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SCAT FAQ - Answers to Your SCAT Questions

Here at TestPrep-Online, we have the answers to your SCAT questions. For information regarding the test’s validity and reliability, methods of test preparation, score interpretations, and everything else you need to know about the SCAT, keep reading. Feel free to post more questions in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

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The SCAT Elementary Premium pack comes with one full length SCAT test as well as additional practice questions. 

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About the SCAT

SCAT Test Prep

What Is on the SCAT?

SCAT Scores

Registering My Child

Ask a Question

About the SCAT

Q: What is the CTY SCAT?

A: The School and College Ability Test (SCAT) is a multiple choice, standardized test administered by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). It is an above-grade level test which assesses math and verbal reasoning abilities among gifted children. Learn more about the CTY SCAT and help your child prepare with TestPrep-Online. Click here to learn more about the CTY SCAT.

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Q: What is the relevance of the SCAT?

A: The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) uses the SCAT to identify gifted and talented students, enabling gifted students to be admitted to CTY programs worldwide.

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Q: Is the SCAT a valid test?

A: Validity of a test is dependent on how well it measures what it is supposed to measure. Research has determined that the SCAT is a valid, reliable, and appropriate test for the use CTY Talent Search. According to Dr. Hayfa Tayseer Elbokai of Al-Balqaa’ Applied University, the validity was measured in comparison to academic achievements and was found valid. The findings show a significant correlation between SCAT scores and academic achievement criteria (2012).

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Q: Is the SCAT a reliable test?

A: The reliability of a test is dependent on the degree to which an assessment tool produces stable and consistent results. According to Elbokai (2012), the SCAT tests “are long enough to yield very reliable estimate of the standing or progress of individuals and groups” (p. 92). The SCAT covers enough material and can be used to assess and estimate progress among individuals and groups over time.

Elbokai, H.T., 2012. Realability and Validity Study of the School and College Abillity Test (SCAT) Advanced Form. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 2(11), 89-96.

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SCAT Test Prep

Q: How do I help my child prepare for the SCAT?

A: Help your child prepare for the CTY SCAT by familiarizing him/her with the format and content of the CTY SCAT. It is essential for his/her success that s/he has plenty of practice time. Determining the best way to study can be difficult. TestPrep-Online makes this step easier by offering comprehensive, level-specific study packs, enabling your child to prepare for the test.

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What Is on the SCAT?

Q: What do the different test levels mean?

A: There are three different levels of the CTY SCAT:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Advanced SCAT - 6th-8th graders take the Advanced SCAT, which is designed for 9th-12 graders. The test is scored in comparison to 9th - 12th graders.

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Q: What is an “above grade level” test?

A: Above grade level test is one that assesses students at a higher grade level than the one they are in at the time the test is administered. For example, 2nd and 3rd grade students take a test designed for 3rd and 6th grade students.

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Q: What types of questions are on the SCAT?

A: The SCAT is made up of two sections: quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning:

The quantitative reasoning section on the SCAT assesses a student’s comprehension of number operations and mathematical reasoning. This section includes multiple choice mathematical comparisons, consisting of two quantities, of which students must determine which is greater than the other.

The SCAT verbal section assesses a student’s verbal reasoning and vocabulary skills. This section includes multiple choice verbal analogy questions, consisting of two words that go together in a certain way, followed by four pairs of words (the answer choices). Students need to select the pair of words with the same relationship as the first two words to best complete the analogy.

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Q: How many questions are on the test? How much time is given to complete the test?

A: The SCAT test has two sections: Verbal and Quantitative. Each section includes 55 questions, out of which five are experimental questions that are not counted towards the student’s final score. Each section is 22 minutes long, with an optional 10 minute break in between the two.

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SCAT Scores

Q: How is the SCAT Test scored?

A: The raw score is calculated by tallying the total number of questions answered correctly out of the 50 scored questions. Scaled scores range from 400 to 514, according to the test version.

The SCAT percentile is used to compare students to those in higher grades. Since the SCAT is an above grade level test, students take a test designed for higher grades and the scaled scores are compared to performance norms of students in higher grades. For example, 2nd and 3rd grade students take the Elementary SCAT version, designed for 3rd - 6th graders and their scores are compared to the norms of 4th and 5th grade students, respectively. Click here to read more about SCAT Test scores.

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Q: What score does my child need to be accepted to the JHU CTY programs?

A: To be eligible for CTY programs, students taking the SCAT must achieve these scores:
Grade QuantitativeVerbal
2435430
3440435
4450440
5465445
6470450

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Registering My Child

Q: How do I register my child to take the CTY SCAT?

A: Be sure to register your child for the CTY SCAT with Prometric (either online or by phone at 800-688-5796). You may pay the $60.00 fee by credit card or electronic check. For CTY summer programs, students must take the SCAT as early as possible, as registration for summer programs starts in January. All other students must take the test by the end of June.

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Q: Should my child participate in JHU CTY?

A: JHU CTY provides services for gifted students, establishing the groundwork for future success. CTY offers several programs and open many doors for gifted youth. Gifted and talented students flourish when praised and recognized. Talent Search offers recognition to students who welcome the challenge and award them with a Certificate of Participation. Students at the top of the CTY programs participate in award ceremonies. Click here to learn more about JHU CTY.

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