ATYP Test Preview Seminar

This practical counseling session focuses on the major aspects of the tests. The ACT/SAT, multi-hour timed tests, are a very different testing experience for middle school students. This session focuses on the organization and rules of the test, and offers specific suggestions on how to prepare for and improve the student’s test score. Presenters with math and English content expertise will discuss sample math, reading, and writing questions, as well as strategies for finding the best answer. The differing formats of various types of questions will be highlighted. Test directions and timing will be presented.

Test Preview Seminars will be held on the following dates:

  • Saturday, January 20, 2024 (in person, 1910 Sangren Hall) 
  • Sunday, January 28, 2024 (virtual) held 4 - 6:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 24, 2024 (in person, 1910 Sangren Hall) 
  • Recorded (you may purchase access to the recording)

All presentations from 9:30 - 11:45 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

Registration is online

Enrollment for the in-person events is limited, so sign up quickly. Should there be space available, there is an additional fee for late registration. Seminar materials will be mailed to the registrant’s home address for virtual sessions. If you register less than two weeks prior to the seminar, your session materials may not arrive in time for the presentation.


The Test Preview fee for a family—one or two adults and the student—is $40. The charge for families with more than one student is $60 (there is no additional charge for an extra student for the online seminar unless you want two sets of materials mailed to your home). Payment must be made when you fill out the online registration form. There is a $10 late fee if you register less than one week before the seminar date. Fee waivers are available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Please email the office at or call (269) 387-3553 for more information.


General Overview (35 minutes)
English Overview (45 minutes)
Math Overview (45 minutes)

Families can attend for the whole seminar or just for the General Overview. The General Overview has information important to the entire family. The Math and English Overviews are designed specifically for the student. Please bring a pencil to the in-person seminars. No calculator or other materials are needed.

Why Take the ACT/SAT?

Decades of research documents that academically talented students can have very different educational needs. Grade-level achievement tests can’t magnify important details about their potential, and thus provide insufficient information to match students to the most appropriate programs and courses of study.

Above-level testing provides a more accurate assessment of a talented child’s potential in math and verbal areas. The ACT/SAT tests may be written for high school juniors and seniors, but 40 years of research have documented their usefulness as reliable above-level assessment tools for talented young students.

These tests act like high-powered microscopes, giving a much more detailed assessment of a student’s math and verbal reasoning abilities. With the follow-up interpretation of scores and academic planning guide sent by Northwestern University’s CTD Assessment, everyone—parents, students, and schools—can make better decisions about appropriate levels of acceleration and classes needed during the middle and high school years.

Since the tests differ both in format and content from tests usually taken by middle school students, it is important to offer these students a preview of what they can expect when they arrive to take them.

Above-level testing is analogous to taking a patient’s blood pressure. The number needs to be accurate so the patient can receive the best treatment possible. You get the most accurate reading on both tests if you relax!


Dr. Kelly Schultz, ATYP Director and instructor, has been a member of the mathematics/computer science faculty at both Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College. She has taught all levels of ATYP math from algebra through AP Calculus, and is the creator of its AP Computer Science course. Her sons have also participated in ATYP. Through these experiences, she has learned how talented students think about math concepts and how to introduce ideas in ways that work for them. She has received Kalamazoo County's Excellence in Education "Significant Educator Award" from ATYP graduates, and is the recipient of teaching awards from WMU, as well. 

Nan Janecke has worked as the Program Coordinator for ATYP since 2009. She holds a degree in English from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in School Counseling from WMU. Nan substitute teaches for numerous ATYP English classes and works with both the College Board and ACT as part of her duties as Coordinator. As co-founder and President of Partners in Learning for Unlimited Success (PLUS of Southwest Michigan), she gives and attends many presentations on both gifted education and middle school students. All three of her children participated in the Talent Search and two were ATYP students—she has lived the challenges that these students face.