Chicago’s Whitney Young Academic Center is for students in seventh and eighth grades. Admission into this program guarantees a spot in Whitney Young High School.
Whitney Young Academic Center | School Overview
Whitney Young Academic Center for gifted students has been recognized as one of the top middle school programs in Illinois, and the High School is ranked consistently as one of the top high schools within Illinois. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. Like other academic centers, it offers an accelerated curriculum, and is particularly well-known for its superb math program.
Whitney Young Academic Center | Admissions
Admissions to the Whitney Young Academic Center is extremely competitive. Approximately 7000 students take the admissions test for all seven of Chicago’s academic centers each year, but only 1000 or 10 percent are offered a spot to at least one of the centers. The odds of admission change depending on how competitive the process is, and the chance to get a seat is either lower or higher depending on the academic center. For example, in 2015, Whitney Young Academic Center had 2060 applications, but only 140 students were offered a seat. On average, about 6 % of prospective students are offered a seat.
Of the 30 percent of students who are admitted to the centers, about 30% gain admission as a result of scores alone; the rest get in as a result of assessments of a combination of scores and the socio-economic tier they reside in. In other words, kids from wealthier neighborhoods need to score higher than students from less wealthy areas.
In 2016-2017, average scores for accepted students were 869 points on the 900 point admissions scale.
Whitney Young Academic Center Application
Applications are available at CPS elementary schools or can be accessed on the website of CPS’ Office of Access and Enrollment.
Each child only needs to submit one application form, no matter how many academic centers s/he is applying to. You will need to submit the application, which is available in early October, by the middle of December. Your child will need to take the admissions test before early February.
Whitney Young Academic Center | Admissions Test and Other Criteria
In order to gain entry into Whitney Young Academic Center, admissions considers students’ grades and test scores (NWEA MAP) in 5th grade as well on an admissions test taken during 6th grade. The application scoring system has three main parts:
The weights for the different parts are established by using a total of 900 points, with each 33.3% element worth 300 points. The Whitney Young Academic Center entrance exam is not a traditional test, such as the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) or the MAP, but assesses logical thinking and problem-solving skills. For example, students will work on figural reasoning, including pattern matrix, figural series, figural classification and figural analogies questions. On the verbal side, they will be asked to arrange sentences, complete [word-letter matrices], and show understanding of syllogisms and verbal classifications. They will have to show ability in math through completing number matrixes, number inferences and arithmetic reasoning.
These are questions that students are not used to seeing and it is important to practice with materials similar to those that will be on the test. You can access some free questions based on the test for 7th and 8th grade, click the button below.
How Can We Help?
At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for the Whitney Young Academic Center admissions test (also known as a selective enrollment test) does not have to be daunting and exasperating; instead, it can represent an important opportunity along a student’s path to learning mastery. Indeed, the perspectives and abilities acquired during preparation provide a foundation that can last throughout a student’s school career and beyond.
Our two-track approach to mastering content and improving test-taking skills means that students will not only thoroughly understand the fundamental concepts and skills tested by the Whitney Young Academic Center admissions test, but they will also excel in using essential techniques to improve attitude, endurance and focus.
Our students hone their independent thinking skills while developing a resilient mindset so they can perform on test day in a powerful, resourceful, creative and calm manner. Each student in our program receives the undivided attention and expertise of a dynamic and experienced coach who provides the framework to support each student on his unique path to becoming a master learner.
Please call 917.287.7927 now for a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help your child achieve his or her personal best on the Whitney Young Academic Center test.