The School and College Ability Test, or SCAT as it is commonly called, is a standardized, multiple-choice test administered by the John Hopkins CTY (Center for Talented Youth). SCAT tests are conduced to assess the verbal reasoning and math abilities of gifted students. The score of a SCAT test remains valid till a child makes the transition to the next level.  

SCAT Test Levels

The SCAT test administered by the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth has three levels, viz. Elementary SCAT, Intermediate SCAT and Advanced SCAT.

Elementary SCAT: This SCAT test is taken by students of the 2nd and 3rd grade, but is designed for students between grades 4 and 6.

Intermediate SCAT: This SCAT test is taken by students of 4th and 5th grade, but is designed for students between grades 6 and 9.

Advanced SCAT: This SCAT test is taken by students of grades 6 to 8, but is designed for students in grades 9 to 12.

SCAT Test Sections and Questions

There are two sections in the SCAT test, viz. verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning.

The verbal reasoning section in the SCAT test is designed to assess the vocabulary and verbal reasoning skills of a student. The section consists of verbal analogy questions and students are given multiple choices to answer.

The quantitative reasoning section, on the other hand, assesses the mathematical reasoning and comprehension of number operations. It is a multiple-choice section where students will have to determine the greater of two quantities. 

Both of these sections have 55 questions each. Five of these questions are experimental and are not taken into consideration when calculating the final score of a student. Both sections are 22 minutes long, and students have the option to take a 10-minute break between the sections.

How to Prepare for the SCAT Test

If you’re considering enrolling your child for the above-grade-level test, here are some tips for SCAT test prep:

1. Prioritize the challenging material

There are some topics that will be harder than others during your SCAT test prep. Dedicating more time to the challenging material will help better understand the harder concepts and topics. At the same time, make sure the easier stuff is not ignored.

2. Sleep, nutrition, and exercise must be in check

Our brains are connected to our bodies in the sense that if our brains are tired, our bodies will be too. During your SCAT test prep, make sure that your body has enough time to rest and exercise while ensuring that it is refueled with the right nutrition. A healthy mind and body make SCAT test prep much easier than a tired one.

3. Focus on the mathematical operations

Math operations are the order of the day in the quantitative section of the test. It is therefore essential to master as many mathematical operations as possible during your SCAT test prep.

4. Establish a schedule

Commitments are easier to keep when they are part of a routine. Establish a schedule and make sure that your child follows it regularly. Setting aside time for SCAT test prep and dedicating at least two hours each day can go a long way towards performing well in the test.

5. Avoid evening studies

The mind is fresher in the morning after your body has been well-rested. If possible, try to make your child study in the mornings and avoid late evening studies to prepare successfully for the SCAT test.

6. Use online resources

There are plenty of online resources for SCAT test prep. You can download and use free practice worksheets and other materials to prepare for the SCAT test. You can also find an expert tutor online to further cement your SCAT test prep.

Practice makes perfect, and SCAT test prep is no exception to the rule. To do well on the SCAT test, make sure your child dedicates enough time for the preparation and gets enough practice before he/she appears for the test.

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