own, but it came with a small state-wide ceremony that was nice.
    ** point is ; we didn't see a point to it other than a little good PR for her in jr. high. So the other kids didn't take it.

    In college, she's met two kids who attended the summer camps and were summer counselors there this past summer. They loved loved loved those camps.
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  • MrsShyamMrsShyam 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank You so much taking time to explain. I know those summer camps are very expensive 🥺!
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  • mathmommathmom 33244 replies163 threads Senior Member
    Those summer camps do have scholarships, I donate to the funds every year because those camps were such a godsend to my highly gifted son. He knew other smart kids here, but nobody who was as precocious or intense. He learned stuff there that he didn't see again until college. I think I also really realized why he never really fit in when I saw the bell curves and saw how far over on the right he was, and that was already a population of kids who were considered in the top 10% on local testing. The recognition ceremony? We skipped them. Younger son took the test because he was interested to see how he did. He qualified only for non-STEM programs, and was more in the middle of those curves. He preferred to other things in the summer.
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  • MomOfHSStudentMomOfHSStudent 32 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My DD20 took the Duke TIP ACT test as a 7th grader. She ended up with a full scholarship (Bevan Scholar for a perfect subscore section) to the summer program which we wouldn't have had her participate in only because of the cost. In hindsight, having the ability to understand how far above academically she placed amongst her peers opened up our minds that she really was gifted. We knew she was smart. She had taken IQ tests as a child so we knew she was intellectually gifted, but it took this program to really recognize it. She has been a part of a public school system and it helped us really understand her talent and potential. After she attended for free, she attended the next summer and we HAPPILY paid full price because our DD20 LOVED this program. She applied a third year and she would have attended, but ended up going to a Governor's Program instead for our state. To this day, this is one of her favorite extracurricular activities of all time. She loved the students that she was surrounded by and really enjoyed the higher level academics. She wants to be a Duke TIP counselor next year once she is in college. I would give it a 10 out of 10!
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2471 replies41 threads Senior Member
    My D took the SAT on her own and submitted the scores to both programs, qualifying for both Grand Ceremonies (also for CTY in 6th and 8th grades). It was cheaper than signing up through either program, and we didn’t have to pay the Talent Search fee until we saw the scores.

    Attending the ceremony is a nice ego boost/networking opportunity/resume line item. The CTY summer programs have been tremendous for my D - that’s covered in other threads. It’s also an early exposure to standardized tests, which I think is a positive. The schools also have advisory services for academic planning, college search, etc. for high talent students.

    At he high end, it is also used for SET (SAT only) and Davidson qualification, which bring their own services, course offerings, and networks.

    Because SET is SAT only, I’d recommend that. Otherwise, it doesn’t really matter. Though I seem to recall some ACT score cutoffs were lower, based on the concordance. ACT may also cover more advanced math, based on where the student is in school.
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  • kiddiekiddie 3887 replies242 threads Senior Member
    My daughter was nominated. She had no interest in the camps, so she didn't take the test. One piece of advice I was given was that a lot would depend upon what math level the student was in. The test will include Algebra, and some school districts don't offer that level of math to 7th graders (even advanced students). We see it here on CC all the time. Some kids can only make it to AP Calc following their school's most advanced math path, while others can take AP Calc sophomore year in HS.
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  • mom2andmom2and 3068 replies21 threads Senior Member
    It also depends on what you realistically think your student's level is. Not sure the qualifying numbers for take the test, but for a highly gifted kid, the camps or Davidson can be very beneficial, especially if there is limited gifted programming in their home school. For kids that are bright but not highly gifted, the programs are nice but likely not necessary. It also depends on their interests. One of mine did CTY summer camp and it was the best summer ever. He would not have been happy at a regular summer camp. The other two did not, and loved going to the Y sleep away camp and other experiences.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7981 replies35 threads Senior Member
    The utility of the early test depends a lot on the academic programs offered in your area, in addition to the camps. I recall reading the local high school's curriculum guide back when my daughter was in middle school, probably in 6th grade. The guide noted that 9th grade students could advance 1 year in the literature sequence, based on SAT scores. I thought, "That's ridiculous, no 9th grader has an SAT score!" Little did I know. My daughter took the SAT in 7th grade. This was extremely useful in qualifying for an accelerated math program at the local university, as well as advancing in the English sequence. The utility of the test depends on how accommodating the school is, for students who could really benefit from something beyond the standard curriculum. The report from the Talent Search includes recommendations for the course sequence the student should optimally be following.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10993 replies592 threads Super Moderator
    I am a test prep tutor. There are several differences between these tests.
    SAT pros:
    Generous time
    English section is quite short.
    Math section is wordy, but some would say a little easier than ACT math. Non-calculator section is not hard IF students remember how to do math with just a pencil.
    SAT cons:
    Reading section is VERY difficult, much more so than ACT.
    Some students find SAT math to be more convoluted than ACT math, even though it doesn’t go to the same level.

