• COVID-19 UPDATE
    All local SAT testing sites for March 13, 2021, with the exception of MSU and Lansing Christian, have been cancelled.  Students who previously registered through NUMATS and were either assigned to a cancelled site or moved to a testing site outside our locale have been emailed options for cancelling, changing their test date/site and/or receiving a refund.

    NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY'S MIDWEST ACADEMIC TALENT SEARCH (NUMATS)

    This webpage is designed for parents of qualified 6th - 8th graders who are considering their student’s participation in Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS).  NUMATS offers research-based gifted assessment to identify academic ability, measure growth and connect students to resources and opportunities for advanced students. To make an informed decision, please take the following action steps:  

    • Action Step 1:  A parent meeting was advertised and held on January 12, 2021 to provide details and answer questions about NUMATS.  This session was recorded and can be accessed here.  If you were unable to participate, this is the best way to fully understand the program and registration process as it is not possible to duplicate the information via email or phone in as detailed a way as was done at this meeting.  

    • Action Step 2:  With your student, carefully read the following information before making your final decision.   
    • Once you have made your decision whether to participate or not, please complete the NUMATS Decision Form for our records.  Completion of this form will allow us to communicate with your student concerning an OPS test preparation session that will be offered in February and plan for your student’s academic needs.

    • If you decide to register your student, fully review the OPS Parent Information Guide (above) which includes all steps and codes you need to register.  Even the end of this three-page document contains important information.  Have this page accessible during the registration process.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    • What if I was not able to attend the parent information meeting?

      You can watch the recording of this meeting at The Okemos Channel On Demand website.  It will be at your advantage to do so as as the extensive detail provided there is far beyond what can be accommodated by phone or email. 
       

    • Does taking the SAT/ACT qualify students for special programming?

      MSU and Northwestern have unique gifted programs for students who attain a certain level of performance on the SAT/ACT and meet other eligibility criteria.  Each individual program has a different set of eligibility requirements.  To learn more about these programs and the eligibility for each one, explore the links below.  Information about eligibility can be linked to from the primary link.  Okemos does not currently have 6-9 programs for which these scores will be considered, however, we always review any test information we have on students to help us better understand their academic needs.

    • Can my student take the SAT/ACT more than once?  Is there any harm in this?

      There is not a limit on the number of times a student can take the SAT.  You can use whatever score benefits your student the most, so a lower score at one point in time will not be held against them.  That said, the test is extensive and stressful.  Parents should consider the attitude and personality of their student.  Over-testing, not understanding the diagnostic nature of the test, or setting unrealistic expectations that could put too much pressure on the student can have harmful consequences.

    • Can my student take the test this year, but wait until next year to participate?

      Your student is likely to get a better score as they mature and progress through the curriculum.  It would be recommended they wait to take the test until the year they want to apply for external programs.

    • How should my student prepare for the test? 

      It is in the spirit of NUMATS for students to take the test demonstrating their current level of readiness.  Cramming for the test can result in an artificially inflated score that may result in inappropriate programming.  That said, students should become familiar with the format of the test and review basic test taking skills.  By registering through NUMATS, your student will be able to receive test preparation materials and a practice test and should schedule time at least one month before the test to review these materials at home.  In addition, you will be notified of a test preparation session by the school district if you complete the Decision Form above.

    • Why do I have to take the test in March or April?

    • Most deadlines for external programs are in the late spring.  March and April are the latest testing dates that will ensure you have your test results back for the application process which begins in the spring.  Fall and winter dates are also available and can be found on the SAT or ACT websites.  However, generally a parent would want their student to take the test as late in the academic year as possible as it could improve their score.

    • What if my student will be out of town for the test?

      There are several options:  (1) You can consider taking the ACT instead of the SAT, or vice versa as they are on different dates.  (2) You can explore the list of testing locations on the SAT & ACT website.  It is likely they will have a testing center near the location to which you are traveling.  (3) Lastly, you can opt to wait a year to participate.  There are options for students who cannot participate on a Saturday for religious purposes.  This information is available on their websites (SAT or ACT).

    • Can 9th graders participate?

      NUMATS does include 9th graders.  It is important to note, however, that as a high schooler these scores become part of your student’s high school record.  Most colleges and universities allow you to make a choice about which scores to send in with applications or only look at the highest score, but it is possible that there are institutions with different policies.  Read what the College Board (SAT) says about it here.

    • I’m concerned about COVID and having my student participate in an in-person testing situation.  What are my options?

      Unfortunately, there is not currently a good solution for this issue.  The high-stakes nature and standardization of these tests does not currently allow for them to be taken at home at this time.  The College Board does post updates about COVID and states test centers are required to follow all health guidelines here.  ACT also has this page devoted to COVID which does state it is working on providing at an at-home testing option next year.

    • How do I register?

      Review the registration steps on the OPS NUMATS Parent Guide above.  All information you need to register is contained here.  Have this guide available when you register as it provides necessary reference codes.  The unpublished code for the Haslett Test Site, which is only accessible to middle school students, is contained in the parent night video.  Note the Haslett Test Site is not even listed on the options when you register.  You must enter this code to see this option.

    • What if I need to reschedule or cancel my student’s participation in NUMATS?

      NUMATS Policy on Withdrawals & Refunds