April Maguire 3 min read Standardized Tests

What is NUMATS? Is it Worth it?

Think you don’t have to be concerned with the SAT or ACT until your child reaches high school? On the contrary, some students may end up taking these exams at a younger age. 

 

NUMATS, or the Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search Program, offers an opportunity for advanced younger students to discover their academic strengths and talents at an earlier age. Depending on how students score, they may qualify for entry into special programs. Keep reading to learn more about NUMATS and find out the benefits of participating.

 

How NUMATS Works

 

NUMATS allows gifted students to take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT years in advance. Typically, students take the PSAT between grades 8-10, and the ACT or SAT in their junior year. However, as part of the NUMATS program, certain students can sit for the PSAT in grades 3-6 and the ACT/SAT in grades 6-9.  

 

After taking the exams, students will receive advice on their strengths and weaknesses. Should they score high enough, NUMATS may invite them to participate in various supplemental programs. Offered both online and in person, these advanced courses run on weekends and over the summer. Along with learning more about their areas of interest, students will have the chance to meet and interact with their peers who are similarly gifted. 

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How is COVID-19 Impacting NUMATS?

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound effect on schools and academic programs worldwide, and NUMATS is no exception. For the 2020-2021 testing year, NUMATS is currently only allowing students to register for the SAT. Additionally, in-person testing opportunities remain limited, so families should be aware that availability at a given site is not guaranteed. For the most up-to-date testing dates and cancellations, visit the College Board website regularly.

 

Who is Eligible for NUMATS?

 

Not all students are eligible for participation in NUMATS. Your child must be between grades three and nine in order to enroll. Additionally, they must meet one or more of the following qualifications to take part: 

 

  • Be a previous participant in NUMATS or another talent program
  • Be invited to join their school’s gifted or advanced program
  • Be recommended by a teacher or parent based on their advanced verbal or math skills
  • Achieve a high reading or math score on a national or state achievement test

 

NUMATS Program Cost, Dates, and Registration

The cost of participating in NUMATS varies depending on which test a student is sitting for. Prices range from $83 to $113, with the fee covering both the exam and the benefits provided by the program. Students who qualify for federally subsidized aid (such as the National School Lunch Program) may be able to receive financial aid. If you need help paying for a NUMATS test, you can request aid when you apply.

 

While testing dates and sites are currently limited due to COVID-19, NUMATS typically offers testing year round. The program dates are September 2020 through July 2021. 

 

Testing centers are located throughout the country. You can register for an exam and find a testing site and date on the NUMATS website.

 

Benefits of Participating in NUMATS

 

Participating in the NUMATS program comes with numerous benefits. One of the best reasons for your child to take part is that they’ll have the opportunity to take standardized tests early. Receiving the results will provide them with invaluable information about their academic strengths, letting them develop their talents and skills at an earlier age. Moreover, this information could help them choose a major or even a career.

 

Should a student score high on the PSAT, SAT, or ACT, they may be invited to take part in supplemental programs. These advanced courses will let them meet and interact with other academic high achievers. By connecting with other young scholars, students may feel a greater motivation to excel and reach their goals.

 

Finally, NUMATS students can gain access to online advanced placement courses. Along with giving students a leg up on the competition, taking AP classes can allow students to receive college credit, saving them time and money down the line. 

 

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.