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ACT or SAT? Which test should your 7th grader take?

September 23, 2007

Each fall, gifted 7th graders are invited to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), a “talent search” program that “provides the participants with comparative information concerning their academic abilities and resources for unique educational opportunities.”

To qualify, your 7th grader must take either the ACT or the SAT test.  But which test should he or she take?

The ACT will give you more actionable information about your child’s abilities for curriculum decisions.

The SAT only measures math, reading and writing.  The ACT measures those areas, plus science. Knowing that level of detail will help you decide if your child should be in gifted math or science classes or both.

The ACT science scores represent one more way in which students can qualify to participate in summer programs specifically for the gifted sponsored by Duke TIP or its cohort programs in other regions, hosted by Stanford, Northwestern University, and Johns Hopkins.   For instance, a student who was gifted in science and just above average in math would be able to enroll in programs on nanotechnology, marine biology, veterinary medicine, and introduction to medical science based upon strong ACT science scores, but might not get in with weaker SAT math scores.

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