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Belin-Blank Center

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Belin-Blank Center

600 Blank Honors Center
Iowa City, IA 52242

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319.335.6148
belinblank@uiowa.edu

Director:
Dr. Susan Assouline
Belin-Blank Center
Welcome to Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS)

Learn more about your students’ academic abilities. Click on a button below to find the testing services that fit your high-ability student(s).

I'm a parent
I'm an educator

Why take another test?

  • High-ability students tend to score very highly on grade-level tests like the Iowa Assessments.
  • If they’re scoring at the 95th percentile or higher on any subject, they have reached the ceiling of that test.
  • They have mastered the items on the achievement test, but we don’t know how much more challenge they need.
  • Above-level testing can inform parents and educators about readiness for advanced curriculum. Learn more.

4th-6th Grade - Options for Iowa Students

4th-6th Grade - BESTS In-School

4th-6th Grade - Individual Testing

  • High-ability 4th-6th graders take I-Excel, an online above-level test. Learn more about I-Excel.
  • For this option, a licensed educator must agree to proctor a test (roughly a two-and-a-half-hour time commitment).
    • The proctor cannot be a relative.
    • Acceptable proctors include full-time teachers, tutors, and college professors.
  • The cost is $75 per child for up to three children. For groups of four or more, please see BESTS In-School.
  • What students (and parents) should know before they test.
  • To set up the testing, call 319-335-6148 or toll-free 800-336-6463 with the teacher's information (first name, last name, school address, and date they can test) and a credit card (all major cards accepted with the exception of American Express).
  • Testing dates for 2016-17 occur between October 1st and May 10th. Other blackout dates around holidays may apply.

I would like to test...

1-3 students
4 or more students

7th-9th Grade: The ACT

ACT, a secure test, is primarily used in the college admissions process and is available only through national testing dates established by ACT. Locations are available across the United States. Designed for college-bound high school students, the ACT takes approximately three hours to complete.

Parents can register their child individually (you can download a sample letter to send to parents) OR educators can register a group of students at the same testing location (final testing location placement not guaranteed) and, as an option, can arrange for the school to pay for this testing at a discounted rate. Email assessment@belinblank.org to learn more about registering a group of 7th-9th graders for the ACT.

  • The cost for ACT is $65. Financial aid is available.
  • What students (and parents) should know before they test.
  • Registration will open in late August/early September. 2016-2017 testing dates are listed below.

    Test Date Initial Deadline
    (Late Fee After This Date)
    Final Deadline Location
    October 22, 2016 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    December 10, 2016 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    February 11, 2017 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    April 8, 2017 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    June 10, 2017 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.

    Payment is required before the final deadline, or the registration will be dropped.

  • Details about the test, including testing time, will arrive in the mail 2-3 weeks before the testing date.
  • Please note that ACT does not allow students to test more than once per school year.

7th-9th Graders: The ACT

ACT, a secure test, is primarily used in the college admissions process and is available only through national testing dates established by ACT. Locations are available across the United States. Designed for college-bound high school students, the ACT takes approximately three hours to complete.

  • The cost for ACT is $65. Financial aid is available.
  • What students (and parents) should know before they test.
  • Registration will open in late August/early September. 2016-2017 testing dates are listed below.

    Test Date Initial Deadline
    (Late Fee After This Date)
    Final Deadline Location
    October 22, 2016 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    December 10, 2016 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    February 11, 2017 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    April 8, 2017 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.
    June 10, 2017 TBD TBD To view testing locations for your state, please visit ACT's website.

    Payment is required before the final deadline, or the registration will be dropped.

  • Details about the test, including testing time, will arrive in the mail 2-3 weeks before the testing date.
  • Please note that ACT does not allow students to test more than once per school year.

Opportunities for Students

BESTS testing is only available for students in grades 4-9, but there are a variety of other options:

  • Join the BESTS Mailing List for free.
  • The Belin-Blank Center offers a variety of other opportunities for students.
  • The Henry B. and Jocelyn Wallace Assessment and Counseling Clinic at the Belin-Blank Center offers individual evaluations conducted by licensed psychologists. These evaluations yield detailed results that are helpful in making decisions about readiness for advanced curriculum. The Clinic also specializes in counseling, therapy, and evaluations related to learning disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other psychological conditions among high-ability students. Learn more.
  • A Nation Empowered, the recent publication about academic acceleration, can be a helpful resource for parents and educators who would like to advocate for their high-ability students.