Talent searches identify, assess, and recognize students with exceptional mathematical and/or verbal reasoning abilities. Participating in a talent search enables a student to take a test designed for older students, one with a higher ceiling like the ACT or SAT. This testing will reveal more about their academic abilities and will allow them to compare their results with those of other high ability students. They will also learn about educational options and opportunities for students with similar abilities and they may also receive recognition for their outstanding achievements.
Participation in these programs generally requires a minimum standardized test score (MAP) and a registration fee to participate. Participation can range from taking the ACT exam during middle school, enrolling in online course work through the host organization, or taking a summer course targeted at the nation's highest achievers. Bellevue Public Schools does not endorse any particular talent identification program but will assist students in acquiring the appropriate paper work to apply and participate in these programs. Please note the unique application and registration deadlines for each organization through each organization website.
There are two talent search programs that indicate students from Nebraska are eligible to apply to participate.
Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search
The Duke TIP Talent Search is the largest program of its kind in the nation. The 7th Grade Talent Search identifies academically talented seventh graders based on standardized test scores achieved while attending elementary or middle school. Candidates are invited to take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exam as seventh graders which allow them greater insight into their academic abilities. Participants gain valuable benefits and have access to unique resources for gifted students.
There are also enrollment options for students who do not meet the minimum test score requirement or for students in grades 8 - 12 who did not participate as a 7th grader but wish to participate in later grades through the TIP Option program.
The Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search
The Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search program hosted by the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa is designed for students in grades 4 - 9. Over 100,000 elementary and middle school students have participated in BESTS.