ATYP Qualification: Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about qualifying for ATYP but not sure what to do?

If you missed our fall Information Meeting and your student would like to test to see if he/she would qualify for the program, please follow these steps:

Other common questions:

When should my student test?
December through April is our preferred testing window, although we do accept scores through June. The later a student qualifies the more limited the time available for them to complete their summer homework, particularly in English.
Why do I have to test through NUMATS?
The ACT and SAT do not allow students under the age of 13 to register for their tests directly online. Not only is NUMATS convenient, but it provides you with a great deal of additional information regarding gifted and talented students in general, and about your child’s scores in particular.
Do you prefer one test over the other?
Either test is fine for ATYP admissions, however recent changes to the SAT include wordier math problems that have proven to be an issue for our test takers. If you are interested at all in qualifying for the math program, you may want to make the ACT your first choice.
Do I have to take the essay portion of the test?
No
What should I do to have my student prepare for the test?
Have your child take a practice test (provided by the College Board for the SAT or found online for the ACT). Taking the practice test does three things:
  1. It allows the student to understand how long the test is and how fast they need to proceed to finish as much of the test as they can.
  2. The student will know before they take the test that they are not going to know all of the answers, that they’re not supposed to know all of the answers, and that this is absolutely appropriate – the test was not designed for them.
  3. Lets them see the types of questions that will be asked so they can adapt their thinking and challenge themselves to consider new types of material. DO NOT pay for an expensive test prep class. We want to know what your child knows, not how well he or she has been taught to take a test.
Can my 8th grader qualify for ATYP?
In general, we do not feel that beginning ATYP as a freshman is particularly beneficial to most students. However, if you have just moved into the area and have not had the chance to see if you might qualify for the program, please contact our office.
How do I register for NUMATS?
Online registration is easy. Go to: http://my.ctd.northwestern.edu. Follow the steps listed in our NUMATS step-by-step registration guide.