Anirudh Adiraju (an eighth-grade student at Middle School South), Jingjing Wang (an eighth-grade student at Middle School South), Charles Collier (a sixth-grade student at Middle School South), Phyllis Wang (a graduate of Middle School South) and Samuel Shlau (a sixth-grade student at Middle School North) were honored by Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD) at its annual award ceremony on September 9, 2017. They were honored in celebration of their achievement in Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS), which they participated in by taking the ACT, PSAT 8/9, or SAT test in January of 2017.
Only 2 to 3 percent of more than 12,000 students nationwide, who participate in the program each year, qualify for this selective ceremony. Remarkably, top-scoring NUMATS students in middle school score as well as top-scoring high school seniors nationally. In addition to being in the top 2-3 percent, Anirudh Adiraju placed third overall for his grade level in reading on the ACT.
NUMATS provides high-achieving students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge by taking assessments designed for older students. NUMATS students in grades 6 through 9 took the SAT® or ACT® test, which most students take as high school seniors for college admission.
“By using the higher-level tests, NUMATS helps students, parents, and educators better understand the students’ academic ability and plan accordingly,” said CTD Associate Director Susan Corwith, who oversees the NUMATS program.
“The achievement tests students usually take in school focus only on grade-level content,” she said. “So, advanced students will often ‘hit the ceiling’ of the tests. When that happens, schools and families know their students are doing well compared to other students their age, but they cannot tell whether the student is a little ahead or exceptionally advanced in some area, in which he or she will require tailored programming to reach full potential.”
For NUMATS, identifying academic talents is one goal, and recognizing academic achievement is another. Top performers are invited to the annual Award Ceremony at Northwestern. Award winners received certificates, medals, and/or scholarships for CTD summer, weekend enrichment, and online programs, as recognition of their top performance.
The Center for Talent Development is a part of Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy.