NUMATS 2016 Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search Coordinator Handbook 2016

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Center for Talent Development

NUMATS 2016 Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search

Accurate Assessment and Targeted Resources for High-Achieving Students

Coordinator Handbook 2016

What is NUMATS?

Why above-grade-level testing through Numats?

NUMATS is a research-validated program that utilizes abovegrade-level testing to help you understand the educational needs of the top 10 percent of students in grades 3 through 9. We also help you interpret test results, facilitate effective placement, and support students with instructional resources and programs. NUMATS provides:

Gifted students often hit the ceiling on grade-level achievement tests. They may earn top scores, but these tests are not able to assess the full extent of ability or furnish a valid measure of aca­demic growth. Also they do not provide a comparison with the scores achieved by other gifted students at each grade level. Moreover IQ tests are not tied to subject-specific content, so results are not useful in designing classroom learning experiences that allow gifted students to grow.

• Talent identification using above-grade-level testing through EXPLORE®, ACT®, or SAT® • Test preparation materials • Statistics comparing scores with those of other gifted students at each grade level • Tailored academic planning • Instructional resources for use in the classroom • Onsite and online learning opportunities • Opportunities to connect online with gifted educators throughout the Midwest • Center for Talent Development’s (CTD) Educational Program Guide • Professional development on teaching gifted students • Recognition for eligible students • Teacher recognition

A better tool is needed to assess accurately the knowledge, skills, and understanding of gifted students and to gauge how their scores compare with those of other academically talented children at their grade level. These students require a more challenging test, one designed for higher grade levels that includes advanced content. NUMATS allows eligible students to take the internationally recognized EXPLORE, ACT, and SAT before the grade levels at which they are normally administered. For more information about these tests and their differences, and to determine which tests are appropriate for first-time and repeat test takers, go to our website at www. Under Details, click on TESTS: EXPLORE, ACT, SAT and scroll down to the section entitled, “Which test(s) should my student(s) take?”

Nationally Normed Tests*

Test Criteria to Determine NUMATS Eligibility

Students Currently in Grade

Verbal/Reading, Math, or Composite (Categories or Subcategories)

May Take


≥ 92nd percentile



≥ 90th percentile



= 90th–94th percentile


≥ 95th percentile

ACT and/or SAT

≥ 90th percentile

ACT and/or SAT


State Achievement Tests State Grades 3-8

2013-14 Test / Level Achieved

2014-15 Test / Level Achieved


ISAT / Exceeds

PARCC / Distinguished


ISTEP+ / Pass+




Grade when taken

2013-14 MEAP Score1

2014-15 MCA Percentile

2013-14 WKCE Score1

2014-15 Badger Level


V: ≥ 364 M: ≥ 367

≥ 92nd

v: ≥ 504 m: ≥ 495



V: ≥ 470 M: ≥ 467

≥ 90th

v: ≥ 533 m: ≥ 526


NDSA / Advanced

SBAC / 4


V: ≥ 575 M: ≥ 569

≥ 90th

v: ≥ 537 m: ≥ 557



V: ≥ 666 M: ≥ 671

≥ 90th

v: ≥ 561 m: ≥ 572



OAA / Advanced

PARCC / Distinguished


V: ≥ 779 M: ≥ 761

≥ 90th

v: ≥ 572 m: ≥ 595



V: ≥ 887 M: ≥ 859

≥ 90th

v: ≥ 583 m: ≥ 608


South Dakota

Dakota STEP / Advancing

SBAC / 4

North Dakota


*Examples include CogAT, ITBS, MAP, Terra Nova, etc.



V: verbal/reading score; M: math score; 2014-15 M-STEP criteria will be available on our website in the fall.

How can schools participate in Numats? 1. Identify students who are eligible for the program. 2. Communicate with parents. Adapt the sample letter provided in this handbook and send it to parents of eligible students along with a copy of the Family Handbook 2016. The letter is available for download at default/files/NUMATS_Parent_Letter_Sample.pdf. A test center code lookup is available at www.ctd.northwestern. edu/numats-test-centers.

