WATS seeks the assistance of schools in order to identify academically talented and highly motivated students who qualify for this special opportunity. Students must meet the following criteria in order to participate:
Participants must currently be in 3rd-9th grade. Students will be compared to their grade-level peers. If students have skipped grades or are home-schooled, the expectation is that they are already being measured against their grade-level peers in an academic setting. No age-level adjustments are made for students in these situations. While 9th grade scores may show up on a school database, they only report to colleges and universities if families CHOOSE to report.
1) Must score at or above the 95th% on a nationally normed academic achievement test. This percentile can be a composite/total score or one of the overall scores for verbal or mathematical reasoning or may be represented as “advanced” criterion on any subtest. Students have used scores from tests such as: ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills), WISC-IV, Terra Nova, CogAT, NWEA, or CSAP (Colorado), WyCAS (Wyoming), SBA (New Mexico) or ISAT (Idaho) scores at the “advanced” level or past participants in Talent Search use score reports (which still must be included) from the prior year’s SAT, ACT or EXPLORE.
2) A school counselor, licensed teacher, or home school association official (who may not be the student’s parent) must provide a letter of recommendation based upon a full year of outstanding performance in a core subject area OR notifying WATS as to the student’s qualifying scores instead of submitting a score report (the letter you may have received from school).