Free SCAT Test Online Preparation: Practice SCAT Sample Questions & Get Helpful Tips – 2024

Gifted and Talented Tests Practice

Are you planning on enrolling your child into a John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth program? If you are, your child may be required to take a SCAT exam, which includes complex testing material. This article will provide you with in-depth knowledge about the testing material found on the SCAT exam as well as the best methods for preparing for the test.

What Is the SCAT Test?

SCAT stands for School and College Ability Test and is a standardized test that is administered to children in 2nd grade through 12th grade. The SCAT conducts an assessment on children to identify those that are eligible for gifted and talented programs, including the John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (JHU CTY) programs. The SCAT exam is referred to as an above-grade level test, as it assesses the ability of students to answer questions at a higher grade level. The SCAT test is divided into three separate test levels. After a child has completed a test level, they will not be expected to take the test again until they are eligible for the next SCAT test level. Below are the three different types of SCAT Tests:

  • SCAT Elementary Test: This test is administered to children in 2nd and 3rd grade. The test includes testing material designed for 4th through 6th graders. This means that 2nd graders will be answering 4th grade-level questions, and 3rd graders will be answering 5th grade-level questions, respectively.
  • SCAT Intermediate Test: This test is administered to children in 4th and 5th grade. The test includes testing material designed for 6th through 8th graders. This means that 4th graders will be answering 6th grade-level questions, and 5th graders will be answering 8th grade-level questions.
  • SCAT Advanced Test: This test is administered to children in 6th through 8th grade. The test includes testing material designed for 9th through 12th graders.

 

What Are the SCAT Test Sections?

The SCAT exam is comprised of two test sections, including a Verbal Section and a Quantitative Section. Both of these test sections will include 55 questions and a 22-minute time limit. Five of the 55 questions will be experimental, which means they will not be counted towards your child’s final score. However, students will not know which questions are real and which questions are experimental, so it is important that all questions be taken seriously. In between each section students will receive a 10-minute break.

Verbal Section

The SCAT’s Verbal Section includes questions used to assess a child’s ability to understand verbal reasoning as well as identify each child’s vocabulary skills. Regardless of grade level, the questions will look the same. As the tests advance, the questions will become harder. Students will see a verbal analogy phrased as a multiple-choice question. The verbal analogy will include two words that are related to each other in some way. Then, the analogy will include four different pairs of words in the answer options. These words may also be related to each other in some way, but students will need to choose the word pair that holds the same relationship as the original word pair in order to accurately complete the verbal analogy.

Quantitative Section

The SCAT’s Quantitative Section includes questions used to assess a child’s ability to understand number operations as well as their ability to comprehend mathematical reasoning. Regardless of grade level, the quantitative questions will be formatted the same. As the tests advance, the quantitative questions will become harder. Students will see a mathematical comparison phrased as a multiple-choice question. The mathematical comparison will include two number quantities, and students will need to determine which number quantity has a greater value. These questions could be straight-forward and include simple comparisons, such as simple fractions. These questions could also be more complex and include longer equations or word problems. Students will need to solve the problems and choose the higher value in order to answer the mathematical comparison questions correctly.

 

How to Read SCAT’s Score Report

The SCAT exam’s score report will include three scores that represent how your child performed on the test. The results from the score report are used to determine whether or a not a child is eligible to enroll into a JHU CTY program. The scores represent each child’s cognitive ability and their aptitude for answering difficult questions. The score report will include three individual scores: a raw score, a scaled score, and a percentile.

  • Raw Score: The SCAT exam score report will first include a raw score. This is a fairly simple score, as it is just the number of questions answered correctly over the total number of questions. Keep in mind that each section will receive its own score, and the scores will not be combined together like other types of aptitude tests. For example, if a child scores a 35/50, this means that they answered 35 questions correctly out a total number of 50 (remember that 5 of the questions are experimental and will not count towards their score, regardless of whether or not they were answered correctly).
  • Scaled Score: The SCAT exam score report will also include a scaled score. The scaled score is determined by comparing the raw score of each child to other children that are the same age nationwide. The result from this comparison is then normalized and converted into the scaled score. The score range for this section will vary depending on the test level each child is taking, and can include the following score ranges:
    SCAT Elementary Test SCAT Intermediate Test SCAT Advanced Test
    Verbal Range 400 – 471 405 – 487 410 – 496
    Quantitative Range 412 – 477 417 – 506 424 – 514
  • Percentile Ranking: The SCAT exam score report will lastly include a percentile ranking. The percentile ranking is a comparison of scaled scores to those of children in higher grades. Based off of the percentile ranking, students may be eligible to enroll into a special JHU CTY program.