Who’s eligible for NUMATS? Students in grades 3 through 9 who meet one or more of the following criteria: • Participated previously in NUMATS or another talent search program • Qualify for their school’s gifted program • Receive a teacher or parent recommendation because they demonstrate advanced aptitude in verbal or mathematical reasoning, consistently demonstrate a high level of performance on demanding coursework, or often request more challenging academic experiences • Meet grade-level assessment criteria in either verbal/reading or math on a nationally normed or state achievement test (See charts to the left—test scores from previous years may be used.)

MyCTD Toolbox: Educators enjoy yearlong access to private, secure, online communities that include: • Student registration information • Test preparation materials • Students’ test scores and NUMATS comparison percentiles • Students’ tailored academic recommendations • Excel file with test information for all participating students at the school over the past eight years • NUMATS Statistical Summary • Instructional and professional development resources

3. Meet with eligible students. Explain the benefits of participat­ing in NUMATS and the importance of making certain their parents receive the materials sent home. Consider inviting NUMATS staff to come present to your parents. We would be happy to do so. 4. Promote online registration. As conveyed in the sample letter, parents can register students directly online at my.ctd. Since more in-depth materials for families are available online, paper registration should only be used if Internet access is not available. Paper registration forms can requested by calling 847/491-3782 ext. 3 or downloaded from our website at Scroll down to Forms & Downloads on the right side. 5. Monitor registration numbers and follow up. You can easily and frequently monitor student registrations by checking your MyCTD Toolbox at This information allows schools to follow up with parents of eligible students who have not yet registered. 6. Access test results and interpretive materials in your online MyCTD Toolbox account. This information can be used at parent-teacher conferences to guide students’ academic planning. Students also receive official score reports from the testing agencies. No scores are ever shared with a college or university unless a student specifically directs the testing agency to do so. 7. Recognize students. Present recognition certificates to your NUMATS participants at an honors assembly.

SPECIAL NOTES NUMATS registration and payment is a simple process that includes test registration and ensures access to a multitude of resources. Refunds are not provided. Students may take each test applicable to their grade level. Test dates are available throughout the school year. Scores from all dates are considered for the NUMATS Award Ceremony but may not be considered by other organizations depending on the date of the organization’s ceremony.

Families access many of these resources through their own online MyCTD Toolbox accounts. 2

How can Numats meet the specific needs of your students and school? School Payment Plan Families pay for their child’s NUMATS participation. However, given the tough economic times, your school may want to pay all or part of the registration fees. To offer this option, complete and return a School Payment Form for either online (preferred) or paper registrations. Both are available on our website at www. Under Details, scroll down to Downloads.

School Test Center As a convenience to your students you can establish an EXPLORE, ACT, or SAT test center at your school. Requirements and dead­­ lines vary. For information visit numats-test-centers and scroll down to “Set Up A Test Center.”

Financial Aid Financial aid is available for one test per school year to students who qualify for a federally subsidized program such as free or reduced-price lunch. An eligibility letter stating that the student qualifies, written on school letterhead and signed by a school official, is required to complete registration. It should be submitted to NUMATS via fax, e-mail, or U.S. mail such that it is received by the registration deadline for the chosen test date. If unable to determine whether an individual student meets the family income criteria for federally subsidized programs, contact NUMATS for other options. Qualified students will receive a NUMATS fee waiver and/or a test fee waiver on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. Students in grade 7 may receive a Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Fee Waiver in which JKC pays the test fee. Students in all grades may receive a test fee waiver in which either NUMATS or a testing agency pays the test fee.

Special Accommodations Special accommodations may be made for students with a disability that requires special testing tools or an exception to standard testing procedures. Testing agencies determine allowable accom-

modations. Directions for requesting these accommodations are available on our website at Under Details, scroll down to Special Accommodations. Forms are provided to registrants after completion of the registration process.

