Education

All you need to know about SCAT and how to prep for it

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School and College Ability Test (SCAT) is a standardized test conducted by the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) in the United States. This test measures math and verbal reasoning abilities in gifted children. This test is also referred to as “above grade level” because the questions are from higher grade levels of math and verbal reasoning curriculums than the current grade level of the student. Due to this complexity, SCAT is difficult to crack and holds high value in grading a student.

Eligibility

Students from grades 2 to 8 can take the SCAT exam. This exam can be divided into three broad groups:

  1. Elementary SCAT – Students in the second and third grades take the elementary SCAT. These students take tests that consist of questions from the syllabus of grades 4 to 5. You can test the ability of your child at a very young age by taking this test.
  2. Intermediate SCAT – Students in the fourth and fifth grades take the intermediate SCAT. These students take tests that consist of questions from the syllabus of grades 6 to 8. You will get a good idea about your child’s capabilities after taking this test.
  3. Advanced SCAT – Students in the sixth grade and above take the advanced SCAT. These students take tests that consist of questions from the syllabus of grades 9 to 12.

Exam Format

The SCAT exam has two sections, Verbal and Quantitative. The questions are in a multi-choice format. In total, there are 110 questions divided equally between the two sections. Each section consists of 5 unidentified experimental questions that are not counted towards the student’s score. Thus, in total, only 100 questions are evaluated.

  1. Verbals section: This section measures a student’s verbal reasoning ability and word vocabulary. The questions are multiple-choice analogies where a student has to choose the best word pair to complete the analogy. The word pair that fits the best in the given analogy needs to be selected. To get a good score in this section, the student has to have a strong vocabulary, grammar, and verbal reasoning.

  2. Quantitative section: This section measures a child’s thinking ability and mathematical reasoning. The questions consist of multiple-choice mathematical comparisons which can be solved by comparing two mathematical quantities. Once compared, the student has to answer which quantity is greater or if the information given is sufficient to do the comparison.

Scoring

There is no negative marking in the SCAT exam and the scoring is done by a three-step process. The student’s raw score is scaled based on the test version and then compared with the test score of normal students in the higher level grade who took the test in 1979. The percentile ranks haven’t been updated since 1979. The student’s percentile rank is then calculated. The percentile ranks could change if compared to a more recent group of test-takers.

Timing and breaks

The two sections, Verbal and Quantitative, each 22 minutes long, are separated by a 10-minute break. The break is optional and is given at the request of the student. It is the student’s responsibility to return on time if he/she plans to take a break. Even if the student prolongs the break, test timing will continue. The maximum time allotted for the test is 90 minutes. Generally, it takes less than an hour to complete the SCAT.

How to prep for SCAT

Preparing for SCAT needs focus and dedication. Following the below tips will help in getting a good SCAT score.

  1. Spend more time understanding tough concepts and topics. Create a proper schedule and assign more study time to read through challenging material. Stick to your routine to get disciplined and committed to studying.

  2. Take small breaks while studying and maintain a nutritional diet for your body to function properly. Your memory will get better by eating minerals and vitamins and staying healthy.

  3. For improving on vocabulary, study roots, and affixes. This will help you in boosting your word vocabulary.

  4. A lot of test prep services offer sample SCAT tests. This will get you hands-on experience for the SCAT exam. You can also time your sample test paper attempt to improve your solving time.

To succeed on the SCAT, it is important to set aside time and practice. Take the benefit of online learning to practice SCAT prep tests to master your vocabulary and quantitative reasoning. We hope that you pass the SCAT exam with flying colors.

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