Preparing for the John Hopkins CTY SCAT: A Complete Study Guide with Free Practice Sample Tests

Last Updated on January 12, 2022

SCAT, the school and college ability test, administered by the John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is one of the biggest challenges a student will face during their education.

Designed to discover talented young people the test is multiple choice and offered over three levels.

  • The Elementary Test is offered to 2nd and 3rd graders
  • The Intermediate SCAT is designed for 4th and 5th graders
  • The Advanced SCAT tests 6th to 8th graders

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Why is the test so challenging?

Designed to pinpoint the abilities of the most promising students the test checks if these students have above-average abilities. 2nd and 3rd graders are tested on material studied by 4th and 5th graders. When their results are calculated they are compared to the results obtained by regular 4th and 5th graders.

The same policy of testing at a level higher than the student’s actual level is used at all the other levels. So, 4th and 5th graders can expect to be tested at the level of 6th and 7th graders in the Intermediate SCAT. The Advanced SCAT tests 6th and 7th graders at a 9 to 12th-grade level.

Why take the SCAT?

Scoring well in the SCAT can pave the way for admission to the John Hopkins CTY programs. This will give the applicants a solid foundation from which to progress to high school and university education.

The potential of students whose school performance is above average is recognized. This will have a positive influence on their education and future careers and put them in a position where they can use talents that might otherwise have been overlooked.

Test results are retained following each test and once the child completes 7th grade they are in a position to join programs offered by the John Hopkins CTY.

Reports given to parents on a student’s results help the parents identify the progress their child is making within the educational system. This gives them an overview of their child’s abilities and puts them in a position to evaluate any career decision their child may make in the future.

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How is the test administered?

The test is computerized and can be taken at computer testing centers.

Each individual test consists of two sections.

  • A verbal section tests the child’s verbal ability
  • A numerical section tests the child’s numerical abilities
  • Each test lasts for 22 minutes with a 10-minute break allowed between sections.

What format does the test take?

Each portion of the test is multiple choice. Both sections have 55 multiple choice questions to be completed within the 22 minutes allowed.

Verbal reasoning

The verbal section tests the student’s command of vocabulary. In the test, the student is presented with a pair of words that go together in a certain way. Out of a list of 4 pairs of words, the student has to find the pair that go together in a similar way to the example given.

Example:

Aunt Niece

Which of the following pairs of words go together in the same way?

A uncle nephew
B day night
C tall taller
D wife husband

Quantitative reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section tests the student’s mathematical ability. The student is usually asked to assess which of two quantities is greater.

The student will need to use the mathematical reasoning appropriate to the level of the test to choose their answer. Revision of mathematical functions studied will be necessary for this one.

To get an idea of the types of questions asked at each level the following links will bring you to free test samples provided by Test Prep.

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Preparing for The Tests

Clicking on the above links will have given you a feeling of how demanding these tests can be. However, the rewards for doing well are worth fighting for. Helping students ace the SCAT a test prep pack will give details on the test and the resources needed to prepare for it.

The fact that students are being tested at a level higher than their current school grade gives an indication of the quantity of work involved in preparing for SCAT. For the parent or educator, this work extends beyond what the student can do on their own.

Given the student’s youth, getting information on SCAT will generally fall on the adult. The student needs information on the test as well as tools to prepare for test day. A test prep pack will provide the resources needed to make the preparation manageable for the student and the adult who is guiding them.

Steps to preparing for the test

1. Become familiar with the test

It is recommended that preparing for the test begins as soon as possible. The student has ongoing school work to deal with as well as extra work involved in preparing for the test.

When preparing for the SCAT the student has four areas to concentrate on.

  • They have to learn the extra material which a student at a higher grade level is studying in school
  • They have to revise material already learned to ensure they have a solid foundation for new learning
  • They have to become familiar with the method of questioning which, if they are new to SCAT, they might find a little strange
  • They have to get adequate practice on sample tests to ensure they are comfortable with the system before the day of the test

The details he will need for all of this can be found in the test prep pack. The pack ensures no unpleasant surprises await the student on the day of the test.

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2. Time Management

The concept of managing your time can be a difficult one for younger students to understand. However, preparing for SCAT means that time must be used well To ensure the student is using their time well and making the most of their potential it is important to:

  • Earmark times that are specifically for SCAT preparation
  • Clarify how time should be used in the test to ensure the optimum number of questions are answered.

Having the student do the sample tests within the time allowed will help them become aware of how they are using their time in a test setting. Their first efforts at doing this will be challenging but with regular practice on the sample tests, it will become easier.

Doing the sample tests will also let them know what lies ahead in the test center, something that in turn will make them more confident.

3. Health and Wellness

Many students much older than the students who do SCAT complain about the stress caused by examinations. Examinations are stressful for all age groups. Younger students may require adult guidance on how to deal with this. Guidance on the following will be helpful:

  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Fresh air
  • Nutrition

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Test Day

On Johns Hopkins SCAT test day the student is likely to be as worried as any other student going into an important exam. This is his opportunity to capitalize on the hard work done during the preceding months.

This is the time also when he needs to be calm and refreshed. A good night’s sleep before the test, fresh air, and exercise will all help them reach their potential.

Also Read: 8 Tips For Graduate Assessment Centre Success

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.

 

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