The Center for Talent Development's Midwest Academic Talent Search
CTD's Midwest Academic Talent Search
Register for CTD's Midwest Academic Talent Search
Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search

Imagine that you’re measuring a roomful of kids with a yardstick. That’s fine for the kids who are shorter than three feet, but for those who are taller, the yardstick is an inadequate tool. The same is true for gifted kids—to measure their abilities, you need a better tool than a grade-level test, one that can measure above that 99th percentile where the yardstick ends.

That better tool is Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS). Started in 1982, NUMATS is a program of the Center for Talent Development (CTD) that offers above-grade-level testing for high-performing students in grades 3 through 9. This Talent Search approach is an extremely well-researched and respected program model in gifted education.

NUMATS uses tests intended for older students to provide a more accurate measurement of aptitude, because studies show that students who score in the top 10% on school achievement tests differ widely from average students in their abilities and educational needs. In-grade achievement tests just don’t accurately represent these gifted students’ potential. 

NUMATS uses the EXPLORE test—developed by ACT and normally given to students in grade 8—to determine the abilities of students in grades 3 through 6. The ACT and the SAT tests, typically used for college admissions, provide a more accurate picture of the mathematical and verbal reasoning abilities of students in grades 6 through 9.
After students test, parents receive comprehensive information about how their student measures up to other gifted students. This valuable feedback helps families plan for the future. 

More than 30,000 families each year turn to NUMATS for this kind of insight.

  • Attention ACT and SAT test takers!
    You MUST bring an Identification Letter/Form with you on the day of the test along with the admission ticket you received from the testing agency. You can download and print out your test's required letter/form from the NUMATS Toolbox. Click on the NUMATS Info tab and scroll down to Section 3 - Day of the Test. 
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