ACT Writing Students may add an optional writing section to the test if their registrations are completed by a regular registration deadline. If they wish to add writing, they should call ACT at 319/337-1270 no earlier than two weeks after completing their NUMATS registration, but no later than ACT’s late registration deadline for the test date they have chosen. ACT will charge the student an additional $17 for this section, and it will add about 30 minutes to the test time. NUMATS does not provide comparison percentiles for ACT Writing.

SAT Grade 9 Students in grade 9 registering for SAT must do so in a two-step process. After completing the NUMATS portion of their registration, they will receive an e-mail directing them to SAT’s website to register for the test itself. When registering with SAT, these students should choose the “high school not listed” option if they do not want scores sent to a school. They also should enter “Northwestern Universitys Midwest Acdmc Talent Srch” as an organization to which they want an additional score report sent. This will ensure that we receive each student’s scores and that the student receives customized percentiles and an academic plan in the family’s online MyCTD Toolbox account.

Non-Saturday Testing Alternate test dates are available to students whose religious observance prohibits Saturday testing. A letter from clergy requesting this option must be sent to NUMATS such that it is received by the registration deadline for the chosen test date. Dates and available test centers can be found at www.ctd.northwestern. edu/numats-test-centers.

Imagine: Big Ideas for Bright Minds Imagine is an excellent magazine for gifted students in grades 7 through 12 published by The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. A five-issue subscription may be ordered in the registration process. Learn more at

Center for Talent Development has been accredited as a nonpublic supplementary school by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) since April 1, 1994. NCA CASI is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and has more that 100 years of experience in improving educational quality.



Dear Parent/Guardian of

I am pleased to inform you that your child has been identified as eligible to participate in Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) sponsored by the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Your child is eligible based on one or more of the following criteria:

Although participation in NUMATS is voluntary, students like your child can benefit from:

• Qualification for a school gifted program • Achievement test scores • Recommendation by a teacher

• Information about their academic ability that grade-level tests do not provide • Academic planning and resource options based on test scores • Information about education programs for gifted students • Opportunities to participate online in discussion groups with other gifted students throughout the Midwest and beyond • Experience and practice taking EXPLORE, ACT, and SAT, which are used to measure college and career readiness

NUMATS is a research-validated, above-grade-level testing program that offers EXPLORE, ACT, and SAT to eligible students in grades 3 through 9. These tests are internationally recognized measures of academic ability designed for older students. Studies show that there are definite and large ability differences among students who score in the top 10 percent on grade-level tests. When these students take tests meant for older students, the differences are more apparent, instruction can be better adapted to meet their individual needs, and academic growth can be measured with greater accuracy.

The NUMATS Family Handbook 2016 I sent home with your child provides detailed information about the program, test dates, registration guidelines, and student identification requirements. Online registration is preferred and most efficient. Do pay close attention to registration deadlines and note that refunds are not provided.

NUMATS ID Number 8 Test Name Recommended Test Date Regular Registration Deadline


/ /


Test Center Code(s) Location(s)

I encourage you to consider this opportunity carefully and discuss the benefits of NUMATS assessment with your child. If you have any questions concerning the testing process or the value of participating, please contact me at


Sincerely, NUMATS Coordinator


January–February • Remind students of upcoming test dates and encourage them to utilize the test prep materials available to them in the NUMATS Info section of the online MyCTD Toolbox. Students do not need to take a commercial test preparation course. • On test day students must bring: –– test center admission ticket sent to them by the testing agency. If they have not received the ticket by one week before the test date, have them call: ·· ·· ··


319/337-1369 319/337-1270 866/756-7346

–– student identification (ACT and SAT only): ·· ·· ··

ACT (all grades) — ACT Talent Search Student Identification Letter (completed by parent and student) SAT (grades 6–8) — SAT Student Identification Form (completed by parent and student) SAT (grade 9) — Current (valid) official photo ID

Forms and more detailed instructions are available in the online MyCTD Toolbox. Click on the NUMATS Info tab and scroll down to Section 3 — Day of the Test.

How does Numats fit your school calendar? NUMATS testing is available throughout the school year. However, for schools that plan to host an honors assembly in the spring, the following timeline of activities and events is recommended.

