What Is NUMATS? Should You Participate?

NUMATS stands for Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search. It is a program that is designed to identify academically talented students and provide them with opportunities for academic enrichment and advancement.

If you are a high-achieving student in the Midwest region, participating in NUMATS can offer a variety of benefits. It provides access to advanced resources and opportunities, including online courses, summer programs, and academic competitions, that may not be available through your regular school. NUMATS can also help you stand out on your college applications and demonstrate your academic potential to top colleges and universities.

Participating in NUMATS also requires a significant commitment of time and effort. It may involve additional testing, coursework, and travel, which can be challenging to balance with your other commitments. Additionally, some of the resources and opportunities offered through NUMATS can be expensive, so you should carefully consider the costs and benefits before deciding to participate.

NUMATS can be a valuable opportunity for academically talented students who are looking for ways to further their education and enrichment. However, you should carefully evaluate your personal goals and priorities before committing to the program.

What Is the NUMATS Talent Search? What Do You Do in the Program?

To participate in the NUMATS Talent Search, students take above-grade-level tests, which measure their academic abilities in math, reading, and science. The tests are taken online or in person, and they are typically administered in the student's own school.

After taking the tests, students receive a detailed report of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommendations for further academic development. Students who score at or above the 90th percentile on at least one subtest are invited to attend one of the NUMATS summer programs, which are designed to challenge and engage academically talented students in a variety of subject areas.

Who's Eligible for the NUMATS Program?

The NUMATS program is designed for academically talented students who are currently in grades 3-9 and meet the eligibility criteria. To be eligible, students must have demonstrated high academic ability through achievement test scores that meet the qualifying criteria set by the program. Students who have previously participated in NUMATS are also eligible to apply again in subsequent years.

Why Should You Participate in NUMATS?

Participating in NUMATS can provide several benefits for academically talented students, including:


By participating in NUMATS, you will receive recognition for your academic abilities and achievements. This recognition can help you stand out when applying for colleges and future academic programs.


The NUMATS program is designed to challenge gifted students by providing them with advanced coursework and assessments that go beyond their grade level. This can help students stay engaged and motivated in their studies.


NUMATS can provide opportunities for students to explore their interests in a challenging and supportive academic environment. This can help students identify their strengths and passions and guide them towards future academic and career paths.


The program can also help prepare students for future academic challenges by providing them with advanced coursework and assessments that can better prepare them for college-level work.


NUMATS provides resources and support for academically talented students, including access to academic counseling, college readiness resources, and scholarships.

Overall, participating in NUMATS can help academically talented students reach their full potential and prepare for future academic and career success.

How To Apply and Application Requirements

To apply for the NUMATS program, you need to follow these steps:

Go to the NUMATS website and create an account.

Choose the test date and location that you prefer.

Pay the registration fee. The fee varies depending on the test you choose, but it typically ranges from $70 to $120.

Provide any required documentation, such as proof of age or grade level.

The application requirements for the NUMATS program vary depending on the test you are taking. However, in general, you will need to provide basic information about yourself, such as your name, address, and date of birth. You will also need to provide information about your school and grade level, as well as any relevant test scores.

Some tests may also require additional documentation, such as proof of age or grade level. For example, if you are taking the EXPLORE test, you will need to provide proof that you are in grade 8 or below.

It's important to note that the requirements may vary depending on the specific test you are taking, so be sure to check the NUMATS website for detailed information about the application process.

How Much Does NUMATS Cost?

The cost of participating in NUMATS varies depending on the level of participation and the tests taken. As of 2022, the fee for the SAT test is $65, the ACT test is $70, and the EXPLORE test is $35. Additional fees may apply for certain programs or services, such as score reports or expedited processing. Financial assistance may be available for eligible students who demonstrate financial need. It's best to check the NUMATS website for the most up-to-date information on costs and financial assistance.

Is There Financial Aid? How Do You Apply For It?

Yes, there is financial aid available for students who qualify. To apply for financial aid, you need to submit a copy of your parent or guardian's most recent federal income tax return and complete the financial aid application form. The financial aid application form can be found on the NUMATS website. It is important to note that financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is recommended to apply as early as possible.

Tips on How to Get a High Score

Here are some tips on how to get a high score on the NUMATS tests:


Make sure to take practice tests to get familiar with the types of questions that will be asked on the tests.

Study the test format

Review the format of the test to understand the types of questions that will be asked, the number of sections, and the time allotted for each section.

Time management

Be mindful of the time limit for each section and pace yourself accordingly. Make sure you leave enough time to review your answers before time runs out.

Focus on your strengths

Identify your strong areas and focus on improving them further.

Work on your weaknesses

Identify your weak areas and spend extra time studying them to improve your performance.

Stay calm and confident

Try to stay calm and confident during the test. Remember that it's just one test and doesn't define your worth.

Get enough rest

Make sure to get enough rest the night before the test, so you're alert and ready to perform at your best.

Eat a nutritious breakfast

Eating a nutritious breakfast before the test can help improve your concentration and energy levels.

Follow instructions carefully

Make sure to read and follow all instructions carefully, so you don't miss any important details.

Don't second-guess yourself

Avoid second-guessing yourself and trust your instincts. Sometimes, your initial answer is the correct one.


In conclusion, the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) is a program that identifies academically talented students and provides them with resources and opportunities to challenge and develop their abilities. NUMATS offers above-grade-level testing, educational programs, and resources that can help gifted students excel in their academic pursuits. By participating in NUMATS, students can gain recognition for their achievements, enhance their academic skills, and potentially open up more opportunities for their future. While there is a cost associated with participating in NUMATS, there are also opportunities for financial aid. Ultimately, students who are academically motivated and looking for a challenge may find NUMATS to be a worthwhile opportunity to further their education and reach their potential.