Qualifying for ATS

Current 4th - 9th Graders are Eligible for ATS

Students in 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades as of January 2018 can automatically qualify for the 2018 ATS Program by taking the College Ability Test (intermediate for 4/5 and advanced for 6-9).

Program Selection

ATS is designed for high achieving students currently enrolled in 4th through 9th grade who fall into one of the following groups:

  • students who score at the 90th percentile or above on subtests of standardized exams like the Stanford Achievement Test
  • students who are evaluated as "standard met" or "standard exceeded" on the CAASPP
  • students who participate in a GATE or Rapid Learner program or who have been identified as gifted
  • students who are able and ready for this type of program and who wish to participate or whose parents want for them to participate

Current 4th through 9th grade students who meet one or more of these criteria qualify for the ATS program and should take the ATS Qualifying Exam, the College Ability Test, in order to participate in classes.

Students take the level exam appropriate to their grade: 4th and 5th graders take the Intermediate level test while 6th-9th graders take the Advanced level test.

About the Qualifying Exam

The ATS Qualifying Exam is a 40-minute, multiple-choice test which is used by ATS to identify highly able students who may benefit from special academic opportunities. It is an assessment test which measures students' aptitude for learning rather than their knowledge of specific content.

There are two parts to the Qualifying Exam: a 20-minute verbal section comprised of analogies and a 20-minute math section containing quantitative comparisons.

Taking the Qualifying Exam

The ATS Qualifying Exam is administered:

  • at Sacramento area schools (January - March)
  • on the Sacramento State campus (February - March)
  • in the ATS Office (March - June)

Administration time is approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (actual exam time plus time to review testing procedures with students and provide examples of the test question format).

Understanding Exam Scores

Approximately 3-4 weeks after testing, students will receive a score report which presents their exam results. The ATS scores listed on the report are needed for applying to classes. In addition to the ATS scores, grade level normative data for the student is provided. A detailed explanation of scores is included with the score report.