Duke TIP / 7th Grade ACT/SAT

PT Doc

Member
Does anyone have experience with this program? DS received an invitation based on his 6th grade end of year testing. It seems like it's mainly a way to market educational programs, but one of the benefits is a student is eligible to take either the SAT or ACT as a 7th grader. DS wants to take one in the spring to see how he stacks up against the high school kids. He's pretty laid back, so I don't think he would be rattled if he didn't do well. He will already take the PSAT in grades 9-11 as a school requirement.
 

williamsdr3

Member
It is mainly to market their educational programs but was valuable to us as a way to beef up his resume for application to the district's academic magnet high school. Duke TIP has some awesome but very expensive summer and other academic enrichment programs, but they were always out of our price range. But the Duke TIP SAT testing program has state-level and national-level medals and recognition with ceremonies you can go to. It also gave us a clear indication of what kind of scores to expect in high school and made it clear to us that he had potential for National Merit in high school. That was enough to spur us to pay for SAT prep to make sure he made it over the National Merit semifinalist threshold (which he did!) which is where some big scholarship money lies. I don't remember but thought the cost was just for the SAT test itself more or less but it has been 6 years so may have forgotten.

I participated in TIP myself way back in the 80's.
 

cb7893

5-Year Member
Check out these summer opportunities:


DS #2 attended the Navy Camp at Port Hueneme as a rising Sophomore. He applied for and received a scholarship from SAME. He had to write an essay which was good practice for writing and asking for money. Was also a good experience to fly off by himself. The cost to us was the airfare.

When we picked him up at the airport, he announced that he didn't need to go to college, that he would just enlist in the SeaBees since "Officers really don't do anything." Needless to say, the camp was run by retired and active enlisted folks. He had a really good time, actually solving problems and building things. He ended up receiving an NROTC scholarship, from which he was medically DQ'ed, and graduated with a Mech E degree.
 

time2

10-Year Member
My rule of thumb was, if you have to pay, then don't do it.

I agree, many of these with impressive sounding names are mostly operated as a money making enterprise for the organizers. Many have slick websites or fancy brochures and brag about what a wonderful experience you will have. While there is nothing wrong in attending paid seminars/conferences, etc........they mean nothing for your eventual college application.

Taking the SAT/ACT before you have completed much of high school doesn't make a lot of sense since the math concepts (algebra, trig, etc. for example) on which most of it is based generally aren't taught until high school.
 

RowingMom

Member
DS took the SAT in 7th grade. Actually scored well enough on math portion to get recognition and opportunity for summer studies. We delayed pursuing summer studies until summer after 8th grade. He had shown an interest in Marine Biology. His grandparents offered to split cost of a camp with us. It was really an eye opening experience for him. Lived in college dorm away from us for 4(?) weeks. Challenged academically but also had good experiences with others. He also matured a lot from that experience. I think since test taking has never been stress inducing for him there was no issue with him taking it in 7th grade. But I know for some friends kids, it’s a different experience and perhaps one to delay until better ready for it. Just another perspective.
 
My kids were in the Duke Tip Program, taking the test in 7th grade. The summer courses are expensive but are well worth it and your child will be surrounded by exceptional students learning interesting topics. I’m sure it’s a money maker for them but it’s a great summer opportunity if your child is looking for something interesting to do. I think it also enhanced our applications when applying to private schools.
 

Twincho88

New Member
My three kids didn’t go to academic focused camp with the early taken standardized test but many friends of mine sent their kids to those kinds of college camp like Nothwestern CTD, Hopkins and Duke etc. Most of the kids are now in college or out of college. It depends on the kid how it’s worthy. My kids went to 1 week program doesn’t require much and it was so good to explore their interests. Look for programs nearby. Community colleges or state colleges have many programs for younger kids and not that expensive. My youngest one went to 3 kinds of Sea Cadet summer camps including Boot Camp in IL and Summer programs held in USNA.
 

Holden100

Member
Both my DS's participated, and I'd say it's good at the very least just to expose them to the test. I had read that on average add about 10 points to whatever score they will get in 7th grade when they take it when it counts. That was true with my older DS; my younger just took it last year, so we'll see with him. But don't have them do any prepping for it; it needlessly stresses them out and kinda defeats the point of the program. Have them do a couple practice problems from the ACT website just to familiarize themselves with the test. I've heard some parents had their kids take actual ACT prep classes for their 7th graders, but I just don't think that's a good idea or necessary. Both my kids qualified, but did another program (closer to us and cheaper). That program used the ACT score from Duke TIP in order to qualify. They loved it. My older son never put it on his resume or any applications, but in retrospect, maybe he should have. He just applied ED to the school he attended through their program; maybe should have mentioned that, lol.
 

PT Doc

Member
Thank you all for your responses. I thought his school began taking PSAT yearly in 9th grade, but will actually start in 8th, so we're just going to wait and let that be his kick off. We might look at a shorter duration educational camp for the summer, but honestly summer is usually mental downtime and just being a kid.
 

SADad

New Member
Maybe too late for your purposes, but I just saw this post. DS took the test in 7th Grade and qualified to do all the summer classes. I'm not going to lie; the courses are expensive. However, it gave DS a chance to try different academic areas surrounded by a bunch of pretty smart kids while visiting different college campuses. He made many friends that he stays in touch with. He did bio/chem, mock trial, Econ, and EE courses, which helped him to figure out what he might want to study in college. Right now he's a senior, Sea Cadet Petty Officer, and has applications in to a bunch of Engineering schools. He wants USNA (plan A) and USMA (plan A(1)). He's already admitted to a university that he likes with ROTC/NROTC, so plan B is in good shape. I'd say that DukeTIP was a big help in getting him to where he is today.

I know others who took the test, and didn't make the cut for the summer programs. Their parents tell me that it was a good experience anyhow, because the kids know what taking the SAT is like, and they are motivated to perform better later. YMMV. Good luck!
 
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