September–October • Identify eligible students and send home letter with registration materials. • If applicable, set up school payment plan. • Remind qualified students to request fee-waiver letters and special accommodations.


• If students miss their test date, have them call the testing agency to reschedule. They do not need to reregister, but testing agencies do charge a fee to reschedule.

February–March • Check the online MyCTD Toolbox for access to student scores and interpretive information. • About five weeks after testing: Students receive official testing agency score reports.

March • Eligible students receive information about CTD’s summer and online programs. • Visit the online MyCTD Toolbox for an updated version of CTD’s Educational Program Guide.



• Remind students that they have access to the online MyCTD Toolbox at with its test prep materials and other resources once the registration process is completed. • Monitor registrations via online MyCTD Toolbox and encourage participation of those who have not yet registered. • Note registration deadlines for specific test dates on page 6.

• NUMATS recognition certificates are mailed to schools.

May–October • Distribute certificates at school honors assembly. • State award ceremonies are held.

September • NUMATS Award Ceremony is held.

NUMATS State Liaisons State liaisons are members of CTD’s NUMATS Advisory Board. They provide information about NUMATS as well as assistance and support to groups and organizations involved in the education of gifted students.





Barbara Rebecca Retired Gifted Educator 630/985-5733 [email protected]

Miki Hamstra Director, Center for Gifted Studies and Talent Development Ball State University 765/285-5390 [email protected]

Kathee McDonald High-Ability Consultant 517/388-1308 [email protected]

Patricia Farrenkopf Co-Director, Martin W. Essex School for the Gifted at Otterbein University 614/440-3118 [email protected]

Minnesota Bill Keilty Instructor Hamline University 651/485-2108 [email protected]

Wisconsin Paula DeGroot NUMATS Parent 920/229-5319 [email protected]

NUMATS 2015-2016 Testing Information Test

Late Registration Period1

Test Dates


October 7, 2015

October 8-13, 2015

November 7, 2015

December 16, 2015

December 17-29, 2015

January 23, 2016



SAT (current)

SAT5 (redesigned)


Regular Fees2

Regular Registration Deadline

January 13, 2016

January 14-19, 2016

February 20, 2016

August 5, 2015

August 6-18, 2015

September 12, 2015

September 16, 2015

September 17-29, 2015

October 24, 2015

November 4, 2015

November 5-17, 2015

December 12, 2015

January 6, 2016

January 7-12, 2016

February 6, 2016

March 2, 2016

March 3-15, 2016

April 9, 2016

May 4, 2016

May 5-17, 2016

June 11, 2016

August 31, 2015

Not Applicable

October 3, 2015

October 6, 2015












November 7, 2015

November 2, 2015

December 5, 2015

January 4, 20166

January 23, 2016

February 2, 2016


Not Applicable

March 5, 2016

April 5, 2016

May 7, 2016

May 2, 2016

June 4, 2016


Late fees are assessed during late registration periods: EXPLORE $14 and ACT $25. Refunds are not provided for regular fees or late fees. 3 Writing may be added to the ACT by contacting the testing agency if the registration is completed by the regular deadline; cost is $17. 4 Writing is included in the current SAT. 5 Essay is optional in the redesigned SAT; also NUMATS percentiles for all subtests will not become available until fall 2016. 6 Grade 9 students must register with SAT for the test itself by December 28, 2015 in order to avoid a late fee for the January 23, 2016 test date. 2

Without Essay $43

With Essay $54.50

$82 (without essay) or $93.50 (with essay)

• Test centers are located in your area. • Financial aid, non-Saturday testing, and special accommodations are available for eligible students.


NUMATS 617 Dartmouth Place Evanston, Illinois 60208-4175 E-mail [email protected] Phone 847/491-3782 ext. 3 Fax 847/467-4283 Register Now

Northwestern University does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, or veteran status in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates. For advice or assistance regarding this policy, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, 720 University Place, Evanston, Illinois 60208-1145. Phone: 847/491-7458.

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