    ACT pros:
    More straightforward.
    Math section clearly progresses from easier to harder, but each point is worth the same.
    Reading section much easier than SAT reading.
    ACT cons:
    Ridiculously short time constraint.
    Science section freaks kids out. It’s really just about data interpretation though.
    English section has a LOT of punctuation and grammar, plus 75 questions to answer in 45 minutes. To compare, the SAT English section has 44 questions in 35 minutes and isn’t so focused on punctuation.

    Bottom line, if your child isn’t good at reading and working at a fast pace, the ACT is probably not the best choice. But, it is more straightforward. Your child can find free official tests online and do a few sections from each to get an idea of what he prefers.
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  • MWDadOf3MWDadOf3 117 replies9 threads Junior Member
    3 kids - 2 in college now, 1 in HS.

    All did TIP ACT testing, all qualified and attended at least 1 program. All total, they've done the 3 week program 6 times between them, and 1 did the 1 week program (for younger kids), twice. Also, one of the college kids was a TIP counselor this summer.

    So, I guess our family/kids are fans of the program. :)

    Downside - the programs are fairly expensive. Most residential summer programs at prestigious privates (TIP, the Johns Hopkins one, and others through top-20ish privates) are similar in cost. Programs at your state U. may be cheaper.

    Upside - Our kids have liked the programs. It was a chance for them to be on there own for a bit (i.e. practice leaving the nest), to be around other smart kids in challenging programs, and to have a fun summer experience.

    Other - I don't think our kids attended the recognition ceremonies, but I may be misremembering. I do think we got a few award certificate/trophy tchotchkes for the high scores, but in and of themselves, I don't think they were worth the effort. Our kids got an ego boost from their good scores, and I guess early exposure to the ACT. Our midde kid's high score maybe gave us some leverage in negotiating with the school district for acceleration.

    Overall, I would recommend at least applying, *IF*
    1) There's a reasonable possibility you'll actually send your kid to one of the programs (check the prices).
    and perhaps
    2) Cheaper in-state programs don't measure up, in terms of availability, breadth, depth, etc.
    Note though, that a good ~7th grade ACT/SAT score may be helpful/necessary in applying for other programs for gifted kids, including, perhaps, any in-state/public options.
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1218 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Mine took the ACT. She wasn't interested in any of the programs and we (the entire family) went into the test as a benchmark to see areas where she was strong and areas that might need improvement. She did absolutely no prep and we as parents didn't make a big deal out of it before or after the test. She was pleased as punch to hear some high-school kids talking about their previous scores that were lower than the score she got. So, she did get a small confidence boost out of the ordeal. Missed the state recognition ceremony by one point. (Maybe test prep would have been a good idea in hindsight.)
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  • mathmommathmom 33244 replies163 threads Senior Member
    I think having that SAT score from middle school that was probably higher than most of the teachers made asking for acceleration a lot easier.

    The history of using the SATs started by discovering that some kids could do very well on the math section without actually having been formally exposed to it. Originally the idea was not to study at all. When that was the case, it really did select for precocious kids. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Study_of_Mathematically_Precocious_Youth
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  • dropbox77177dropbox77177 266 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited September 2019
    One of our kids took the SAT at 11 years old (beginning of 7th grade), and scored extremely highly. This qualified them for SET, helped smooth over radical math acceleration within the public school district, and played a role in receiving a large academic scholarship to an elite private high school.

    We have never done the CTY or TIP camps, but some of our friends have and generally reported that they were very valuable.
    edited September 2019
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  • scmom12scmom12 3237 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    Both my Ds did the SAT but never did a camp even though they qualified. Neither was interested in academics over the summer. My thought was that it gave them exposure to SAT testing with little downside since those scores aren't sent to colleges. I don't love testing but always thought that familiarity decreased anxiety when it really counted. And since both did really well, it gave us a peek at what to expect down the road.

