Talent Search

Older Student Assessments

Joining CTYI - Older Students

Students who wish to take part in CTYI or CAT Older Student programmes should take part in the assessment for secondary school students aged 12-16.

Our assessments for secondary school students have finished for this year, the new application form will be available here in September 2024.

If you would like to receive information as soon as it is available, please add your details to our mailing list here.

Talent Search

Post Primary applicants have the opportunity to take the School and College Ability Test (SCAT). This test is an excellent indicator of outstanding mathematical and verbal reasoning ability, as well as writing skills, at a young age.

In order to be eligible to participate in Talent Search, students must:

  • Be aged between 12 and 16 years.
  • Attend secondary school in Ireland, for students who are still in primary school please check our young student assessment.
  • Present one of the following:
    • A recommendation from a parent or teacher to take part.
    • Evidence of notable achievement at regional or national level in a competition, reflecting high ability in an academic area, e.g. Young Scientist of the Year competition.
    • A recent standardised aptitude or achievement test report showing a 95th percentile or higher national percentile score, relating to mathematical and/or verbal reasoning abilities (e.g. Drumcondra Reasoning test).

Previous Talent Search qualifiers have been shown to have some of the following characteristics:

  • Outstanding aptitude in either mathematical or verbal reasoning, or both.
  • Excellent ability in written work and/or spoken vocabulary.
  • Exceptional interest in one particular area of knowledge or speciality.
  • Enjoys intellectual challenge and possesses an ability to work things out in their head.
  • Lively and original imagination.

The SCAT test papers are scored in the US. It thus takes ~6 weeks for test results to be sent to students following the exam. 

The Talent Search fee is €60.

Talent Search Locations

  • Cork 
  • Dublin 
  • Galway 
  • Limerick 
  • Sligo
  • Wexford

Qualification through Psychological Evaluation

If a student has taken part in an educational psychologist's assessment they may submit a copy of the educational psychologist's report for evaluation in lieu of taking part in the CTYI Secondary School Talent Search. Reports must be submitted no later than 4 years after the date of the educational psychologist's assessment. If your child has not taken part in an educational psychologist's assessment or their assessment is more than 4 years old, and you do not intend on participating in an educational psychologist's report in the future please check the application by secondary school talent search.

To apply via Educational Psychologist's Report:

  • Complete and attach a Talent Search application form (there is no need to tick a test date or location) 
  • Include a copy of your report
  • Include a cheque, postal or bank draft or online card payment for €60 (secondary school - Older)** 

Post to:

Older Student Assessments




Dublin 9

**This covers the interpretation fee, if your child does not qualify for the programme based on the educational psychologist report fee can be used towards an assessment in any of our centres.

Talent Search Conditions

The information in the Talent Search Brochure brochure is intended as a guide only, and shall not be deemed to constitute a contract of the terms thereof between the University or CTYI and a student or any third party. All Centres are contingent on minimum numbers, so there is a chance that you may not be allocated to your chosen test Centre. In this instance, we will allocate you to your nearest available Centre.