 

SCAT Test Tips

  1. Start preparing at least two weeks in advance. Don’t wait until the last second to start studying for the SCAT exam. The questions on this exam can be tricky and may take some time to get used to. It is recommended that students start preparing with practice exams at least two weeks before taking the actual exam. This will allow them plenty of time to become familiar with the material while also not feeling overwhelmed with learning a plethora of new information all at once.
  2. Read through every explanation, even if your child answered the question right. Explanations are your child’s best friend during the studying process. Explanations provide inside knowledge on why a question should be answered a certain way and will teach your child about answering difficult questions. Students will not be provided with explanations on the actual exam, which means they won’t be told why a question was answered wrong. Take advantage of the opportunity to read through explanations provided to you during practice exams.
  3. Prepare a thorough study plan. Set aside some time each day that are strictly dedicated to studying for the SCAT exam. Make sure that you and your child stick to this study plan. It is important that you also do not overwhelm your child with studying, which means you should not spend entire days preparing. Instead, carve out an hour or two a day that are allocated to studying, and then reward your child at the end of the studying session. Children can easily become overwhelmed if they are forced to study for too long, so make sure that the studying sessions are not stressful for your child.
  4. Practice with vocabulary words. The Verbal Section will include a variety of vocabulary words, which means your child needs to be familiar with root words and affixes. Make sure your child understands how a word can be “dissected” in order to be better understood. This is especially useful for longer words that do not have an obvious meaning. A long word may include a smaller root word that your child is familiar with, which could help them understand the general definition of the complex word.

 

How to Prepare for the SCAT Test

The SCAT exam can be a complicated test for students to score well on, even for children that typically perform well in school. However, there are a variety of JHU CTY programs that offer rare and exciting opportunities for students to study abroad or learn new information that is not typically taught in school. For this reason, it is imperative that students know how to prepare for the SCAT exam. The best way to prepare for the SCAT exam is through the utilization of online resources, specifically practice exams and study guides. These resources are vital for familiarizing children with material they will likely see on the actual test. As previously mentioned, the SCAT is an above-grade level test, which means that students will be answering difficult questions. Practice exams include explanations that serve as a guide for how difficult questions should be answered. The explanations will explain to you why each answer was either correct or incorrect, which will help your child understand how they should go about answering those types of questions. Moreover, practice exams can be repeated as many times as necessary, or until your child feels comfortable and confident with the testing material. Practice exams and study guides are the best and easiest way to help your child prepare for the SCAT exam.

 

Free SCAT Practice Questions

Based on your grade level select the relevant free practice materials:

FAQ

How Do I Register My Child to Take the SCAT exam?

In order to register your child to take the SCAT exam, you will need to enroll in the Prometric system with JHU CTY. This can be done either by phone at 800-688-5796 or online. You will be required to pay a $60 enrollment fee, which can be paid through an electronic check or by credit card.

 

What Is the Minimum Score Requirement for a JHU CTY Program?

Each JHU CTY program will have their own scoring requirement, but in general, students will be required to achieve the following minimum scores:

Grade Level Minimum Quantitative Section Score Minimum Verbal Section Score
2nd Grade 435 430
3rd Grade 440 435
4th Grade 450 440
5th Grade 465 445
6th Grade 470 450

 

Why Should Children Participate In the JHU CTY Programs?

JHU CTY programs offer students a rare opportunity to participate in programs specifically designed for gifted children. These programs could include studying abroad opportunities, academic enrichment, and the opportunity to study with other gifted children. JHU CTY programs challenge students in a supportive environment that allows children to feel comfortable while learning new information that most students never learn.

 

How Do I Know That the SCAT Exam Is a Valid Test?

Research has been conducted on whether or not the SCAT exam can be considered a valid and reliable test. Results have proven that there is a significant correlation with the results from the SCAT scores and that of academic achievements. This means that the test covers significant material and has been deemed a valid and reliable test.

 

How Is the SCAT Exam Taken?

The SCAT exam is a computerized test, which means students will be answering questions on a computer rather than on a piece of paper. The test is typically administered at designated computer testing centers. Parents will need to verify which testing center is approved to administer the SCAT exam.

 

How Long Are the SCAT Exam Scores Valid?

After your child has completed a level of the SCAT exam, their scores will be valid until they eligible for the next SCAT exam level. For example, students in 2nd grade that complete the SCAT Elementary Test will have valid scores until they reach 4th grade, where they are now eligible to complete the SCAT Intermediate Test.