    D2's best friend in college was a counselor for 3 or 4 summers at various camps even though she never attended as a student.
    edited September 2019
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1061 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Both my kids took the ACT through NUMATS. Both qualified for various programs but seemed way over priced. We live in a metro and I always felt like my kids had good peer groups. One of my kids is PG. We homeschooled them so it was a good testing experience for them.

    I don’t see a huge down side. My kids got very comfortable with the testing process. We’d do it and then go out for whatever they want and forget it. I am not sure my kids even asked to see their scores the first time they did it. We didn’t prep for sure.
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  • wis75wis75 14400 replies65 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    My son did both, in different years. This was required (ACT or SAT) for both WI based and Northwestern based summer programs. He chose the WCATY one a few times in HS.

    The reason to take the test and go to the summer camps is for the intellectual environment. It was the only time during HS my son was with a group of peers. He would come home with an attitude- thinking his parents were stupid, sigh (where did he think he got his intelligence from?). There was the learning as well but the social part was at least as important.

    Aside from taking the tests there is valuable information for the student and parents. The Midwest Talent Search included info parents could use for their school district's placement. That may justify extra testing costs. It reinforced our acceleration decisions.

    Agree with that last paragraph in post #15. Definitely no prep. btw- no prep in HS either, these kids don't need it to get top scores. Exception- make them go over the test at least once for familiarity.

    Keep intellectual pursuits, whether or not the costs of summer camps, an important part of life. No pressure, not for looking good on any applications, but because they thrive on it.

    edited September 2019
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 2238 replies18 threads Senior Member
    My oldest took the SAT no prep pretty low key on the advice of a math specialist in 7th grade. Scored SET in both. With that, we knew the basics were there. Was useful to know that acceleration was indeed needed, no just us thinking our kid was "gifted" SSAT same kid score 99% overall perfect math and English pretty high too. No prep, just looked over how it was scored the night before. Other kiddo also scored SET in both.
    We have found the camps to be outrageously expensive. We've sent our kids to some pricey camps over the years but don't really see that kind of value in those camps. Might be great but seems out of range. Have done some of the family programs which were good. I think the programs would have been great in K-5 when the kids were bored to tears.
    The best part of taking the test early is the kid then realizes they are indeed not at the same level. So as the kids progress thru middle and high school, they know that they can achieve some high level things.
    We're generally not fans of pushing as much as possible in school. We do things outside of school so that the kids can be with other like minded kids and not have to compete with those kids whose parents are pushing them into honors level courses. In private school, we have found that the kids have enough avenues to get the academics they need.
    When the kids were in public school, the CTY results were not even considered. No gifted programs but common core was worshipped by many. Lol.
    I think for some kids ( especially those in certain areas). These programs can connect them and let them know there are other kids like them. That can be really important.
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  • wis75wis75 14400 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Gifted kids are not "pushed" into honors classes- it is those borderline bright kids whose parents push. Gifted kids do not always get top grades but certainly need the most rigorous classes to keep from even greater boredom. Sometimes forging ahead instead of holding back is the best option. After all, being gifted means being out of synch with agemates. Those Talent Search tests are good for proving/realizing how truly gifted some kids are. It is not just proud parents who have given all sorts of enrichment so their kids perform at a higher level but those with innate ability.

    You are lucky if you have a large enough gifted population living close so that your kids can be with academic peers on a regular basis. This is not the case for most gifted kids. Therefore the chance to be with peers for a few weeks 24/7 is great.
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  • amommof3amommof3 2 replies3 threads New Member
    This is a great question....I am in a similar situation with my son and trying to decide: 1)Should he take the ACT or SAT in seventh grade? 2) Should he prepare for the test at all?
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  • mom2andmom2and 3068 replies21 threads Senior Member
    As to which test, a post above describes the differences.

    As to prep, it really depends on your goal. For my son, we did literally no prep. The goal was simply to see where he would score and if he would make the CTY cutoff for the summer programs He was already in the GT program at his school (although that ended at middle school). I believe the programs are designed to identify kids that score well without prep, but of course that doesn't mean that all the test takers go in cold.
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