It seems as if a year doesn’t go by that TJ isn’t tinkering with the admissions process: removal of quantitative comparisons, paragraph reordering, on-site SIS (student information sheet) administration, holistic evaluation for 2nd cut, SIS math challenge.  The changes appear to be good overall, but it does keep those of us in the test preparation business on our toes.

The latest change is to the admissions test.  Pearson Education bowed out as the test generator and TJ admissions has turned to ACT (Aspire portion) and Quant Q.  The new test will consist of 28 question/50 minute section of “Quant Q” math, 32 question/65 minute Aspire Reading, and 40 question/60 minute Aspire Science.

We spoke to someone in TJ’s admissions office in late May.  Two points stood out: First, Fairfax County does not consult with TJ admissions about what materials to use for its TJ test preparation. (It is not clear why they are using Cambridge’s  Non-Negotiable Skills Level 2.) And second, TJ Admissions is using the high school Aspire, not the 8th grade version.

Here are some useful links:

Links to sample ACT aspire questions for high school

Over the years, there has been criticism that the math portion of the TJ test is too easy.  Perhaps this has driven the decision to use Quant Q for the math assessment. Here is an important advisory paper that Fairfax County Association for the Gifted produced. (See page 8 of link for sample math problems.)

For further sample questions, download the app from this website to explore the kinds of questions being used: Critical Thinking App .  They are similar to the math questions that were used on the SIS administration in 2016 and 2017.  Below are links to Kate Dalby’s explanations of the TJ SIS math questions (as recounted by my students).  Students were given about 30 minutes to work out the problem.

Here are some other links including information on combinatorics:

Kate Dalby is using her 30+ years of test preparation experience, and the insight she has developed working with thousands of test takers to devise testing and preparation material that is well-suited to meet the needs of course participants. Inspiring is completely overhauling its preparation course from start to finish to best respond to this change in admissions.  Each class we will discuss those strategies necessary to prepare for this latest permutation, and each testing session we will administer mock tests to approximate the test the students might encounter.  To participate in our program enroll via one of the links below. (Full class description may be found on the Fall course webpage.)

Needing some help in writing?  Sign up for Inspiring Test Preparation writing camp taught by Cathy Colglazier:

Writing Camp for Middle Schoolers

Not sure what to do? Order our free, no obligation TJ math assessment.